“Travel Girls” ·Interview with Erin·

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train

Hey there and welcome to my Travelers Interviews project.

Here you can read stories from travelers. How they survive long/short term travels, their tips etc.

Hi there! My name is Erin Elizabeth Hynes. I am 27 years old, and live in Toronto, Canada. Having completed a masters degree in Cinema and Media Studies in Spring 2016, I quit my serving job to travel across Asia with my partner.






1.”When did you start traveling and did you plan that long travel from the beginning?” 

I started traveling when I was 17. Since then I have done a mixture of trips: From weekends all the way up to 8 month long trips. Right now I am traveling Asia, and when I get home it will have been 8 months. I usually manage to travel several times a year.

2. “How did you travel for so long(IF)? I mean, did you work in the meantime or you saved all the money before you started traveling?”

When I am not traveling I work two jobs, which is how I save the funds for my trips. I always save a chunk of money before I travel. To afford my current 8 month long trip, I worked and saved money for about 6 months. On a previous trip, I worked for my keep in hostels in Italy.


3. “Traveling alone or with company?”

I have traveled mostly alone, a little bit with friends. Now I am traveling with my partner.


4. “How You came to be a female/male solo traveler?”

I became a solo traveler at 17, because although my friends said they wanted to travel, they never committed to saving the money. I didnt want to give up my traveling dreams just because no one would come with me… So I went alone.


5. “Do you ever get lonely or bored traveling alone?”
It is rare that i have felt lonely while solo traveling. I always meet people in hostels, and often join up with other travelers when we are heading along the same route.


6. “What if you come home early because of homesickness or if You run out of money?”
Coming home always feels good. I get to see family and friends again, and I can start thinking about where I want to go next!


7. “Have you ever had any bad experience on the road? If yes where, and what happened?”
I have had many bad experiences. I was assaulted by a young boy in Morocco, lost my debit and credit cards in Vietnam, and had an anaphylactic attack which put me in a hospital in Australia.


8. “What’s your favorite place so far?”

My favourite place in the world is Cuba.


9. “What home comfort do you miss the most?”

My own bed.


10. “Who is the most interesting person you’ve met so far?”
In Bosnia and Herzogovina I met an elderly man in a tea shop. He spoke more than 10 languages and had been all over the world.


11. “Toilets: squat or Western?”



12. “What was your most embarrassing moment while traveling?”

Accidentally taking a train to Valencia, Italy when I meant to go to Valencia, Spain.


13. “What have you brought on the way, that you haven’t used?”

I always end up bringing a nice dress, and never wearing it.


14. “What has been the most useful item you’ve brought on the way?”

On my current Asia trip, my most useful item is my plug splitter. I can always charge more than one thing at a time.


15. “What’s the best piece of travel advice you’ve received?”

Travel light.


16. “What’s the worst piece of travel advice you’ve received?”

“Don’t go there, it isn’t safe”. People telling me this impedes my confidence in my own ability. It has often made me needlessly afraid.


17. “What’s your top travel tip?”

Don’t rush yourself. Take you time everywhere you go rather than jam packing your days


18. “How did your relatives felt about your trip?”

It varies. My parents were very supportive of my trip to Europe. But they were worried when I decided to go to Turkey, Costa Rica and Morocco. They were very against me going to Myanmar. They thought it was reckless to go because of the volatile political situation there.


19. “What’s the longest you’ve been away from home?”

The longest i have been away is 10 months.


20. “What’s your dream job?”

My dream job is to be a curator/programmer for an international film festival.


21. “How are you documenting your trip(IF)?” 

I always write a personal journal. I am very dedicated to my instagram account: @pina_elizabeth. I also write travel articles for pressedmag.ca


22. “What’s been the weirdest thing you’ve seen?”

I saw bodies being cremated over an open fire along the Rivee Ganges in Varanasi, India. Unforgettable.


23. “What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt?”

My own strength. Traveling (especially alone) has tested and devleoped my independence and confidence.


24. “What has surprised you about yourself?”

My ability to adapt to difficult living and commuting situations (packed hostels, dirty hotels, cramped busses and trains etc)


25. “Dorm or private room?” 

Dorm – becase it is cheaper, and you meet people.


26. “Do you call yourself traveller or backpacker?” 

I call myself both. I am a traveler who’s style of travel is backpacking.


27. “What can’t you travel without and why?”

I cannot travel without a neck pillow. I sleep with one every night. And it makes uncomfortable busses and trains way better.


28. “What home comfort do you miss the most?”

Right now I miss western food and warm showers.


29. “How many gadgets are you carrying? Which is your favorite?”

I carry a smartphone and a camera. I love both equally.


30. “Strict schedule or go with the flow?”

Go with the flow, always.


31. “Beer or wine?”



32. “Street food or restaurant?”

A mixture.


33. “What is your favorite street food so far?”

Its a tie between Burmese paratha and chai tea in India.


34. “How often do you try the local food?”

I have severe food allergies which always inhibits me from trying local food. But whenever it is safe to eat local, I do.


35. “What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done so far?”

Spending two days driving through desert down to the Moroccan Sahara, and then riding by camel out to a camp.


36. “City or countryside?”

A mixture.


37. “Do you prefer to walk, take a public transport or private transport?” 

I walk and take public transport as much as possible. Saves money, and you get to see how the locals get around!


38. “What destination(s) have you found to be overrated?”

I found Siem Reap and Angkor Wat overrated.


39. “Do you read on the way or rather watch movies? Your last book/movie?”

Mixture. Last book was The Kite Runner. Last movie was 16 Candles.


40. “How much stuff have you lost?”

Oh man. I have lost so much stuff.


41. “How much stuff have you left on the way cos of the overweight of your luggage?”

Not anything, I always travel light.


42. “Have you ever been scammed? How and where?”

Not too often. In Turkey a cab driver switched out a bill that I handed him, demanding that I pay him more. But I usually read up on local scams so I know what to avoid.


43. “What do you wish you’d brought to travel, that you haven’t?”

I usually bring my DSLR Nikon camera. I didn’t on this long haul trip, and I often wish I had.


44. “How do you stay safe on the road?”

I never walk around with my phone or a map in my hand. I walk with purpose. I always have my bags locked. Never leave my things unattended. I always research the country I am in so I am aware of any political strife or conflicts occuring there.


45. “Have you met someone on the road, that you’ve “clicked” with so good, to start traveling together?” 

Many times! I have several great friends that I met while traveling. Seven years ago I met a handsome guy in a hostel on a Greek island. We remained friends all those years. Now, he is my boyfriend, and we are traveling across asia together!


46. “Is it hard for you to get along with other travelers? If YES, why? If NOT, briefly write how do you do that?”
No. I love chatting with people. Learning about where they are from, hearing about their travels. I find it easy to connect with other travelers because we are all passionate about the same thing.


47. “How do you communicate with locals, if they do not speak English?”

I learn enough of the local language, or use google translate. When need be, try to communicate with my hands!


48. “Is there anything, that you would change about your travel/s, if you could start from the beginning and having all this traveling experience?”

No, I wouldnt change a thing.


49. “How would you describe yourself in 3 words?”

Silly, introspective, confident.


50. “Who would win in a fight: a polar bear with a rifle, or a Barbie with a laser gun?”

Barbie with a laser. Girl power.


Wanna see more? Go, read, enjoy!


Wanna be interviewed? Contact me here.

Did you learn anything from those travelers? Questions? Comment your feelings/worries about traveling. 

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