It’s Travel Blogger Thursday, again at last. It has been a little while since we looked into the life of a fellow travel blogger. The series is back and we have interviewed a world traveler and traveler writer, Hanne from the blog, Places, People, Stories. Hanne is from Norway and has already visited over 50 countries! She focuses on the experiences from the places she’s been, as well as stories of the people she has met.
What inspires you to travel and what do you enjoy most about traveling?
I think I am born with the wanderlust gene. I always wanted to travel and see the world. As I child I loved to see travel documentaries, and hear stories from people that had been out travelling. The more different from home, the better. So all of this inspired me to travel.
There are many reasons why I enjoy to travel. However, the main reason would be that I meet new people from different countries. I learn from them, and their culture, ways and stories. I enjoy to live among the locals, and observe and take part in their daily life. Everywhere I have been to, people have always been so welcoming and kind to me. They have showed so much love, and made me a better person.
Where is your favourite destination and why?
San Blas, in Panama. This is a traveler’s paradise. It is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. The area exits of over 300 small islands, surrounded by crystal clear water, perfect white sand beaches and colourful coral reeves. You will also experience a lot of culture visiting San Blas due to that you will be living with the Kuna Indians. They really fascinating people, and you feel like you are travelling back in time, as they still live like they did hundreds of years ago. I think they make this my favourite destination. There is no hotels, just cabins build by the locals.
San Blas is still a pretty unknown destinations, which is also why I love it so much. It is not ruined by tourism yet.
When did you start to travel, and where did you first visit?
I started to travel very young with my parents. We usually had trips around Norway, Denmark, Germany and other places in Northern Europe. I think the first country outside Norway I visited was Denmark, and I must have been a baby at that time.
When I got older I started to travel with friends, then alone. The first big trip I took alone was when I moved to New York, for a couple of months. It was very exciting, and it gave me courage to travel to many more countries by myself.
Why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy most about blogging?
Around 2.5 years ago, I moved to Bolivia because I found the love of my life there, and I was offered a job as a director of a foundation working with street kids. After 1.5 years my husband and I wanted to move to Norway, and I quit my job. But things did not work out as planned, and I returned to Bolivia. I wanted to fill my time with something I liked to do, and therefore started the travel blog. I was thinking I could do a good job blogging about travels because I have a lot of experience, as I have visited over 50 countries and travelled many years non-stop.
I love writing and sharing my stories from my travels, and that actually a lot of people read it is amazing! I also love to meet other bloggers with same interest.
As someone who travels slowly, what are the advantages of staying in one place for longer?
You get to know the culture and people much better, than if you just visit a place for just a week or so. For me that loves to study people, staying for a long time is great. You do not get the same experience if you just stay for some days. It is so much hidden under the surface that you do not notice before being in a country or place for a longer time.I have made bonds and friendships that I would never had made if I did not travel sustainable and slow.
Thinking about money, it is also a lot cheaper to travel slowly.
You love meeting people on your travels and immersing yourself in new cultures. Please tell us a story about someone you’ve met on your travels.
I have met many amazing people on my travels. In Nigeria I lived in an armed conflict zone. I visited communities that had lost everything due to attacks, where most villagers lost their lives. I met some of the children that survived, but they had lost both of their parents. They made a big impression on me. They motivated me. Despite of having experiences the worst thing imaginable, they were so warm and happy! Every time I came, they all ran and hug me. They were fighting about who could sit next to me or hold my hand. I wanted to adopt all of them, and take them with me back home to Norway.
Where do you plan on visiting next?
My next trip will be to Central and North America, again. But this time I will be visiting Mexico, Belize and Honduras! I am very excited about this trip!