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German girl travels the world all by herself
Daniela Bühn has been travelling the world for two and a half years, but to her, it’s not just about seeing the world
A breakdown in the middle of nowhere in Australia, walking on an active volcano, or a wild-stingray feeding – Daniela Bühn has experienced a fair bit during her travels across the globe, lasting two and a half years now already. “I’ve learnt that I can achieve whatever I want.”, the 20-year-old girl from Vreden said.
Can-Will-Did is what Daniela chose to name her blog. And that’s the exact motivation that made her choose to fly to Australia in 2015. “My mom and I always wanted to see Australia, but it never happened.” Then, her mom passed away in 2013, never getting a chance to hop on that plane. “After I graduated, I decided it was time to finally live this dream. You can always go to Uni, but travelling was my first priority.” Planned were only six months in Australia, but since July 2015, Daniela hasn’t returned to Germany. “I fell in love with the country and my desire to travel the world has grown more and more.”
A special person has strengthened this desire even more. “I met an Australian guy that travels all around Australia in his vehicle. But unlike other people, he’s not following the expectations of society. Even with a broken-down car, he still took me on a roadtrip to Australia’s westernmost point. He taught me a lof of self-confidence.”
Meanwhile, also Daniela Bühn managed to finish a full lap around Australia. She bought her first ever car in the foreign country and although she had always been an insecure driver and had never driven on the left side of the road, she says: ” Despite, I managed to get to all the places I aimed to reach and that all by myself!” The 20-year-old is travelling all by herself and thoroughly enjoys it. “it was scaring me in the beginning. But I quickly realized that I’m never alone. There are always people that are willing to help.”
People’s willingness to help has, in fact, saved her life one day. In the middle of nowhere, on Christmas Day last year, she broke down with her car. No phone reception, no shade, 40 degrees heat and no water. “I tried everything: calling 000, waving to planes flying over me and more.” At that point, she already knew the number one rule in Australia’s outback: Never ever leave your car after a breakdown. Finally, after four and a half hours another car stopped by. The Australian then towed her back to the next point of civilization. “I thought I would die and would have loved to be back in my comfort zone in Germany. But so far, I never stopped fighting for my dreams and I’m more than certain that I don’t want to live in but outside of my comfort zone.”, says the German.
That’s why she wrote her Bucket List. Things like seeing dinosaur footprints, riding a camel, swimming underneath a waterfall, climbing a glacier or holding a Koala, could already be ticked off the list. But it’s a long list. For instance, Daniela Buehn still wants to kiss a dolphin, sleep in an Iglu, hold a Tarantula, take part in world championchips and buy a plane ticket that leaves on the same day. On the very top it says: visit all seven continents.
After two years in Australia, she continued her travels in New Zealand in August last year. Her next destination is South America. But to afford the plane ticket, she needs to save up some money first. She is always looking for new jobs – Housekeeping, Customer Service or farm work. At the moment, she is working in a cafe. But she dreams of being able to finance her travels with her blog and Youtube channel one day.
With her texts, pictures and videos, the 20-year-old wants to inspire others. “No matter what other people are trying to tell you. Only listen to yourself and what you want.”, she says. The German girl has now even written a novel about her story. Like all of her content, it’s gonna be in English and will be published this year. An exact date is still unknown.
Translated from an article about my travels, published in the German newspaper “Münsterland Zeitung” on 13 January, 2018
You can view both of the original articles here (that’s right, I did not only get featured ONCE but TWICE!!):
Never stop believing in yourself,
Have you ever wondered why I decided to name my blog “Can-Will-Did”? Have you ever wondered what the story behind all this is? Whether your answer is “yes” or “no”, I reckon everyone should get to know my life-changing story. Well, let me start from the beginning…
When I arrived in Australia, I was the most insecure person you could imagine, trying to pretend to be brave and independent while I still decided to keep my travels as safe as possible, only sticking to organized group tours and busses. While it was the most comfortable option, I always had some sort of gut feeling telling me that this is not what I want to be. I wanted to be self-confident, I wanted to be flexible and most importantly, I wanted to be different from the rest! Easier said than done. There was something holding me back. Something, that is not easy to get rid of: it’s the bubble, called “comfort zone”, that way too many people are stuck in. So, what was I supposed to do? I knew I wouldn’t just be able to get out of my comfort zone that easily. I had been stuck in it for way too long.
