TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF
Hi, my name is Jasmijn and I am a Dutch girl from Groningen. I left this beautiful city to explore the world on my own. It’s been two years since I took off and right now I am in Uruguay. I try not to be in a hurry with my travels, because I like to feel the culture of a country. After all, it is not only about travel, to me life itself is the journey of many travels!
On social media you find me under the name MijnJas.
Also on my website: www.mijnjas.com you’ll find more information about my journey on this beautiful planet.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED NOW? WHY DID YOU PICK THIS DESTINATION?
So, I am here in Uruguay, living in a small place called La Esmeralda (The Emerald), it was named so for it’s natural beauty and gorgeous coastline. It’s a very small coastal town close to the Brazilian border. I have traveled to many places here and I have experienced it really is a wonderful country. Also safe and easy to travel around and it is not yet overrun by the tourists. The beaches are just so pure and pretty. The people are friendly and helpful and I feel safe. Another reason why I chose Uruguay is the unspoiled nature. Much of it is virgin coast and coastal forest. I feel there is a realistic chance here to protect the nature by initiating cooperation with people who would like to invest in properties and help preserve the natural fauna by Eco-friendly developments instead of huge hotels and tourist resorts.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF THIS LOCATION?
Pros: Freedom, safety, kindness and pureness. These words come to mind immidiatly when I think of Uruguay. Here you can be who you like to be. You can build your life as you like and people don’t judge you here. They are who they are and they accept who you are. To me that’s also part of real freedom.
Cons: Uruguay can be a little bit slow and things takes time. Uruguayans like to help you, but it has to be easy. When matters get complicated they’ll refer you to another person at another counter, and from there to the next one. But, always very polite and friendly. However, it does take a lot of energy and time, while nobody seems to be able to explain why it has to be like this.
DURING YOUR TRAVELS, WHAT WAS THE WORST MOMENT?
In Buenos Aires I got attacked by a few men in a hostel. It was not a nice hostel and they tried to steel all my stuff. It was in the first week of my journey, so that was not really a nice start. I stood up for myself and refused to be victimised, so they took nothing and I survived without deep wounds. But it is something which I will not forget.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST BEAUTIFUL MEMORY?
I had a wonderful moment in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. I was talking with a homeless man who was selling handmade jewlery. He told me his life story and it was so impressive that I wanted to talk more with him. I invited him out for dinner and we talked the whole evening. He was a very big inspiration for me which gave me a huge energy boost. At the end of the evening he ask me to merry him! I had to say ‘no’ but the meaning behind this was so beautiful, he had finally met someone who saw him as an equal, a person, and not just someone who is homeless.
This was a beautiful moment. There are other moments that I will never forget. Like the sunrises in the National Park Santa Teresa. The sunrises out of the ocean and everything is orange. The birds start singing and it gives you an immense boost of happiness. As the saying goes: It’s the littlest things, which we mostly take for granted that are the real beauty in life, I guess.
DID YOU EVER FEEL UNSAFE, WHERE AND WHY?
In Buenos Aires I felt unsafe in that hostel, but I learned very quickly that when you feel unsafe, people can smell that. They detect that and so they will pick you to rob, or something like that. Don’t let anyone make you feel unsafe, nobody deserves to be uncomfortable and it’s really not worth it. If you feel unsafe than listen to your feeling and do what you think is right to do at that moment. At least let them know you’re uncomfortable with their behaviour.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRANSPORTATION?
I like to travel with the local busses. Most of them are actually luxuriously equipped with WIFI and clean toilets. For me it’s a wonderful place to work. Besides, you see a lot off the country when you travel by bus. In Uruguay I also like to hitchhike. It is safe and it’s a way to have contact with the locals. They can give you the best travel advice and sometimes bring you to places which you never even heard about. Most of the locals are proud of their country, they are proud that you’d like to come here all the way from “modern” Holland and so they are eager to share their country with new people.
HOW HEAVY IS THE LUGGAGE YOU TRAVEL WITH?
I always travel with my camera bag and a bigger backpack. I must admit my backpack has become much lighter as you discover the many things that are simply not necessary. As a traveler you don’t need that much I think. I try to travel with maximum 10 kilo’s in my backpack, but sometimes it also has a little bit more.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF 10 YEARS AGO?
GO!!! The world is actually not that big and scary!! Traveling is not only about the money, you just have to do it sometimes on a leap of faith . Don’t be afraid of anything. Everywhere in the world there are nice and sweet people who would like to meet you!
WHAT IS ON YOUR PLANNING TODAY?
I have to write a blog for my own website, and every day I go for a walk at the beach, so also today. Freedom it is!!!