A special note about a world traveler woman from Celje, Alma Karlin [1889-1950]

Yesterday evening I got a phone call interview from Alenka, a Slovene journalist. We discussed my journey so far, the delays and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the genesis of the journey itself.

At some point I discussed my grandmother and her influence. Her being a woman who grew up in the 1920’s and moved countries and pursued higher education at the Sorbonne University and in general drove her life and gave it direction rather than being told what to do or where to go. She epitomized to me free spirit, critical mind, can do attitude and gave me to read all the books that fed my appetite for freedom and adventure.

And then, Alenka asked me if I had heard about Alma Karlin, from Celje. Celje… where I am staying tonight. It blew my mind. Alma was born in 1889 and was the 2nd woman ever to travel solo around the world. She set off in 1919 for a 9-year solo journey around the world. She went through South & North America, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Asia, India. Alenka concluded her presentation of Alma saying: I think she would have been friends with your Grandmother!

Alma was a traveler, a writer, a poet, collector, polyglot and theosophist. There is a statue in her honor, in Celje and also a museum, where her collected items are exposed – unfortunately now closed due to Covid19.

This was worth a special blog-post – and say I would never have heard about Alma if I hadn’t stayed in Celje and Alenka had not called me for an interview! Alenka randomly heard about my journey by a friend who sent her the link to my website – and I have no clue where or whom it comes from.

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