|Name: Hannah Lisa Mang |
Hard to remember… I think it was early 2011 when I had a Lisbon trip planned (and booked!) with a friend and then she bailed on me. I still went by myself and ended up having an absolutely amazing time. I was 23 back then
Type of accommodation
I love a mix of hostel and then really fancy airbnbs or sometimes hotels. I love hostels to meet people and make connections. But then I also love my luxury 5-star experience, so I always do “the best of both worlds”, Hannah-Montana-style.
What is your favorite type of traveling? How do you like to travel?
Coming from Europe, I love far away, exotic destinations. I’m a beach girl through and through so you’ll find me in Costa Rica, the beaches of Asia or even New Zealand. But most of all I love variety, so I do city trips as well, road trips, crazy adventures, you name it. Ironically and even though I’m a super frequent flyer, I don’t love flying…. But I endure it because it gets me to the best and most incredible places in the world.
Are you a planner or you do everything as you go while traveling?
My motto is “have a plan and be flexible”.
But I’m definitely more on the go-with-the-flow, adventurous, spontaneous side! I am famous for booking flights less than 24 hours in advance, notorious for not getting on my return flights and pretty much changing everything, all the time.
Sometimes it gets a bit chaotic, but I’ve found that everything always works out in the end… And I always have great stories to tell 😉
As a woman, being a solo traveler, are you not scared?
That’s a great question and I get this one a lot. The short answer is no, most of the time.
I’ve found that there is an abundance of kind people out there who are happy to help, especially when you are alone.
I’ve had suitcases carried onto boats for me by random strangers, I’ve been invited on rides when the train broke down and I was stranded, I’ve shared meals, taxis, Ubers and whatnot with strangers, I’ve been invited to stay at houses by people I literally just met and so on. Sure…. All of this could have ended badly. But when you trust your intuition, things tend to work out and you might just be surprised over the kindness of people.
I will say though: I do follow certain rules, I am never wreckless (at least I try) and I would never knowingly put myself in any dangerous situation. Share a drink with the nice guy I just met on the bus on my visa run to nicaragua? Yes. Accept “a cookie” from a sketchy dude who gives off a strange vibe just to be polite? Hard no.
You get the picture 😉
Have you ever felt in danger while traveling?
I’ve been to some sketchy places and ended up in a few sketchy situations over the years, but I don’t think I’ve even been in real danger. Like I said, follow certain rules and you’ll be fine.
If everyone tells you, you shouldn’t go to the beach at night… DON’T go the beach at night! Things like that, you know? I’ve met a lot of people who DID end up in dangerous situations, got robbed and so on, but it was almost always because they didn’t follow certain guidelines.
Do you believe that travel as a woman is harder? Is it different for man traveling solo?
It hasn’t been in my experience. But I will admit that there are certain things that might feel “harder” or more dangerous as a woman. Especially when it comes to going out at night alone. I hardly ever do that. I do it here in Costa Rica, in the small town that I’ve spent almost 2 years in in total. But I know a lot of people and I don’t walk alone when I go home.
Other than that, I’d only go out in a group with people I met at a hostel for example. Or depending on the place, of course.
Why did you start traveling? What inspired you?
I always wanted to see more of the world. Getting to know places, people, cultures is the most amazing thing to me, so I guess I’ve always felt the call. It wasn’t so much an outside influence that inspired me to travel, it was more of an inner longing to explore and expand.
How do you choose your next destination?
Most of the time… it chooses me 😉
It always happens somewhat guided…. Like I get invited by someone or I see an event I want to go to and so on. I do have destinations on my bucket list but most of the time I end up not going there and doing something completely different, because it pops up and I have to say yes.
What was your best trip so far, why?
Very tough question. I don’t think I have *one* favorite trip. I am a digital nomad, so I literally live on the road and every place I go to has something special.
I do love Costa Rica though and keep coming back here every year since 2015. In 2019 I came here by myself for the first time and it was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I ended up staying for 6 months and as I’m writing this (from Costa Rica) I’ve already spent another 6 months here in 2020 😀
What was your worst trip so far, why?
I don’t have any terrible trip experiences where I just wanted to get the hell out. I did a few small Europe trips last year, for example to Mallorca and Sicily with my family and I was kind of shocked and sad because they were both CRAWLING with tourists. To an extent where you couldn’t walk streets and every single restaurant felt like a tourist trap. So much so that I legit didn’t understand where the locals would go to eat? It was just too much for me and it felt like these places were being exploited like crazy, so I wouldn’t wanna repeat that.
What is your best story, best moment or someone who marked your life while travelling?
Wow. So many. I guess one significant trip was Mexico 2014 – I went to an event and ended up meeting people who became some of my best friends in the world. In particular I met a girl (simply because people kept confusing us and always called me “Lisa” and her “Hannah”). We bumped into each other on a sunset boat cruise, where she saw my face and was like “omg you must be Hannah!”. We then randomly ended up staying in Mexico together for 2 additional weeks. 3 weeks later she came to visit me in Vienna (she’s from LA) and we spent New Year’s Eve together. A few weeks after that I gave up my house, sold my car, packed 2 suitcases and stayed with her in LA for a month. Since then we’ve been to Thailand, Croatia, Macedonia, Costa Rica, and many more places together. We’ve also been working together for the last 5 years, building businesses whilst traveling the world. She’s like my twin sister and I don’t remember life without her. What a great idea it was to go to Mexico by myself 😉
Has traveling changed your life or you as a person?
Both 100%. I am way more flexible, open and relaxed as a person. Where I would stress out and try to control things in the past, I can now just relax and trust that everything works out. If things don’t work out the way I planned, I stay calm (most of the time lol), take a deep breath and make new plans. That was definitely not something I was used to before traveling.
Also being more open and speaking to people has become easier for me. Being more tolerant and getting to know different cultures opened up my mind so much and definitely made me a better person.
Do you have any tips that you would like to share with other travellers?
Keep your mind and heart open because that’s where the magic really happens. Yes, it sounds cliche but it’s so true and can totally change your life if you actually do it 😉
Any advice for other women who wants to travel?
Take care of course, but don’t be scared to do it. Always trust your gut and if something doesn’t feel right, know that it probably isn’t. On the other hand don’t trust your mind when your gut is giving you a clear yes, that’s how the mind will talk you out of something potentially amazing!
|As a solo traveler and woman, my main goal is to inspire other women and to let people know about our power around the world. Sharing experiences and adventures.|
Hope you liked this interview, and many thanks to Hannah for sharing with all of us her adventures and her life 🙂
What about you? Do you have any stories to share?
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