Everyone has a passion in life, Abdulah found his in traveling! Traveling alone, with no return ticket might scare some but it’s what he lives for. This all started for him when he went to Poland for an internship. On that trip, when problems with his accommodation emerged, he decided to travel alone for the weekend. He then hose to not go back and had a trip around Europe on his own; surprisingly, he had plenty of fun on his own. We talk to him about his travels and of course get some tips and tricks from the expert traveler!
“I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it weren’t for all the experiences I’ve been through”
Which country was your favorite?
South Africa; Cape Town was amazing. You can do everything there from adventures to history. The people are so kind and diverse and the food is great. The city is a sub island and there’s a mountain called Table Mountain that splits it into two and the ocean surrounds it.
If you had got to do this all over again, what would you do differently?
Traveling added a lot to my personality, everything that happened, happened for a positive reason. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it weren’t for all the experiences I’ve been through, so I wouldn’t change anything. Well, maybe I would spend less and save more to travel more. (Laughs)
Where do you want to go next?
I’m going to Latin America. I’ve always wanted to go to South America because it’s the only continent I haven’t been to – that and Australia. I have a friend from Argentina that visited me for a month and he insisted that I visit him too. I took a look at the map and the surrounding countries and I started drawing the route I would take. So we’re taking my friend’s truck to around 8 countries including the Amazon rainforest.
What was the hardest part of this journey?
Last trip when I was in Albania I was so exhausted I hadn’t slept in days, all I ate were bananas. I was hiking alone and there was nothing to do. I started talking to my Go Pro camera, asking myself why I’m doing this. At this point it feels like if you die there no one would know who you are or you’re doing there. I had no one to share anything with, I was all alone.
Would it be as easy for a girl to do something like this?
Of course it’s more risky, but the risk exists anyway, even for me. Still, I met lots of girls who travel like this and nothing happened. Just put into consideration that you might get robbed and be fine with it (laughs).
Do you think you were lucky with how things turned out?
If it was luck, it would have happened maybe once. I was hitchhiking the whole trip. Once I was in France and I couldn’t find a place to sleep that was in my budget, at 2AM a guy found me and let me sleep at his house.
A lesson you learned
Always travel alone! The first time is a bit hard, but you have to go through it. Then you will be addicted to it. Also, follow your passion, I found that my passion is traveling.
How do you do this on a budget?
My first trip I was young, so my family supported me. Later on I used to sell tickets and book hotels and hostels for people and take commission on that, this money helped me travel. It’s completely different when you travel with your own money. Instead of spending $1000 on an iPhone I could travel to 30 countries!
Is it more difficult for Arabs to travel due to Visa Restrictions?
There are 50 countries you can visit without a Visa. And other Visas cost from 100LE to 300LE, which is affordable. You can easily get the Visa for Brazil or Peru, and the South African Visa is free for Egyptians. If you have the American Visa or Schengen you can enter several other countries, you just have to be smart about it.
Tips on how to travel on a budget from Abdullah
- Try to hitchhike.
- Use couchsurfing.com or find a nearby hostel.
- Keep your passport on you, not in your bag.
- Try to get to know random people, they could help a lot.
- Take a tent with you, or sleep in the park if it’s summer.
- Don’t spend much on food. Get outside the city for a bit, food is much cheaper there.
- Always smile!