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Welcome to my first ever year in review! Consider this some sort of review/diary entry. I’m a firm believer that life is a rollercoaster. You’re not meant to be on a high at all times. But I still find it surprising to see that even though my life is “unstable” in the eyes of others (no full-time job, no home, no partner, in her mid 30s and living out of a suitcase) – the past few years have been… a bliss. This one included.

Was it perfect? No. Nothing is. Finding balance still happens to be a struggle. I’ve also thought long and hard about what I’m doing with my life. With my degrees, experience, and languages – I could be making bank anywhere in the world. Instead, I choose to wear the same 5-10 outfits and deal with back problems. I don’t mind. I never thought I could live such a life. This is freedom to me. 

So. 27 countries. 17 new ones. Let’s get into it.

a woman posing in the water

Hey there, and welcome to Go Global with Sibu! I’m a global citizen that has been living and traveling around the world since 2005 – all through budget travel, scholarships, study/work and living abroad opportunities.  I share everything I’ve learned over the years here – to prove to you that you don’t need money or privilege to enjoy everything that this world has to offer. 


How did this all start? In case you don’t know, let’s go back in time.

I was living in Germany when the pandemic hit, and I lost it all – my home, my savings, investments and my partner. I was screwed, and broke. I left all of my belongings in a storage unit that was only 25 Euros per month, and I started housesitting all around Europe. I had a master’s degree to finish, and libraries weren’t even open then. That’s when my full-time travel journey officially began, and I didn’t even know then that I’d be on the road for this long.

I paid $50 USD for my yearly housesitting membership and it allowed me to live all around Europe FOR FREE for 4 months. All I had to do was pay for my buses in between the housesits and my food. If you’re not housesitting yet, you’re seriously missing out. You can even sign up for a weekend housesit here.

The second lockdown

Once the second lockdown hit, I left the continent and took up a US address thanks to my family. I got myself a remote job at the beginning of 2021 that allowed me to work from anywhere in the US. I traveled extensively around the country, and by the end of the year, I needed to get out. So I lied to my employer, and pretended to still be in the US. 

That’s when I left the country, and traveled extensively around East Africa, Europe, Central America, the Middle East and South Asia with my remote job. It was exhilarating to be making money on the road but also exhausting. I burned myself out and got really sick FOUR times. By the end of 2022, I flew out to Costa Rica to spend some time with my mom, and that’s where I started the year.

Latin America – January to April

One of my best friends invited me to spend time with her and her family in Venezuela. In case you didn’t know, Venezuela used to be the richest country in Latin America, and it has the largest oil reserves in the world. But none of that matters. Communism took over, and it became one of the most dangerous places in the world because of the high crime rates. Things have really changed over the last year, but you wouldn’t know that if you watched the news.

Since my friend was going to be there with her boyfriend and I didn’t feel like being a third wheel, I invited Ben to come along. Flying to Venezuela costs a fortune, so we met up in Colombia, spent a few days there, then crossed by land. We both had our US passports hidden in our shoes while crossing over with our European ones. Both of us, especially Ben, were questioned about our motives to enter the country and whether or not we were spies. Fun stuff.

Venezuela was incredible, by far one of my favorite destinations this year. No tourists whatsoever, great prices (if you have a strong currency) and the friendliest people. Being able to explore a country through the eyes of locals is priceless and one of the best ways to travel! We were there for almost two weeks, and we would have stayed longer if it hadn’t been for my job. I’m not allowed to work from abroad so my login popping up in countries like Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela is not advisable. I took unpaid time off instead.

From Venezuela, we flew out to Panama because it was the cheapest option. I spent around 10 days there, then flew to Costa Rica. Ben left, and I stayed a few extra weeks with my mom. 

