This Amazing Girl Won’t Stop Traveling and Surfing The World
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GAFFL connects travelers around the world who have similar itineraries to share costs and experiences as they backpack around the planet. Simply type the destination you are traveling to, connect with travelers and locals, chat, meet up and explore together!

19th Jul | 4 min read

Ursu is a seasoned solo traveler who is using GAFFL to find a travel companion for her next trip to either China, Thailand, or the Philippines. She's just a surfer who wants to spend most of her time traveling to catch some waves/wind. Here's a look into her story.

If you want to take a closer look into Ursu's travels, you can follow her on Instagram @ulaklasa_.

What inspired you to start traveling solo and what makes you continue to do it?

Ever since I remember, I had two dreams: to be a princess and to be a surfer. Well I only managed to realize the latter one. It started while I was studying in Germany. There were so many people who were surfing and I realised, it's a very achievable dream! With this in mind I started looking for a surf camp that would hire me as a volunteer in exchange for a place to sleep and food. It wasn't easy to find such a place, especially with no experience whatsoever. But the most important thing is to never give up. If you try enough you will always find what you're looking for. And so that's how it started and how it motivates me till now, going on an adventure, meeting new people, living close to nature and creating unforgettable memories.

Have you met new people and created any long lasting friendships?

Of course! I made amazing friends with whom I still keep in touch and meet. However I also lost contact with many people I met. It's absolutely natural and no one should feel discouraged by that. I'm also sure that everyone would find a couple of amazing buddies and those friendships will last for a long, long time!

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How do you choose where to travel next?

I rarely do choose. It's often a pure accident that I find a nice job opportunity overseas or a very cheap flight. Just go with your gut feeling. A good research on the place you're going to is also important, that way you won't miss any chance to explore.

How often do you travel and what is the usual length of your solo trips?

Usually when I go somewhere, I want to understand the culture and explore the place as much as I can, that's why I choose quite long travels, lasting from a couple of weeks to half a year. That way I have a lot of time and can make long-lasting friendships. Also, the locals are more open with people who would stay for a couple of months, since you're not really considered "a traveler" who would come one day and depart right away.

As a solo traveler do you get bored or feel lonely? If you do, what are some ways you cope with it? 

While traveling for a longer period of time, you will always have those days, when you feel lonely and bored. The solution differs depending on what one's personality is like. For instance, I'm very sociable and love being with people, so whenever I feel bored, I go out and meet with friends, and if they're busy, I look for nice places to explore. It's a 100% chance that you will find some cool local or traveler to talk to and spend time with. The best friends I made were locals met in restaurants and museums. That's right, museums! Tour guides usually speak good English, know a lot of interesting things and are very friendly. After befriending a tour guide and a walk through the city will change into a unique, private tour. 

What are some things that prevent you from traveling more? What are some of the biggest challenges of travelling solo? 

Because I'm a student, one of those things is money. The second one is lack of time and the third - trying to make a career. Now there's another factor: COVID19, which stopped me from going to China for a 3 months travel... 

As for the challenges of travelling solo, you often feel insecure and timid at first. What I dislike the most is probably long, alone flights. Not being able to talk to someone for a couple of hours is a nightmare for me. Surely, sometimes your seat mate will be a cool person and then the flight would be enjoyable. 

The other problem that I often have is that you only have yourself to rely on. While being with a friend, you will feel less nervous and won't have to go to the bathroom with all your luggage.

What is some advice that you can give to new solo travellers? 

1. Don't panic, but think quickly. If you don't know something, don't hesitate to ask other people. 

2. Stay positive and if something goes wrong - find a solution, don't try to endure it.

3. Don't take too much luggage!!! Whatever happens during your travel, it's easier to move with a small suitcase rather than two huge bags full of things you will never use. 

4. Be proactive, explore, look for locals, be YOLO, but still think rationally. 

5. Count your money, be mindful of how much you can spend. If you can't afford something, look for a job in a guesthouse. Ask for a place to sleep and a bit of pocket money in exchange for your work. 

6. Dream big! And try to make it come true step by step.

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