Visiting a third world country, society you make me angry

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Two days ago I came home to Norway after spending one month in Tanzania. You know, when you travel you get so many impressions and sometimes they are quite hard to digest. And I think that is something I’m feeling right now. 

During my holiday I’ve seen so much and heard quite a few disturbing things. When you are visiting a third world country you are prepared that things will be different and you know that not everything will be nice. 

  
One of my reasons for going to Tanzania is because I have a sponsor child there. On the 27th of July I went to visit her in her village. It was so overwhelming because when we came out of the car she came running towards me and gave me the biggest hug ❀️ We sat down outside of their house and she disappeared for a while. When she came back she had put on a dress to look nice for me. We sat for a while together talking while she was sitting on my lap holding my hands. While I was sitting there observing the surroundings I looked at her little sister. She is about one year old and she was crawling on the ground in the dirt. She was so dirty that not even her mother wanted to hold her. They had wrapped her diaper in plastic to probably make it last longer. While I was sitting there all these thoughts came to my mind. Why is the world so unfair? How come some people struggle every day to survive while others have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it… 

While I was with Plan International we went to look at two of the projects they have participated on. First we went to look at the school my sponsor child is attending. The school area itself was not big, with a few buildings for classrooms and one room for the teachers. In this school there is 1200 children and 39 teachers. Every class has 100 children sharing 2 teachers. The condition of the classroom were not good, with broken wood benches. In so many ways it was very disturbing to see because I know how important education is for the development of every country. 

   
    
 
The other project we went to see was a health care center. Here Plan International had participated in building the houses and provided the equipment. They showed me the delivery room where they had two broken beds. Normally they just used one of them, but if there were a crises they had to use both. So then two woman would be lying right next to each other giving birth. In this room they delivered around 6 children every day.  They were missing equipment and their scale was broken so for every child that was born they had to guess the weight. I got goosebumps and thought that I would never have wanted to give birth in this place. 

   
   
My encouragement to everyone is to join an organization that provides help to third world countries!! For you it’s just a small amount of money every month, but it will help so many people that really needs it. My two examples above is the proof that not enough people care about what’s going on in the rest of the world, because they don’t have enough money to maintain what has already been provided. Don’t be selfish, care!! 

Lets rock’n roll Serengeti

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Three days ago I came back to Arusha after a 4 day safari in Serengeti and Ngorongoro. On monday morning I got picked up at my hotel, ready for a new adventure. We had a long journey ahead before we reached our camp in Serengeti. I chose to do a camping safari, simply because I find it to expencive to do it otherwise with lodges etc. And in the end the budget safari didn’t feel like a budget one at all. Everything was so great!! Meru Treks is a great company to go with if you want it cheap, but yet don’t feel like you are on a low budget trip. 

Already on our first day, on our way to our camp in Serengeti, we got to see some quite amazing sights. Suddenly our driver is stopping and we ask him what is going on. There is a lion he says. Where, where we ask and starts looking out towards the grass plain. No not there he says, it’s right next to the car in front. Then we see it!! A lioness is walking proudly and undisturbed next to the car and she is heading towards us. She slowly walks by our car and she is so close that we could have touched her if we put our hand out of the window. 

Then we drive a little further ahead and we see a large group of lionesses that had killed a wildebeest and now they were just lying next to it feeding. Amazing to see nature work its own way and to see a lion eating the bones clean of their prey. 

  
Then a little further ahead down the road we meet a large group of male lions and some cubs. They were resting next to a river where they went to drink water. In the same water we got our first encounter with the hippos. What an amazing first day in Serengeti!! 

 
The second day we spent our time driving around in the park. Already after our first hour we had seen so many animals, like elephants, hippos, giraffes, impala, zebra and the wildbeest. It is now the time for the big migration for them in Serengeti. This means that millions of wildebeest migrate over to Masai Mara in Kenya where there is always water. I did my safari a bit late and most of the animals had already reached the northern part of the park, but there were still some wildebeest left and we got to see them gathering and heading towards the north. 