In March I flew out to El Salvador on my own, another one of those countries with a terrible reputation that is distorted and had a great time getting to see the new side of the country. You can watch my El Salvador vlog here. In late March, I was flown out to Guatemala for work. I freelance for a travel company, and every now and then they need help assisting with logistics. This was my first time getting properly paid to travel abroad and it was really exciting! And no, this had nothing to do with my social media. I used to work as a tour guide, have experience leading teams and even worked in logistics. This was all due to my expertise. The best part of it all was crossing out one of my bucket list travel items.

A short stop during our trip around Bosnia and Herzegovina

April and May – the US and Europe

I spent the rest of April with friends and family in California and did a bit of traveling around the state. We did it all through free accommodation. I’ll be releasing a YouTube video about all of my travel hacks soon – I can explain everything in detail there. You should subscribe if you don’t want to miss out!

Every year, without fail, I go to Berlin, Germany and Wroclaw, Poland – just some of the places I love and I’ve been fortunate enough to call home. The unpronounceable city of Wroclaw is one of my favorite cities in the world, and it’s usually overlooked by Krakow and Warsaw. Here is why you should visit it. 

I got laid off while I was in Poland and I did not see it coming. I had already planned out the next few months of travel. Could I manage it without a full-time income? I had enough savings to do so. I needed a break. I told myself I’d get a new job after summer ended. 

This was followed by another group trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as one of my favorite countries in the world. The idea of hosting group trips here is to allow people to travel in a way they’ve never done before. Take it from me. I’ve been living and traveling around the world for almost two decades now – you have never traveled like this before, and that’s why we love showing people how to truly immerse themselves in a culture. BiH has incredible food, sights, great prices, it’s very diverse and you’ll find none of the crowds from other European countries. If you want to join me on the next group trip, just sign up here! It’s excellent value for money and you’ll get to see one of the hidden gems of Europe with us. 

After our amazing trip to Bosnia, I flew out to Sweden and spent some days there, then took a bus to Norway to spend some time with a close friend. I’m trying to meet up with more friends while I travel, which is always a struggle but I’m happy to say that more of it happened this year.

On top of the one of the most photographed sand dunes in the world

Overlanding Africa – June to September

One of my dreams has always been to go by land from South Africa all the way to Egypt. Due to the current situation in northern Ethiopia and Sudan this is currently not possible. Instead, I had to be satisfied with half of the journey.

I just bought my flight there and my return flight a bit over 3 months later from the opposite side of the continent, and the idea was to make it by land using public buses and with no planning ahead whatsoever.

How did this trip begin? I flew out to Namibia from Norway and spent almost a month there on my own.

  • I met people to travel with through CouchSurfing. 
  • I spent just a bit over $1000 USD for my whole time there. My cheapest travel month for 2023.
  • I almost died in the desert.

I made a good amount of videos explaining how I was able to spend so little in Namibia, and I also go into detail about how we got stuck in the Forbidden Region. It is now one of my favorite countries in the world, and if you want to get inspired I suggest you watch my playlist here.

Stuck in the Forbidden Region... and no one knows we're there

After Namibia, I took an overnight bus to South Africa and met up with Ben again, and that’s where the rest of our journey begins. I truly have not had enough time to create all of the resources and videos that I want from this trip. There is little to no information online about our route and we did it all on the go. No planning or bookings beforehand, and we did it all by public bus.

We were warned over and over again about how dangerous this was. People could not have been more wrong. Our biggest travel “mishap” was a person trying to charge us $10 USD instead of $5. That was it. Everyone was helpful, welcoming and incredibly curious to see two foreigners riding local buses with them. We were even shown a good amount of respect for not taking the easy route and renting a car like everyone else does.

