Dating life as a traveller

Travelling is great and travelling alone is not as bad as you think. The day I decided to be a solo traveller, that was when I knew I would take a different route for my life and a big part of it is my dating life. Consistently on the road by yourself, there is always a moment you feel alone. Seeing those couples kissing, holding hands, laughing with each other, jealousy raises in you (or at least it has done to me). I have felt that. I was there before, having a relationship that people gotta be jealous of, travelling with a boyfriend and having someone to share the moment with. However, travelling alone has given me different reasons to travel more. But I got to admit, I do feel lonely sometimes and wish to have someone in my life to share the journey and great moments of travels with.

So many people have told me this:
“Travellers are sluts”.

I do not completely agree but I am not denying it. Let’s be honest to ourselves for a second. The lonesome that we get as a solo traveler hits us sometimes and sexual desire is something that you cannot reject. That is why we start to look for one night stands. Alright, there might be some of us. I am not in the position to say either I have or I have not had any of those but stories pass and cross our ears – sex in hostels, having one nighties with someone… No matters if that ever happens, it is just a fact which excuses our sexuality.

Is dating possible while travelling?


As long as you or/and your partner accept you are a traveller, there is no problem here, isn’t it? This is the real deal:

If both of you are travellers and somehow you think you can travel together, Then, there is no discussion at this point. Enjoy each other’s company, date and travel.

On the other hand:
If one each other is going different ways and you find that you have this certain connection with each other, either you wait and figure out how you will meet each other again, or you should enjoy the moment and let each other go.

If you travel and meet your date who happens to be the one living in the destination you are travelling in, consider either if you are willing to make that work by moving or travelling to the other’s place or you come up with this thing called distance relationship.  It is hard, I know, but if you are up for it, there is no reason to say no.

Do distance relationships work?

Having been travelling as a solo traveller for the last two years, getting into some kind of relationships with some of guys who were either living in the city I stayed for awhile or meeting on the road and dating some of them, my answer would probably NO. However, it is not the assumption for this and it actually depends on several criteria:

  1. How well do you know each other?
  2. How well you get along?
  3. Are you a cheater?
  4. Are you willing to be apart from your partner because of your passion for travelling?
  5. Do you or your partner have trust in other or in the relationship you have?
  6. How much are you willing to sacrifice?

Most of those dates I have got while travelling/living abroad, I was not the one saying no or getting away from the relationships. That might sound sad but that is the way it goes. The fear of commitment in men is so much stronger than in women. Therefore, if you are a woman, I would recommend to learn to accept that and prepare for everything that could happen.

However, I somehow believe that such thing called distance relationship could possibly work. Maybe that is the woman in me telling me that.
Women always have the fantasy to have the perfect relationship or a fairy-tale like one but that doesn’t come easy as they dream. We still have the hope nonetheless. As distance relationships, they are hard and we travellers somehow have to accept it either way. It works eventually when you and your partner have the same perspective and comply with the distance you will have. The important thing is to have trust in each other and to the relationship.

Difficulties come along but nothing is impossible!

Is it trust-worthy to date a solo traveller?


How many times have you seen the article called “Why should you date a girl who travels?”? I wouldn’t say that dating a traveller is not great. In fact, whatever written in the article is correct. However, I bet you have your doubt about dating a traveller. It does not matter if either you are a girl or a boy, it all comes to the question – Is your date trust-worthy enough? 

Distance relationship is still the topic here and talking about trust, you should learn about your partner well enough before letting him/her go on his/her travels again. What I have seen so far, cheaters are everywhere on the road. However, don’t take this as a negative thing. I have experienced that some of us travel to be alone, to find ourselves, and some to find love. Thus, if you happen to be the one, you do not have to be afraid of dating a traveller. Wherever he/she goes, he/she will be back to you.


How I manage to travel while studying

A degree is important to get a job and that is what every single individual I know has told me. Especially, being a Vietnamese, education is a must in the cultural perspective (as so many people have interpreted the Asian culture in general). Because of that, I have committed myself in a 4 year Bachelor study in The Netherlands. The desire for travelling itches me everyday and knowing that I could not leave the responsibility for my study. However, it is not the end of the world because in every tough circumstance, you always find the way out. Throughout my study, I have been from place to place and for some people, they have seen me travelling quite a lot. I cannot define ‘a lot’ because it would never be enough for me. So for those who wonder, who seek for the answer how I could manage to travel and study at the same time, the answer is simple – good planning and take any opportunity.


