Who am I?
I am Lisa Jarmina, an adventurous outdoor person and writer who loves nature, science, languages, travel and photography.
With 26, I finished my Master’s Degree in English Literature and Japanese Studies and started to travel the world. I was born and raised in Germany, but I was always curious to see what else there is out there in this big, diverse world.
As a child, I loved to read adventure novels and stories about long journeys of fearless explorers and their amazing experiences in far away countries. I made up my own stories and imagined how one day I would travel the world when I grow up; become a strong, powerful explorer and entertain everybody with the stories of my adventures once I return home.
I was a wild child: I loved nothing more than freedom and nature. I would run away from home just to go on day long hikes through forests and fields and I regularly got into trouble for talking my friends into trying out survival techniques and making campfires when I was still in elementary school. Nothing much ever changed about that.
For a long time my dreams had to wait though, because my family was too poor to travel. But I kept reading about the world, eagerly learned new languages and practiced martial arts to be prepared for the day when I would be free and able to start my journey.
So far I was waitressing and scrubbing other peoples toilets just to be able to put back some savings while being a student. I knew I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Thus, I worked hard, motivated by my dreams for a better future.
For a long time this dream had to wait, because my family was too poor to travel. But I kept reading about the world, learned new languages and practiced martial arts to be prepared for the day when I would be free and able to start my journey.
How I started to lead a life of travel
Finally, when I was 22, I managed to get a scholarship at a Japanese University. I would have to pay the flight and accommodation myself, but I would get the money to pay for the tuition fees. I used up all my savings, but it was worth it! Suddenly I found myself on a plane going to the other side of the world!
My life in Japan was even more awesome than I had expected: I made many many friends, not only from Japan but also among the other exchange students who came from all over the Asia Pacific region.
Together we explored Southern Japan (Kyûshû), explored rainforests, hidden temples on high mountains, volcanoes, the sea and met monkeys, snakes, tanukis and crazy insects. I was finally living an explorers life!
I learned a lot about other cultures, foreign politics and how other societies work. My picture and understanding of the world expanded massively during this time, but more importantly, so did my hunger to travel and learn more.
And this is how the idea of my travel blog Exploristic was born. I always wanted to be a writer and a traveler, and writing a travel blog was combining both of my passions.
I started to travel alone around South East Asia, working for food and accommodation to avoid spending money and make my journey last as long as possible.
I visited friends that I met in Japan in their home countries in Asia, met their families and learned about their daily challenges and their way of life.
I embraced minimalism and soon I learned to be happy with nothing but a mattress on the floor, one simple meal a day and a place where I can take a shower.
That is really all you need to be happy, if your life is interesting enough otherwise.
And this is what I want to show people with my blog:
- It is possible to travel, even with little money
- There is no need to be scared of traveling alone, even as a woman
- There is still much to discover in this big, diverse world
- There are many different ways to live life, apart from what you are used to
- I want people to understand that cultural differences are a good thing because it offers possibilities to learn from each other and see the world in different perspectives
- I want to help people who cannot travel themselves to see the world and understand how we are all connected
- I want to show people the wonders of nature and motivate them to protect it
So I am travelling the world now. My dream has come true. However, this is not yet the (happy) end of my story…
How my journey lead me to love and happiness
While waitressing in a rooftop bar in Malaysia I met a French-Malaysian bartender named Pierre who I fell madly in love with.
He listened to heavy metal, took me on rides with his motorbike, swam with me under waterfalls in the jungle, taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow and nursed me patiently back to health when I spend days vomiting all over myself after I caught a bad case of food poisoning.
He was perfect! I realized that he was the man of my dreams. And we realized that we could not live apart from each other.
So here we are today: Traveling together, a happy couple, living our dreams.
I feel extremely lucky to be able to live the life I always dreamed of. It was necessary to take some risks and make some sacrifices to get here. And it is sometimes difficult to make a living while changing places all the time. But we tackle all obstacles together and have lots of happiness.
I don’t regret anything! Going on that journey was the best decision of my life! And I encourage anybody who wants to follow their dreams as well. You only have one life, so make sure you use your time well, to do the things that make you happy!
Do you want to become an explorer, too?
Follow me on my journey and find out which are the most interesting destinations to travel to this year; how to get there without spending money and how to plan your perfect trip using the amazing travel hacks and insider information that I share with you on this site.
Learn about the diverse wildlife of different countries, get a hang of local languages with my quick expression guides and marvel at pictures of magical landscapes and hidden tropical beaches to get inspired for your next trip to somewhere you (and probably also your friends) have never been before.
I know it’s a long tough way to get to the place where you want to be, for some people even harder than for others. I was lucky to get an education and to have a German passport, even though I was born into a poor family.
I want to tell people that it is possible to do the things you want, even it it is difficult. If you have a dream and if you hold onto it and make a plan on how to achieve your goal, then you will some day get to the point where you always wanted to be.
All you need is a bit of courage and personal effort to travel independently, without having to be rich. I work and stay long-term at the destinations I travel to, which allows me to really experience what life is like there.
I am neither a tourist, nor a “beg-packer”. I am a traveler: I explore, learn, meet people and try to understand how others live their lives under different circumstances and what we all have in common.
I want to teach people about other possibilities to look at life. About different perspectives. About tolerance, humbleness, personal growth and mutual understanding.
Don’t be afraid to leave behind the things you know to meet the things you do not know yet!
Start your own journey now! It all begins with a dream…