Timi on brave journeys and providential meetings

Zlatko Najdenovski
05 March, 2021

After a longer silence from our community, Timi surprised us by showing up and sharing some stories from her life. She is originally from Latvia, but 7 years ago moved to North Macedonia.

Can you tell us a bit more about you?

Timi: On a daily basis, I speak in 4 languages (Latvian, English, Macedonian, and Russian) and am currently learning the 5th—Spanish. Not to even mention that I can understand Serbian which means I am also familiar with Montenegrin and Croatian. People that don’t know me so well are quite surprised when I tell them that I am not a digital nomad or a backpacker because that’s the first thing that pops up in their minds when they see my social media activities that clearly say, “She’s again traveling!”

What is your life about?

Timi: My life actually is really intense because I am having 8 to 6 work at the office which quite often knows to turn into 8 to 10. But here comes the trick: I am an IT Project Manager, and being a manager is where my heart lies. With all this said, my personal life is also a project and managed with the same level of responsibility as any of my projects at work.

And why do you travel?

Timi: The first and the foremost reason is my hobbies. I am not a person that travels to see as many tourist places or objects as possible, instead, I am always looking for a unique experience and how to blend into the local culture. In wintertime, my travels are always related to places where I can be up on the mountain and snowboard, if there is an ice skating rink, even better. In the summertime, it is surfing, paddle-boarding, wakeboarding, and social dancing. Despite my primary reason and beyond my activities, I enjoy meeting new people, exploring the local culture, etc., but that’s just an addition to my journey.

The truth is, I never have a plan nor I make comprehensive research before I go to a new place. Before I arrive, the only thing that I know is where I will stay and I have a downloaded google offline map. When I arrive I say this mantra: “Let the journey begin!”. Never ever it has disappointed me and my travels always have exceeded any of my expectations.

Zlatko: This is indeed what our Tribevibers Cathy, Gábor, Mai, Simon, and Lynn resonate with. When we remove expectations from a forthcoming journey, the journey can provide us more than our limited mind has imagined.

Where do you usually stay during your travels?

Timi: It depends on the situation but in most cases, I am staying at my friends' places because I have them all over the world or in hostels. In very rare situations I would choose to stay in a hotel or apartment because I am a solo traveler and it’s more fun when other travellers surround you, share the stories, and quite often we’ve enjoyed our time together doing the same activities.

Can you share something interesting that happened to you during your travels?

Timi: Two years ago I was traveling back from Portugal and because of a storm in Lisbon and a delayed flight to Istanbul, I missed my flight to Skopje. The airline provided free accommodation until the next flight and I needed to find a hotel help desk at the airport. I was so exhausted, I was unable to focus or to think properly. I passed all security checks and here I was on the Turkish side where I needed to find that place. The very next second someone grabbed my hand, I turned around and saw an airport employee, he smiled and just flat out, “You’re looking for a hotel support desk, right?” I said, “Yes.” So he provided me with guidance and I settled down everything.

Things always fall into a place. People who are meant for you—and I am calling them my guardian angels—will always appear in front of your face. You can call it an apparent coincidence, but it’s not.

Timi: Two years later, meaning in 2021, in the new Turkish airport, I asked some random airport employee a question on how to get out. That was the same guy, he recognised me and, of course, again helped me with guidance. And this is just one of such cases during my travels.

How has the Corona situation impacted your life somehow?

Timi: I’ve also been traveling in the COVID-19 period and under these circumstances, I am paying more attention to all precautions, measurements, restrictions, rules, etc. I am sorry that I cannot visit my friends and vice versa because some countries still have traveling restrictions, but this doesn’t change the fact that traveling is possible. I know that by the time when all this will be over, meeting each other will be an even more special moment.

Zlatko: Exactly! Which is why we can‘t wait to launch the Tribevibe app exactly at the moment when people are going to urge for these special moments.

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Has traveling changed your life?

Timi: I wouldn’t say that traveling has changed my life, but it has a meaningful influence. I’ve met so many interesting people, a lot of them have become my friends. I’ve learned a lot about myself, have brought home new food recipes, picked up new languages, etc. The entire experience is worthwhile and it’s not possible to point out separate things. And yet, at some point traveling does change your life!

Before we let you go, do you have a message for our travellers?

Timi: I could share just a couple of points that I’ve discovered for myself to be useful.

1. Always have travel insurance.

2. Never wait for someone to travel, do it on your own. There are so many people outside and even if you are the most introverted person, for that case there are plenty enough extroverts that will make the first step.

3. No expectations, go explore and be thankful for every moment.

4. Always leave information to your family or the best friend, where you go, where you stay even with whom you plan to be or to meet. If necessary share FB profile details and any other that might be helpful if you are in trouble.

5. Have a local guide or at least ask some local person, even if it’s just a waiter in a random restaurant, which areas are safe and which are not.

6. Be mindful and respect the place, would it be related to cultural differences, accommodation, or rules. Don’t forget, you’re a guest.

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As an experienced traveller, if you could share some bits of advices for our Tribevibers, what would that be?

Timi: I just want to encourage all those who have an opinion that traveling is expensive and that’s the main reason why they are not doing it. Well, you can spend thousands of euros on a one-week trip, but you can also not. Smart planning is the main key when it comes down to your budget. Find the best possible option for your tickets and bear in mind that the cheapest ones at the first sight might not be the best possible deal. Check what’s included in the price to avoid any hidden expenses.

Timi: The next step is to find a place where to stay. It doesn’t matter what type of accommodation you would be looking for, location is essential. Depending on your planned activities, stay as close as possible to your target area so that you can save money on transportation. For example, when I go for my social dancing trips, I am always staying one or two blocks away from the dance club or studio, so that I don’t need to worry about spending a lot of money on a taxi. Any other activities I can plan according to my budget.

Last but not least: Stay safe and brave!

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