Interview with Ma Ya

You quit your job, cancel the flat and leave your friends for a world travel – are you crazy?
  • We make our dreams come true. Crazy is who don’t do this!
  • Well… I don’t think this is crazy. Job, flat these are things you can find new when you need. I’m sure I’ll miss my friends, I’ll write them cards, and hey, I’ll meet new people! When we somehow stay contact, then we are forever friends.

How long has it been since you have this dream?

  • Since I saw this world when I was born, maybe! I am always curious to explore the world. And I never give it up.
  • We are surrounded by a fascinating wounder called life. Every time I look at flowers, ants or landscape carefully I feel the wish to see more of it.

Why other countries fascinate you?

  • It is very interesting how people from other cultures manage the challenges of daily life. Sometimes they have great solutions that are unfortunately totally unknown at our culture.
  • The differences. The people, the culture and the story coming up with it. Of course the beauties of the world are amazing. I also want to feel and to be touched from the spirit of stories once I read in literature.

For how long you will be on the journey?

  • As long as we enjoy traveling. Currently planed is one year South America and then we will see.

Why do you want to travel for such a long time?

  • But why not?
  • The life is short and the world is huge. With normal holidays to much will stay undiscovered.

How do you finance your travel?

  • We live quite simple so we normally need less than 1000€/month together on travel. A rough view into the underground parking shows that a lot of people have the resources but use it different.

Tell us why travel is so important for you.

  • Backpacking has a variety of faces. Some day you have time to relax, another day you accidentally find something cool and exciting. Sometimes you meet interesting people, and sometimes you meet all the shit. I think that is why the variegated backpacking attractive me.
  • I think curiosity is just a component of me, and it move me to travel. Then I feel I’m really alive. It’s like some need big car, some need religion.

For such a long journey you must pack lots of clothes which each season requires, right?

  • I use the onion concept. When it is warm I wear a single piece, when it is cold wear all I have.
  • Well, one jacket, one winter cap, one sun hat, and two different material scarfs would be useful. Our plan is actually a seasonal migration: November in Argentina then go south when in Patagonia it getting warm. Moving back northwards when it’s getting cool. Staying nearby Equator during the south winter. When the Southern Hemisphere getting warm again, visiting Oceania.

What do you absolutely want to take with you?

  • Preferred nothing as everything you need to carry will be a burden soon!
  • Suncream! For me to not get too brown is as important as to travel.

What do you miss most on the travel?

  • Real German sourdough bread with seeds. I hate these global available weak toasts.
  • Delicious food from Mom! And my girl friends who listen to me after I argued with Marcel, haha!

You surely get sometimes new tastes. What was the most delicious one?

  • For me it is cardamom, a great spice. I got it first time at Lao with a banana pancake. Today it is essential in our kitchen and is used regularly for any kind of dessert.
  • One thing I do want to eat again is chickpea-tofu from middle Myanmar. It was slice cut, mix together with chili oil, rice vinegar, and other spices as a salad. So nutty delicious!

And beside food, what do you bring home from your journey?

  • A lot of new stories, memories and new experiences I never want to miss again.
  • Memories and a new view. The way how I think or how I understand the things would be changed after every journey.

What have been the most impressive travel experience so far?

  • Oh, let me think. There were quite a lot, but the most impressive one is … maybe the next.

And the strangest?

  • Buying a train ticket in India. You first get A4 formula where you must enter your full personals as well as those from your parents and the number of the train you want to take. Only when the form is completely filled, the previously inquired train number is entered into the computer, the ticket is printed out and form is thrown out in the trash.
  • It was in south Venezuela near to the boarder with Brazil. Just after we got exchange money in the handbag, came a pair of young mans on the motorbike and tried to rob us. We got no time to think or scare and acted. I kicked one of them, meanwhile Marcel push their motorbike and yelled. It’s very fast everything. We had luck because they seems not expect our defences and didn’t come closer. But it happen just on the street in the daytime, though it was nearly nothing bad, the shops nearby us all dropped down their shutters in lightning speed.

What inspire you to write a travel blog?

  • We have a lot of good and curious friends and we don’t want to withhold the coolest stories. And of course to record and later to recall some moments for the elderly Ma and Ya.

What do you plan to write about?

  • About beautiful landscape, interesting encounters, worldly wisdom and bizarre experiences.
  • I can’t write a lot, I know I’m too lazy to type. The most time I goanna show you some pictures with short descriptions. By the way, due to our basic English knowledge, I’m native Chinese speaker and Marcel’s native is German, there will be most posts only one or two languages.

What may be your travel advice for others?

  • Have less plans and reserve some time to talk with locals. They know best what makes their country unforgettable.
  • Decide before you think, think before you go.

What are your other hobbies beside traveling?

  • Playing – this world is a great playground where you can discover a lot.
  • Reading, playing boardgames, DIY crafts, cooking and swimming.

Which character of you partner do you like most?

  • That she is as crazy as me.
  • I like Marcel as he plays and retains the inner child, but also steady appreciates all the gifts from the nature.