“Traveling is a life changer. It has taught me so much about the world. More than any school ever will. It teaches you about toleration, about love, about people, about culture, about yourself. It makes you experience everyday things as if for the first time. It balances everything out. It makes you feel like the only thing you need in the world is what you have in your backpack. It makes you an interesting person”
Traveling has always been a great thing to do whether you do it for leisure trip or as routine lifestyle. People has come to realise the many benefits of traveling itself. Discovering new places, meeting people of other culture and increasing our knowledge as well as widening our perspectives are some of many advantage that traveling has to offer.
This time, let us introduce our third (and first female traveler) on Meet The Traveler, Isabelle. The woman behind the travelblog www.glooobetrotter.com. Born and grew up in Norway, Isabelle has derived an interest towards extreme sport such as rock climbing and also surfing (which could also be dangerous at times).
Her constant need to seek for adventure has become the main reason for her to traveling around the globe as it provides her tremendous opportunities for fun, adventure and discovery where it finally led her to visit Indonesia for surfing in 2009 in Bali and Gili
A quote says “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” Embark on a new trail you’ve never been before and venture on a new land in new path of adventure is nothing but interesting, refreshing and revitalizing and at the end of the day it’ll provide us marvelous insights and enlightens mind.
Below is my wonderful session with Isabelle.
Tell us about yourself!
Hello fellow travelers. My name is Isabelle. I am the woman behind the travelblog: www.glooobetrotter.com
Some facts about me:
I grew up in a small town with two sisters and my parents.
I have lived in three of the biggest cities in Norway.
I love extreme sports and my favorite sport is surfing.
I am a certified Yoga instructor and a rock climbing instructor
I recently graduated with a bachelors degree in tourism management.
I’ve seen from your Instagram account that you’re an avid traveler. What motivated you to travel and what was the first overseas trip you took?
My motivation for traveling is my constant need for adventure. I have always been an adventure seeker. I love to meet new people, learn about their culture and experience things for the first time. My first long trip overseas was to India back in 2009. I had been to various places around Europe before that, but coming to India felt like my first big adventure.
Since you’ve been to many countries. Can you tell us where have you gone and how did you decide which place to go?
Outside of Europe I have been to India, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, USA, Gambia, Cook Island and Morocco. I have always wanted to go to India. I heard so many amazing stories from people who had been there before me and I knew I had to experience it for myself. I read a lot of books about Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and I dreamt about traveling to these countries for years. Laos was actually recommended to me by other travelers I met along the road. I love getting advice from fellow travelers. This is one of the reasons why I like writing a travel blog and why I like reading others. They inspire me to travel to places I might not know of or haven’t thought of going before.
Are you more of a spontaneous person or a well-planned person? Are you always traveling alone or with friends?
I am a very spontaneous person, but I love to bring my Lonely Planet guidebook with me and I use it to plan where to stay and places to eat. It is the closest thing I have to a bible 🙂
Ever since the terrorist attack in Indonesia that initially took place in early 2000s with the following major bombing attacks both in Bali and Jakarta many countries issued a travel warning to Indonesia. I believe it made people hesitate and worried about traveling to Indonesia. When did you come to Indonesia and why? Where did you go?
I usually travel with my boyfriend. We have been together almost 10 years now and we both share a love for traveling. When I travel I usually meet a lot of nice people and more often than not I end up traveling together with them for a while. Traveling can be a great way to make friends from all over the world. I also travel by myself sometimes or with my girlfriends. I like traveling both by myself and with others, but most of the time I am traveling with someone.
Being a surfer, Indonesia has always been one of those places you dream about going to. I went there in 2009 and traveled around for two months. I spent most of my time in Bali. I absolutely loved the people in Bali, their culture and everything about the island. I think it is a bit sad that the area around Kuta has gotten so touristy, but the rest of the Island is pure paradise. Lombok and the Gili islands was one of my favorite places in South East Asia. I snorkeled with giant turtles on Gili and it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. A close friend of mine lives in Bali and I would love to go back and visit her and experience more of the other islands as well.
How do you travel around?
The way I travel around varies very much from country to country and how much time I have for the trip. I really like to use public transportation if it is possible. Local ferries, boats, buses and trains. If there is a possibility to rent a bicycle or a scooter I sometimes like doing that to explore places off the beaten track. When I traveled through Australia and New Zealand I drove around in a campervan and a rented car. Sometimes that is a very nice way to get around, especially if you are traveling for a longer period of time. But I always try to choose local transportation if it is possible.
Do you think it’s necessary to adapt to local style and customs? What would you suggest if you think it does?