  
  
For this safari I had one big dream. I have done two safaris before, one in South Africa and one in Namibia. But I never got to see the leopard. I told the driver that this was the only animal I really hoped to see. And wow, the driver really did his job. During my second day in Serengeti I got to see three of them!! The first two were hiding so I could only see their back and the tail, so I was a bit sad. But when we came to the last one it was so amazing. It was lying in a tree, just chilling and watching the sun go down.  It even got up, did some poses and then repositioned itself in the tree. It was absolutely amazing watching this beautiful animal and to see how well they camouflage themself in the trees. 

For our third day we did an early morning game drive in Serengeti and then after lunch we started to drive towards Ngorongoro crater. This took the rest of the day and we arrived at the camp around sunset. 

The last day of the safari included a half day game drive down in the crater and then after lunch head back to Arusha. 

I have now done 3 safaris and I’m still equally fascinated every time. I think I could do this over and over, just be watching all these beautiful animals and how nature run things its own way. I find it so amazing!! 

  
  
  
  
  
  

Hakuna Matata Zanzibar

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I have now moved on to Tanga on the mainland after spending 6 nights in Nungwi, a popular beachtown up in the north of Zanzibar.  My second day there I went for a divingtrip to Mnemba, a small island that’s 1 1/2 hour boattrip away. Normally a lot of seaturtles come to that area and I was of course hoping to see one. But no such luck for me that day unfortunatly. During my first dive I got really seasick. And when we came back up on the boat I felt so sick. Hehe, we were suppose to have lunch between the first and the second dive, but I really didn’t feel like eating anything 😜 It was actually so bad that I considered to not do my second dive. But I jumped into it, said fuck it, lets try even if I’m feeling so sick. So me and the instructor jumped in for our second dive. There was a bit of current, so we did a slow driftdive where we saw lots of nice fish, corals and a massive fish that I don’t know the name of… But during the dive I got so sick that I had to throw up. Trust me, it’s not a nice feeling when you have to throw up in your regulator. But what can you do..? Just throw up, clean your regulator and then continue diving 😜 

  

That evening I went for a beachparty in Kendwa, the neighboring village of Nungwi. I’m at the moment hanging out with locals, so I went to the party with John, who I got to know the day before. The day after I really didn’t do anything. I went to bed after the sun had come up when we went to the beachparty, so I guess the hangover had a grip on me 😜 
  

  

During my stay in Nungwi I also went for a fishingtrip. We went out with the boat at 4pm and we were fishing until the sun went down at 6.30pm. Unfortunatly the fish was not willing to bite, and only John and the captain were lucky to catch one small fish each. Better luck next time right!! Hehe, at least we got something to put on the bbq in the evening. 

Other from that I have just been chilling on the beach. The weather has been very mixed with a bit of rain every day, something that is very annoying when you’re in a beach town.. 

So yesterday was my last night in Zanzibar and that meant we had to do something special. The night before I bought a big King fish and Johns friend Mr. BBQ wanted to prepare a nice dinner for us all. First in the evening we went for a sunset cruise where you are sailing on a dhow watching the sunset. After we came back from that it was time for the goodbye dinner. So we went up in the village to a local restaurant where Mr. BBQ had prepared the fish and made a nice decorated table, and we had a nice last night dinner with some of my new friends 😊

  Me and John at the sunset cruise. 

 So much food on the table. We could not manage to eat it all, so a woman working in the kitchen got the rest. 

  Me and the chef, Mr. BBQ. 

Spice tour and the first glimpse of Zanzibars beaches

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This morning at 9 am I set off on an organised spice tour to see all the different spices they grow on the island. We drove a bit out of Zanzibar town to a spice farm. Here we walked around in the forest and the guide told us all about the different plants. We also got to taste and smell a lot of them, like ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh pepper and plenty more. I found this very interesting and informative since most of these spices I have never seen fresh. (unfortunatly no pics from the spice farm as there is no wifi so I can transfer pics from my camera to my phone which I’m using to update the blog) 

  
I ended up buying some tea, spices and vanilla essence 😜 

After the spice farm we went to see the Mangapwani Coral Cave where they used to hide and sell slaves after it was illegal. It was a massive natural cave where they had one tunnel to the beach and one connected to the village. 