Studying in a foreign country has given me the chance to step in another land and give me the ability to explore better another culture. And Europe? Everyone wishes to be in Europe because the European lifestyle is somewhat so popular and desirable. So that is the first opportunity I took – STUDYING ABROAD IN EUROPE.
That’s nothing new any more, isn’t it? We all know to take the opportunity to study abroad and it might probably be the easiest way to get a visa. With the Schengen Visa, you can travel to at least 26 countries and there is no where else like Europe – everywhere is accessible by public transports and easy to get around.

The amount of holiday days a student has is obviously much more than an employee – no wonder why people keep telling you “you’re lucky that you’re still studying”. Take that, grasp your bag, go!  Taking use of the holidays I got during college and they have afforded me to several countries – that doesn’t only count Europe. And here comes the definition for good planning.
My University has several options for exchange programmes and I believe most Universities offer the same or similar things. I regretted that I had not taken the choice be elsewhere but Europe but the schools I had chosen always gave me the gap time so that I could manage to have a longer trip. What I mean with gap time is the gap between my home University and the exchange University. In addition, I could have saved that money which I was supposed to spend on a new visa and flight tickets to travel some places that are close by.

How could I afford my travels?

Being a student sucks sometimes because you are always poor. Maybe some of you lucky enough, you have more luxury than me or other students, but the majority, we are called poor. I had quite a tough time to save money and that took a lot of sacrificing.

Say NO to new clothing trends

For the last few years, I have managed to skill myself on window-shopping. Wearing the same stuff might be not so cool but that’s the sacrifice you would take in order to save money. Or consider to hunt for sale products (which I did not do either)

 Applying for school grant

Every year I tried my best to get the good results in University to get the acquired credits for grant. This grant could be small but it helps you along the way for both living and travelling in the future.

Working part-time

It could get difficult to work because of your minimised available time or language’s problems or having not enough skills. However, you can always find a certain thing that you are good at. During my study, I have managed to work as a babysitter, a waitress, a bartender and a tutor. Sometimes I worked two jobs in rows just to get extra bucks. Along the way, I also have developed a freelance work as a photographer so the only job I need to do is to promote myself and show my talents. As you might consider, I do not earn money with my blog because I want it to be non-monetised platform. But if you have a blog and able to make it as a side job, it is definitely the most potential in the market.

Press trips


This could be the cheapest way to travel. However, it is not that easy as it sounds. If you are a public figure (let’s say you’re a blogger or a YouTuber), you need to have a certain amount of work on the platform so that it can meet the requirements or be recognised. For instant, I have had this site for more than four years and to maintain a blog is not easy, especially when you are busy with school and work.

Travelling does not always require so much money

If you don’t have a lot of money, that doesn’t mean you cannot travel. You can always travel to places nearby or even to different cities in the country you live in. Bus is a cheap option even though it might take a bit longer than any other transportations. Or like me, I hitchhiked and car-pooled. Car pooling might cost you a little but it is efficient in time and you can always get to know new people. Hitchhiking could be seen as a dangerous way of travelling but let me tell you, I could prove you wrong. You could always learn from other people’s experience or just need to wake up your sixth sense if you do hitchhike. Hitchwiki is a site for you to know a bit more about hitchhiking and help you locate good spots to hitch.


For accommodation, camping is a way, or as I tried to make my travel expense as least as possible, I used Couchsurfing – a great platform to meet people and to have a night stay for free. However, some weird things could happen on Couchsurfing or while using this site so don’t forget to read my Couchsurf Guide to be prepared.


Things you should know before becoming a traveller

Is there any certain rule or manual?
The answer is absolutely not.

If you have the drive to travel, go for it and live with the gut of exploring the world and enjoying the adventurous life. We have different ways to travel and we see the world differently. If you ask me how to become a traveller, I would only tell you that I do not know myself. We all start as a tourist and at one point we find our hearts beating stronger and butterflies in our stomaches when someone mentions their stories of going places. It means, we have found our missing piece in life – travelling.


