Noraly Schoenmaker from Itchy Boots talks about her exciting adventures

Meet Noraly Schoenmaker from Itchy Boots

I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I would like to introduce you to Noraly Schoenmaker , a Dutch travel blogger. She blogs at Itchy Boots .

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Interview with Noraly Schoenmaker

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi there! My name is Noraly Schoenmaker and  I’m a 31-year old, Dutch, solo-female traveler - currently on a mission to travel the world by motorbike! I blog about my travels at Itchy Boots .

It all started when I went to Australia at age 23 to work in gold mining. I became rich and traveled around the world for 2 years straight. Completely broke, homeless and jobless, I returned to Holland. The next 5 years I worked for an international contractor on big ships all over the world, from Kuwait, Kazakhstan to the Bahamas and beyond.

But even though I saw a lot of the world, it wasn’t the same as full-time travel.. So I quit that job and sold all my stuff - to be on the road again! This time I’m traveling by motorbike, which is just the BEST adventure!Noraly form Itchy Boots

2. What is your earliest travel memory?

When I was 18 years, I traveled to Egypt. By myself! I absolutely loved it and have been traveling solo ever since. I got my PADI diving certificate there, rode camels through the desert and went quad biking over sand-dunes. Even though I’ve seen a lot more of the world in the years after - that first solo trip was unforgettable!

3. Where was the last place you travelled to?

I’m now traveling full-time, so there is no really a last place! Currently I’m in India, and riding on my motorbike to Malaysia via Myanmar and Thailand. Because I had to sort out a lot of paper works for crossing borders by motorbike, and get the bike ready for a long road-adventure; I’ve spent the last month in Delhi. It’s a place I never thought I would be spending a long time, but absolutely fell in love with this massive city!

4. What was the best thing you did there?

Staying in one place for a longer time has its perks. I made a lot of local friends! I got in touch with a local motorbike group and I’ve been going on rides with them and watching motorbike races at the circuit in Delhi. Those experiences you miss out on when you travel fast!

5. What was your best holiday ever? Why?

So thinking about a holiday - then it’s one involving motorbikes again! I flew to Spain and rode around the mountains on a Ducati Monster there. Riding hair-pin bends on a Ducati gives such a thrill!

6. What is your favourite travel destination?

I’ve got so many favourite places! But in my top you’ll find Greenland (because nobody goes there), Mongolia (for riding horses and reindeer in the mountains there) and Siberia in Russia for the generous people there.

7. What must one do there?

In Greenland - go on hikes! You will not come across a single soul and the nature is breathtaking there. In Mongolia - ride the sturdy ponies and stay with locals in yurds. The food is horrible but the hospitality on an entire different level. Siberia - have drinks with the locals and chat about their lives in some of worlds harshest environments to live in.

Noraly form Itchy Boots

8. Who is your favourite travel companion/s?

Although I’m always traveling solo, there is one friend that I met 8 years ago in India. Her name is Mandy and she is South-African too! We hit it off from day 1, and have been trying to meet up every year since! We’ve met up again in Nepal, Tanzania, Holland, Spain and Denmark. I hope to see her again next year and travel together for a bit.

9. Name one item you must have when travelling.

My favourite travel item is a PacSafe. It’s a kind of portable safe, in which you can lock your valuables. It’s light but big enough to fit a laptop, money, passport etc. It has given me a lot of peace of mind knowing my valuables are safely stored when there is no locker/safe available in your hostel or hotel.

10. Your best travel advice?

Travel solo! Don’t be afraid, you will meet lots of people along the way. Locals to help you and travellers to hang out with and take your pictures ;). That is the whole point of traveling solo, you will meet tons of new people!

11. The one place you want to visit before you die?

Antarctica! It has been on my list for a long time and I actually almost made it once there.  I love cold environments and just seeing all the wildlife must be an experience of a lifetime. Sign me up!

12. Your favourite place in South Africa?

Never been, but it’s on my list! Especially because my good friend Mandy is from there!

13. Any embarrassing travel moments?

Oh where to start! Perhaps that one time I was traveling from Indonesia to Australia. I came from the Gili Islands and had to take a small boat to Lombok first, before continuing on to Bali and straight to Australia after that. When I tried to get off the small boat with both my backpacks attached to me - I lost my balance and fell in the sea. Face-planted myself on the beach and couldn’t get up because of the weight of my backpack. Completely soaked and stinky, I had another 24 hours of travel to do! You can just imagine the face of the immigration officer in Australia when I finally rocked up there..