Trip highlights
  • Skiing in Lesotho. Yes, skiing in Africa. We had the most amazing time in the country and it wouldn’t have been possible without Keketso The Guide. If you’re ever in South Africa, you need to check this country out. I highly recommend getting a guide here if you want to explore the country in depth. If you do reach out to Keketso, tell him you’re there through Sibu! He’ll know then to give you the best prices and itinerary.
  • Riding a helicopter in Cape Town. I had been looking for my first helicopter ride somewhere affordable and this one was by far the cheapest one I’ve ever come across. And oh, the sights! Cape Town is so freakishly beautiful. You can book yours here
  • Riding a canoe/mokoro in the Okavango Delta. If you want to see what life and wildlife are truly like in Botswana, then you need to make your way to Maun and book this activity. You can even stay overnight if you want to! But we took the day trip because all of the other options were too expensive. 
  • Flying over Victoria Falls. Not in a helicopter, but gliding over one of the natural wonders of the world and even being able to spot wildlife from above. I saw this a few years ago on Instagram and I knew then I had to do it too whenever I would visit. I’m now, hopefully, inspiring you to do this too.
  • Doing the cheapest safari in the world. This was by far the most unconventional safari ever, because it was on a train! This is the best way to travel across Tanzania, and even though the bathroom is questionable, I would have no problem doing it all over again.
From Namibia, to Cape Town then up north all the way to Zanzibar.

9 countries. 3+ months. From southern to East Africa and all by buses. Our last chunk involved a train and a ferry, but we did it! No flying, no renting cars and no cheating. For the full 3 months of travel I spent around $5000 USD. There is little to no tourist infrastructure in this part of the world which means that it’s not cheap. Even then, I believe this was a bargain considering a week of safaris will usually cost you a few thousand dollars. 

Stay tuned because I will be sharing all of the travel itineraries here, things to do, as well as a breakdown of our costs to help you make the most of this amazing part of the world without breaking the bank.

Beautiful Georgia, just a few hours drive from Kutaisi

Europe, the Caucasus and Pakistan – September and October

After Africa, we split up and I flew out to Berlin for work. I was housesitting there, so free accommodation again! Then I was off to Poland. I was exhausted. The last two weeks of travel in Africa were a killer. Why? Because our itinerary was perfect… for 4 to 5 months of travel. Not for 3, so towards the end we had to speed up to make it to Zanzibar on time for our flights.

I hung out with my family in Poland, and even made it to my first Polish wedding in years! Expect tons of food, dancing and alcohol. I had a blast and I’m so glad I decided to take up my brother’s invite as his wingwoman for the wedding LOL.

After Poland, I got a $30 USD flight to Georgia. How? Some travelers might not agree with me but I personally swear by websites like Kiwi. If you sign up using this link you’ll get a discount code for your next flight, and they even send out discount vouchers for your birthday! All you have to do is create an account, and yes, it’s free.

I visited Azerbaijan a few years ago, and I was missing Georgia and Armenia in the Caucasus. I was BLOWN AWAY by Georgia. It was by far my favorite destination of 2023. And I haven’t even gotten around to posting and creating content about it! As usual, I just booked a one-way flight and only booked the first 2 days of accommodation, then went with the flow and stayed a few weeks. 

Am I stepping on grapes to make wine the Georgian way? Yes, I am.

Some Georgian highlights:

  • The most diverse travel crowd I’ve EVER come across. This is all due to Georgia’s open tourism policy. They’re trailblazers and I am loving them for it.
  • This country has it all: mountains, snow, vineyards, beaches, history, friendly people, affordable prices, great food, safety. And it’s great for digital nomads. What more could you ask for?
  • My favorite day out of the whole trip was going on this day trip. Caves, stunning canyons and mountains that looked like something out of a fairytale, and of course, getting to eat Khinkhali. 

I wanted to stay longer in Georgia but I needed to make my way to Abu Dhabi to go to Pakistan. So I took the overnight train from Georgia to Armenia. Taking a bus was shorter but I absolutely love trains. I didn’t look up any information online and I was in for a surprise. It was by far the best overnight train I’ve ever been on.

I was a bit confused on the platform and started talking to a cute guy (did I do it on purpose? YES) who just happened to be on the bunk bed on top of mine. We spent a good amount of time talking. His English surprisingly sucked so I was forced to speak to him in German the whole time. I rarely come across Germans who speak shitty English so it makes no sense for me to struggle in German when we can both be speaking in English. But not in this case. 

