Part-time traveller, full-time wonderer. I don't travel to tick things off my bucket list. Getting to understand places, people and their lifestyles is what fascinates me most about being on the road and living abroad. I am passionate about showing people how to be more responsible to the environment, people and themselves while travelling. In between, I try to have as much fun as possible or I am just learning a new foreign language.
Right. Let's get to know each other a little bit better, shall we?
Don't expect a story of "I wanted to travel ever since I was a little child." I was possibly the biggest couch potato of a child you can imagine when it came to visiting our relatives in neighbouring towns or going on family trips. I would get really nervous every time before going on holiday or even just a one-day trip. But I had a great passion for learning English and I dreamt of and working abroad one day.
I eventually grew up of it and set off for my first parent-free adventure at the age of 16. Me and my sister spent three weeks helping out at a macrobiotic conference in the Netherlands in exchange for accommodation, food and free access to the conference programme. This is where I first experienced people of all nationalities, religions and races eating, exercising, laughing and working together in a perfect harmony. 16-year-old Andrea was amazed. It confirmed what I hoped for - that the world isn't as scary as some wanted me to believe.
Fast forward seven years, a few jobs abroad, hitchhiking trips, camping trips, semester abroad, a few mini-backpacking trips to Asia and finishing my Bachelor's at International Studies and Diplomacy, I moved to China in September 2015. Although I never wanted to be a teacher, living in a country as different as China was incredible.
It was in China where I decided to start a new travel blog. It was going to be in English this time, proper and about things I found interesting and important. Travelling. Cross-cultural encounters. Responsible travelling. Environmental protection. Language learning. Living abroad. Volunteering abroad.
Right now, I am sitting in my prison cell-like room, wrapped in a jumper and a blanket. I haven't had a shower for longer than I want to publicly admit as we lost our water source due to a road construction work. The water wasn't hot before that anyway. The Tibetan school where I volunteer is located between idyllic pine forests, little villages and stunning mountains near Indian Dharamsala.
I still produce more waste than I can squeeze in a mason jar but slowly I am moving forward towards zero waste travelling. Last month I had a primitive conversation in Nepali. I spent almost two weeks with a backpack on trekking those big freaking Himalayas. The future is unsure and I am loving every moment of it.
& other random facts
Eating. No further comment needed.
Impressing locals with a few words I know in their language.
Speaking about politics and social issues with locals, travellers, anyone who turns up.
Hiking. Really slowly.
Swimming and recently diving.
People watching (best enjoyed after meal...have I mentioned eating before?)
Drinking wine while reading my book in the late afternoon sun (ah, Portugal, how much I miss you).
Cycling in a place as quiet as possible. I'm not particularly good at road signs.
Animals. Dogs, cats, elephants, monkeys. I take everything.
Right. It's your turn now.