Charlie is a twenty-something old, born and based in Belgium. She loves to travel and has been to many countries all over the world. Her blog will inspire you to travel more and her Instaposts will take you far away and you will be allowed to dream with her as well. What’s her next destination going to be and what advice would she give our readers about travelling “for less”? Keep on reading!
Hi Charlotte, you have a very inspirational Instagram feed and your photos are amazing. As we can see you love traveling. Where are you at the moment?
I am currently at work in my home country Belgium. Saving up money and planning my 3 month trip around Asia.
According to your IG, your next destination is Myanmar. Why this country? What do you want to see and explore there?
Ever since I saw a photo of Bagan and it’s beauty it has been on my bucket list! I will be visiting 3 regions: Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay and I hope to witness as many magical sunrises and sunsets as possible and learn more about the Burmese culture.
What does traveling mean to you personally?
It means freedom and getting to know myself better. When you’re travelling you’re bound to bump into some problems along the way or encounter obstacles. It makes you get out of your comfort zone and realise you’re capable of much more than you think.
How do you plan your trips? Are they spontaneous decisions or do you plan carefully?
It really differs with every destination. If I only visit one country I tend to do less planning from before besides reaching out to hotels and brand for possible collaborations. I like to give myself the freedom of exploring and see where I end up. On the other hand with this big trip coming up I am planning way more ahead. I want to be able to see as much of Asia as possible so I probably won’t stay anywhere more than 3 to 4 days.
What is most important to you while choosing a new destination?
If it’s safe for a woman to travel to that country.
How long do you usually stay at places you visit? Do you stay at hotels? Airbnb’s?
It really depends on the place itself. For instance Cape Town blew me away and I could have stayed there for at least 2 more weeks cause there is simply so much to do. But most of the time my trips are on a pretty tight schedule so I would say 2 to 4 days in one place.
As to accommodation I love to change it up. Because I travel so frequently it really isn’t possible for me to always stay at luxurious hotels. If I do this is most likely a collaboration or at a press rate fee. I prefer to have a mix of both Airbnb and hotels, this way you just appreciate everything more. I also don’t think people actually want to see me going from luxurious hotel room from the other all the while talking about how amazing this is. They like the change, for instance the last 2 trips I did by camper van. Something totally different from what I have done before but I absolutely loved it!
What is the first thing you do when you travel to a new country? Do you have any special rituals or routines?
Yes! The first thing I always do is get a local SIM card at the airport as soon as I land. I don’t want to depend on WiFi to be able to have connection. I also make sure that besides data I have some call credit and this has proven itself to come in very handy when you run into some trouble.
Do you make friends in the countries you visit? If yes, do you stay in touch with them?
I have made many friends over the past years while travelling. Somehow you just seem to understand each other better. Some of them I even consider family.
What is your favorite destination so far? And which country would you like to visit again?
My favourite was South Africa and I would love to visit India again one day.
Is there anything bad that happened while you were traveling? Something that made you scared or worried a little bit? Was there anything to prevent it?
In Egypt we were followed a couple of times by men on the street. As I went into a shop, he followed and this went on and on from one shop to another. I wasn’t that far from the hotel but also noticed a second men walking next to this guy. When I tried to get away from him in another shop this man came up to me and offered me “a ride in his car” cause he saw that that man was bothering me. That’s the moment when I told my friend what was going on and we just made a run for it straight to the hotel.
Unfortunately there is nothing to prevent this, you have to look out for yourself and be smart about handling certain situations. But it is one the main reasons why you won’t see me visiting Egypt any time soon. Which is very unfortunate cause the country and culture is absolutely amazing and was something that I was dreaming about seeing ever since I was a little girl.
Do you write a travel journal?
I have one since my trip to Iceland but so far I am not very good at it. I will take it with me on my trip through Asia and have to give myself at least 15 minutes per day to write in it.
As previously mentioned, your pictures are amazing. Do you seek for a location to make a perfect shot, or you decide spontaneously on taking photos?
A lot of planning goes ahead of this. I scan Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, save all of these images in separate maps and then geotag each location on Google Maps. Then for every location I try to find out what is the perfect time to visit. When I am there it really depends, sometimes inspiration strikes you and I immediately know which photo I want, sometimes it doesn’t and you end up with 500 photos.
Which 5 things cannot be missing in your suitcase?
A toothbrush, my camera, a dress, underwear. And if I can only choose one more my laptop.
You have many followers on Instagram. Do you consider yourself an influencer?
I consider myself more of an information-giver. I love to help people and make them dream of places they otherwise maybe wouldn’t even consider travelling to. That’s also why I created my blog, to give even more information.
I guess, traveling is not a cheap thing. What advice would you give readers if they want to travel, but do not have a lot of money.
To scan the internet for cheap flights and decide your destination from there. Europe is of course very expensive to travel so my advice would be to start with Asia. Choose one country and from there you can always find cheap hostels and airbnb’s to stay at. Make a budget for yourself and write down all of your expenses.
I have also found that when you book a hotel/airbnb at the last minute the prices tend to go down cause they are trying to sell that room. This way I was able to get my Nile cruise at 50% off, I just waited until the day before to book it.
Thank you for your time!
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Source: Domi from InfluenceDot, Edited: Lucc & Petra, Photo: Instagram @charlies_wanderings