Meet locals is the DNA of Hostelp and we definitely want to inspire you with testimony of travelers to show you all the advantages of it. That’s why we invited Claudi to explain us how she organise her travel, including this option.
1. First of all : who are you Claudi?
I am a 33-year old German girl. In 2015 I left my career as a bank marketing manager in the hopes that I could improve my English and experience something new. Travelling is a passion of mine. I love exploring different countries as well as experience unfamiliar cultures and especially get to meet locals and know the people that live there. The previous one and a half years, I’ve spent in South Africa and have travelled a lot throughout Southern Africa also. Realizing that it is broaden my horizon and giving me lots of life experience I started my own travel blog where I want to share my travel stories with others that are interested in getting to know unfamiliar cultures, traditions and the people that live in the countries I am traveling to.
2. Why your story could be a good inspiration for the Hostelp community who want to meet locals?
Before I left my job most of the time I would go on holidays where everything was arranged by a travel agent. I would spend my entire holiday on the beach of 4 star hotels. As I was really busy at my previous work my only reason for going on holidays was to relax. By that time I barely got to know locals nor did I learn about the countries itself. What I was doing as well was traveling to the same destination 5-6 times as it was so convenient and I did not want to step out of my comfort zone. It was only by coincident that in 2014 it was my first holiday where I got to know a countries culture and its people properly. I then realised I had been wasting so much time traveling the wrong way, ever since I have been trying to absorb as much as possible from another’s countries culture, habits and its people in my travels. Now, I am absolutely certain about that you can only get to know a country by meeting and getting to know a countries people.
3. How did you start this travel adventure?
When making my decision to leave my job and everything behind, my intention was to acquire a new skill. Improving my English seemed like a good idea. I started off with an English course in the States. That was the first time that I was actually staying with locals in a home stay. I really enjoyed that. After the States I started an internship in a hostel in Cape Town, South Africa – again I stayed with a local. My initial idea was doing that for 3 month. I ended up to get stuck there and returning to South Africa again and again. In between I have been traveling a lot in Southern Africa – countries I would have never imagined to travel to.
4. Can you tell us one of your best travel memories?
One of my best travel memories is my journey to Iran. This country is amazing and it´s people are unbelievable welcoming. When I considered of going there most people would tell me how dangerous it is. People that have never been to Iran nor have they met someone from Iran. I realized that there are lots of misconceptions out there. One of the most important things I have learned so far is to not generalize and to stereotype about a country and its people. Always make up your own mind.
5. What are your next travel plans?
I just got back from Italy. A friend from Johannesburg once said to me: Once Africa hits you, you will always come back. I think he is right. I am planning to go to Zambia now and after that Malawi. Also I want to go back to South Africa cause also there I haven´t travelled everything. I would love to meet locals and see Lesotho and Swaziland, 2 enclaves in South Africa.
6. In what way can Hostelp and the Hostelp community contribute to the success of your projects to meet locals?
I love meeting new people, traveling countries where I have never been before and getting to know unfamiliar cultures. So far it has given me so much. I would like to encourage more people to travel the way I travel. What I am really keen on is experiencing what Hostelp is all about by myself. I would like to get to know the community, the hosts and the concept by experiencing it by myself. It would be a great pleasure for me to help spreading the word by blogging about my experience after that.
7. How can we find out more about your past adventures or follow up on the ones to come?
Best to do is follow my website and social media – would really appreciate:
- My website: www.onclaudi9.com
- Facebook: OnClaudi9
- Instagram: OnClaudi9
- Twitter: OnClaudi9
- You Tube channel: OnClaudi9
8. What message would you like to pass on to those who are going to read you here?
Be brave! If you feel like you would like to do the same that I have done or something else that you would love to do but afraid of doing it– just do it! Don´t hesitate – just do it. It is tough to leave everything behind but your courage will pay off. The most difficult is making the actual decision. Let me motivate you by saying that what I have done is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.