I’m happy to announce that today’s post is an interview with Ragnhild from Green Lights Ahead. Ragnhild is a blogger from Norway who has just finished a Gap Year and is currently in nursing school. Among her many hobbies, she has a passion for travel, which really comes through in her awesome blog where she details some of the truly amazing adventures she has been on.
You can check out her blog and read all about her adventures at https://greenlightsahead.wordpress.com
Hello Ragnhild, and thank you for speaking with me today. It sounds like you have a really interesting life! Can you tell my readers a little bit more about who you are and what your blog is about?
Hello, Heather! Thank you for having me! I’m a cat-loving dancer, obsessive Netflix-watcher and traveler at heart. I started blogging to share my experiences. As of right now, most of my content revolves around Norway, except for the odd trip here and there. I like to hear my readers opinion on world news and to take pictures.
Your blog mentions that you volunteered with animals in Namibia in 2015. What was that like?
That was like a roller coaster. People always tell you that volunteering is amazing – they met so many great people, and just had the time of their lives. Which was true for me too, most of the time, but I was also scarred (physically) for life and had many sleepless nights. It was hard work from day one.
You’ve also volunteered with animals in Australia. Tell me about your time there.
This was a smaller roller coaster. Most of the time I loved it there. It was mostly just the crocs I had to watch out for, so I was much more relaxed. I also had much more free time than I did in Namibia, so I got to explore and try experiences like river rafting (which was super cool!)
You have traveled to a lot of different places. Which was your favorite?
I honestly can’t choose. However, if you allow my five, I think they would be: Scotland, Iceland, Australia, the US and England. All are places I would like to return to.
Any places you didn’t care for as much?
Not really. I believe that a trip is what you make it. Besides, I usually travel with other people, and if I’m surrounded with friends I could have been anywhere and had fun.
Where else have you been?
France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Croatia, Austria, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Mexico.
Traveling is my passion, and if I stay in Norway for too long I get restless.
Any funny stories from traveling?
It wasn’t funny at the time, but I once slept outside to watch over some cheetah cubs, and in the middle of the night I woke up by suddenly feeling weirdly warm at the top of my head. One of the cubs was sitting half on top of it and peeing.
Any memorable “out of your comfort zone” moments?
Many. Some of them amazing, some of them horrible. One of the first that comes to mind is my interaction with baboons in Namibia. This was painful the first month (they have sharp teeth), but eventually they accepted me as one of their troop. If I had never gone out of my comfort zone and dared to face them, I would never have gotten all the memories I have playing with them.
One thing you can’t travel without?
My noise-cancelling earphones. After I started traveling further, a good pair became a must. They block babies crying, people snoring and (if turbulence) the sound of vomit. My flight to Australia would have been a nightmare without them.
If you were offered an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?
I guess Space doesn’t count? I would love to go to Antarctica. It’s almost untouched by humans, and the nature and wildlife seems otherworldly. Hopefully I will get a chance to go in the future; before it melts away – even though it is insanely expensive.
Do you have any travel tips you would like to share?
Always remember that it’s okay not to be okay. If you feel homesick that’s normal. If you don’t want to jump out of an airplane, even though “everyone” else is doing it, that’s okay. Spend time figuring out why you travel and what you want from a trip before you leave – this way you can do what you really want to instead of what you think you should do.
What do you love the most about traveling?
The way that it makes me feel. When I travel I am constantly ambiguous. I sometimes both hate and love it. Traveling challenges me to my very core, and yet gives me experiences I would never ever be without. New places, new people – new opportunities to feel alive and grateful, and sometimes to just satisfy my restless heart – that is why I travel.
Why should people travel?
I think people should travel for the same reason I want to go to Russia – to see beautiful landscapes, and to meet other cultures. We are fed certain opinions of certain groups of people through the media, and nothing more effectively vanquishes prejudice than actually speaking to the those people that you have prejudged.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now I am studying to become a nurse. When I have finished and gotten some experience, I wish to work for Doctors without Borders, or a similar organization. I would face new challenges every day, meet new people and cultures – and I would make a real difference. All while traveling.
You can check out Ragnhild’s blog and read all about her adventures at https://greenlightsahead.wordpress.com/