1) Hi Evelina, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we'd currently find you?
Right now I am in Gorgan, Golestan Province in the north east of Iran.
2) What inspired you to first start solo travelling?
My first solo trip happened by accident.
I had booked a romantic weekend trip to Girona for my then boyfriend for his birthday (HQ: you might guess where this is going here). We broke up before the trip so I decided to go by myself, instead of wasting the money spent and also to get a change of scenery, being heart broken and all.
I had no idea I would fall in love so hard with traveling solo, since being alone had always been my greatest fear.
3) You've been to over 73 countries and 6 continents. What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
I can't name one single favourite, but my top 3 would be New Zealand, Slovenia and Iran. What they all have in common is mind-blowingly beautiful and vast landscapes. Iran is the number one favourite when it comes to experiences beyond just the nature, as the people are the kindest and most hospitable out of all the countries I've been to.
4) What's the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
I actually travelled for 4,5 years alone without having anything bad happen to me, until a couple of months ago - I was sleeping on a night bus from Copenhagen to Cologne and woke up to the guy sat next to me rubbing me between my legs.
I made a scene on the bus, although no one stepped in and helped me, and then a couple of days later I went to the police station and filed a police report. (HQ: it´s never okay to let these things go unreported - well done Evelina!)
5) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
My phone, as I need it for Instagram, haha! And my powerbank. It's big and heavy but it can charge my phone about 7 times.
6) You've made the leap from holding down a day job alongside travelling, to travelling full time. How, when, and why did you do this?
I was lucky enough to have a full time job where I could freely choose when to take time off, so I travelled once or sometimes twice a month for 3,5 years until I in the autumn of 2016 quit that job and started freelance writing for an online travel company.
I did it because as soon as I was back in Sweden I just wanted to get back out there and travel. I couldn't stay in one place, and after collecting the courage and travel experience for a few years I decided to start traveling full time no matter what I'd have to do to make it, even if it meant cleaning toilets.
A week after this decision, I got an email with an offer to be a freelance writer - as if it was meant to be!
7) What would be your advice to others out there who are looking to following in your footsteps and make the transition to earning their living from travelling full time?
Firstly, have savings and also some experience in traveling before making this decision. You also need to be prepared to accept that it's not a life for everyone, no matter how thrilling the idea of full time traveling is. Most people get very homesick, and that's ok.
But I think for this kind of lifestyle you need to be ready so let go of your love for possessions, comfort and sentimentality. I think traveling for a few months before deciding to make that big step is a good way to see if it's actually for you.
8) You're a self-described vegan and minimalist (as well as a committed advocate of sustainability - which we love!). How long has this been this case, and was this influenced by what you saw when you were travelling? How do you stay true to your values on the road?
I've been vegan for about 3 years now, and that decision was not based on my traveling. I just couldn't justify supporting animals being killed or living horrible lives or keep that knowledge away from my awareness anymore. I also had a friend who had turned vegan and that helped me see that it was not that hard to do. When it comes to being vegan while traveling it is so much easier than people think. When you get in the mindset of what you can eat, rather than what you can't eat, you'll see that there are always options.
When it comes to minimalism, I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who are not materialistic at all. This with the combination of being depressed and realising how little value things have if you're not happy made me want to pack lighter, so it has been so easy to keep my belongings to a minimal.
I only buy things if I know that I will use it a lot and that it will bring happiness or value of some sort to my life. All pieces in my wardrobe are favourites. And since I travel with my things in a bag it's easier to say no to buying things as getting something new often means I have to get rid of something I already own.
9) What are your plans for the future, and what do you hope to achieve through all of your hard work?
My plan is to keep traveling and exploring new places, spending more time in nature and try more new things. I want to keep learning more about sustainability so that I can make better choices and also to spread that knowledge forward so more people learn how they can live and travel in a more environmentally friendly and ethical way.
10) What does travelling mean to you?
Traveling means experiencing. Being present and absorbing new places, situations, relationships and to learn more about myself and life. To me travelling is life. Travelling is curiosity.
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
Do you. There are no "musts" in traveling. If you don't want to visit museums or famous monuments, but would rather go to a bar and meet locals, or wander alone in nature - do what you want to do. You travel for yourself, you don't need to travel the same way others do.
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, and keep up to date with where you're exploring next?
Instagram is the best place to contact me and to be updates as I am very active there and post plenty of stories and my photos are always up-to-date (www.instagram.com/earthwanderess)