  
Inside the cave. 

At the end of our tour we got to spend one hour at this beautiful beach. 

  
Tomorrow I’m heading up north on the island to the beachtowns to do some diving. I have not decided yet where I’m going, but will figure it out tomorrow morning 😜 

Solo female traveller in a muslim country

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I have now moved on to Zanzibar, more correct Stone Town. Around 7 am this morning I left Q-bar in Dar to head for the ferry. Everything went smoothly and after 2 1/2 hours on the boat I arrived the island. I went to a guesthouse called Karibu Inn, that has private rooms but also a dorm. The only sad thing is that I’m the only one staying there… But that’s just forcing me to get in touch with the locals which is good. That’s the reason I’m travelling in the first place.

After I had been staying an hour at the guesthouse I went for a private guided tour through Stone Town. I would not normally do this kind of tours and rather walk around by myself, but I haven’t quite got the feeling if this place is safe to wander around alone yet. Specially since everyone is warning me all the time to be carefull, don’t trust anyone and consider who you are talking to. Apparently nobody is to be trusted and everyone is trying to cheat you one way or the other. This is actually something I see as a problem because no prices are the same, everyone say different things etc. And when you are travelling by yourself you gotta trust someone at one point…


The picture above is from the fish marker.

During my walking tour I got to see the Old Slave Market where they used to sell slaves to the rest of the world. I found it quite interesting to see what conditions the slaves were living under and where they used to keep them. I went in to this small room in the basement where I got to see how they used to storage them before selling them. It was a quite small room, with very low ceiling and a stone bench covering the room to keep them up from the floor. In this room it used to be 75 people, without water, no toilet and almost no access to fresh air. Really horrible conditions!!

This evening I went out for dinner with the guy that works in the reception here at the guesthouse. Since it’s ramadan everything is very quiet during the day and after the sun goes down everyone is in the streets eating and just enjoying life. I don’t know if I could deal with fasting. Today I didn’t eat or drink anything before this evening because I didn’t want to be rude. And man, guess who was dying of thurst during the walking trip in 30 degrees and a clear blue sky. All creds to every muslim that does this for 30 days!!!

I left my heart in Africa and I have come back to reclaim it

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It is now over 2 years ago since I left Africa to go and explore Asia. I think the moment my plane set off from Johannesburg I knew I had left something behind..my heart. There is a saying that once you have been to Africa you will always be longing to go back. And I now know that this is a fact!! Yesterday I landed here in Dar es Salaam and in the taxi on the way to my guesthouse a certain calm came over me. While I was sitting there and we were driving on muddy roads, the driver was playing some african music and I was watching the everyday life of people going on in the streets, a thought came to my head: I have really missed this!! And strange as it sounds, I really have. 

You might ask yourself why do I miss this place on earth so much. And I really have no good explanation. Why do I miss bumpy muddy roads, everyone driving like crazy, flies everywhere, and the clear difference between rich and poor? I think it’s just something about the African vibe and the way they conduct their lives in very simple ways that is very interesting to me. 

So today I have had a calm and relaxed day where I have tried to plan my next couple of days. Tomorrow I’m taking the ferry over to Zanzibar and staying in Stone Town for a couple of nights. Will probably do a cultural tour and maybe a cooking class. 

After breakfast this morning I went to the Natural museum here in Dar es Salaam where I got to learn a bit about our forefathers and where they think humans originate from. Seems like we all come from Africa.. 

  
  

  

Less then a week until my next trip

  

It’s now only 6 days left until I leave Norway for my one month trip to Tanzania. I have managed to find accommodation for my two first nights in Dar es Salaam. Haha, Im actually staying at a bar that also rent out rooms. Lets see how crazy that can get 😜 It is now ramadan, so maybe it will be very quiet. 

