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Superwoman of April 2017: Bijo

by Marina Utami

After we got to know the woman who was fearless trekking to Nepal, the second Superwoman of April to be featured this week is even crazier! Introducing the Indonesian lady who could not stay far from the coldness. Yes, she fell in love with glacier and ice when she visited Alaska. And that’s not it! She travelled to the untouristy country such as Iran. BY HERSELF. Well, I gotta know this woman! Her nickname is Bijo, a short name for Bawang Ijo (which means “Green Onions”), a very catchy name and unusual for a traveller, isn’t it? She has been blogging since 2009 and still many countries that she has to tick on her bucket list.

Read her complete profile and stories about her here!

Name: Bijo

Twitter: @bawangijo

Instagram: @bawang_ijo

Website/Blog: https://www.bawangijo.com

Nationality: Indonesian

Residence: Tangerang – Jakarta, Indonesia

Occupation: Employee

What inspired you to travel solo for the first time?

Curious. I like reading travel blog and watching the documentary like BBC Earth and NatGeo Wild. The more I watched that program the more I curious. It makes me want to explore the world with or without a travel partner. I couldn’t find travel partner from Indonesia who has the same schedule so I go alone. Worrying gets you nowhere.

Tell us about the first time you travelled alone. Where did you go and what did you do?

I went to South Korea on 2012 for 10 days. I always wanted to visit South Korea since I was in university. I watched too many Korean dramas, and I start falling in love with the culture. So I decided to learn Korean and since then Korea becomes my dream destination. I went hiking, biking, met a Korean guy and met another traveler at a hostel and we travelled together to Seoul.

So what are the love/hate things you experienced travelling alone?

Love Freedom! I can go wherever I want and meet stranger yeah!! I can even travel with cute handsome traveller wherever I go (wishing I can hook one of them on the road! Hahaha). The hate part of solo travelling is that it is expensive, I couldn’t share any cost with any travel partner.

Who’s your travel inspiration? 

Trinity Traveler. I read her blog before she became famous like now and it opens my eyes. Life is not about office and home, there’s another world outside and I want to travel around the world too.

What are your favourite websites and travel apps do you often use? 

Matadornetwork, culture trip, and google map.

What is your favorite country so far? Any recommendation for female solo traveler?

Iran and America. Yeah, they aren’t really best friend, but I like them so much.

I like the hospitality of the Iranian people and, of course, the language. I start learning Persian after visiting the country after that. Iranian are very kind. They welcome tourist who come to their country. I was even invited to stayed together at an Iranian family. I also met the Iranian girls in a mosque in Tehran where they offered me to change bus tickets and traveled together with them. Nonetheless, Iranian guy also very polite.

And America. I’ve been to Alaska back in 2016 and I like its nature and wilderness. I didn’t feel Alaska as an America territory because of the location near with Canada. Nevertheless, Alaska is still America, right? I still want to visit America in the future as I want to explore its national parks. I become really worried to enter US border because of the travel ban recently because I have Iranian visas and stamps in my passport. Virgo, I think I worried too much!

If you want to travel solo I will recommend Iran, the safest country on earth based on my experience.

What are some important things you bring when travelling solo? (Beside money and passport?)

Smartphone. I save all the information I need on my cell phone including pdf travel document (passport, tickets, etc) and an offline map.

Everyone has their quiry thing when they travel. I love doing temple hunting and visiting museums. So what’s yours?

I love nature, mountains, forest, national parks, waterfalls, penguins, seals, bears, glacier. I like hiking and visiting national park wherever I go.

Share your tips for any first time solo traveller?

Don’t be afraid to explore the world, do it now or never. Because you can’t replay time. You can still earn money when you ran out of it, but not for time and experiences.

What’s your favorite travel quote that’s best describe you?

“Traveling is the only thing that makes you richer.”

Bijo is a dreamer and she cannot stop thinking about travelling. She never stops moving and overthinks many things in her head. This ice tea lover fell in love with ice and glacier and she keeps planning to travel to the north side of the earth (Maybe south too someday!)Her ultimate bucket list is to reach the Antartica sightseeing the glacier and thousands of penguins!

© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.


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