Feature: Nora of Adventurism.tv
I started my overlanding addiction, at age 29, with a solo trip from the Netherland to Indonesia in 2016. I traveled through Russia, Central Asia, India, South East Asia until my final destination of Bali. On my way I met an amazing man, who became my boyfriend. We decided to go back to Europe to plan a new adventure together. So after 1 year saving and planning from home we left again to do Cape to Cape, Norway to South Africa. We just finished this trip and are now back to saving and adjusting to work life again to fill the bank.
Who or what inspired you to choose independent vehicle travel as your mode of transportation?
It was the idea that I wanted to challenge myself beyond the standard backpacking. To be able to leave the well traveled trails behind and go places not many others reach. To get to know myself and to see how well I cope in unexpected or difficult situations. It was this idea that made me want to travel with my own vehicle. The only choice left was which one. I quickly eliminated the bicycle, even though as a Dutchy it would have been the stereotypical choice, because I wasn’t interested in the physical challenge and it just seemed too slow. The car was my next consideration but after looking into it I learned that it was way out of my budget without sharing the trip with anyone else. I didn’t want to do that because I wasn’t ready to compromise on destinations, speed or my freedom. So the idea of motorcycle travel arose, which was cheaper, but fast enough. The only downside was, I didn’t have my licence yet.
Everyone always asks a traveller what their favorite country is. Do you have a favorite country? If not, what is a place that is special to you?
I do get this question often and it is impossible for me to answer because every place has something unique. I do have to admit that I was happy to be able to include Cape Town into the planning of the last trip because that place has a special place in my heart. I would never want to live there, but spending summer there is amazing. There is so much to do, from shopping to hiking and from culture to the raw edges of Africa. I have never been to any other place quite like it.
Travelling has taught me…
That when you have a problem, there will always be a solution. And if you haven’t found it yet, it is just a matter of time until you will. Call it faith, destiny or divine intervention, but this trust in time is the most important thing the road has taught me.
Overlanding sucks sometimes because…
You are away from everyone, you are hungry, thirsty and tired and the place you wanted to camp is horrendous and you have two choices: accept or not.
I am a badass woman because…
I left on my first trip without learning how to ride offroad, didn’t know how to fix my motorcycle and wasn’t equipped to fix a tyre. The most important thing I did have was faith in my ability to fix any problem that would come my way and a willingness to learn.
One of the most common questions we get is about finances. Do you have any tips, tricks or advice on this topic?
There is no magic trick, we all work hard and save up for our adventures. I’ve been lucky to have some sponsors on our second trip but they mainly help with gear which is amazing but doesn’t put petrol in the tank. It’s all about choices, do you choose to drink that mojito at the club on Saturday night or do you stay at home and drink a cup of tea with your friends. I don’t drink, I don’t party, I do not eat at restaurants therefore I am able so save 50% of my income because I have a clear goal in mind. The overland experience is worth more to me than the idea of luxury in daily life. I have some videos about money on my YouTube channel and just posted our expense reports of traveling Europe for three months. Come check them out at www.adventurism.tv.
How has this experience changed you?
It made me grow up and see the world for what it really is, a wonderful and magical place that we need to take care of.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women overlanders?
Can we first talk about the advantages? I would argue that in many cases it is easier to overland as a women than as a man. If I would rock up in a remote village in Kyrgyzstan and take off my helmet and people realise I’m a women they would immediately try to help and ask if I need something. If a men does this, they are usually met with more hesitance because he is a stranger and they are unsure to trust him or not. I happily take advantage of this difference and even when traveling together with my boyfriend I would sometimes go in first to arrange things because I would get it done more quickly without needing to bribe anyone.
What’s our biggest challenge? The pitfall that we think we cannot do it. Have faith in yourself and your abilities.
What are your favorite overland resources (blogs, books, FB pages, etc.)?
I prefer not to prepare too much as I like the surprise of where the road takes me. Most of my preparation is about visas, vaccinations and border crossings. I prefer google for this and iOverlander. It’s always a good idea to join the overlanding fb group of the continent you are traveling in.
What is a simple life hack you’ve discovered while on the road?
Forget about ziplockbags, the best thing to bring are the clips you can use to close bags with. Basically everything comes in plastic these days and there is always this bag of pasta that is half empty and falls over to be spread out over your entire bag. Those clips are the cheapest things you can buy and they don’t break or wear as ziplock do.
What advice would you give to someone with a dream to travel overland?
You only have one life and it is your choice to live it. Don’t let anything hold you back, especially not social norms.