Since Tanzania has a big muslim influence I have tried to buy clothes that covers my knees and my shoulders. Something that I found out while walking around in the stores here in Norway is that really none of the clothes that they sell are appropriate. Everything is really short or has straps on the shoulders. Quite incredible really!! 

So my plan was to stay for two days in Dar and then head out to Zanzibar to go diving and maybe take a kite-course. But on friday I injured my knee and got a quite deep cut. The doctor decided to not stitch it up since Im leaving on sunday and then I would have needed to go to a doctor in Tanzania to take out the stitches. So now I gotta plan according to how my knee heals. I will see how it looks like on sunday when I’m leaving and then take everything from there…. Shit happens right!! Very typical that I managed to do this right before my trip though. And now I’m a bit worried about infections etc. 

  

Anyway, I’m very excited but also a bit stressed about going for such a big trip alone again. Funny how easily you get comfortable when you start living in just one place again.. 

Once a traveller, always a traveller

In the end of August 2013 I finished my around the world trip. It’s now 1 year and 9 months ago since I came back, found a job and settled down in Bergen, Norway. I have to admit that I several times have been longing back to the times where my only worries were what bus to catch tomorrow and what place to go to next. I guess once you have started traveling it’s difficult to adjust and go back to your normal life. 

My name is Camilla and I’m a travel addict!! Haha, yes I think that is the correct definition for me. Always using every opportunity I have to go somewhere new. So now it’s time for another one!! In July I’m planning a one month trip to Tanzania. I totally fell in love with Africa the last time I was there and I’m so excited to finally go back to see more of this lovely continent. If you haven’t been there yet.. GO!!! 

When I travel I normally don’t plan a lot ahead. Just book accommodation for the first couple of nights so I have a starting point and then take everything from there. I love the feeling of not knowing what I will do or where I will end up. Most of my friends and family always ask how I can do that and if I don’t feel unsafe. But I think once you have tried it yourself, you will never go back to a holiday where you have every hour of the day planned… 

So right now I’m trying to find a hostel in Dar es Salaam. Actually that’s not as easy as I thought, because most of them are not on hostelworld where I normally book accommodation and a lot of them don’t even have a webpage. But as always, I’m not worried because it will sort out in the end πŸ˜‰ 

When I did my around the world trip I found a new passion of mine, diving. I’m so excited to go to Zanzibar as it seems like a great spot for it. If I know myself I will probably end up spending a lot of time there. Doesn’t seem like the worst place to get stuck though :p Today I ordered myself an action camera, so hopefully I can start taking pictures and videos as well when I’m diving. I have always envied those who come up with great photos after their dives and I’m hoping that I can manage to get some great photos myself with this camera. 

Other “plans” or things I want to see in Tanzania is of course going back on a safari (had such great experiences in South Africa and Namibia). I need to see the leopard as it’s the only one of the big 5 I’m missing!! Except from that I want to travel towards Kilimanjaro, I have a sponsor child through the organisation Plan International that I would love to visit, and then in general just travel around and be a part of the African vibe πŸ™‚ 

My most memorable moments during the trip

I have been asking myself several times: what do you remember the most from your trip? After 378 days on the road I’m left with plenty of memories and tons of impressions. Some times it was actually a bit hard to process it all, since you go straight from one impression to another.. But of course there is some memories that are stronger then others.

My first dive in the Caribbean sea:

The first destination on my trip was Jamaica and here I got my Open Water diving certification. The feeling I had the first time I was breathing under water was very special. A bit anxious of how it would go, but ohh my, so impressed by how beautiful the underwater world was πŸ™‚ I ended up diving quite a lot on my trip and the cave diving I did in Mexico was also a very special experience.

just got my Open Water certification :) Diving in the cenotes in Mexico

Travelling back in time in Cuba:

Coming to Cuba was like travelling back in time. With american cars from the 60s, horses and wagons driving around in the streets and internet connections with the speed that dates back to the 90s. It must be said that you were lucky if you found a place that had internet at all.. But wow, what a beautiful country!!A nice car in Cuba