If you are going to take your first trip of your life as a traveller, you should know:

Travelling does not always come with comfort

As a traveller, you are not able to stay in hotels or resorts all the time. This is because you would want to save money for your further adventures. Why would you pay big bucks for a bed while you could save it for a cheap nigh stay in a hostel and travel for few extra days. In this case, of course you have to define what kind of traveller you are – budget traveller or luxury traveller. Either way, at some certain point, you will meet the circumstance that comfort is no in the reach.

Travelling alone gives you the opportunity to perform your abilities at the maximum

So don’t be afraid that you are not able to travel by yourself. In some situations, you are forced to deal with certain matters that you have never prepared to face with but you will find out that you are able to handle it by yourself in the end. There might be some difficulties but don’t we always have to get through those moments to get over our disabilities? Travelling is the best way to maximise your abilities. It has proven that to me and many other travellers. Let it proof that to you, too!

We travel not to compete how many countries we have been to

The desire to travel must come from your heart. It is all about how you travel, how you interpret new cultures, how you meet new friends on the way but not how many countries you have travelled. The experience that counts! And the most important is to LIVE YOUR DREAM!

You are about to experience one of the best time of your life. You are not going to explore the world but also yourself. You will see that the world is not only round but it has many dimensions. DON’T HESITATE, GO FOR WHAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT! We might have things that stop us from travelling, in my case is studying, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot go travel. Take chances and you will find the way.

Safe travels and enjoy!


What I have learnt from hitchhiking in Europe

Xem bài viết được dịch bằng Tiếng Việt ở đây

Two months on the road, multiple cardboards, cars and trucks after, I crossed countries to countries, hitchhiked a full month in Italy, got to learn many people from different places and be friends with some of them. I left home with the smallest budget I had ever had and decided to be homeless for two months in the summer. Luckily, it was a beautiful summer in Europe that you wouldn’t expect for more.

After planning my trip with such a short notice, which was 2 weeks before my travels, I was nervous to tell everyone about my trip.

“It is too dangerous!”, “Are you crazy?”, “Please don’t do that stupid thing”… That was what I got from their responses. It got even worse while I was hitchhiking, like “Be careful because you might get kidnapped then they would kill you and take your organs”. That was not cool to hear at all because you would not feel comfortable moving forward. It was hard! Very hard! I had to handle all the harsh words and the tiredness to move on and to finish my hike. And just so, from one city to another, from Italy to Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, I hitched with confidence and no fear.

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Have trust on people

I thought of hitchhiking with a goal, not just because I wanted to do something crazy or wanted to be killed. I wanted to learn about people around me and learn to have trust on people.

People aren’t that bad, just think of yourself and what you say about people in general because you are them too. We are all people and we deserve to be trusted. Surely there are bad and good people around the world but you need to give them a chance to be trusted and follow your feeling to know when is right. Hitchhiking requires a lot of trust, not only just from me to drivers, they also need to have trust on you to give you a lift. Your appearance could also cause them danger but who would tell.

Italian men are open about sex

Irony but fact! Most of my time hitchhiking was in Italy and I experienced quite some weird and scary moments there. They wouldn’t mind stopping their cars to ask you if you would want to have sex or even offer you money to be in bed with them. It could be the culture but for female solo travellers from else where, it would be terrifying. The worst case I got was being touched all over while I was in the car and I had no other option rather than asking to get out in the middle of the highway. Funnily, they would still talk to you like nothing had happened. Quite strange, isn’t it?

It is important to be calm instead of acting like a child or being a princess in this situation. Showing that you have no fear over them and react smartly. I would not recommend to be aggressive here because it might arouse some men even more.

Asking is better than waiting

The shortest time I had to wait was 5 minutes, and one hour for the longest. The average time was about 20 minutes. However, this would not be applied to everyone, especially if you are a boy and which track you take. Gas stations are always a good choice because you would have more chances to have closer interaction with people and they are more likely able to see your signs. In some cases, people feel very intimated to see you standing with a puppy face so they either pity you and give you a lift or they try to avoid eye contact and walk as fast as possible. Sometimes you will be dropped off at some off-track roads that it is nearly impossible to get a lift. Therefore, take action works much better. It is hard sometimes to approach strangers and especially to ask for a favour. But if you wait, you might wait for a very long time. Just knock their windows or just approach them friendly, ask if they would go in the direction you are heading to. Short distance than nothing!

