20months have passed since I made my first step out of the comfort zone and I don’t regret to having jumped into a pure travel lifestyle. I am on the road and traveling through Southeast Asia – the world ahead. A few friends who are following online my adventures tend to ask me from time to time about my travels and this initiated the idea to make an open interview. So, I wanted to sum it all up and I asked my friends on Facebook …
What would be your questions if you interviewed me as a traveler ?
And here below is the result. At this point, many thanks to everybody who was sending me questions on my travel lifestyle. And I sincerely apologise for the delayed publishing of this post.
The Interview – my Travel Lifestyle
What was your best experience so far and what would you not do same as before ? (Patrick, Germany)
Let me think, I have been diving with a whale shark, so close that I can’t put the magic of that moments in words. I was hiking in remote jungle waterfalls, the river waters so clean that I could just drink it. It was delicious. I had a good morning shower in different jungle nature pools, too – very exciting experiences indeed. I swam through a black dark cave to a hidden bay and kayaked through other caves which you can only pass at low tide. Exciting. Shortly, I posted my Bromo Volcano experience, that was really surreal. A night sky with millions of stars (I didn’t count but the sky was breathtaking) followed by a sunrise that revealed an insanely picturesque nature portrait. Not to forget all the dreamy beaches, bunch of waterfalls and the snorkeling with a big school of fishes that ate cookies out my hands and so many more experiences – what a travel lifestyle, huh?!
But frankly, within all these and those and many more wonderful moments, I fortunately have had, what always touches me the most is when I smile and people – young and old – are smiling back. Or better people just smile like a kid by themselves. I remember myself with that very big smile and widely open eyes every time I put the backpack on my shoulders – purely enjoying life, freedom and happiness. That must be the best experience ever, I would tend to say. But in fact, the best experience is the sum of everything … the big and small warming moments that form my own story which is still ongoing. Additionally, I have got to know a wonderful human and beautiful woman – we are adding a big portion of sweetness and passion into our lives. Very very happy to having met Pera, my love.
What would I not do again or same as before ? Hmm … not much. I would do same except … changing small details e.g. as a beginner in traveling I spent too much money on accommodations in the first months of my travel. As soon as I started choosing hostels I could spare a lot of money which makes me able to travel longer and at the same time connects me with other travellers and new friends. But every experience is developing me, so, within my new Travel Lifestyle I do not regret any of my steps and decisions.
What inspired you to live and work there ? (Andrea, Germany)
I am fully inspired to travel the world and, fortunately, I can work and travel from almost everywhere. That is my preferred Travel Lifestyle. It could have been also somewhere in the Caribbean or in South America where I got to know people and have good friends, too. Let me say this …. Originally, I aimed to hitchhike from Germany to Genova in order to sail to Gibraltar and later cross the Atlantic Ocean. I was a bit late and the cold weather crossed my plans and I didn’t want to take an expensive flight just to get stuck somewhere in Europe. At that time, the most important topic for me was also, not to have another extremely cold winter. I like winter landscapes with snow but less muddy or dry. Finally, I was looking for a flight to Australia, but then again, I decided to start in Bangkok and travel on a budget to Aussieland. Do you know that you can save a lot of money if you book a transfer flight by yourself? …. Ok, well, South East Asia has so much to offer and I haven’t seen the most of it yet. So, I am very excited and curious like a kid about all things that are about to happen.
Now I am here, the people, the beautiful nature landscapes, the hospitality at many places and of course the weather (!) inspire me the most. So good to be here.
Is there any country you would never ever come back again ? (Denys, Ukraine)
I cannot imagine to list out any country ever, since every one has its own beauty and highlights. Within my travel lifestyle, I visited countries in Europe and, within South East Asia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, so far. Still many places to go. And by the way, it is always another great experience to visit the same place twice. Once you know the infrastructure and get to know people, the second visit will always be a special one. You can discover more and experience a more local life.
Why are you traveling ? (Manni, Germany)
Well, that is a very interesting question indeed. On the one hand, and at the risk that this may sound cheesy now, … I just decided to follow my heart *smile*. The reasonable answer would be the same but in other words: I have wanderlust.
