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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Never been, but it’s on my list! Especially because my good friend Mandy is from there!
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..
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!
Thank you, Noraly , for sharing your fascinating adventures with us!
Read these books about other motorcycle and cycle travellers
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.
Things you must do in South Africa
Join 50,000+ Fans