Saturday, July 19, 2014

Interview (35) - Anastasiya

Hi! My name is Anastasiya. I'm 24 years old girl from Belarus. I study International Law and work as a journalist. I have my own project – blog which is the best hobby and inspiration to keep doing what I like

I love photography, art, extreme sports, mountains, speed, volunteering, new knowledge, travelling - at the end it's all about discovering new worlds through challenge. So far I’ve been to more than 43 countries -and I always feel excited about getting new experience and acquiring skills in a new place. The whole world seems to be full of secrets which have to be opened like birthday presents.

What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?
My father. He used to work as a pilot and he was always telling me the stories about different countries, adventures and it was even time when I thought I’ll be a pilot as well

What was your first travel experience?
The USA. I was 20 when I got an internship to the States. I had a long flight with 3 stopovers in Europe and the US, when I finally came to San Francisco. It was a night and I was like crazy walking through downtown and couldn’t stop watching at skyscrapers – it was the first time when I’ve seen these tall, continuously habitable buildings.

Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo?
No, I always meet great people on my way who become very good friends

What was your best travel experience?
Every travelling brought lot of unforgettable moments. I can’t forget my trip to China. I was a volunteer in a local school and after the project I started to travel around. I was staying at couchsurfing, meeting local people, travelling by local buses and trains, eating street food. I even passed the famous “The most dangerous road in the World” in Huashan Mountains which was a totally great experience!

Is there anything you would have done differently/ any regrets, if you could do it over again?
I never regret about anything and would never change anything. I try to live the moment and enjoy it as much as I can.

What was your worst travel experience?
I try to take any experience (bad or good) with a positive point of view. At the end it’s always a great lesson. But sometimes there are situations that can ruin any travelling. This year when I was travelling in South America I was robbed by 4 people. I got my belongings back in 15 min after that had happened but 12 hours in a police office were not so pleasant. That was a good lesson that I learnt.

What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?
Passing through the borders in Central America. Im from Belarus and I need a visa to almost all the countries. To travel in Central America I need a valid multi entrance Shengen visa. I got this visa. But at every border I’ve been stopped by the immigration officers and all the time I was supposed to prove that I don’t need a visa.
The officers mixed the name of my country with Russia, couldn’t find Belarus in a list of the countries, I tried to explain them what is Schengen and why I don’t need a visa… And I had these problems in every Central American country (even in Honduras and Nicaragua where I wasn’t need a visa). But that was a nice experience for me like a future lawyer. At the end what doesn’t kill us, make us stronger.

Where will you never return to?
There are no countries where I wouldn’t want to come back

What advice would you give women traveling solo to your home country?

Relax. Belarus is a great country with the hospitable and kind people that are always eager to help. If you don’t speak Russian or Belarusian there will be lot of people who will help you to find a direction or give a piece of advice. And it’s very safe to travel in Belarus (just avoid topics connected with politics).

What are your future travel plans?
I’ve just moved to Mexico and want to focus on settling down here. I hope next year I can make one of my dreams true and go to Brazil, Argentina and Antarctica.

What are your top three tips for women traveling solo?
1. Don’t be afraid to go alone
2. Be careful all the time
3. Enjoy every moment of your life

What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?
Just watch out, be careful with random people and trust your intuition. The bad things can happen everywhere but if you follow safety tips everything will be fine. I’ve travelled alone to all the countries in Central America and that was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. So don’t worry, pack you bagpack and start travelling. The adventure can’t not wait.

Couchsurfing..What do you think about that?
Couchsurfing is a perfect way to meet amazing people who share the same opinion about discovering the world! I’ve met lot of wonderful people through this project

How do you pay for a life of travel?
I work a lot. It was time when I had 4 jobs at once; I’ve been working for 17-19 hours every day. Right now I have just one job and couple projects I work for

Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels?
There are so many dishes that I like. I love ceviche (the best one I tried in Mexico), Mediterranean, Belarusian cuisine.

What do you miss about your home when you go traveling?
My family

What item will you always carry in your backpack?
My camera

What have you learned from travelling?
The travellings help me to discover myself, take easy some life situations and value everything and everybody I have in my life. I really appreciate those people who are around me, help me, support me and make my days full of good memories and happy moments. And I do all my best to give it back.

Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
My family and friends are the greatest inspiration.

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