‘I was scared, but soon, few locals came and helped. My biggest surprise was Saudi Arabia’
It’s safe for women to travel alone, a German globetrotter found out after covering 28 countries and 50,000km in her caravan with her pet dog.
Jasmin Lorenz, 34, ran a successful cosmetics store for a decade in Farchant, a village in Bavaria. And then, the lone child of her parents gave up her business to discover life in real colours. “I had everything in my life but deep inside me, I was not happy. So, I decided to do something special, be free and see real life. It took me two years to decide on giving up all that I had built in the last 10 years. It was a big decision but my parents supported me,” she said from her caravan in Abu Dhabi, where she is stuck since March.
Jasmin is an overlander from May to September of 2018, and May 2019 till date, and has covered most countries of Europe, Middle East and some from Asia.
“This was a trip to see real life. What you read might not be true – they give you a different picture of countries and its people. I discovered the world hasn’t lost its humanity. Once while driving at night in Armenia, I had a flat tyre on an empty dark street. I was scared, but soon, few locals came and helped. My biggest surprise was Saudi Arabia. As a women driver, I got a lovely welcome at the border. I could move freely and the locals were very nice. I met members of a Dubai automobile club who helped to extend the validity of my documents.”
Jasmin said travelling alone as a woman is a special feeling and it turned out to be safer than she had thought. “I met so many amazing people. It’s incredible and unbelievable how people are so hospitable. But a woman alone has to be careful. There was some situation I got involved in. In every country you will also find that one person who is not that nice with you.”
‘Enjoy little things in your life’
Jasmin has a new friend in her exploits – a pet dog Zeki, now an important part of her life. “I found him next to a restaurant in North Macedonia. He was a clean stray dog and I adopted him. We have been together for a year. He is a good traveller.”
Jasmin has given a name to caravan, which also sports a number plate of her year of birth. “We searched for a small van since 2017. I named him Jakob. This is my home. It has a living area, kitchen, fridge, solar cooker, water tank. My father fixed bed and storage spaces. My car has a special number J 1985. J is for the letter of my name and 1985 is my date of birth.”
And after travelling 50,000km by road, she said everyone must value freedom and health. “It’s not easy to travel and cross borders. It was easy because of my German passport but in the last few months it was of no use. I am stuck here. I am able to stay with my friend’s place for a while but heimweh (German for homesick), it’s time to return.”