Célia, between volunteer trips and solo traveling

Switzerland
© Célia Gille

Célia, 25 years old, is one of my best friends and accepted to be the first one to be interviewed for this new category on my blog, the travelers interview. She’s from Belgium. She lives and works there as a secretary.

18 countries visited

Last travel: Verona(Italy)

Next travels: Britain (France) and Puglia (Italy)

This passion for traveling, how did it start?

I love traveling for many years! When I was younger,  I wanted to help people. I wanted to go to Africa for this and combine 2 passions: helping people and traveling.

During my childhood, I was going every year to Italy. I was spending time with my family, but we were not visiting a lot. When I was 17, first during a school trip, and after during a volunteer trip, I started to have a real passion for traveling. I enjoyed organizing trips and I really loved discovering new places.

Later, I went to Peru with a friend and I really discovered myself there. I started to think about solo projects, and I wanted to realize a world tour in solo.

What was your best travel?

Lots of people asked me the question, and it’s not easy to answer. It’s difficult to compare different countries. They all have something special. It also depends on how you live the moment, with who you are and what you are doing, for example.

I intensely lived my solo traveling, listening only to myself. Thus, I would say that my best travel is my solo travel in Asia, especially in Cambodia. Cambodia is not very polluted by tourism as Thailand. It’s still possible to stay on a beach with barely no one! The food is not super diversified but is delicious. Cambodia is mainly known for the Angkor Temple, but there are so many more places to see in this country. It’s there that I drove a scooter for the first time in my life and I lived like Robinson Crusoé. This country has an important history, and when you learn it, you understand better the people who live there.

Cambodia
© Célia Gille

What is your best souvenir in Asia? And your worst?

Impossible to choose the best souvenir! There are too many of them. The night market in Chiang Mai, the Thai cuisine lesson, the day where I took care of elephants, the island Koh Rong Sanloem, to eat a pepper crab in Kep, to drink a French coffee in Vientiane…

My worst souvenir? It was during a trek, in Cambodia. I had 2 backpacks, +- 13 kg. The sun was going down, I had to go through the jungle to go back to my accommodation. The guide said that we could see snakes on the way… I was scared! It was the rainy season and the ground was wet. I slipped, almost broke my ankle… after 1h30, I arrived at my accommodation. In the end, it was not that bad!

You have done 2 volunteer trips. Did you have time to visit the country during these stays?

I’ve been in Tchad with the SEL project and in Burkina Faso with the organization BKC. During these trips, I mainly stayed in one city. I learned about the culture of people living there, I met amazing people and I learned how to live like Africans for a few weeks. But obviously, I didn’t have time to travel like a tourist.

Africa
© Célia Gille

What are your tips for solo travelers?

#1 Sleep in hostels

If you are traveling alone, the first thing I advice is to sleep in hostels. It’s like this that I met lots of people coming from all over the world. I used HostelWorld and Booking to book my accommodations.

#2 Be flexible

The more flexible you are, the more you will have time for surprises and last minute plans!

#3 Have some plans before you feel completely alone

To travel alone is awesome, but it can be quite difficult as well. You are all by yourself and some days will be hard. Plan ahead some backup plans! Contact your best friends via social media, write in a notebook, take part in an organized activity so you can meet new people… Don’t forget to relax and enjoy every moment!

“Don’t forget to relax and enjoy every moment!”

Solo traveling will allow you to learn more about yourself, to listen only to yourself and to trust you. You will depend on nobody, and you can live your moment to the fullest because when you are alone, you just do what you want.

My last advice: don’t think too much about it! Just go! Solo traveling is an amazing adventure!

You want to share your travel experiences too? Hit me up via Facebook or Instagram


2 thoughts on “Célia, between volunteer trips and solo traveling

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