Thanks to me being an ambitious person, wanting to achieve whatever got in my mind, I decided to buy my first ever own car. Back in Germany, I was a terribly insecure driver and barely got any practice. Thus, buying a manual, having to drive on the “wrong side” of the road, didn’t seem to be the cleverest idea, but there was a drive in me that turned me into a confident driver, driving all sorts of vehicles on the “wrong side” of the road.
Yet, there was still something inside of me that told me, that I wanted more. I wanted to tackle challenging roads, in order to get to the most remote places, I wanted to learn how to four-wheel-drive, I wanted to experience the Australia that no one else gets to experience. Unfortunately, something held me back. It was society telling me that my car wasn’t good enough for what I had put in my mind. Society told me that I wouldn’t make it across the “Gibb River Road” in a little Subaru. People told me I wouldn’t be able to get to all four of Australia’s extremities in my little Suby. “What if you break down in the middle of nowhere?”, was one of the most-raised questions I always got to hear. And I believed them. I believed what they told me must be right as it was society telling me and society is always right.
That was, at least, what I had always believed; until one special person changed my whole attitude on life. I met Anthony about a year ago in a small place called “Hamelin Pool” in Shark Bay, Western Australia. He offered me work in a caravan park, where I got to know him and his story. Anthony is an Aussie, travelling around Australia himself. But unlike other people, he doesn’t follow the crowds. In his 4wd, he goes wherever he wants, following the most remote and challenging tracks. But it was his attitude on life that made me think and lit a fire in my soul that has never died ever since. “Can, Will, Did, Kunt” is his motto. People tell you you can’t – you go and prove them wrong! You wanna go somewhere – you go there! There is no “what if” – there is only “ah well”.
During a trip to “Steep Point” Australia’s westernmost point, he did not only teach me everything I needed to know about four-wheel-driving, he also taught me confidence. He taught me how to break free and only listen to myself, instead of what society wants you to do. He taught me that I can do anything, even if I don’t have the fanciest equipment. During the trip, we got banned from the National Park as Anthony’s ute didn’t have working brakes, but instead of turning around and giving up, he kept going. He didn’t care what society told him to do. He had one aim in mind and that was to reach “Steep Point”. And we did! Despite, all the trouble! Thanks to Anthony’s advises and encouragement, I did not only tackle the iconic “Gibb River Road”, but also travelled up 800ks of highly corrugated dirt road, all the way to the tip of Australia and back, I attempted several “four-wheel-drive-only” tracks. Sometimes, things didn’t go as planned, but I always gave it a go. There is no “I can’t”, there is only “I can”!
The best reward I could get is the facial expressions and reactions of people seeing what I’ve achieved. It doesn’t only make me feel extremely proud, it also gives me a satisfying feeling of confidence. I have never been at this stage I am at now. And if I hadn’t met Anthony, I’d probably still be stuck in my bubble, with an utterly feeling of regret.
Now, about a year later, both, Anthony and me, are still continuing doing whatever we want, proving as many people wrong as possible. While Anthony is crossing rivers, instead of taking vehicle-ferries in Australia, I’m finding my way around New Zealand, just having finished my first ever novel, bringing my own little motto and lifestyle (Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong!) to life. The road has never been easy, for neither of us. We both had to go through hell and back. But giving up has never been an option and never will be! Whatever will happen in the future, I’m sure Anthony will inspire many more people and we will meet again in the future to take on the world.
I hope the story inspires you to get up and live life! I won’t say it’s easy, cause it’s not. But if you never do what YOU want, you’ll never be able to say that you’re truly content!
GET UP! CAN-WILL-DID!!
What’s up? Still everything as normal here on the farm. Well, to be honest, I got pretty sick (happens, when you work in the rain :P). It’s really annoying. Especially, when you work 7 days a week and getting a day off is not that simple. But not long and I’m finally free! To be honest, it’s quite tough for me here at the moment. People are going through a divorce and I’m somewhere in between. There is no happiness here in this house at the moment. It’s quite depressing.
