In two days I am going to travel the world for about 6 months. Alone. As a woman. When I talk to people about it, the reaction varies from: “Wow, you are so brave. I wish I could do the same but I believe I would not have the strength to do so.” to “Are you crazy?”. That reflects very well my own feelings of the last weeks. One day I believe it is the best thing I ever came up with and the next day (especially when I have to say “goodbye” to my family or friends) I think I went nuts when I decided to leave my hometown Berlin to travel “about 26 hours away” (as my friend Dave would say) to Bali, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand…and wherever my money in my bank account allows me to go. 😉
However, I will leave behind my home, my family, my friends, my city in two days… to see the world, to meet different people and to get to know other cultures. My first step towards that journey was booking a flight from Berlin to Bali (to be honest: from Berlin to Istanbul, Istanbul to Jakarta and then finally Jakarta to Bali, travelling about 26 hours). I will leave Berlin on Wednesday, 19th October 2016 at 20:15 pm, the Prime Time as I love to call it. It will be the time my journey begins.
It won’t be my first journey where I will be gone from home for longer. I already was travelling the world, as the map in my living room shows.
This time it is different though as I won’t be in one city for the whole time studying or working… I will be travelling around, talking to people and getting to know other cultures, for six straight months.
Why did I decid to travel alone? The truth is, I already wanted to go alone to Australia and participate in the “Work & Travel” program for about four years…I never did it because of my studies, my work, my boyfriend…I always had excuses.
So what changed? I finished my medicine studies this summer and got my PhD two weeks ago, I became a freelancer and my ex-boyfriend and I separated seven weeks ago.
So, nothing holds me back and I know I have to go travelling – now or never. So I had to make a choice: travelling alone or staying at home? The choice was made quickly and I chose to go to see the world alone. However, I wanted to be free in my decisions. I didn’t want to plan so much ahead. To have the opportunity to listen to advices from locals and do whatever I want to do in that particular moment of travelling. Therefore, I just booked my flight out of Indonesia within 30 days of arrival in order to get my “Visa free visit”. The cheapest flight I could find was from Lombok, an island next to Bali, to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for 80,00 Euros including a baggage of 20 kg.
Since yesterday, I also know that I will be in New Zealand from the 20th December 2016 on. Not because I have already booked flights for myself but because I booked the flights for my older sister who is coming to visit me there for three weeks for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I am already so excited to travel with her and spend that special time of the year with family! I still have to figure out how and from where I am going to arrive in Christchurch but I will find a way. I told her yesterday “And if I have to swim to New Zealand, somehow I will be there for sure!”
For the whole travel time, I plan on spending 40,00 € per day including everything: accommodation, food, activities, transportation, visa, etc. I will see and let you know how that will work out.
A conversation with my Australian friend, Jeff, through WhatsApp some weeks ago opened my eyes to what really matters to me while travelling. He asked me:
“What is one adventure that you would do tomorrow if you could?”
I was sitting in a Berlin bus, read the question and the first answer which came to my mind was: “I would beam myself up (or Scotty would have to do that for me ^^) to see you and talk to you in person.” Deep within myself I felt that for me it is more important to talk to people in person, to share special moments with them than to see a nice panorama or do something spectacular. Jeff was really surprised about my answer and asked again: “So out of everything in the world you could do…Cross a desert, see the Northern lights, climb Mount Everest, etc. etc. you would want to come to see me?” Yes, indeed. Because, in my life, I don’t need to cross every desert, I don’t need to see every beautiful beach and I don’t have to climb every mountain just because it is there. What matters the most to me while travelling and in my life in general is the contact with people, to talk to them in person, to listen to their story and to understand their culture.
To get in contact with those locals, I will try to travel as much as possible via Couch Surfing. Couchsurfing.com gives you already a nice profile of the people with references to read and get a feeling if you could get along with them. I have planned my first 10 nights in Bali with three different couchsurfers. I am already in contact with all of them through WhatsApp and very excited to meet them in person. The first couchsurfer I am staying with, Anastasia, will even pick me up from the airport. What a pleasant way to arrive in a new country! That is the reason why I believe I will be travelling alone, but probably most of the time I won’t be lonely.
Did you have similar experiences or do you have any tips for me? Just comment below and let me know about it!
Your excited travel girl,
Hard facts about my travel plans so far:
What I already have booked:
- flight Berlin, 19th October 2016 – Bali, 21st October 2016, 500 € (changing two times in Istanbul and Jakarta, Turkish Airlines)
- flight Lombok – Kuala Lumpur, 10th November 2016, 80 € incl. 20 kg baggage (direct flight, Air Asia)
- first 10 nights in Bali through Couchsurfing.com (free, with paying food, petrol, etc. from time to time)
- Indonesia: 30 days “Visa free visit” if you already have a flight ticket out of Indonesia during those 30 days
- Malaysia: 3 months
- 40,00 € per day for everything incl. accommodation, food, transport…
- in addition, I plan extra money for the flights between the countries
- Indonesia 3 weeks 20th October – 10th November 2016
- Malaysia?, Thailand?, Australia?
- New Zealand 3 weeks 20th December 2016 – 9th January 2017
- Australia , Peru? , Bolivia?
- I want to travel around 6 months, depending on the money in my bank account 😉
Written by Juliane Boll