Our first question is who is Liz Norman?
Liz Norman is an artist who believes in connecting communities across the globe and releasing the creativity in people of all ages.
She is a mum to two bright boys and the director of Frothy Betty Creative Productions, a community art business. Her passion is being in the mountains and as close to nature as possible and getting to these places on motorbike is best!
How many countries you have visited so far?
I have been to New Zealand, Vietnam, Austria, Ireland, Scotland, England, India, France and now Pakistan.
How do you finance your trips?
Self Finance. Work and save and incorporate Frothy Betty activities into my exploration.
Any 3 money saving tips while traveling you would like to share?
Budget accomodation, self catering, homestays, camping… explore out of the way places for cheaper and more connected experiences. Gather as much info as you can and travel without a tour.
What do you like the most about traveling?
I love being a part of a connected world, to learn about different cultures and communities, meeting local people and the best is to lose oneself in nature. Just you and the earth is the ultimate connection.
What do you dislike the most about traveling?
Sometimes it’s tiring, when you have long days or weather is not doing what we want haha, or you injure yourself on a trek. But even this I don’t dislike, I don’t mind the hurdles that arise as it makes for awesome problem solving and broadens your mind.
What was the primary reason to visit Pakistan?
Frothy Betty Productions creates connections between communities in Australia and other countries, so I participated in an art event in the small village of Mayoon, co-organised by Frothy Betty and Pakistan Innovation Summit for Education and supported by The Karakoram Club.
What was your perception about Pakistan before your trip?
That it is a dangerous place to visit but one of extreme beauty. I had seen many pictures of the mountain ranges in the north and knew more and more that its a place I’d like to visit.
Can you share your feelings the moment you landed in Pakistan?
haha… I walked out alone from airport in Islamabad past the airport guards and their questions, waving my arm, smiling, saying its all good, I’m good, tall white woman in a sea of men… and thought well here I am in Pakistan, now where is my friend. Don’t Panic!
My friend had to wait outside the airport as motorbikes are not allowed to be parked inside… “Walk outside I’m near the gate” No one was near the gate… Don’t Panic… Ohhh you mean the other gate haha.
I felt fine. Just breathe deep when your outside your comfort zone, its good for you to push limits. Plus it was hot so I felt hot :p
How will you describe your trip to Pakistan in three words?
Mind-blowing, peaceful, beautiful.
What made you to choose KKH for your trip? What was so special?
I chose KKH because to go on motorbike in such amazing scenery and in a culture so very different from Australia is an experience I believe all people should be able to have.
Its amazing to feel the freedom of just you the bike and the road and KKH is one of the most famous scenic touring roads in the world.
What makes Pakistan different from countries you have visited so far?
Pakistan people were far friendlier than I had expected.
Big smiles and warm welcomes. It is more conservative than other countries I have visited and there was clear surprise at seeing me travel alone on a bike, despite this people smiled us on our way and were clearly excited and enthusiastic by our method of travel.
I believe by doing this trip more people can also now travel this way.
If you get a chance to visit Pakistan again, which 3 destinations you would like to visit?
What were some of the problems you faced in Pakistan as a foreigner?
No one uses visa so cash is a must and there are only a couple of atms that accept international visa so its important to plan where and when you withdraw money.
What will be your answer if anyone asks you, “Why Should I visit Pakistan?”
Its amazing and totally safe, do it!
You must have researched on Pakistan before visiting. What is different in the real Pakistan?
There was not a lot of clear information regarding security and I had to delve deep into blogs and forums.
People assured me it was safe despite travel warnings and so I decided to go and indeed found it a very safe place to travel.
There is a perception amongst foreigners that because a police escort is provided in some areas that this must imply a level of risk.
The opposite is actually true, the police escort is more of a courtesy to welcome foreigners. There was literally no danger in the areas I travelled in Gligit-Baltistan.
It is a very peaceful and friendly country where people literally go out of their way to help you.
Out of the different types of cuisines you had in Pakistan, which one was your favourite?
As I travelled during Ramzan my food intake was somewhat limited as often on the road there was nothing open. This is partly why I’m hankering to come back to Lahore just to eat, eat and eat!!
One thing I did get in abundance around the greater Hunza area were the most delicious fresh cherries I’ve ever had.
Share one of your most memorable moment or incident in/about Pakistan.
I think the moment I just sat with Nanga Parbat watching the sun hit the peak as clouds whooshed past was very special and humbling. It certainly is a mighty mountain and helps to put life into perspective.
We are here to be one with our planet and we are just mere specs in the grand scheme of things.
Any ending note for readers?
Go to Pakistan, its amazing