I think one of the most important things you can do when traveling to other countries is try to be as respective and humble towards the locals, their customs and culture as possible. I have seen some horrible examples where tourism has had a negative impact on local people and that is not what tourism should be about. It should be about a common interest for the locals and the tourist, to share a good experience and to learn from each other. When I visit temples and sacred buildings in other countries I always cover my knees and shoulders. I try to do what the locals do, to a certain extent. When traveling it is important to remember that you are a visitor in someone else’s country. And think about how you would want tourists to behave if they where in your own country.
As a female traveler, is it harder to travel around especially in developing countries in Asia or Africa? Do you think you are more exposed to imminent threat from local crime? Have you had any bad experience during your travel in Indonesia or other countries?
I have not had any problems traveling by myself as a woman in Asia or Africa. When I was in Africa I was with a big group of people and I never went anywhere alone. My first time in Asia I traveled with my boyfriend and I never had any problems. Second time I went to India I went by myself and I did not encounter any bad behavior or felt unsafe in any way. I think it is very important when traveling to ask the locals about where to go and where not to go. Ask fellow travelers. If you are somewhere and you don’t feel safe then leave, go somewhere else. Follow your instinct. And don’t walk alone in the dark. Don’t walk alone at night on beaches or places where there is no light and no people.
After coming to Indonesia, do you have any plan to come back here? Any reason why you want to come back? What do you miss the most about Indonesia?
As I mentioned earlier, I would love to go back to Indonesia and explore more of the other islands. I loved everything about Indonesia. The food, the people, the nice weather, beautiful beaches and the green countryside. I had an amazing couple of months there and I would love to go back in the near future. Maybe this year or the next.
How did you manage your budget for your trip?
I love this question about budget because it is something I am passionate about. One of the reasons I am able to travel as much as I do is because I am very good at traveling on a budget. Getting good deals on flights, cheap accommodation and choosing local inexpensive transportation to get around. When I traveled around the world for one year I had to make a budget. I worked for 9 months straight, day and night. I lived with my family and I did not spend any money in those 9 months. My budget for Asia was about 800$US per month. This was including everything, food, transportation, accommodation, sightseeing. In Australia and New Zealand my budget was a bit higher. But I managed to pull it off. It is also possible to work while you are traveling to save money on accommodation and food. I have written an article about traveling the world for free on my blog. Feel free to check it out.
How much do you usually bring with you on travels (one backpack/one check-in luggage)? Are there any must-bring items for you?
Packing light is key. If I am going somewhere warm I like to travel with just one carry-on bag. If I am traveling for a longer time and the weather conditions might change I bring a bigger backpack with me as well. I have a few items I never travel without. Number one is my camera. I have to have it with me. I love taking pictures and especially when I travel. Number two is my yoga mat. Yoga helps me stay focused, grounded, happy, healthy and in good shape. Yoga is something you can do everywhere and it is always a good idea to stretch out your body.
What was your most memorable moment during your visit in Indonesia?
I have two very fond memories from my trip to Indonesia. The first one is the amazing sunset in Bali. I have seen a lot of amazing sunsets but sitting on the beach after surfing and watching this huge sun going down was breathtaking. The other one was snorkeling with turtles on the Gili Islands. Both great memories I treasure and think about from time to time.
What is the most challenging part of traveling overseas?
For me traveling overseas is never a challenge. I feel so grateful and thankful that I am able to travel around the world and experience amazing places and meet so many fantastic people. I could say it is challenging sleeping in dirty places, getting sick from food you are not used to eat or waiting in line in customs for hours and hours. But for me I don’t find any part of it challenging. It is all part of the adventure. It is all part of the journey.
Some people may be willing to travel but some are afraid to take the leap or worried about safety issues. What would you say to them?
The media and the news are always full of people saying: “this is
dangerous, don’t go to this country, this might happen to you”. I would say to them: ” to travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” – Aldous Huxley
People say traveling changes one’s life. What have you learned about yourself and what do you think you will learn?
Traveling is a life changer. It has taught me so much about the world. More than any school ever will. It teaches you about toleration, about love, about people, about culture, about yourself. It makes you experience everyday things as if for the first time. It balances everything out. It makes you feel like the only thing you need in the world is what you have in your backpack. It makes you an interesting person. It changes the way you view the world. Most importantly it makes you appreciate what you have. I appreciate what I have and where I am from. I know that I am lucky to be born in the country I was born in. I know that I am lucky to be able to travel around just because I feel like it. I am lucky to be happy, healthy, have a free education, everything that a lot of other people don’t have. And traveling makes me see this and appreciate it every day.
Any parting words for our reader?
I hope I have given you and your readers a glimpse into my life and why I love traveling. And most importantly why I loved Indonesia so much. Every country has its own special charm and Indonesia sure has a lot of it. The people I met in Bali will forever be in my heart and I can’t wait to go back one day.