Let me introduce you to Merle! She’s one of the loveliest girls I’ve met during my travels. A charming Dutch señorita with lots of passion for life itself, but most of all for traveling! When I met Merle in Nicaragua I would always see her walking to the beach with a surfboard under her arm and later on we would enjoy some drinks together. So much fun! Merle’s favorite thing about traveling is the freedom traveling gives and meeting fellow travelers and local people. I still wanted to ask her a couple of things about her wanderlust.
How old were you when you started traveling?
The month I became 20 years old I left the Netherlands for my first adventure: living and studying in Lima for 6 months and afterwards exploring South America a bit more. It was then when I fell in love with both traveling and South America.”
Can you tell us a bit about your latest backpacking adventure?
I started in Bogota, Colombia to visit some friends for a couple of days. Afterwards I made my way up north in Colombia, went on a 6-day sailing trip from Colombia to Panama and continued my way up north towards Nicaragua. That’s where I met you!”
Do you prefer going to the beach to surf early in the morning or to the local club till late at night? I know, I know, though question 😉
Oh yes, definitely a tough question! The ocean fascinates me and waking up in the morning and seeing the waves rolling in is the best. Those moments I feel the greatness of Pacha Mama. Although exploring local nightlife can also be loads of fun.”
If you could get on the plane right now, where would you go?
There are so many destinations on my bucket-list so this one is also hard to choose. I think my next travel would look as follows: Flying to the Philippines and explore all the beautiful islands, afterwards go to Myanmar (I really want to go there as soon as possible) and afterwards go to Nepal and Tibet. Those destinations sound magical to me.”
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?
That is definitely freedom. To have the possibility to go and do whatever you feel like doing. Waking up in the morning and deciding what you would like to do that day. That can be crossing the border and go to another country or lay in a hammock and enjoying a sunset for another day. My second favorite thing about traveling are all the people you meet, both fellow travelers and local people. Everybody has its own interesting story and exchanging those life experiences is really enriching.”
Do you mind sharing how you fund your travels?
I try to travel as cheap as possible, while it still needs to be comfortable though. At the moment I am working full-time to fund my next travels. I cannot wait to be on the road again.”
Do you think relationships are possible when traveling?
Yes it is! It is important to give each other that freedom. I am not saying having a relationship while traveling is easy but when your relationship survives a period of traveling I think it can survive almost everything. I met my current boyfriend 4 weeks before my latest trip. We were madly in love but decided not to rush into things. He was so supportive on my travel plans! During my trip we contacted each other almost every day and I missed him a lot. Then I knew this was my guy.”
Where are you currently and where will your next adventure lead you?
Currently I am in Tilburg, the city where I studied in the Netherlands. As I already told you, my next adventure will probably lead me to Asia.”
What would you like to share with the readers you wish someone had told you before going on a trip?
You are responsible for your own life. Do not doubt, just go!”
Do you have an adventurous travel anecdote you’d like to share?
Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.― Lisa St. Aubin de Terán”