After backpack tag interview
Kind of similar to the Liebster award is the after backpack tag, Sigrid from mytravelsecret.nl nominated me to answer the questions. I think I’m not the average backpacker but I like to have adventures. cycling in Europe, backpack in Asia, work in Australia I don’t mind, just do it!
Where did your first backpacktrip go to?
My first backpacktrip was in 2008. 5 weeks to Thailand with two friends, it felt more like a holiday. My first trip (2013) alone was on my bicycle from Amsterdam to Pisa in Italy. On a saturday evening my friends where talking about their road trips through Europe and they would met in Pisa for a week beach and have fun together. I had a couple of beers and said: “I’ll cycle to Pisa and join you that week”. They laughed to me and said, sure..! Sunday morning I bought a bike online and started to train. (two months before I started) The rest you can see on my #TourduPisa blogposts. I liked the cycling to so much that I cycled from Amsterdam to Berlin in 2014 and cycled from the Netherlands to Norway in 2015.
How long did your first backpacktrip take
My trip om my bicycle took 21 days, and I stayed 10 more days at the beach to recover and have a good time with my friends. That was one month I used this month to challenge myself, can I cycle that far, can I travel alone, ánd not in do I like it? Answer do I know now 😀
What kind of transport do you like when you travel
I rode a motorbike in Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. That was by far my favorite transport. But I also like the bus. In the Netherlands I hate the bus but during my backpack trips I live them. You can see the country and meet new people during the long distance busses. Beside that I love to ride my bicycle all over the world. I rode a bicycle in Bangkok, Myanmar, Singapore and Berlin.
Are you a slow or fast traveler?
I think I travel in between. My motto is: ”I’m here now!” So I want to enjoy the most out of the place. Wake up early and enjoy the place where I’m at that moment. But I can also enjoy the easy life on the beach when one place is awesome. For example I supposed to stay three nights on Koh Rong but I spent 10 days on the Island. The people the vibe and the parties were good so why leave the spot. Crazy, I met a girl from China and the “traveled”, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand in 11 days. I would never éver do that.
Do you plan or just go with the flow
I always make up the main route of my trip what I want to do and see but on my travel plans I always decide on the moment. I love to hear good thing from other travelers. For example in raining season the waterfall can be shit, you don’t have to go there. So always try to ask people how it was. In Myanmar I was in a bus for eight hours and decided in one minute to visit the Golden Rock. Another 4 hours in another bus. But just the go with the flow brings you in the most spontaneous conversations and action. I never book a hostel in advance, (I only write the address of two or three hostels) just meet people in the bus and if they are nice ask which hostel they stay. Do you don’t like them just go somewhere else.
To lonely planet or not to lonely planet?
On my first backpacktrip in 2008 I went to Thailand with two friends that is the only trip I used a lonely planet. I like to try different things and ask other backpackers. When you follow the lonely planet you go to places which are already found. I just want to discovery places by my self. I use trip advisor more to see what can I do in a city. I love to walk around the whole day, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the street or places I choose myself. Beside that I use Instagram to discover new spots. When the local people use Instagram you can easy discovery new places by search on places and hashtags. Where can you see the most beautiful sunset? Check Instagram!
What was your favorite backpack country
Myanmar! By far, the people were so friendly just crazy. I came from Thailand and they are way further with tourism. It is a competition to make money using tourists. Myanmar on this moment is so untouched. Sure they want to make money but also want to help you. For example I arrived in Mandelay and I was on the street looking for my hostel. People stopped to and approached me and started a conversation. I was thinking, OK what do you want to sell me? That happened three times before I realized that they didn’t want to sell me something but just help me and have a good conversation to learn English. In Myanmar I rented a couple of times a bike. Kids were waving al the time and scream Hello!! Hello!! I felt like a king on a bicycle.
What is the craziest thing of your trip
In China I had to go to the toilet during the busride. At the stop where everybody could go to the restroom there was only a gutter were everybody was in line. Because there were many busses at that stop there were many people doing their thing in the gutter just behind each other but no wall in between 😉
One night in Cambodia, I heard a #$%^&* hard BANG just next to me. A drunk English guy on top of my bunk bed fell down from the topbed above me.
But also nice things you don’t expect, we borrowed our kajak to two guys. After that they invited us to drink some beers and join them for a fresh seafood bbq on the beach.
Or once they invited us to celebrate a kids birthday in Cambodia, even with dance cake and beers. When you travel and be open for everybody you can have unique stories to tell.
What do you like about backpacking
The adventure and the freedom! Just go where you want when you want. Do you want to sleep longer? Just do it. Do you want to sport? Just do it. And when you are open for other people you can come in crazy situations you never expected. Another awesome thing about backpacking is to meet new people from all over the world.
In which country do you want to backpack?
Mexico aan Cuba, but all the countries in south and central America I want to backpack! I think the people are nice and the stories I heard from other travelers make me even more enthousiast about South America.
What did you learn during your trips?
Bargain like a king! What you give you get back. Trust yourself! Everything will be ok. The worst thing what can happen isn’t often that bad. Miss an airplane? Book another flight. Out of money? Go work. And its a easy travel quote but so true. “Collect moments not things.”
What would you do different when you look back on your first backpack trip?
Don’t take that much hotels. I went to Thailand with two friends and I think we carried our backpack a couple of times. The rest did the taxi driver or the bellboy. It wasn’t really backpacking, just a holiday with a backpack.
What did you change after your first backpack experience?
Pack less, eat more street food and sleep more in hostels
What would you advice starting backpackers
Don’t pack much. Make a main route before you go and just go with the flow don’t plan to much. Most important: trust yourself. Easy one: get your sweater out of your backpack in the bus. It can be freezing!
What is you most beautiful travel picture?
It’s hard so say. I think good photo’s can have shit memories and shit photo’s can have awesome memories. But I like the view in Bagan. It was real but could be a movie scene. So beautiful. Another one is my bicycle in Norway. Proud that I cycled 3000 km in 30 days but shit that I had to give up my dream. Cycling 10.000 km in Europe.