14. Worst travel experience?

Traveling from Panama to Colombia, I took (obviously) the cheapest sailboat to get to Colombia. The captain lit up a gigantic joint when we just sailed out of the port of Panama. He was drunk and stoned most of time, there was no wind so the journey took several days longer and there was no water on board. Only booze! The food consisted of plain rice. My goodness, it was awful! When we finally reached Cartagena, I was just the happiest puppy ever!

15. How can people connect with you?

Connect with Itchy Boots on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube,  or check out my blog Itchy Boots !

Thank you, Noraly , for sharing your fascinating adventures with us!

Read these books about other motorcycle and cycle travellers

Around the World on a Motorcycle, 1928 to 1936

GOT2GO: How I rode around the world on a motorcycle solo and what I learned along the way

Untamed Spirit: Around the World on a Motorcycle

To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret

I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.

Who will I feature next? I’ve got an exciting line-up ahead. Make sure you subscribe to the free newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.

Meet Noraly from Itchy Boots

Disclosure: 17

19 comments on “Noraly Schoenmaker from Itchy Boots talks about her exciting adventures”

  1. Hello. I am Kevan Rhead in Edmonton Alberta. I'm 82 and a retired teacher librarian. I grew up on a small farm and did farm work, construction work to get two degrees and was a teacher of airforce children at Canadian bases in Germany and Cold Lake Base in Alberta. My first degree was Geography.
    I really admire your skills in planning and solving the needs of your activites. I would like to talk with you
    soeday. Cheers, Kevan Rhead 780-641-2170

    1. Hi Noraly, i have been hooked to your incredible and awe inspiring travelling. I must admit i admire your courage and fearlessnes,travelking woman alone.Your narration of events and places you see,visit is apt. Thanks

  2. Hi Noraly
    It's a nomad life you lead and the energy level it takes is way beyond me. To travel to a place where you are not known or trusted at first must be difficult but it amazes me when people realize you speak and know their language; how their faces light up and trust is immediately established. i.e. Say; The jungles of Guatemala or Honduras. I bet there are many long conversations by dim light.
    Good luck in your travels.

  3. Noraly you bring out my youth as a motorcyclist who retired in his later years
    Enjoy your determination and adventure as a woman with spirit and gutsy outlook in life.
    Noraly Schoenmaker, love your u tube videos of all your adventures around the world.
    Ride safe and keep the sunny side up!
    PS
    Immigrated to Canada in 1951 from Drachten, Friesland at the age of 7

  4. Enjoy your Vedic’s and you tube witch I have done what you are doing so good luck and happy trails love to meet you but I will enjoy your Vedios Ps. Get you a come a long sure help you when you get stuck

  5. Hi Noraly, love watching your adventures. You got me wishing I did that when I was in my younger days. Your air video shots I assume are drone made. Are you doing them.

  6. Hi Noraly,
    You are awesome and full of adventure. If you stop in the Austin area around the 4th of July. We can look at motorcycles for the rest of your trip ti Alaska/Canada. I might have a few connections.

  7. Estoy para servirte en Guatemala también soy viajero solo que de Guatemala mi cel es 502 50197878 para cualquier ayuda que necesites.

  8. Noraly I have a friend in Enscady Holland by the name of Vonheek owner of Taxoprint. If you happen to vist taxoprint ever and find an old 1800 AD sword that was presented by us to him and his wife in 1973.If everv you go to Dubbo Australia. Do visit my son Dr. Afaq Babi a Dental Surgeon and stay at his house.He too is very fond of huge motor bicks and presently keeping one at home.He will feel happy to meet an adveturist and beyond doubt a fantastic lady like you.We are from Peshawar where you are welcome to stay at our house. Amir Babiwal

  9. Noraly I have a friend in Enscady Holland by the name of Vonheek owner of Taxoprint. If you happen to vist taxoprint ever and find an old 1800 AD sword that was presented by us to him and his wife in 1973.If everv you go to Dubbo Australia. Do visit my son Dr. Afaq Babi a Dental Surgeon and stay at his house.He too is very fond of huge motor bicks and presently keeping one at home.He will feel happy to meet an adveturist and beyond doubt a fantastic lady like you.We are from Peshawar where you are welcome to stay at our house.

  10. I really enjoy watching her videos as I can feel her excitement , honesty in sharing her experience. Hope & pray able to meet her in person to hear more about her experience.

  11. I just love watching her videos and adventures, she is totally incredible to travel the world on her own on a motorcycle, she takes us to all the places we will never get to see or had any idea existed.

  12. I have really enjoyed following Norally on her world trek. She is inspirational. If she ever decides to cross Canada and travels through the Toronto Ontario region she will have a place to stay for sure. Look forward to her continued adventures. Rodger Knight - Retired high school teacher and avid motorcyclist.

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