Before I get into the article, I would like to point out, that someone actually printed one of my photos on canvas! Feels awesome to know, that someone likes my photos that much! Although it was not even one of my best photos, I’m still happy with the result:
All right, here we go! 10 things, we all must admit having done at least once:
1. Washing your clothes in the shower and drying them with a hairdryer. Yep, that’s right. It saves you a lot of money for the expensive machines, that can cost up to 5$ per wash in Australia. Unfortunately, the washing machines don’t really do a good job, which is why I would never attempt to wash white or expensive. To be honest, most of my clothes are old, full of holes or from Kmart anyway. 😛
2. Stealing clothes other people forgot in hostels. Clothes are far too expensive. Moreover, we don’t want to waste money on new clothes, if there are so many adventures, that we could spend money on instead. Luckily, the cleaning staff in hostels often forgets to check underneath the beds, which is where many people forget their clothes. It’s simple: Wash it, wear it, it’s yours! Jackpot! No one would come back to claim back an old shirt, that has been sitting underneath the bed for months!
3. Fixing thongs with duct tape. Who needs shoes, when something like thongs exists. To the inventor of the thongs: You are a genius! Unfortunately, most of them don’t last forever. Especially not the 3$ thongs, that you pulled out of the vending machine. This is where duct tape comes in handy! Never would we think of getting rid of them! No, we fix them and wear them with pride. What about the old put-an-old-bread-bag-clip-underneath-the-thong-trick, hey? You all know, what I’m talking about.
4. Sitting in front of buildings to steal wifi. If there is no library in reachable distance, most of us wouldn’t hesitate to sit in front of restaurants and buildings to get some of their free wifi. Even, if that underlines our homelessness even more. Data are fairly expensive and sometimes, you need to switch your priorities around a bit.
5. If it’s free – you take it, no matter whether you need it or not. Number one rule of backpacking! The word “free” turns into your absolute favourite word when you’re living on a tight budget!
6. Being willing to spend the night on a freezing bus/ train. It’s cheaper than a flight, plus, you save on a night’s accommodation fee. So why would we not spend the night in a super uncomfortable, freezing bus, with no chance to find any sleep? Makes total sense to me!
7. You love to experiment to find out about the best travel hacks. As a traveller, you sometimes need to get creative in order to get a through. Throughout the years, we have developed the most creative travel hacks, that should be awarded. Let me give you an example: You don’t need a stove! When the kitchen is busy, you might as well take the cattle into your room and boil your eggs in the cattle. Thank me later 😀
8. You know more mechanics than National Parks. As much as we live our home on wheels, they are usually a waste of money. They are old and have done way too many ks. Plus, the need regular oil changes. Oh, and what was that rattling noise, that recently kicked in? Mechanics become your new best friend. Whether they rip you off or not, you tend to get really dependent on them, wherever you go.
9. You regret having taken so much stuff with you. Before you leave, you can’t imagine, how you could possibly survive on “so little”, but after you arrive, you will soon realize, that you have packed WAY too much. You will start to get rid of unnecessary stuff like hair dryers and that third pair of shoes. Carrying around an over-heavy backpack is not funny, trust me!
10. You’re never gonna feel “home” again. This is what travelling is all about. We lose our hearts in a certain place and wish, that we wouldn’t have to leave the country at some point. Well, the day usually comes sooner than expected. But once we’re home, we notice, that this isn’t “home” anymore. Our home is somewhere else, on the other side of the globe ❤
Don’t forget to smile,
This is Bella. She is an old dog with a remarkable story. In fact, she has achieved, what many people have failed to achieve! Let me tell you her story:
Bella is an outside – dog and besides that, a good guard dog. One day, her owners went out and left her chained up. This is when it happened… No one knows, how it happened…
When the owners came back to the house, Bella wouldn’t jump up to greet them, like she normally would. In fact, she just sat there not being able to move. Even when they let her off the chain, she couldn’t move. The reason for this is, that she popped her back out and got paralyzed in her back legs. No one knows why. It must have been a rapid movement and the chain holding her back.
Either way, the odds didn’t look good for Bella and the vets advised to put her down. But neither the owners, nor Bella herself just wanted to give up. So, they put her in a pool to train her legs day by day and Bella fought and fought and fought, until one day, she was able to move her legs again. The unbelievable had happened.
Now, she is fully able to walk and run again. It might look a bit funny, but that doesn’t bother the dog at all. She is the happiest dog, I’ve ever seen. You can see her smiling and if you talk to her, she will talk back. An extraordinary character, that many humans should all take as a role model.
“It’s too hard” or “it’s impossible” are common excuses, but examples like the story of Bella prove that absolutely NOTHING is impossible!! Buy that plane ticket, that takes you into the unknown. Let go of that person, that brings you down. Start learning, what you always wanted to learn. It’s only a small step, leading to the biggest step towards actual “life”. We were not meant to stay in our bubbles. Take chances, get out of your bubble and break free!
