Earlier this year I became a GWT-member. Now I’m part of the team and get to do something I love for a community full of amazing woman.
When I gave up my job I lost myself a bit. When I got introduced to the GWT-team I realized that I don’t need to have a job to feel useful!
Don’t over plan! Leave room to be spontaneous, like following up on a recommendation or tip a local gave you, but also to have ‘me-time’.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from travel that you’d like to pass on?
Don’t over plan! Leave room to be spontaneous, like following up on a recommendation or tip a local gave you, but also to have ‘me-time’. Take time to breathe and relax. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed with all you ‘have to’ see and ‘need to’ do! When I was younger I could plan so much that ‘needed to’ be done or seen. For myself I learned that when traveling I should leave the ‘have to’ and ‘need to’ home so I can enjoy all the things I do and see more. What I love to do, is to read about the place that I plan to visit before departure. I buy a notebook to write all I read about in. Local hotspots, things to see and of course the tips from the Girls Who Travel – Community. When at the destination I can use the tips and recommendations when I like, but it’s not the end of the world when I don’t and just sit on a terrace with some local refreshments and bites watching the world go by.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve ever traveled to? Why?
San Francisco. I don’t need to think about that … when you ask me about 2nd place, then it will take me a while and the list will be so long with all the places I would consider. But my favourite for sure is the city at the bay. When I was 20 I took a plane there to visit my uncle for 6 weeks. I never traveled that far or for that long. It changed my life, it made me independent and the person that I’m today. No need to ask for permission, I could do what I wanted to do at an age I was able to make my own decisions. Of course I made mistakes, but ‘Forget the mistake, remember the lesson’!
Since then San Francisco has a special place in my heart. This is also why I think it’s important as a young adult to leave home for a longer period of time and grow by yourself. This could be traveling or studying & volunteering aboard.
How does traveling affect your friendships in general?
I’m a homesick girl … always been and always will be. There are plenty of moments I miss home, my own stuff and friends & family.
When I decided to travel six month a year with Symen for his job and spending the other months traveling privately or at home I wondered how much that would change the contact with my friends. Thankfully wifi and simcards aren’t too hard to get nowadays and as I know, most of the time, where I will be I can share local addresses so we can write. I love to write postcards and letters, this also helps me to reflect on all I get to do, see, experience, etc. In 2006 I went overseas for the first time, to San Francisco, by myself. A friend helped me to set up a blog so I could share with home all the things I’ve seen and done. A great way for me to stay in touch with multiple people without spending multiple hours a day to update them. When friendships are for real you don’t have to worry your friends won’t be around when you come home after months of traveling. They will be there!
www.muisopreis.nl or girlswhotravel.org
Thanks for sharing the amazing tips on not over planning and having “me time”, Martine! Join Martine and over 20,000 other women in Girls Who Travel