"The story behind Backpacking Tips Asia"
My name is Amanda, and I'm from Oslo, Norway!
You just clicked onto this page, so that means you want to know more about the author.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of other online backpacking sites about Asia, and many of them offer excellent free advice.
So, the question is:
"Why listen to exactly me?"
It might sound like cliché when I say this...
... But I was raised by two parents who were involved (they still are) in the traveling-industry and they're always planning the next trip.
When my dad arrived in Norway in 1982, he immediately got himself a job as a bell-boy at a hotel.
He received lots of freebies, like free plane tickets to wherever he could wish for. And he enjoyed his job so much that he stayed for almost 17 years.
My mom really loved traveling so she decided to work in a travel agency (I was around 9 years old).
Like my dad, she also received the occasional flight discounts.
So, just imagine having two parents with discounts and free plane tickets all-year around!
This was again a beginning of a new era of traveling.
They would take me and my little sister wherever they went. Around the world - visiting the main cities in Europe, United States and Asia. I was lucky because we traveled 2-3 times a year.
However, I was just a child, so I didn't really care about exploring the world... yet.
Fast forward to 1999. My mom started her own traveling agency business and it has successfully turned into a small company in downtown Oslo.
Although I was every parents' nightmare (a wild, ruthless and stubborn teenager), and just wanted to do my own stuff my parents brought us to our native home country.
It was my first encounter with Asia:
I'll be honest with you
I didn't care that much. It was hard to even recognize my own native roots because I felt Norwegian. I had Norwegian friends. Talked and behaved like a Norwegian. And of course, I was born in Norway. So, all that was left was my Filipino appearance!
So, you can only imagine what my first impression of Asia was like:
For a spoiled brat like me, the impression of Asia was overwhelming and the new local customs were hard to digest.
Spending one month in the Philippines, eventually brought me to a higher level of respect for a new culture (even "my own" culture), and a wider understanding of how warm, generous and united the people of Asia really are.
When I graduated from the faculty of law in the spring of 2007; I decided to go backpacking.
By that time, I had lots of friends who already had their backpacking experience in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, India etc. They were so eager to tell me about their stories when they got home and my question was:
"What's so special about backpacking?"
And I was of course jealous.
So, to find out what the fuss was all about I came up a plan: Going backpacking!
I was already restless and open to meet the world after 6 years of Law studies!
And I already knew that one of my good Swedish friends was going backpacking that year, so I hooked up with her. And another sweet Swedish girl.
Our plan was to stay in Asia for 4-5 months. And our primary goals were India, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. My traveling companions had gone backpacking before, so to survive my plan was to stick with them and do what they did!
I packed my bag and left my apartment, family, friends and boyfriend for a while.
In Vang Vieng with local kids
I smiled. I laughed. I danced. I had a blast. I cried. I sweated. I yelled. I cursed. I bled.
And most importantly, I figured out how to survive on my own in Asia by observing, adapting and adjusting.
I returned from Asia in February 2008, and was stuck with mixed feelings:
"Why did I leave Asia so early?"
"Oh, I missed my family."
"Ah, that's how my boyfriend really looks like!"
Want to get to know me a little better?
June 2008, I got a job as a senior executive officer working for the Norwegian government.
I now work for another government directorate (2013).
I decided to write about my experiences in Asia. It started as a hobby, like writing in my journals and stuff like that.
In September 2008 my little sister, Anna, had already created her own website.
I used to tease her about being such a computer nerd. But then she introduced me to the HTML and content writing-world.
She explained how she turned her passion for Fashion, into an excellent website.
I was like:
"Huh? Website? What's HTML? HTML codes?"
In November 2008, I decided to give it a try.
I mean, what could be better than sharing my knowledge and experiences with other backpackers?
I was, and still, sitting on a huge pile of backpacking tips because
... I went backpacking
and had a great time
... I walked in the paths of Asia
... I experienced both good and bad (dangerous) things during my trip. I even ended up at a hospital in Pai (Thailand)...
... I met travelers from South America, Australia, the US and much more, and THEY shared their valuable traveling knowledge with me...
That meant that I had gained lots of backpacking knowledge and experience to share with my fellow travellers - with YOU!
So, my journey started with zero knowledge in backpacking, and became a fast growing snowball.
And I'm still learning up to this day :-)
I get daily e-mails from readers who appreciate Backpacking-Tips-Asia.com, and they find it very useful and structured.
I almost scream when I read these e-mails because I get so excited, happy and relieved at the same time! ;-)
But I don't want to take all the credit. I mean, English is not my first language. And as a webmaster, it's sometimes hard to check if the material is good enough, especially when I've been staring at my laptop for several hours!
So my boyfriend reads through some of the material before I publish it. He studied one year in Great Britain, and he's so damn honest and critical. That's exactly what a website, like this, needs!
When I started writing about Malaysia and the Philippines, I used him as a resource. He has the ability to remember things that I don't, so in a way, we complement each other... ;-)
In other words, he's the second half of this website!
Updated on June 7, 2010: My bf has also been helping me with articles about Thailand and Cambodia.
My last backpacking trip was in India in February and March 2011, then Thailand and Cambodia in April/May 2010!
Before that, I traveled in Malaysia (in June 2009) with my boyfriend! We had a blast!
So, I started this website Backpacking Tips Asia because I was determined to not forget the things I experienced in Asia.
And I want to
But at the same time, I want to:
Make you realise that backpacking has its downsides.
Even though you experience some setbacks, keep going!
One of my major lessons in life is not to be discouraged by what people tell you, or what they think about backpacking.
Do what YOU want!
You only live one life right?
When you get 80, do you want to regret the fact that you missed out on the world? Missed out on damn real experiences?
It's sad that the society we live in today feels so safe that most of us won't leave it... because it's safe!
But if you're going to live a safe life, where's the fun?
When was the last time you felt really alive?
... Take the step and you'll never regret it!
Click on this link to find out more! :-)
If you are itching to go backpacking even though you're still studying or working - GO!
All my life I've been told that having a fulltime job and family is the way to happiness, and that backpacking is a waste of time and money.
I was one of those who were raised strictly to think that education and a job would be my primary goals in life. A pretty narrow-minded way of thinking.
But don't get me wrong... I strongly believe that education and a job are important.
But what about adventures and new experiences, is not that part of happiness as well?
-- In my opinion it is happiness.
I hope that this page has helped you get to know me, the editor and owner of this website, about the motives and the goals of Backpacking Tips Asia.
I hope you enjoy my website as much as I love writing it!
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions and/or feedback regarding Backpacking-Tips-Asia.com, feel free to contact me.
Do you want all the updates? Follow me on Facebook! ;-)
To keep this website alive, I have written ebooks which I sell at affordable prices. I've sold so many of these babies, and I'm thankful for that! :-)
If you're interested in travel ebooks, you can check these out. They're all written by me :-)
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