I had and have still a huge desire to see and visit as many spots on this beautiful planet as possible. Imagine how many wonderful places, adventures and lovely people’s stories there are. So many! All waiting to be discovered. Sure I could surf online and get images and info about almost any place, but living it for real and being in another part of the world reveals and gives me so much. In a Facebook post I once called us all “collectors of happy moments”. That’s what I am. I believe we all are. And glad to be able to share them with all of my friends and everyone I meet on my way.
A very private question. How do you manage a relationship, when you travel so much ? (Indira, Germany)
I would say that having a serious relationship as a traveler is practically the same as any long-distance relationship except that I can travel anywhere I want. The duration of my stay is also up to me thus I can have a compromise in between travelling and staying at a place to meet up and spend time with my partner. It will be of great advantage whenever I am traveling in the area where my girlfriend lives or works but might be not that easy if I am traveling the other side of the globe though. But since I am aiming a free travel lifestyle, I have a lot of opportunities to combine both travel and relationship.
How do you finance the whole trip ? How is it with the constant change of residence or living out of the backpack ? Don’t you feel the need to get your own room after a year? (Sonja, Germany)
Luckily, I could survive the first year of travel quite well, in terms of health and finances, although I spent way too much in the first months, as I mentioned. Now I am in the second year and I am so happy about the possibility to continue my travels. Since I am a professional media designer including photography and videography with a profound knowledge in Marketing, I am using my skills as a freelancer for clients around the globe. Building websites, analysing and building up Social Media for them, producing video trailers for business partners are some of the possibilities I can earn some money with. If everything was supposed to break down for a reason, I am surely ready to work in any job I can find or volunteer to keep up my travel lifestyle.
I had a big flat with everything in it, from proper furniture to a car. Nothing fancy but still. I dissolved my household. Firstly, it was not easy to get separated from some stuff I was used to. But quickly I recognized that I can make a living with so much less. I finally minimized all my goods. Today, I have to admit that I love my backpack and still want to reduce more. Concerning the change of residences, I was so unsure about this at the very beginning but then again I begun liking it. You get such a rich experience and get to know lovely people through such a travel lifestyle. For now, I don’t think about an own room or a single place to stay at constantly. I discovered the adventurous life and cannot imagine to stop pursuing it. I feel home everywhere. My home is planet earth 🙂 But yes, there are some places where my girlfriend Pera and I could imagine to settle in distant future.
Where is the “scharfeste” Essen ? (Ole, Germany)
The “scharfeste Essen” (spiciest food) I could find anywhere in Southeast, well, that was the theory and initial thought I had, according to the saying of many people. Especially the people from Southeast are mostly convinced that they eat very spicy. And they are of course right. They get to know many “Bule” (foreigner) from Europe who cannot eat much spice. Compared to them, yes. But these people haven’t counted with a turkish man whose roots are from Adana, a town in South of Turkey where chilly and garlic are an essential part of local food. Ok, I grew up in Germany but somehow, genetically, I must have inherited the lust for chilly or chilly is in my venes. I guess, that’s why I see many astonished faces when people see me using e.g. far more Sambal (Indonesian chilly sauce) in my food than they do themselves.
Coming back to your question … the spiciest food I had so far was in Thailand and Indonesia. First, the very first night of my arrival. I really don’t know whether it just felt spicy because I wasn’t used to the way chilly was added in the food there or whether it was because the vendor took me very serious when I told him “very spicy”! A soup which was consisting of pure chilly, so taste was missing. It takes a lot to make me fighting and breathing against the burn in my mouth but, yeah, it was and I made it. I ate the whole soup and got trained for the rest of South East Asia. haha. But wouldn’t do that again just for the sake of a challenge.
In Indonesia you can find a restaurant chain called “Sambal Cencuk”. You have a big variety of Sambal (chilly sauces) and some of them are very spicy. All in all, I prefer taste over spice. And I have a new info for a place where a noodle dish is served in many “chilly levels”. I will try it soon and update in here.
