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Traveling Southeast Asia With Eva Natalia

Words By Samiha Ahmed

June 10, 2019

Eva Natalia of Trevallog blog atop a hill with town behind her

Follow your heart. If it's telling you to climb a mountain even though you haven't climbed a single hill in your life, go for it.

The Short of It​

Travel blogger Eva Natalia is a self-described “independent traveler.” Hailing from Medan, Indonesia, she was brought up around the perception that travel means tour packages. Once she realized that package travel wasn’t quite her style, she started traveling the world with the freedom she craved. Her blog Trevallog is a product of this freedom. Trevallog serves as a travel log and personal diary, and as a destination guide for other travelers, especially in Southeast Asia, who prefer to do things their own way.

Why This Blog?​

“I’m an engineer by day, and writer at night,” says Eva on the topic of her day-to-day life in her current home, Singapore. She has lived in there for nearly 14 years, using her time off from work to explore the attractions of neighboring countries.

Trevallog started as many blogs once did: as a personal journal. Eva needed a place to document her travel memories, so she could look at them later. She had been using other people’s travel blogs to plan her Southeast Asia trips when it occurred to her that she herself had native knowledge of the region to offer to other travelers.

Initially, my blog was my travel diary which I could browse through when I felt like reminiscing about past trips. However, when I was researching and planning for my travel, I found several really informative blogs (such as Be My Travel Muse) that were really helpful for me. So, I wanted to be helpful for other travelers as well.

At the heart of blogging in a more informational style was Eva’s genuine desire to help other independent travelers, especially those who are foreigners to Southeast Asia. In fact, as Eva shared with us, this desire to help is why she ”kept writing even when [she] had negligible traffic in [her] first and second year of blogging.”

On the Road With Eva

Eva travels like most people do: she opts for mid-range/budget accommodations, takes public transport whenever possible, and enjoys “cheap and delicious” local food. In her straightforward and informative recollections, it’s refreshingly clear that Eva’s priorities lie in being present even in the most ordinary moments of travel, rather than in chasing highly-curated, Insta-worthy experiences.

I want to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and be in charge of their own destiny, or itinerary.

Throughout Trevallog, Eva provides lots of local tips to her readers. As a matter of fact, I found the blog through a post detailing public transport routes connecting Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia that locals use. Though a relatively short journey, without the solid local knowledge of someone like Eva, navigating the different public buses and trains can be confusing to a visitor. I know this because I completed the journey myself earlier this year using Eva’s guide!

According to Eva, Travel is...

An adventure.
And life is an adventure or nothing at all.

Up Next

Coming up on Eva’s horizon are repeat trips to Bangkok and Bali, because, as she says, “once is never enough for these two cities.” Additionally, she is “saving up money and miles to go [back] to either Europe or the United States.”

Finally, be sure to follow Trevallog for expert tips on independent travel around Southeast Asia and to keep up with Eva’s travels. You can also keep up with Eva’s latest tips and updates through Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

This post is part of Burdie Talks, an interview series showcasing travel bloggers from around the world. The series aims to highlight bloggers who we believe add a fresh perspective to the travel experience. If you would like to be featured on Burdie Talks, please send an email to hey@burdie.co with your pitch.

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