Shitty English aside, he was smart, was talking to me about local literature and had recently spent two weeks in the DRC. I was hooked. We arrived in Armenia and spent the next 4 days roaming around Yerevan during my time off work. It was… magical. I felt like I was living one of my favorite movies. Don’t get too excited – nothing happened. He was VERY religious and said there was no future for us, even though our chemistry was very strong. His words, not mine. I respect him for not leading me on, but I was still disappointed.

I said goodbye to him and flew out to Abu Dhabi for a few days, where I met up with Ben again. We took advantage of the Yas Island Theme Park tickets and went to Ferrari World and the local water park. I’m a sucker for water parks so this was fun! 

Afterwards, we flew out to Pakistan. It was my second time there, and I was still pretty tired. I got some food poisoning the moment I stepped foot in the country, so I spent 3 weeks doing nothing. Hung out with a few friends, and yes, went to a Pakistani wedding! That was the main reason for us being there. I didn’t get to go up north again. This might seem like a waste of time for some, but I travel full-time. I’m not out and about ticking off things to do everywhere I go. I travel at such a different pace from regular travelers. If I like a place, I’ll go back for more. That’s the way my world works.

Back in the Arab World – November & December

After Pakistan, I said goodbye to Ben. We officially had no more plans to meet up again so this was it for us. I flew out to Egypt for work. Once again, the same travel company that sent me to Guatemala hired me, this time to help out in Egypt. It was EXHAUSTING, I’m not going to lie. But I had an amazing time, and really got to go to places that even tourists end up skipping whenever they’re in the country.

I’m fortunate enough to have friends all over the world, including in Egypt, so after work I stayed with my close friend and her family in Cairo. I slept tons and got work done. Once she was done with work we took a bus to Dahab, one of the up and coming digital nomad destinations. I absolutely loved it out there. I only got a 30-day visa on arrival, but if not I would have stayed longer. I basically left the country on the 30th, and last day, of my visa.

I took a ferry from there to Jordan: the first country I ever visited in the Middle East a couple of years ago, and one of my top 10. I know the country well, but this time I was there solo. But it wasn’t for tourism. If you’re reading this, then you’ll be the first to know that this is where we’re launching our next Hybrid Tours destination! It’s going to be SO different from anything you’ve ever seen before. I was basically there finalizing the details of the trip with the local companies that we work with. If you REALLY want to learn about the Middle East, then I suggest you come join us! After having traveled extensively through the region, I believe that Jordan is the perfect introduction to this part of the world. So stay tuned!


Unfortunately, I was forced to fly back to the US after Jordan to deal with some paperwork in early December. I am now housesitting through the holidays, getting some work done, some rest, and I’m here writing this! I have never written one of these before, and it was cathartic to look back on everything that’s happened this year. And now…


I told myself I’d look for another job come September or October. I still haven’t done that yet. I am still doing some freelancing (although I don’t make anywhere near as much as I used to), and living off of my savings. Not the greatest idea, but I genuinely can’t bring myself to get another full-time job, even if it’s remote. I might do more contracts, part-time, or if I could get myself another client I would be set, and still free to continue pursuing my travels and projects.

Despite what people might think, I am not a budget traveler. I have NEVER set a budget while traveling. I am just really smart about the way I handle my finances, and I’ve had to learn the hard way. Your girl here was in charge of her whole living budget and allowance by the age of 12 (!!). I’ve made so many mistakes along the way, but I know how to prioritize and not spend money on unnecessary things. If you have trouble managing your finances and want to travel more, I highly suggest you check out my travel money-edition workbook!

Meeting with Hasan Nuhanović - a Bosnian genocide survivor that sued the Dutch government for lack of protection and won

Back in March, I applied for a business incubator without really knowing what to expect. We got a spot, and went through a transformative journey from May to September regarding our group trips. We went from being a little passion project to having a fully-registered company, and got enough funding to create a website and register our company.

