Name: Anette U.
Occupation: Occupational Therapist
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Current Country Count: I think it is about 50
Music: Enjoy some Swedish music while reading over Anette's spotlight.
I met Anette on a 4 hour bus ride from Tallinn to Riga. She was traveling on her own, had been in the Baltics on her own before, and had this great air about her. So I had to ask her a few questions. During breaks in between sleep and listening to music, I was able to ask her a few questions...
And the spotlight begins….
When Did You Start Traveling and Why: Well (laugh) traveling on my own I think I was 20 or so. 21 perhaps. I started traveling in Europe with the Interrail ticket for youth people. I think curiosity (inspired me to travel).
What is Your Most Memorable Country and Why: I have been traveling a lot in different parts so it is hard to say favorite. I have been traveling a lot in South America and Galapagos is something I think about. I like the nature.
What Is Your Inspiration To Travel: Well I like to see other countries. I like history. I like culture. I like architecture. I like well… I like to see other parts of the world.
How Often Do You Travel: I try to travel once a year.
How Long Do You Normally Travel: It’s different every year. This time it is a short trip. Less than two weeks. But normally it is 3 – 4 weeks. Could be a shorter trip for a weekend but normally 3 – 4 weeks.
How Do You Plan Your Travels: Reading books. And searching on the internet. And um… I also travel with organized groups. I read different programs when I find something interesting.
Do You Use Any Particular Internet Sites or Groups: Travel and Study (a Swedish group). They specialize in tours where in a part of the tour we were staying at local people’s houses. I like that a lot. And I have also been traveling with the Australian company Intrepid. And I have done one tour with GAdventure to the Galapagos.
How Much Time Do You Take Off Per Year: It’s a law… when you are over 40 you have 6 weeks paid vacation. When you are under 40 you have 5 weeks paid.
Preferred Form of Travel: Well… it’s uh… it depends. I like traveling on my own because when you are traveling alone you can stop wherever you want. You are free to do whatever. Sometimes I miss a group. I think Intrepid is a good way to travel in a group because you have time on your own. Some groups - if you are doing group traveling - when everyone is doing this then you have a 5 minute break and then everyone is going to do another activity. I don’t like that. I like time on my own.
Tips for Single Females Traveling on Their Own:
It was more difficult when I was younger. I think you should always think who are you meeting. And well… what should I say… uh… I mean when I was younger I was never drinking alcohol because I want to have control of the situation. When you are meeting people… well.. especially a man you don’t follow them. Once I met a guy who wanted to share a taxi and I said no because you never know. Maybe he was friendly, but I don’t know. You never know. I was afraid to go with him. That is the thing about being a female.
The Rest Relates to Everyone:
Look over your insurance.
Be careful where you are keeping your money and passport.
Leave your money in different places. If there is a safety deposit box, leave it in reception.
Split the money into different places.
Recommended Countries for Solo Travelers: It is difficult to say because I haven’t been to all countries in the world. I think nowadays you never know. I went somewhere and thought nothing would happen. Some places that were safe are not safe anymore. And 10 – 15 years ago people said don’t go to Estonia or the Baltic countries it is dangerous. There is a big risk for robbery. The Swedish government said to avoid going there on your own. Nowadays it is different. Nowadays the Swedish government says this part of the world is safe. The risk of terror attack is small here. A terror attack could happen in London. It could happen in Stockholm.
There is other parts of the world. I did Morroco in a group and on my own. Some of those Arabic countries are a little more difficult to travel alone I think….
It is always refreshing to see solo female travelers along the way. May your path be pleasant and fruitful. All the best Anette!