I met Toby in the home of the Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj. He is an experienced traveller with a lot to say and also a great guy, so I couldn’t resist interviewing him
Met in: McleodGanj, India
Travelling for: 5 Months, 3 Months to go
Total countries visited: 26
How old were you when you first travelled by yourself/independently? 25
Where did you go? South East Asia.
Do you think that is a good place to start? Why? SE Asia is definitely the best to start. Its easy, cheap and well organised. No problems – and a lot of backpackers.
Which is your favourite country that you have travelled in? Why?
Burma/Myanmar. I was sick for 1 month and lost 12 kilo’s and I still love it. You don’t meet any other people there apart from locals, they are friendly and they don’t hassle you. It’s a magic country. I have never seen such poor and generous people anywhere else.
How do you meet people travelling?
In hostels of course and on buses and trains with people going to the same destination.
Why do you travel?
After 1 year of working and normal life in Germany I am fed up. There is nothing adventurous in our western countries and if you want some adventure or to really feel free, doing whatever you want and go anywhere anytime, then you go travelling.
What would you say is the biggest reward that you get from travelling?
Inner satisfaction. It gives you a good feeling when you go home. You appreciate everything in normal life back home that you will miss when you are travelling. You appreciate all the little, well organised normal things which are missing in the third world. Everybody has something that they miss and you really appreciate it when you get back. During travelling, the reward is the people I meet, especially the local people. You can communicate with everybody even if you don’t speak the same language and you can still have a good time and it’s easy to do.
Do you prefer to travel solo, with one other person, or as a group or 3 or more? Why?
Solo. For a while it’s great to travel with others but eventually you split up. When you are on your own you can explore a place much better. It’s a totally different experience. It forces you to communicate with more people. When you are a group or a pair you don’t need to talk to other people you can just talk to each other.
Do you ever get lonely on the road? What do you do on those occasions?
Once in a while. In Burma I was lonely many times. For me this is the hardest time. I have been travelling 4 different times and they (lonely days) are the worst days and I don’t know how to deal with it. I just try to go on, but it’s also a new experience. You never get lonely at home. To really be on your own is something really different which is interesting to experience.
What do you like about travelling solo?
I can decide everything on my own. I am my own boss.
What do you find the most challenging thing about travelling?
To motivate yourself again and again even if you are sick or have bad days or have bad weather, the hardest thing is to re-motivate yourself but I always manage to do it, I never give up.
Is there anything that you thought you couldn’t live without but now you realise you actually can?
I am patriotic for cheering for my home town and I thought I could never live without Hamburg because it’s such a great city. I found out that I easily can haha. It will always be there and it will always come back but I don’t need it that badly.
Do you ever feel like you are ready to go home?
When I feel like going home I go home. Usually it’s after 6-8 months.
What advice do you have for people who are hesitant about travelling solo?
For me, it’s harder to live a routine life and to work and to organise everything at home, than to find a bus and find a hostel and travel around the world. If you are able to organise everything back home like a place to live, transport, cooking then you are able to organise everything when you travel. By comparison its very easy to travel.