And that’s how The Hybrid Tours was born. We focus on responsible travel and immersive experiences. Our goal is to show you what the world beyond headlines looks like, in an affordable way. To do this, we work together exclusively with locals and people that have been displaced: refugees. They’re the ones who can show you what a country is really like. You learn about a country from people that have actually lived through history.

The reality behind new businesses

Here is a reminder: most businesses do not become profitable until the 2nd or 3rd year. The rate of a small business failing in the first few years is pretty high. There has been a lot of time and money invested into this venture, and yes, we’ve only incurred losses so far. This is largely due to the prices we’re setting.

Most travel companies you’ll find online charge anywhere between $500 – 1000 USD per person ON TOP of the running costs of the trip. If you look at our prices, our goal is to be around the $1000 USD mark for our trips, which is the same price that large companies have. These have lower running costs because of their volume. We aim is to raise awareness and break stereotypes, not to become rich. We’re also looking to secure funding to be able to provide travel scholarships to those who could benefit from it. If you’d like to join us in the future, you know now that your money is going exclusively to the local economies of the countries that you’re visiting.

Around the world solo: courtesy of my tripod


Ah. I was wondering if I should write about this or not. There has been a constant person in my life over the last year and a half. I’m not going to spell it out loud for you. If you get it, you get it – if you don’t, you don’t. And it’s been amazing. I love traveling solo, but seeing the world with someone by my side was not something I was expecting. I still traveled solo, but I had someone who would fly out anywhere in the world and join me if I asked. And I did, quite a few times. I never thought I could feel so comfortable with someone in such challenging situations. It wasn’t planned. It just happened, and there was no commitment behind it. 

But that’s come to an end simply because our future plans do not align in any way. And if there’s something I’ve learned over the years, it is to prioritize myself. And that’s what I’m doing. Funnily enough, I think I’m actually ready for a proper relationship – a nomadic one, of course. That would mean that the person is highly mobile and has the flexibility to travel with me whenever possible. Is it possible? Definitely. Am I in a rush to find it? No. Once you take marriage and children out of the equation (because those are things I do not want), life goes by at a very different pace. There is no clock ticking. In the meantime, I will continue exploring the world on my own like I always do.

What’s next?

I’m on a journey to visit every country in the world, in case you hadn’t noticed by now. What’s the rush? I left Costa Rica on a one-way ticket 18 years ago. I have done PLENTY of slow travel throughout my life. I’m in a position now where my life has actually allowed me to speed things up, and that’s exactly what I want to do. Here are some of the ways in which I’ve managed to do that so far without breaking the bank. 

I work while traveling and I’m obviously not rich, so it’s not like this is something I’ll be able to achieve in a year or two. It will take TIME. And if I want to continue making money on the road, I am going to need time to work and not burn myself out. I also will be PROPERLY prioritizing content creation this coming year. I was finally able to monetize in 2023 (you can check out the video and full amount for the year here), and I believe there is a lot more where that came from. 

The middle east, europe and then? 

In terms of travel, I know I’ll be back in the Middle East in March, and I have to be in Europe at the end of May. That aside, I have no idea what I’ll be doing. As usual, the priority is to hit new countries, and I’m excited to see where I’ll end up. Hopefully, I’ll even get a chance to meet some of you in person!

If you’ve made it this far, let me know by commenting some  🌍 🌍 🌍 emojis in my latest 2023 recap post. Thank you for taking the time to read this, for following along, and for the support.

My goal is to make sure you can travel as much as possible, and I’ll be releasing more resources to make that happen for you. If you have any questions or comments, you know where to find me. Just leave them on that last post, too. Here’s to more adventures this coming 2024!

Comments (2)

So proud of you and everything you have achieved 🖤. Hopefully 2024 is the year we turn up in the same place at the same time. Love you xx

Why did I not see this before? Love you more and thank youuu. It’s time we met up!

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