Meet our traveler of the week! We had the fortunate experience to meet Lana while we were in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia. And then again by crazy coincidence in Malaysia, a few weeks later.
We liked Lana right away; she is a sweet person who is full of energy and life. Boris had the pleasure of diving with her among the oceanic Manta Rays in Komodo National Park. While she likes to pack light, don’t underestimate her as she has dived in the South Pacific, Fiji, Samoa, Rarotonga, Bora Bora, New Zealand Poor Knights, Australia: Manly Bay, S.S. Yongala in Ayr Whitsunday Islands, Western Australia, Ningaloo Reef, Indonesia: Lombok, Bali, Flores/Komodo, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Caribbean, Hawaii, and Florida.
We hope to run into Lana again some time soon.
|Where do you currently live?|||||South Beach, Florida.|
|Where is your next trip?|||||Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and visiting my family in Malaysia and Singapore.|
Tells us a bit about yourself?
Lana: My two best friends went traveling without me while I did my final exams in university. I met them in Thailand and my world unfolded before me.
How long did you travel for in your last big trip? Which countries did you visit?
Lana: I just finished a 6-month trip. I went to Thailand, Bali, Lombok, Flores, Sulawesi (Indonesia), then Singapore, back to Thailand to meet friends and travel down to Malaysia, Penang, Perhentian Islands, and Kuala Lumpur, then to Miami, California, OC, and San Diego to visit friends, and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico to visit friends.
What was your budget and how did you do about staying on that budget?
Lana: My budget was £8000 ($USD 13,000) for diving and flights in between countries and special experiences. I took the cheapest flights and got all the diving deals.
How do you fund your travels?
Lana: I work really hard!
What did you do to prepare for the solo aspect of your trip?
Lana: I visit old friends; I make new friends; I combine the two. I let friends know where I am planning on going, if anyone wants to come, and if any one can put me up for a few days/ week.
What is your favorite thing you always pack with you?
Lana: My passport. I love my stamps.
What is the most difficult part of solo travel for you?
Lana: Deciding where to go next.
What advice would you give female travelers who are nervous about traveling alone?
Lana: People are really nice and you can find boys/ friends on beaches in cities, at the hostels. Just be friendly and you’ll be fine!
Any general advice for all travelers?
Lana: Make sure you do as much as you can! Make the most of it. If you’re umming and arring over things, just do it. You don’t get this opportunity every day! And think of the jealousy factor when you get home!
What did you learn about yourself on the trip?
Lana: I’m too nice to people who constantly let me down … and I can do anything and go anywhere I like.
What was your favorite country you visited so far? Why?
Lana: I have no idea. Bora Bora was breathtaking on a daily basis. Thailand is so much fun and it’s so easy to go places and do everything. The people are lovely in Laos, very trustworthy. The South Pacific is paradise. Asia is soooooo diverse and fun!
Any scary stories or low points in your travels?
Lana: I woke up to an earthquake. The whole room at the beach hostel was shaking, but I just assumed it was minor and was too tired so I went back to sleep; I slept through the sirens and evacuation. When I woke up again, I had a bad feeling and just thought to grab my stuff and run. I saw that the ‘beach’ didn’t look too nice and later discovered that it wasn’t a beach at all. I had just landed here at midnight the day before and hadn’t seen it in daylight yet. A local Samoan in a van asked me where I was going and I said I don’t know, as I didn’t know what was going on. He said there is a tsunami. I told him I was going with him. We picked up his father from the care home and other family and they took me up a mountain where 6 schools had been evacuated. Not one soul spoke English. It was scary and I didn’t know what was going on. I text my Dad in UK and he was at football game so I called my mum at home for updates.
Tsunamis can be survived and strangers can look after you in a life or death situation.
Full tsunami story of Lana on BBC:
Was your traveling experience any different to how you imagined it would be?
Lana: On my first night, I realized that I can go anywhere and do everything and there are people out there doing it already, waiting for you! It’s better, more diverse, relaxing, beautiful, fun and complete and addictive than I ever thought it would/could be!
Boris mentioned to me your fascination with nudibranchs. Can you talk more about this?
Lana: Nudis are just so wonderful, colourful, elegant and lovely. I wasn’t really into them until after diving at several places and then I could appreciate the range of varieties and how cool they are. I get so excited when I see a new one I haven’t seen before! The colours and patterns and textures are just unimaginable!
You have an exhausting diving list. What is your favorite diving spot so far?
Lana: Komodo / Bali / Australia
Any tips for divers?
Lana: Do as many dives as possible because we’re killing this planet and all the beauty and tranquility will be lost forever very soon!
How do you adjust after a big trip?
Lana: I book another one.
Finally what’s the best thing about traveling?
Lana: Everything is possible!
Do you enjoy our traveler of the week section? If you or a friend has a crazy travel story to share, contact us and provide a short description of your travels, a link to your blog if you have one, and we will gladly send you questions our readers want to know about you.
Another way to be on our blog is we are looking for guest bloggers who want to share their travel stories with us. Share with us your Holidays to Croatia or places we haven’t gone to before.