Karlina is a 30-something with a traveling addiction. Born on Thursday Island, a tiny island in the Torres Strait of Australia, she has now been traveling the world almost non-stop for 2 years, and hopefully many more years to come. She is a nature lover who has a never ending curiosity of everything and enjoys learning new things and meeting interesting people.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COUNTRY SO FAR?
Norway and Albania - both for the spectacular landscapes that I wasn’t expecting. I was very pleasantly surprised and blown away by the natural beauty of these countries.
WHAT PLACE IS TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Antarctica! And anywhere else I can get good views of Aurora Australis AND Aurora Borealis.
WHAT CAN'T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT?
My passport?!! But also my mini tablet - it’s my connection to home, research, emails, etc, etc.
DO YOU PREFER SOLO TRAVEL OR WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
Depends. Right now I have no choice but to be solo, but I’ve accepted it and the best part is I can do exactly what I want when I want and not be constrained by another person. It can be more fun at times with someone else so you can share the experiences with someone, but they really have to have similar interests and habits as you otherwise it just won’t work in the long run, you will kill each other!
WHO IS THE PERSON AT HOME THAT YOU MISS THE MOST?
My Mum - she is the only person I would come home for because she asked me.
WHICH COUNTRY HAS THE MOST FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE?
The people in all the Balkan countries (e.g. Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia & Hercegovina, etc) show great hospitality when they meet you and are eager to take care of you. Tourists are a relatively new novelty for most of them, so I felt like they genuinely were interested to meet me and befriend me.
HOW TO TRAVEL ON BUDGET?
I self cater as much as I can (unless it works out cheaper to eat out than in, like eating street food), and I very rarely spoil myself with nice things like fancy restaurants or accommodation. I couch surf because it helps to save on accommodation costs (but also because I enjoy the experience of surfing). And I use local transportation (like the local small cramped buses) as much as possible and obviously budget airlines.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET SO FAR?
Fiona Solis! She is my first transgender friend and is extremely open, honest, passionate, motivated, genuine and overall, she is impressive!
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR SCARIEST MOMENT?
Being woken up in the night on a remote island hours away from the mainland by boat, when sleeping in a tent, to cyclonic winds and pelting torrential rain with thunder and lightening. Then the tent collapsed, enveloped me and I had no idea what was happening on the outside. I just huddled in a ball getting drenched, until the other campers came to rescue me by ripping over the tent - a freak storm had hit us and there were things flying around and falling. The entire camp was ruined. It was super scary! We had to rebuild the camp in the morning after the storm had passed. EVERYTHING was wet wet wet!!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST USEFUL ITEM YOU'VE BOUGHT?
A small dry bag. Very useful in moments of torrential rain to keep important things dry.
WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED?
YOLO - you only live once. Think of this and you will get the most out of your travels and life.
WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME?
14 months (but I did have 4 days at home at about the 10 month mark for Christmas, for my Mum).
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM JOB?
Traveling and making a living from it.
WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LIVE IN THE WORLD?
I’m still looking. I really do think my “home” in Cairns, Australia, has a lot of things on offer that satisfy what I need for my lifestyle (I’m very outdoorsy). But there could be somewhere else, I just haven’t discovered it yet.
NAME THE COUNTRIES YOU HAVE VISITED.
Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Solomans, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Indonesia, Micronesia, Palau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Peru, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa,
Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Kosovo.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TRAVEL MEMORY?
Having Christmas in Hong Kong with my Mum, Dad and sister when I was 8 years old - it was our first time not to be in Australia for Christmas and we were staying in a hotel. I decorated a pot plant as our Christmas tree and wrapped the hotel toiletries as gifts for everyone. They were all very surprised :)
WHAT IS YOUR UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
When I did a Euro Trip with my Mum for 2 months - I essentially turned her into a backpacker. My Mum continuously surprised and impressed me with what she put up with on that trip and how much she went out of her comfort zone - and it was all for me. Best Mum in the World! xo
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED?
How many genuine GOOD people there are in the world that truly want to help and be your friend and not want anything in return other than your happiness and smiles.
IF YOU WROTE A NOVEL, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
The unexpected experiences and people I’ve met during my travels. Both the good and the bad. Makes for good reading. You can read about some of my experiences now on my blog: www.travelpod.com/members/impressionsbykk
WHAT TRAVEL SCAMS HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT?
Hidden additional costs for organized tours or accommodation. Always make sure there is no more to pay.
In Bali especially, don’t exchange your money in the street, always go to a Bank. Because of the high denomination of their money (with all the zero’s), it gets VERY confusing and instead of giving you 1 000 000 rupiah, they will try to give you 100 000 rupiah in small notes and you don’t even realize it is not correct. BEWARE!!!
DO YOU CALL YOURSELF A TOURIST OR A TRAVELLER?
Traveller of course! I like to get off the beaten track and away from other tourists. I like to surround myself with locals and live like they do, to fully immerse myself in the experience of that country/city/village. That’s a big reason why I like to Couch Surf instead of staying in Hostels. It’s more real.
STRICT SCHEDULE OR GO WITH THE FLOW?
An equal balance of both. It’s good to have a basic plan, but when things pop up, just go with it. It’s ok to change your plans, and fun to be spontaneous, so leave some room for flexibility!
WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST STREET FOOD YOU'VE HAD?
I had great culinary experiences in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was interesting, exciting, cheap, delicious and sometimes not so delicious! I had the best and the absolute worst tasting food here, but it was worth the experience :)
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU'VE DONE?
Climbing Mt Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo was the most physically challenging thing I’ve done. The altitude killed me! I think it was harder than the Inca Trail for me.
Coping with the unexpected breakup from my Ex-boyfriend, after traveling together everyday for 14 months and then suddenly having to do it all on my own, was the most psychologically and emotionally challenging thing I’ve done, and am currently still dealing with.
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL STAY FRIENDS WITH THE PEOPLE YOU'VE MET?
YES!! I hope so and try to! As long as those people also put in the effort to remain friends after meeting, I will be a loyal friend for many many many many many many years to come. I truly value friendships and mean it when I say “let’s be friends!".
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING ANIMAL YOU'VE SEEN?
There’s so many! I love seeing different animals from different countries the most in my travels. If I had to pick one right now, it would be the Thresher shark - their tails are amazing and they are so incredibly graceful!!
WHO IS YOUR DREAM TRAVEL COMPANION?
Someone who has the same interests, enthusiasm and sense of adventure as me and will allow me to be me with no constraints or judgement.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM TRAVELING EXPERIENCE.
Traveling without the constraint of money - I would be able to travel with so much less stress if I didn’t have to worry about my budget on a daily basis!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS?
Adventurous, Curious, Ambitious
WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO START TRAVELING?
Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. This is when amazing experiences can happen and you learn a lot from meeting new people. Actually, just DON’T BE AFRAID in general! Don’t let fear restrict your experiences. YOLO!