Saw a man got shot in Honduras(the most scary moment):

This incident was not one of the highlights of my trip, but hey, you don’t only get positive experiences while travelling. We were a group of 4 people that had to stay one night in a hotel in La Ceiba because we did not reach the last ferry to Utila. This incident happened literally 20 minutes after we arrived at the hotel and it was my first day in Honduras. We went to get some dinner and walked a few meters away from our hotel. When we came around a corner we saw a guy on the other side of the street. He was screaming something and started to run. A guy behind him pulls up a gun and shoots him 3 times. At first we didn’t understand what was happening, but when we realized that he had a gun, we ran back to our hotel. Well, at least 3 of us ran. The last guy just froze and saw everything that happened. We ran back to get him when suddenly a pickup truck comes around the corner. They put the guy that got shot at the back of the car and when they drive past us we see a girl pressing his chest. With blood all over, they disappear around a corner. We were standing there, very shocked over what had just happened, when suddenly a policeman comes on a bicycle. He asks us what happened and we tell him the story. Then he just says well well, turns his bike around and goes in the other direction. It was very clear that he did not want to get involved in anything happening in the streets..

Sailing from panama to colombia:

Being crammed on a sailboat with 19 other people for 5 days was quite an experience. We had two amazing days among the San Blas Islands, a true paradise on earth, before we started the looong way to Colombia. It would have been a really great trip, if it wasn’t for the bad weather we had on the 3 days of sailing. You should have seen us sitting out on deck, eating our food, while the waves are washing over the boat. A little extra salt in the food doesn’t hurt anybody does it πŸ˜› Even if it was bad weather, this is a trip I will remember for a long time.

Our boat, Wildcard

Christmas and Feria de cali:

My first Christmas away from my home and family was a special experience. Christmas in Norway is always filled with tons of traditional food, decorations and cold weather. I celebrated Christmas in a city called Cali in Colombia, together with Amy and Warren. We bought each other gifts, had Santa hats, ate some good food and had a great party at the Chivas party bus. Very different from the Norwegian Christmas, but also very nice πŸ™‚ On the 25th of December a week long salsa festival started in Cali and I really loved that festival. Street parties everywhere and the atmosphere was just amazing.

Celebrating ChristmasFeria de Cali

coming to Machu picchu

Machu Picchu has always been high up on my list of things to see. It was a magical feeling to come up on that mountain and see the hidden city. When you stand there, it is hard to understand how they managed to even build a city there…

Finally at Machu Picchu

Skydiving and bungee jumping

While I was in South Africa it was time for some adrenalin kicks. First I went bungee jumping from the worlds highest bridge bungee. Throwing myself off a bridge and then have a 216 meters free fall was quite insane. But wow, so cool as well!! The day after I finally got to go skydiving, after 3 days of waiting and bad weather. Jumping out of a plane at 10 000 feet is something I for sure will do again!!

Jumping at Bloukrans BridgeSkydiving in Plettenburg Bay

Getting my TATTOO done on the norwegian national day

During my travels I figured that I wanted to get a tattoo done, to have a memory of my trip. While I was in Cape Town I found a really nice tattoo artist and I made an appointment. On the 17th of May, The Norwegian national day, I got the memory that will stay with me until the end of time..

My tattoo

Driving around in Namibia

I rented a car together with Lisa, Ulla and Ida and we drove around in Namibia for 20 days. We had many cold nights in our tents and sore backs after sleeping at terrible mattresses, but what a great trip we had πŸ™‚

Had a lovely time in Namibia

Biking around the angkor temples

When I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I rented a bicycle and spent the day biking around among the Angkor temples. It was such a magical feeling to bike around these ancient buildings, soaking in the special atmosphere this place gives.

among the Angkor Temples

Celebrating my birthday in Amsterdam:

On my way back home to Norway I stopped in Amsterdam to visit my friend Amy. It was my birthday and we had a great party in the evening πŸ˜€

My birthday in Amsterdam

Coming home after 378 days on the road

It’s quite a while since I have been writing anything here. The simple reason is that I’m back home in Norway and I have ended my journey. 378 days and 24 countries later, it was really nice to finally come back home.