Why don’t we all go out there and start living? Why don’t we all find our purpose to live? Working every single day until we die is not living! Where are your dreams? Where are the changes? Where is the willpower? Where is life?? Never stop believing in yourself! Never stop dreaming! Start living!
You can do anything you want if you really want it! There is always a way! 💕
P.S.: A quick update on my life: While I was invited to a birthday party and met up with a friend, that I met a year ago in Australia, I realised, how small the world actually is. It also gave me faith, that I actually might meet all those lovely, that I’ve met in Australia and New Zealand, somewhere else in the world again. The world is small! :))
But again, a massive “thank you” to my girl Esmee and her family, for sending me this awesome early Christmas present!! It made me extremely happy!! 😊😙
Since I have recently lost all my money, I had nothing else to do than working my a** off. Why? Because no one told me, you had to pay for “road user charges” here in New Zealand. I already thought, it can’t be right, when I saw the cheap diesel prices… What am I talking about? Well, all diesel cars have to get a specific license and pay for their kilometres in advance, while petrol cars have to pay a lot more at the service station. Since I had no idea, that I had to get that license, until now, I had to pay for 7000ks that I was over already, plus another 3000 to keep driving for a little while. That was 620$ and thereby all the money, I had. The payment of my first job is already overdue. Hopefully, it comes in soon..
The bloody time change also killed me a little because I basically start work at four in the morning now..
Anyway since, my week was pretty similar to last week and the only “new” thing was, that I got to meet all the neighbours, here are some stereotypical expectations, that others and I had before I started my backpacking adventure and their harsh reality! How unexpected!
1. Expectation: You’ll spend a lot of time carrying your backpack around. Before I spend my travels, I often heard, that people thought, I would walk around in the desert carrying my backpack around with no other soul around. But come on! Backpacking doesn’t automatically mean, you end up as a nomad in the Sahara desert. In reality, backpackers usually always only carry a small daypack around, leaving the backpack in the car or hostel. Unlesd you have to take on half a daytrip with your backpack to get from your hostel to the train station, looking like a humpback whale: Your backpack on your back, your dayback at the front, another bag full of food in your hand and your phone with Google Maps open in your other hand.
2. Expectation: You will lose weight from all the walking. The above expectation is the reason, why people think, you might lose weight. I thought, I would lose weight, too. But not only because of the walking, but also because I wouldn’t be able to afford food, since food would probably turn into a luxury. However, in reality, you realize quickly, that fast food and instant noodles seem to be a lot cheaper than healthy food and is actually affordable. Usually not being able to carry dairy and vegetables around with you, you soon end up in an instant – noodle – addiction. Dangerous trap.
3. Expectation: You’ll have a lot of time for yourself. We have all imagined this scenario before. Sitting on a cliffs edge all by yourself, enjoying nature and thinking about life. But that’s all half the truth. In reality, you end up spending a lot more time around others than you asked for. In fact, there is always someone around you. Wether it is your hostel – roommates, other campers or a tourist, that is trying to enjoy the same scenario, you thought you had claimed for yourself. Even, when you stay away from tourist hotspots. You barely have time on your own… oh, this includes privacy. I don’t know, what privacy is anymore.
4. Expectation: You’ll figure out what you wanna do in life. “I’ll just take a gap year after school, so there is enough time for me to figure out, what I want to do in life.” You all know, what I’m talking about and you all know, that it’s a pure lie. In reality, you learn things about yourself, that you didn’t know before, which raises more questions than answers. In the end, we have more doubt, than we had before.
5. Expectation: Backpacking is a holiday. I always hear, that people envy my life. They tell me, that they wish, they could just take a two year holiday. Okay, first of all: you can! There is no excuse. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can do anything, you want, if you really want it! But to be honest, backpacking is great, but certainly NOT a holiday. There is a huge difference between vacation and travelling! In reality, we end up losing a lot of nerves organizing our life. While you don’t have to worry about anything on your vacation. You have to worry about everything during your travels. Whether it is the insurance, the accommodation or the job. Travels are not financed by mum and dad (usually). In order to be able to backpack for two years, a lot of effort is required!
Of course, these points are all based on my opinion and experiences. Don’t take it too serious!