Feature Friday: Meet Carolina N.

Feature Friday- Meet Caroline N.

Welcome back to Feature Friday! Have you met someone who decided to sell everything and travel the world by bike? Well today’s your day to make that happen. Carolina is so kind to take time to share with with some of her travels during her cycling adventure around the world!

1. Thank you for deciding to be a part of Feature Friday. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?

Me cycling in South Sahara desert - Carolina
Me cycling in South Sahara desert

I’m a teacher who decided to quit my job to travel the world by bicycle together with my partner. Not because I was unhappy with my job but because I was after something else in life.

On our blog you can follow our adventure as we pedal around the world.

2. Why did you decide to become a travel blogger?
We started the blog to share our journey with the world. The decision to travel the world by bike came first and then the travel blogging part just followed naturally as a way to share our story with the world.

3. What do you love so much about travelling?
It’s a chance for me to broaden my horizon. To get new perspective in life. To learn about my own abilities.

4. Have you ever regretted doing something while travelling?
I don’t believe in regretting thing you do, but things you don’t do. At the beginning of this journey, we were still stuck mentally. We stressed like we used to do at home. We didn’t took the time we might should have to explore places to stop and interact with people who invited us to stay with them. That I can regret. Not taking the time. That I’ve learned now anyway. The only time I’m in a hurry now is when my visa is expiring.

5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done while travelling?

Early morning in Morocco - Carolina
Early morning in Morocco

The scariest thing must have been to set out on a cycling adventure for four years and everything that comes with it. Selling my apartment, belongings and set out on an adventure where I never know where I’ll end up at the end of the day. Letting go of the security back home and all the benefits that comes with it.

6. What is your most embarrassing travel story?
My first time at a hamam I had payed for a lady to scrub me. I was changing when someone came between me and the lady next to me (who my friends sent to the hamam with me so I wouldn’t be along. It really didn’t help since we didn’t have any mutual language) on the bench trying to reach for my stuff. I thought it was someone thinking it was their stuff or that they had their stuff between me and the other lady. So I just kept pushing my stuff further away on the bench from her. She was getting more and more desperate trying to reach after my stuff. I just smiled back saying “No that’s mine”. Eventually she gave up and with a big sigh she grabbed the other ladies stuff and carried them into the hot rooms. Apparently the lady who scrubs you also carries you’re stuff for you as well. Oh well.

7. Have you ever travelled solo? Would you do it again? If you haven’t, would you ever do it?
I have never travelled solo. Or at least I’ve always met up with someone at my destination. I might be doing it in the future but it’s not a goal itself for me to travel solo.

8. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the least? Why?

Struggling on small flooded roads in France - Carolina
Struggling on small flooded roads in France

France. I know it sounds like a cliché but people were not friendly (in general) and often quite rude. It was everything from people laughing and pointing at as struggling uphill in the rain (in other countries people cheer us on and invite us into their home when it rains), to not helping us at the store or simply ignoring us when asking questions in English.

9. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the most? Why?
I think a lot of travelers struggle with this question. How can you pick one when there are so many. There is always something that makes a country special in it’s own way. I love Morocco for it’s cats, medinas and tagines. I was surprised by the baltic countries because they are so close to Sweden where I live and I didn’t expect much from them. I loved the clear nights and the people in Western Sahara. I can go on forever but the question was to answer one city or country. I will just do a classic: No comments.

10. If you had to choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be, and why?
It’s really the same like the answer above. How can I choose one? Every country has its benefits. One thing that this journey have learnt me though is that I can choose where ever I want as my future home. I don’t “have to” do anything. It also have given me a lot of ideas of new places to live. If I would guess where we end up in the end I would say some where warm with a chill atmosphere.

11. Are there any social norms or practice you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were normal in your native culture?

