Hi there, I am Hege, the founder of the travel blog The World By Hege!
Four years ago in 2019 I visited Cuba for the first time on a long solo journey, stayed much longer than I had planned – and my heart kind of never left. Finally, in January 2021, I took the step and “moved” here, as in, set up base when possible!
I have been traveling the Caribbean full-time for over two years while expanding my skills and knowledge about Caribbean travel, and every experience I have, good or bad, I am sharing with you here for your inspiration and exciting travel planning!
Other things you might want to know about me are that I am also a Norwegian army officer for 20+ years, a veteran, social scientist, TEDx Speaker, coach, food lover, scuba diver, and aspiring dancer!
Featured On foXnoMad Podcast:
Since January 2021 I have been living complicatedly in a classic Cuban apartment in Old Havana when it has been possible, from where I am running this travel blog on Cuba, the Caribbean, and traveling in the Caribbean region.
Falling in love with the Caribbean culture was beyond unexpected for a shieldmaiden like myself, and I did travel here regularly for a couple of years before I made this my base for Caribbean and the Americas travel.
I am also an avid solo traveler and a dedicated slow traveler, and in that regard probably a horrible “tourist”!
Exploring the world on your own is, in my opinion, one of the absolutely best ways to travel. And if you can, I will always encourage you to travel slowly on your solo journeys as well, and really be present and curious about the destinations you choose.
If you rush through things and places, I promise you, you will miss out on so many golden moments and hidden gems!
Becoming A Confident Solo Traveler
I have traveled my whole life, a lot of the time solo. Sometimes because no one else could join me, and other times because I really enjoy the solo traveling experience.
As a result of these journeys, I realize I have developed a confidence and set of skills and knowledge that other aspiring solo travelers might benefit from!
Many people tell me they would love to embark on solo adventures, but for various practical (and not so practical) reasons, find it a bit daunting.
So my second mission turns out to be showing adventurous souls out there how to LOVE traveling solo, and what travel resources to use and communities to connect with to do it confidently as well!
If you would like to connect and work with me, please check out this page!
The Journey To Becoming A Traveling Digital Nomad
After a long solo journey in South America in 2019, and 20 years in the army, I decided I needed to change my path.
I have been serving in the army most of my adult life, contemplating war, peace, and politics. A “lifetime” of focus on war and conflict requires some level of countermeasures – and I discovered exactly those countermeasures in the Latin American culture, dancing, and nature experiences above and below water.
During my six months solo journey in Latin and South America (that started in Cuba), I re-discovered a lot of things that I want to focus on in my life! And I had what I can only call a “magic moment”, as I rediscovered the absolute BLISS of dancing; the music and the rhythm, and the flow with a dance partner.
Long story short, I decided to leave the army, and as a completely analog person, I started the journey to change my career. I founded my travel blog in 2020, learned WordPress and page building from scratch (thank God for online support), learned about Google and SEO, and being a Digital Nomad.
I learned about writing and photo, editing and formatting, anchor text and backlinks, and alt image attributes – truth be told, if I had known what I was getting myself into I might not have done it.
SO GLAD I DID!
I am clearly not a professional dancer (and still not Cuban), nor am I Caribbean, but I am now a professional Digital Nomad and online entrepreneur.
And there is nowhere in the world where dancing is as magic as on the weird island of Cuba! But although the wonderful ambiance of music and dance, the reality of living in Cuba is complicated and difficult, both online and on the ground.
For Cubans, and for you too if you ever considered trying to live there. Read what it takes to move to Cuba in this guest post article I wrote for Spend Life Traveling.
Why Travel Writer?
I started this blog and writing articles about Cuba because I really want people to get to know Cuba!
There is so much more to this Caribbean island than the stereotypical impression you might get from headlines about world politics or dry history lessons, and I have made it my mission to elaborate!
In addition to up-to-date information about where to go, what to do, and where to stay, you will also find a lot of information about the intriguing history, the mesmerizing culture, and the current situation, in addition to the numerous adventures Cuba can offer exploring visitors today.
And of course, insightful articles about the Latin and Afro-Cuban dances, and great scuba diving sites in the whole region. Exploring under the surface of the ocean is one of my long-time passions, and I will share all the scuba diving adventures I have around here with you as I have them!
Little by little, I am also exploring the rest of the Caribbean islands in this beautiful region of the world. At the same pace, you will find all about the adventures, and travel tips that will be valuable for your travel planning, in either an article or among the resources.
A Shieldmaiden From “North Of The Wall” – Norway!
Born and raised in polar Norway, I grew up in the super peaceful Norwegian countryside.
After college, I went on to Officers School in the Norwegian Army, and later I also did my Master’s Degree in Social Science at Nord University in the polar city of Tromsø.
Choosing a military career has given me the opportunity to serve in the most difficult places in the world. Growing up in such a peaceful and privileged country, I know I would not have been able to learn as much about the world at large without the army.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have experienced both war and conflict as well as the bliss of peace.
But don`t take my word for all of the above, check out my stories – and then make the journey yourself!