It is not dangerous!

It depends how you define danger but it is definitely not dangerous as how your parents or your friends think. The fact that they have never hitchhiked in their lives, they would not know. I am a solo traveller and I am a girl but I returned home safely. I could understand that you might get in some bad situations but again, you need to take precaution and trust your gut as well. The sixth sense needs to be activated here.

It sounds very old-fashion but there are still many hitchhikers out there. You might meet them on the way, or notice them more often after your hitchhiking trip. If it was dangerous, why would people still do it?





Enjoyment of Life and Travel


When you call yourself a traveller, you always strive to reach to every point of the world to see things that you have heard of. Actually, I am not so sure if that how you see traveller right. Or is that called a tourist? I have realised that when most people travel, they certainly want to see the most well-known attractions or we call ‘must-see’, and tracing the attraction track to cover them all. However, how I see it is as a failure of travelling. The lack of time has made us rush and become a tourist. Our eyes just stare at the travel guide book to get information instead of wandering around to get answer, getting to historical sites and focusing on photographing the attractions to share on social media… Too hectic, don’t you think? Especially, some travel bloggers out there try their best to check out all places in one destination to write their posts and forget about their passion for travelling. I have lost myself in some of those times but I at the same time have found my way back to my passion and just enjoy what I have at that moment. As I always tell myself: Pictures can be kept, moments not.

Travelling alone could really do great for yourself to see things in a different way. The ability to focus on details is what I have learnt and it has taught me to appreciate things as they are instead of how they are described. When was your last time looking up close at a certain building, touching the sand to feel if it’s wet, or simply enjoying the heat even if it is freaking 40 degree hot. I have started to learn to slow down and look around me what is happening, enjoy the moment which I wouldn’t get when I am not travelling. The day I found the joy of a second standing still must be finding my mind lost in the sunset on Koh Lanta – A place I didn’t plan to go but became the place I found myself and got the best experience of my whole trip.


“Then the night reached to this island. I loved the fact that I stayed in a bungalow that was 20 steps away from the beach. I took a stroll spontaneously on the beach at one night. Some restaurants were still open and had music on. The dimmed candle lights could be seen from a distance. Oh, it could be very romantic if I was with someone. Crickets chirped. Waves pounded the shore. I looked up and there were stars, sparkling over the dark sky. The full moon light illuminated equivocally behind the trees. That moment is so hard that impossible to find in the city. I was soaked up in the dark for a while. The only thing I hated was the mosquitos. But I wouldn’t do a crazy thing if I was so bothered by them. I ran to the water. Having my legs in the cold water felt just amazing. I could have actually dipped my whole body in unless I was not having my phone in my purse. And just like that, another day on this beautiful island passed by.” – Koh Lanta, Feb 2015

You say it is easy to enjoy the moment because you simply just have to relax. I say it is not! Social media is covering our free-time and certainly the urge of being in touch has been so crucial. I am no exception for those social media addicts. One time I talked to T and he said it was not travelling if you had your phone and your laptop with you. I spoke against it aggressively to prove my point that I was still a traveller with them without any consideration. It was 4 months ago and now I get it. When my head was over Instagram or blogging, I felt exhausted enough to enjoy my travels. Daily life is no difference – before crawling out of bed all social medias need to be checked, email checked…. Habits would follow our way to wherever you are, so better change it, shall we?

Why don’t we take sometime to listen to some good tunes of music when we wake up, dance along, get some bites for our tummies. Getting some fresh air would do good as well, opening your windows to check out the weather of today or maybe you are up early to catch the sunrise. A good breakfast is something I am so fascinate about when I first wake up. Strolling out to the kitchen with the radio on, I feel so energetic. I certainly still need to learn to manage my time on social media but everything needs a start. Sometimes I choose to write on my notebook instead of typing to get some writings done. In fact, it is way much better then typing because there is no distractions and less hesitations when it comes to writing on the paper.

We all sometimes need to learn to enjoy ! And especially to appreciate every single moment you have wherever you are and whatever you do!

