Christian Lindgren, a Norwegian globe-trotter, quit his studies at the age of 18, to travel around the world. Having traveled to more than 97 countries, he feels his journey has just commenced.
Chris, 27, shares his incredible experiences in an exclusive interview with HolidayMe. He takes us through the amazing journey he has had while giving advice to our readers on why, how and where to travel…
Q.1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Chris: Born and raised in a small town in southern Norway, as a kid I was always pushing the limits to see how far I could go, hence going out and exploring has always felt natural to me. So, when I quit my study and instead decided to travel, it felt completely normal for me.
Sometimes, I wish that I was born some hundred years ago, so I could have been one of the first pioneers to discover some of the blank spots that was still there on the map.
Q.2. How did this all begin? What convinced you to start travelling?
Chris: – I went on my first trip when I was 18, my first destination was India with a one-way ticket! I ended up spending about 6 months there, before I moved on to a new destination.
Q.3. What are your favourite destinations around the world? Where would you want to travel to, again?
Chris: – I really like Iran. It has the some of the friendliest people in the world; the complete opposite image of what the Western media tries to tell us. They also have one of the richest history in the world, replete with amazing nature and surroundings, which are really easy to get away to from the touristy areas. Yes! Iran, does get a lot of western tourists, too.
I am also a big fan of Nepal and I try to visit the country atleast once a year.
Q.4. Share some experiences that still keeps you awake at night! Something that gave you goosebumps, yet you would want to do it again?
Chris: – I would do everything I have done again, but I have also had some huge problems on the road, the problems normally include corrupt police or border guards. But, the last place that gave me the WOW feeling was Larung Gar, in western Sichuan province in China. I have been wanting to visit that place for years after I saw some photos of that place in a guesthouse in China, but I always got held up because of bad weather. And finally late in December last year, I managed to get there, and was not disappointed at all.
Q.5. Any advice for our readers? Which destinations should be the absolute must on your list?
Chris: – I always tell people they should visit Iran. If they do so, they will get very surprised as to how different the country is from what is portrayed. With the sanctions now getting lifted, it’s just going to become more and more popular.
Central Asia is also a great destination that i have been lucky to visit twice, but it’s a fast developing area with a lot more tourists vising every year. In about 3 years between my first and second visit, the development in the region was massive.
Ethiopia is another country I am a big fan of. It is probably the most interesting country in Africa when it comes to culture. The living costs are dirt cheap, it’s easy to get around, while the only setback is the steep ticket prices for the sights.
Q.6. Apart from the usual, what are the things that one needs to be careful about while travelling?
Chris: – There’s a great quote by a man called James Michener:
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
And I find that very relevant when it comes to safety, respect the locals and they will respect you.
Treat the locals as idiots and they will screw you over.
Q.7. What are the places which remain on your bucket list?
Chris: – Papua New Guinea has been my dream destination for years now, alongwith Madagascar.
Papua New Guinea is probably my next big adventure, but i am going to do it properly, about 3 months, with no guide and only local transport.
Socotra Island outside of Yemen, is also high on my bucket list. The ancient ruins of Mada’in Saleh in Saudi Arabia is one of the main historical sights to visit on my bucket list now.
And of and of course, Antarctica, is left to explore.
Q.8. What is one thing/story from your travels that has stayed with you over the years?
Chris: – The first time i saw Mount Everest, I was left shell-shocked. I have been lucky to visit Mount Everest thrice now, once from the Tibet side and twice from Nepal. And, I will keep coming back to visit it again and again.
Q.9. How difficult/easy is the idea of quitting a full-time job and traversing around the world?
Chris: – For me the idea of quitting my study was the easiest decision in the world, and during my travels I have met a lot of people who are doing the same. I also know some people who have quit their full-time job, to travel and most of them have travelled more than I have.
I just think that people that tend to travel alot keep a much lower profile, than people that travel to touristy places! Most of us don’t have a blog/website, because it’s actually a lot of work while traveling. Even today wifi facility is not common in a lot of places. So when going of the tourist trails, it can take weeks before we are online again.
Q.10. What is a normal day in the life of Chris like? What apart from travel, for you?
Chris: – I never have a normal day, sometimes I am stuck in the middle of the jungle for hours in the same spot waiting for any kind transport out of there, fighting mosquitoes and other bugs, and then the next day, i can be spending hours’ online backing up my photos in a restaurant.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.
Q.11. Tell us a bit about your blog site. How has it helped you make your name in the world of travel domain?
Chris: – I never ever thought about making my own travel blog till a few months ago. People have always told me that I should do it, but it wasn’t before a good friend from back home in Norway convinced me to do it.
And it seems that is was something that was missing online, I have received a lot of emails since my blog got online from other experienced travellers who were tired of just seeing the same destinations in blogs online, and they can now get info about places that not to many other travellers have been to yet.
Q.12. Your popular videos, images and anything else that you would like to share?
Q. 13. Have you been on the HolidayMe website and blog? A word on it, should be great?
Chris: – Yes, I been on your blogs a few times looking around for ideas where to go next.