On the one hand, you have many encounters and get to know great people, on the other hand, there are also many goodbyes. How are you dealing with it? (Sonja, Germany)
I had some conversations about this with other travellers. Some just try to keep the acquaintances superficial as possible and don’t go too deep into a friendship to avoid some emotional chaos, others just hate the moment of separation. Me personally, I like making new friends. A missing feeling can appear but there is no reason for manipulating myself. I travel, I meet people and I have to travel on following the desire of my heart. My mother is asking me in every video-call when I was thinking to return. In the age of social media and video calls it is very easy to stay connected. So, that’s how I do it and tell her, too. As last to mention, I think, it is a matter of kinda priorities set by our desires. If your wanderlust is far bigger than your desire to settle, you will see your target and not get too emotional. Only if you fall in love can change the game, with a place or a person 😉
Are you traveling with a particular goal in mind ? (Wim, Belgium)
I accomplished my first year of travel on the 1st of November 2017. That year was kinda like a strolling around in Southeast Asia without any particular goal in mind but to see awesome places. I did. Wherever it was taking me to without any clear goal of setting up a business. Until now, I used my skills rather for a sponsored adventure instead for building up a business. I could spare the accommodation and food at some places, as an example, meanwhile the sponsor received an adequately quality video trailer for his business. The second year I am changing this. I installed a good base to create quality content which will generate my income. I could vlog and write about my and many other stories. And some other ideas waiting to be realized as well.
What I also have in mind is to support children. I want to use my skills to put a smile on their faces and install projects that bring money which I will use to support the children in their education. I will have further posts about all projects.
Which is ur favourite place u visited till now ? (Luisa, Indonesia)
That is most probably one of the most difficult-to-answer questions I can imagine. To answer directly to your question, it is the variety which makes my Travel Lifestyle so beautiful. The sunset on the island Koh Tao in Thailand for example was incredible and seems to be one of its kind, but I had breathtaking sunsets at other places, too, like on Langkawi/Malaysia or Karimunjawa/Indonesia. I thought I never want to visit cities, but the markets and the street food in Jakarta and Bangkok I definitely don’t want to miss somehow. Revisiting is a must! We cannot really compare a sunrise hike on a Volcano Crater to a dreamy beach, at least, I don’t want to.
What I can say is that I am very attracted to the coastal regions, so for now, my favorites are islands with a clear waterfront and clean beaches. Followed by waterfalls. Newly, I discovered my lust for mountain hiking. That’s a totally different world with gorgeous views and fresh air and away from dusty city jams. Particular places will definitely appear in my blog here. So stay tuned.
What was ur worst experience during ur travels so far ? (Gracia, Indonesia)
Thanks for the reminder ,*roll-eyes, that was a shocking situation. A man in a hostel pretended interest for collaboration and lured me in his room near the reception. That was awkward enough. After some thoughts to refuse his offer, I decided to give him the opportunity to exchange numbers, just out of politeness. Then the person hugged me and threw us on his bed. I was shocked. Short time later another man made a disgusting sexual approach from a distance in an abandoned bus stop while I was trying to catch the last scheduled bus. Both happened in Malaysia. I experienced a third one, who followed me into the hostel bathroom and tried to approach verbally but since I am experienced now, I kept the distance and decided not to give that much friendliness which I normally tend to do so. Although this one was not a real bad situation. Just being cautious but without any fear.
And for all travellers out there, my bad experiences have not lead to a bad happening. Thus I can say, take care but don’t be scared.
How light is your luggage ? (Nooraini, Malaysia)
Definitely too heavy. I prefer a much lighter Travel Lifestyle. At the moment I have a backpack with 60 Liters which I fully use. Another Rucksack with 25-30 Liters I have in the front, it is my chest-pack and the one I take into the airplane, whenever I decide to fly to the next spot. I found out that I am happy the less I have, actually. So my dream-wish is to reduce everything and being able to travel only with a small bag, so I can literally jump from one place to another or even hike longer distances without big weights on my shoulders.
That was the Interview. Once again a huge THANK YOU ALL for your questions !!
If you have any further ones, don’t hesitate to send me your thoughts and messages.
EFETACK is a dreamer, an ambassador of good feelings, a freedom fighter. Following the voice of my heart I am traveling Southeast Asia at the moment. I am always ready to explore new places and connect to people around the globe. Earth is a playground, let’s LIVE, SHARE and ENJOY it.