The Guide to Couchsurfing

There have been several questions and requests relating to Couchsurfing after my hitchhiking trip in Europe. Within 2 months of hitchhiking, I chose Couchsurfing for the whole period as my stay. What could I say about it? Definitely it is a great platform for travellers, especially those on a shoestring. However, I have heard quite some complaints about it – “There are only men on CS”, “It’s so creepy to stay with someone you don’t know”, “Men on CS seem to take advantage of getting girls as couchsurfers”… It’s rather true and it was what I thought at the beginning of my trip. I wouldn’t reject some of those complaints because I acknowledge it myself and I have experienced it as well. However, if you know how to use it in the proper way, you can most likely avoid all the negative concerns.


What is Couchsurfing?

If you haven’t heard about it yet, it is in fact the most popular accommodation site used worldwide at the moment. It is well-known among travellers who are travelling under a budget and interested in experiencing local activities. No matter how old you are, Couchsurfing will always be in trend for you.

Basically, before your travels, you look for hosts located in the city/area you are about to travel to on, contact and inform them the date you will arrive then you wait for their reply. Sounds easy huh? It kinda is, but there are some other consequences in that you as a female traveller must take caution of.

When should I start sending request?

It really depends on where you are travelling to. In big cities, there are several hosts on Couchsurfing but at the same, those cities are likely to be popular destinations. You will ‘compete’ with other couchsurfers to get hosted. It is best to contact hosts at least a month before your travels so that they can tell you when exactly they are available and you could manage to adjust your travel plan. This is applied if you know exact your travel dates of course because you are more certain about your arrival that will be informed to your host.

For those who do not know exact the travel plan and trot spontaneously, it is still possible to get in touch with hosts. It will be slightly more difficult. The chance you get replied is low and most of the time hosts are not available. What you could do is to Create a public trip or Create an event so that your trip will be known by people on Couchsurfing. These ways you extend your chance to be hosted higher.

Don’t write to just one host but several hosts!

Writing a unique request could help you getting hosted faster, too.

Here are some tips for writing a good request:

  1. Always dedicate a name (Hi John, Dear Tim…): Hosts want to see that you are writing to THEM and you have respect to and interest in them.
  2. Tell you background and travel story: Who are you, where are you from, why you travel there… Long no needed but it’s important to have it
  3. Include a little humour in your letter: just to show them that you’re fun

Hosts can be picky as well, you know?

How to choose the right host? (esp. for female travellers)

Hosts on Couchsurfing could be anyone surround you. They decide to be on CS to help travellers as they, either have had travel experiences before, or just want to meet people from all over the world. Some cases, I have to admit, they use CS as a platform to see girls who are travelling alone and taking advantage of that situation. This amount is not big but ugly truth, they are out there. There is no certain trick to spot who they are and especially we are not going to judge people by their appearance. However, you can take these criteria into consideration:

  1. Verified profile
  2. Photos (pictures with friends, or with other couchsurfers, not sexy or beachy photos)
  3. About description
  4. References (not all negative references are bad, as long as you think that person would fit your characters and you would like to hang out with that person)

Most hosts on Couchsurfing are men, therefore, we as female travellers feel intimidating sometimes. It is a good thing to take caution but it is important to learn to trust people as well. Follow your sixth sense and make the right decision.

Why Couchsurfing?

It is certainly a great platform to meet people who share the same interest – travelling, and at the same time experiencing a place by the local perspective. We share stories and sometimes we become friends. It is always a good way to save a bit of money of accommodation but please keep in mind that they are offering you their home, not a hotel. Don’t over use it!

Have you tried Couchsurfing in your travels? Share your stories to inspire others!

10 Values of Travel

Since I first started travelling, I have found myself in a better place. I’m not talking about a certain location but personal position. It has developed me and several human-beings out there, as I suppose.

I can’t tell how much I enjoyed first time having a road-trip. I was singing songs being played on radio and putting my hand outside to feel the wind. Or my first time taking a plane alone when I was 15 to China to visit my mother. No matter my fear of flying, it was excitement to see a place for the first time. And till I became a solo traveller heading myself to South of Spain, backpacking in South East Asia and the most recent trip was hitchhiking in Europe, I learned something new about the world and a little bit more about myself.