On the 22nd of August I flew from Hanoi in Vietnam and landed in Amsterdam on the 23rd of August. The plan was to meet up with Amy who I traveled Panama and Colombia together with. She was working the day I landed, so I had the day to explore Amsterdam before I was suppose to meet up with her. Guess what the first thing I did was? I went to a cafe and bought a baguette and a hot chocolate. Can you imagine how delicious this was, after mainly eating rise and noodles for over a year… I promised myself after I came home that I would not eat rice for a really really long time. It’s pretty bad when you reach a point where you don’t feel like eating anymore because you are so tired of the food. I don’t think I could take one more day eating rice… After I had my delicious breakfast I walked over to the Anne Frank museum. This is a story that I heard about already as a little girl, so for me it was quite special to visit the house where she and her family hid during the Second World War. Amy warned me that the line to get in to the museum would be very long if you didn’t show up early, but I didn’t think it would be that bad. I came there around 10 am and the line was already horrible, and it took me over 1 1/2 hour to finally get in.Β Later that evening I met up with Amy and we went out for a couple of beers. On our pub to pub round I got to see some of the famous Red Light District. That’s for sure something you don’t see anywhere else πŸ˜›

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My plan was to stay in Amsterdam over the weekend and then start heading home. When me and Amy traveled together in Panama we celebrated her birthday in Bocas del Toro. This time it was my turn to celebrate my birthday. It was on Sunday the 25th of August, so we celebrated it on Saturday evening. We started the celebration by going to the Heineken Experience, where we got some information about the brewery and two free beers at the end of the tour. After that we headed home to some friends of Amy where we had a pre-party before we headed out for the clubs. Amy of course brought some hats and other party accessories, so we had a perfect birthday celebration πŸ˜€

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On the 26th of August I took a bus from Amsterdam to Brussels, where I was flying out the next day. I went here because Ryan Air had cheap direct flights to Rygge in Norway, and cheap was what I needed right now.. From Rygge I took a bus to Oslo where I met up with my friend Anki that I also met in Singapore. She had brought some of my stuff to Norway, so this was a nice opportunity to pick it up as well. I stayed in Oslo for one night before I started on my final journey back home, a 12 hour train journey… I had not told my family that I was coming home, so I was very excited to surprise them. The same day I got questions of when I was coming home. And I totally had to ignore answering them πŸ˜› I got the reaction I was hoping for. Surprised faces and my grandmother had to come and touch me to really see that it was me. Funny funny!!!

I have been thinking a lot about how this trip has changed me. In many ways I hope that it has, probably not large things but hopefully noticeable. I have for sure become more grateful and thinking about how lucky I am to come from a country like Norway. We have financial security and the world in front of our feet. We don’t have to worry about how to bring food on our table or if we will have a home to stay in. We don’t have to commit crime to make the ends meet or to even see a future. Some of the things I found really hard, but also very interesting, was to talk with the local people and hear their stories. I talked with a guy that was just released from prison, sentenced for murder and 16 years behind bars. He was just a kid when him and his friends stole a car and killed the owner when he tried to stop them. They did this to try and help their parents out of a horrible financial situation and they saw this as an opportunity for a better life. It’s horrible when kids feel forced to try and improve their families situations and this is not the kind of world you would want anyone to live in.

Almost three months after I came home to Norway I was so lucky and got two job offers. It actually made it really hard for me to choose which one to say yes to. So after Christmas I’m starting to work as a civil engineer at an architectural office in a city called Bergen here in Norway. It’s gonna be quite a change of lifestyle, going from backpacking to becoming a career woman. Hopefully it’s going to be challenging and very interesting. But one thing is for sure. The travel bug has bitten me and every holiday from now on will be filled with new trips and experiences!!! πŸ˜€