Family in Mauritania who invited us for food and a place to stay for the night - Carolina
Family in Mauritania who invited us for food and a place to stay for the night

I wish it was socially acceptable in Sweden to fall asleep anywhere. Where I’m now in Western Africa there is nothing strange with taking a nap in your friends sofa at a party or lie down for a power nap at a restaurant after lunch (there is often carpets you can lay on). I also wish we could be more open to strangers, to open up our home to them like people opened up their home to us on this trip.

12. Is there anywhere you would not visit? Where, and why?
I guess there is always a place on earth where there is not secure enough for you to travel. For this trip for example, we decided not to cycle through Mali. But in the future that might change and one day I might visit.

13. What is one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could bring with you when you travel?
This is the perfect question for a bike tourer! We have got rid of so much stuff along the way that we thought was too heavy, took up to much space or we didn’t use enough. It’s all about prioritization if something is too big or not but I would love a camping chair. Now I have a camping stool which a lot of cyclist think’s is unnecessary. But imagine to lean your back against it, put your arms on the arm rest after a day in the saddle and just relax.

14. Do you think there’s a difference between people who deem themselves tourists vs. travellers? What do you consider yourself, and why?
I would like to say I don’t believe in labeling. But I guess I still call myself a traveler. I think it’s because I put myself outside of my comfort zone ever day when traveling. I rarely know where I will lay my head in the evening and I’m out exploring every day. The definition is not important to me and I think it’s sad when people make an effort to extinguish themselves from another group in that way.

15. What does home mean to you?

Campspot in Mauritania - Carolina
Campspot in Mauritania

On this trip home has started to mean wherever I put my tent at night or wherever I lay my head. I’m surprised at how comfortable I am to adjust to a new home every day. But before I started to pedal around the world I think home meant my apartment and my belongings and my family. Now I carry all my belongings with me and my family (except partner) is back home in Sweden.

16. What advice would you give an aspiring travel blogger?
Find your own niche. There are so many travel bloggers out there. Please dare to be different and give me something new to read about.

Thank you Carolina for taking the time out of your cycling to answer my questions, and to share your story! It was great to gain the perspective of someone who travels in a way different than most. I don’t know that I would have the courage to sell all my belongings and set out on a biking adventure. But who knows, maybe one day, I’ll find myself following your tracks! I’m a bit dismayed to see that France is your least favorite country, but I’ve never experienced the country by bike. I’m sorry you had to go through that experience! Thanks again Caroline for being a part of Feature Friday, and safe travels as you continue cycling around the world!

Did you enjoy what you read? Get to know more about the blogger!

CarolinaCarolina Nordfors is an adventure-seeking teacher who’s after something you can’t learn from a book. She’s currently cycling around the world in search of real life, cultural, and adventurous experiences! Connect with Carolina at the following:

Blog | Instagram

 

 

20 thoughts on “Feature Friday: Meet Carolina N.”

  1. Larissa, thanks so much for sharing Carolina’s traveler adventures and thank you, Carolina, for letting me live vicariously through you on you journey. I so admire your sense of adventure and having the guts to leave all your belongings behind and seek new meaning in your life – I aspire to that some day. I especially loved your Campspot picture (just breathtaking) and your views on different cultures. Great Post!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a thoughtful comment 🙂 I also admire how she had the strength to give up everything and go. That’s truly brave! And yes, I loved that picture as well! Breathtaking!

  2. Based on the first sentence alone, this woman is already interesting. I love that she decided to take her dream and put it into action. That she was brave enough to set her whole life aside and begin a New Journey. I love that she says that she believes and not regretting anything you do. What a great thought, to not regret regret your past, but to use it to better your future. I’m totally on board with her wanting it to be socially acceptable to take a nap anywhere, I think this might be my dream, kidding! Great feature, I Thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a little about this woman and her journey, it helps to inspire me that we can follow our dreams.

    1. Thank you Jennifer! I’m also on board with taking naps anywhere. Maybe we’ll see a shift in that trend in the future 🙂 Reading what Caroline had to say about regret really made me pause and think, and alter my perspective on the matter.

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