Here are 10 values of travel as I have found during my travel:

  1. Your ability is much bigger than you have known so far
  2. Never enough when it comes to learning something new because everyday has something new to learn
  3. Culture differences are what open our eyes to the world
  4. Adaptation is a crucial step when you arrive in a new country
  5. Socialising wouldn’t hurt
  6. People are interesting and you might able to learn something out of them (even if they are not interesting at all)
  7. Be spontaneous and no hesitation
  8. Travelling alone but you are never alone
  9. Moments are priceless
  10. Finding yourself when you’re most lost

Life is too short to stay at one place!

5 Tips Get You Ready Before Going Abroad

Are you planning to have your first trip? Or simply travelling abroad somewhere? I’m talking about travelling to places that culture is new for you and the environment is different from what you have been used to. For example, you live in Europe and travel to Asia or Africa, or from Singapore to India. Then read on, because you will find out the most important steps before taking off.


1. Documents need to be ready

It’s a crucial step but not many people actually often pay attention to. You should take this action few months before you travel. Simply, check your passport’s expiration date if it is still valid for at least 6 months, check your country you’re travelling to if they require a visa because it might takes few weeks or more than a month until you can have it approved. For European, this is not a very big concern because they are able to travel to many countries without visas but, for example, India, Vietnam and China. But if you are from Europe and plan to travel to South East Asia, getting a visa is not difficult but confusing sometimes. That’s why a closer check wouldn’t cost much time. For Asian travellers, it is more complicated to get visas to Europe and America. It is best to go through an agency so the procedure will take faster and easier.

2. Health checked

In order to have a good travel, you need to be in a good condition. It is likely more convenient if you have your health checked in your country because they have all your information relating to your condition so that they know what you are capable of doing. If you have a certain concern about your health, it is safer to be looked at directly because you wouldn’t want to fall sick while travelling.

If you are going to a different continent where there are some diseases not available in your own country, it is necessary to get vaccination. You should do it few weeks before your departure.

If you are about to backpack for a long period, make sure you train to have a better condition (if you haven’t done any sport or any training in general). Backpacking could cause back and legs pain, therefore, looking into them before travelling or training them could help you a lot.

And never forget to bring your insurance card/information!

3. Prepare for culture shock


Please count how many people on the scooter?

It depends on where you are heading to, you might get something called culture shock. You are certainly going to experience a different culture in every country but in another continent could make you surprise. There is not much you can do about it but I would recommend to talk to people who have already travelled the place you are going to or have been abroad before. They will help you to prepare your mind-set and expectation. Sometimes it could get scary but it is up to you to interpret once you are landed.

4. Research your destination

As my previous article about using travel guide books, it is not 100% that it is a SHOULD when it comes to guide books. However, if you are entering a country for the first time or having zero knowledge about the place, a guide book could be a good start for your travels. It really gives you the general information about the place like culture, climate, destinations, etc.

I always encourage people to get lost in wherever they travel because it is certainly more fun. As a freshman, I would still encourage you to do so but have it prepared  by reading some articles about the place, Google it, take some time during the day to highlight where and how you want to go to a certain destination. Who knows how long you would go but a basic knowledge would help you along the way and prevent you from getting in troubles, somehow.

5. Take precaution but no hesitation

There are plenty of gossips around that will make you doubt about your travels but it is time to learn to eject people’s opinions. I cannot tell how many people told me not to backpack through Asia or hitchhike Europe alone. They told me all the terrible stories (as bad as possible) just to stop me. What would do in my position? Of course, I acknowledge the danger I might get into but you never know until you try. And here I am, still sitting here writing this article.

Please take precaution of what would happen along the way, especially when you travel alone. However, at the same, you should have a goal set in mind and follow it. If you want to travel, you do it! There will be no regret and that has been proven by many other travellers, including myself.

Travel Guide Books – Yes/No

Probably anyone who is going on a vacation would want a travel guide book. Lonely planet, Rough Guide, Rand Mcnally… They are actually helpful for us to know more about where we are going to. Details of the city, the province, hot spots for tourism, etc. are listed in these travel guides. They recommend restaurants, hotels, introduce the city’s specialties. Myself have read several travel guide books and not all the time I have good experience with them. I would like to give some personal opinions on how to use a travel guide book, what you should follow and what not.

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