I find myself receiving a lot of the same questions on a regular basis – whether it’s in person, over text, email, Facebook message, or if someone “slides in the DMs” on Twitter.
So why not make my next post answering those questions?
Maybe I’ll clear up some confusion? Answer questions that you wanted to ask but never did? I don’t know. Whatever.
Q: What program do you go through?
A: I actually do not go through any type of program. When I think of a trip, I do self-research. And a lot of it. I plan out all of my transportation, where I stay, how long I’ll stay there, and figure out what I’m going to do there. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But stressing out over dumb things and planning it makes it even more worthwhile. I get to do what I want, when I want, where I want. Could that get any more perfect?
Q: So…you travel alone? Like by yourself? Without anyone else?
A: Yes, yep, yeah, uhhhhuuuuh. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It doesn’t get lonely because you meet people everywhere you go. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone, reach out to someone, and say hi. You meet SO many people. And you truly, truly find yourself. I also love it because I’m on my own schedule – and only my own. I don’t have to worry about walking through museums for hours. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. It’s the bees knees.
Q: And backpacking…….what does that exactly mean?
A: I live out of a backpack. I have a 65-liter backpack that I carry on my back. Yes, it’s heavy. Yes, it’s annoying. But it’s so convenient! You can’t carry much. But it’s cool because it assures that you won’t overpack. Which is definitely something I would do. You only really have room for your necessities…it’s niiiiiiiice. Real nice.
Q: Do you stay in hotels? Or….?
A: Nope! Hotels aren’t my thing when I’m traveling. That’s no fun! How do I meet people? How do I get that firsthand cultural experience? By couchsurfing, of course! (Plus….hotels are expensive. And I am so cheap it’s disgusting.)
Q: Couchsurfing? You surf on couches?
A: Uhhhh, kind of. Couchsurfing is an online community of travelers that open up their homes to other travelers. Some homes are just a single person, some are couples, some are roommates, some are families! Some homes offer you a couch, an open spot on the floor, an air mattress, or even a real bed. You search and find good matches for yourself and personality. Profiles are made and you read through them thoroughly. You send personal requests and they either accept or deny you. It’s simple….but so incredibly amazing.
Q: Ahh, okay. So….isn’t that like…scary?
A: If you’re smart, it won’t be scary. Obviously you don’t request to stay with a single person who doesn’t have a profile picture or any information filled out. People leave references, and the more the merrier. Be smart about it, like you would with anything else while traveling.
Q: What’s your favorite country?
A: I’m going to be honest…this is the worst question ever. And only because it’s so difficult. Germany will always hold a special place in my heart. But every country is so incredible, so different – it’s difficult to choose between them when they’re all so special in their very own way. Norway, Portugal, and Spain would definitely be up there though…..if I did have to choose 😉
Q: What’s your favorite memory?
A: Also very difficult. The nights at the beer festival in Regensburg, Germany. Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland. Riding on a gondola by myself in Venice, Italy. Roaming the streets of Barcelona, Spain and mastering the public transportation, hiking Trolltunga in Odda, Norway. So many things. Help!
Q: How much did it cost?
A: This question is also hard to explain and answer with an exact number….if you’re very interested, please do contact me and I can try to explain and sort out the prices of things with you 🙂
Q: How do you get from country to country?
A: Depending on how far apart: I either ride a train, hop on a plane, or sometimes even hitchhike. All are fairly cheap if you know your ways 😉
Q: Would you do it again?
A: In a heartbeat.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese