Clare - 1991 Traveller

Clare on the top of a truck in Bhaktapur - Nepal.
Clare started her travelling career in 1991 and the next 4 - 5 years she spent all her time travelling only taking small breaks so she could save up more money to go travelling again.

Lives in

Copenhagen - Denmark. Born and raised in England.

Daily occupation

Clare works with products and training in KILROY's main office in Copenhagen. This means that Clare is responsible for motivating and training KILROY's travel experts in the diverse range of products that KILROY sells.

Backpacking experience

Clare has (almost) seen it all. After she finished a bachelor degree she spent almost a year working on a Kibbutz in Israel. After that she spent a little time saving up money and then she headed to Africa where she spent one year hitch hiking and travelling her way through South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Malawi. Clare was in South Africa the day before the apartheid regime ended. It didn't affect her travel plans and in general the Africans were excited about the change.

After travelling around Africa on a tight budget Clare decided to head back to London and save up money so she could head out again. On her next trip she headed east and went to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Australia and New Zealand.

"When I got home, I got a job at a travel agency and went travelling for short periods lasting up to a month, whenever I could find the time and the money. During this period I travelled a lot in South, Central and North America. I also saw a bit of the northern parts of Africa."

Planning

"Without internet there weren't that many ways to plan ahead. You could book your flight tickets, but after that everything just happened on the road. I think there was a lot more one-on-one communication back then. Whenever I was on a long distance bus I talked to other travelers and got their advice on places to stay and things to do."

Communication then and now

"A Poste Restante office was the only place you could receive mail from friends and family, however they were just located in post offices in the big cities. I remember I travelled all the way from Namibia back to Cape Town and then back up to Zimbabwe, just to collect my mail. It was normal to see people sitting outside the post office opening their parcels and letters, sometimes crying, they just couldn't wait to open their mail."

"Mail was almost the only way to communicate; I think I might have called home twice in a year. It was too expensive to make phone calls when you were on a tight backpacker budget."
clare-poste-restante.jpg 

Best and worst travel experience

"I think hitch hiking through both Africa and Australia gave me some of my best travel experiences. I met such a diverse group of people. Hitch hiking was a brilliant way to travel back then because you met people from every walk of life. In Africa it was very unusual to see white people hitch hiking and we received many lifts from white South Africans who were worried about our safety, some people even invited us to stay. We were also lucky enough to get lifts from poor farm workers and long distance truck drivers which gave us a small insight into all the different levels of society."

"I also had one of my worst experiences as a hitch hiker. My friend and I were on the back of a pickup when the driver started suggesting he take a short cut. We started to get a bad feeling about the guy and when the pickup slowed down we jumped off, fortunately he continued on his way but it was a pretty nerve wracking experience."

Countries visited

Israel, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, USA (West/East and Alaska), Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong (China), Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Greece, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Barbados, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Republic of Bophuthatswana (now a part of South Africa), Poland, Hungary and Germany.

Advice for other world travellers

"The journey is more important than the destination."