What Inspired Me To Start Traveling
Ever since I can remember, we have traveled. As a child, we traveled around Europe on road trips, and I took my first flight to Miami when I was around 14 or so. I quickly became hooked on traveling to different countries, taking off from one country, and arriving somewhere completely different in a few hours or more - what a great adventure!
As I got older, this turned into a passion- a passion for adventure, to see things I had never seen before, have new experiences, and meet people with incredible stories to share.
One of my favorite travel quotes is by Nomadic Matt, and it pretty much sums up my relationship with travel -
“The more you travel, the more you realize that daily life around the world is exactly the same. Then why is never different. Only the how. And, to me, seeing those differences is what excites me the most about travel.”
Read more: Lisa Is An Experienced Digital Nomad On A Mission To Inspire Others To Feel The Empowerment Of Solo Travel!
Length of My Travel and Activities I Enjoy
After finishing my English teaching contract in Bogota, Colombia, I began working as a content writer in 2017. By 2019 I had become a full-time digital nomad. In 2019 I visited Italy, Bulgaria, Dubai, the USA, Egypt, Malta, Greece, China, Amsterdam, Spain, Switzerland, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, the Maldives, and Portugal.
I love to travel for extended periods of time in one place, taking time to explore the area while also keeping on top of work.
When I travel I love to walk around cities or areas, get to know some locals, hike, water ski, snow ski, swim in the ocean, take walking tours, try local cuisine, and do all the adventure sports.
Read more: For 10+ Years The @Gratefulgypsies Have Been Traveling The World Together Teaching English And Attending Phish Concerts
Ideal Length of My Trips
I have friends worldwide and I love to spend time visiting them, catching up, and discovering their hometowns or cities - the longer the trip, the better. My favorite length of time to spend in a country is one month. This gives me time to work and explore a place slowly and at my own pace instead of rushing to fit everything around working.
How I Prepare for My Trips
Once I have decided where to take a trip, I spend time researching the place on blogs, expert pages, and just general Google searching of the area. Some things I like to find out before embarking on a trip are:
How to get to and from the airport
How to use and make the most of public transport
What is safe and what is not
What areas are safe and what are the places to avoid
What are common tourist scams in the cities or areas
Some local customs, how the locals dress, and what is do to pay them respect
Are taxis safe
Researching the best places to stay
What you can/can’t take into a country
How to get from the airport or arrival location to my accommodation
Read more: Here's How Léa Spent A Few Snowy Nights In Peru
Must-Haves I Carry With Me When I Travel
I have recently been traveling with a carry-on, a small suitcase (or large soft bag), and a backpack only. Not only does this mean I have less to carry around, but it also takes out some of the worries of suitcases not arriving or losing luggage.
Some of my must-have items are the following:
My laptop, computer, camera, hard drive, chargers, local adaptors, headphones, and other electronics, etc
A small amount of local currency (enough to get a taxi to my accommodation)
A currency card to avoid foreign transaction fees
Reusable water bottle
A coffee cup
I have a purse filled with coins from all over the world, which has helped me out on numerous occasions.
My diary and a notebook
Google maps (offline)
Google translate (offline languages)
VPN - Express VPN
Small makeup bag filled with printed out images and things collected over my travels
Shampoo bars and washable face pads
I have a mobile phone plan that allows me to use my home phone plan in over 71 countries. I will pick up a sim card (pay as you go) in that country if I stay for a considerable amount of time.
The Safety Precautions I Take When Traveling Solo
I always try to find out as much information as possible about the location I am traveling to. Knowledge is key- so I find information on which areas to avoid, where you should and shouldn’t walk at night, what are the typical tourist scams, and other relevant information.
I also always either lock my backpack or wear it on my front, especially when using public transportation. Anything that makes it hard for someone to get into my backpack, I do, even if it means just clipping together the zips. Often you can tell by looking at what the locals are doing and how they act, such as wearing their bags on their front.
I never tell anyone I meet I am traveling alone or where I am staying (just the area, no names). It is always a good idea to let someone know if you are going out or taking a tour (even if they are on the other side of the world). Never tell anyone if you are single or not, especially if they have just met you.
Read more: How Jackie Traveled To 40 Countries by Overcoming Her Fear of Solo Travel
I Love Visiting Hidden Gems!
As of 2021, I have visited 40 countries.
I love visiting hidden gems. As a travel writer, I love going thinking outside of the box. Visiting countries that people would often avoid or never think of visiting - that’s where you find the magic!
Every person I have ever met has made me who I am today. I love listening to people’s stories; everyone has a unique experience, way of life, and ideas to share. Way too many to pick just one!
Read more: Lucy Started Solo Traveling As A Way To Escape Her Daily Routine. 6 Years & 40+ Countries Later, And She's Still Going Strong
My Favorite Travel Apps and Websites
Some of my favorite apps to use for travel are:
Websites that I visit regularly when traveling are:
I don’t travel on a budget, but I will often choose to mix between cooking my own dinners or making a picnic lunch over purchasing every meal out. But I won’t skimp on experiences!
I Have Some Great Travel Stories!
So many great travel stories. When I lived in Colombia I went on a trip to the Amazon rainforest and stayed with some local Colombians, Peruvians, and Brazilians within their respective houses. Living exactly how they did and talking with them. That was a pretty eye-opening trip.
I went sailing in the Maldives and visited the local islands, which were very different from the resort islands, and it was very interesting to see the comparison.
Read more: Here’s How Marjut Spent 20 Days Road Tripping Brazil On Only 50 Euros Per Day
The Biggest Challenges of Traveling Solo
One of my biggest challenges traveling solo is being lonely. Yes, I normally meet new people and form new friendships but when you are working and traveling it doesn’t always make sense to party until 5 am and then start working at 7 am. I would say the compromise of seeing and place and keeping up with work is one of my biggest challenges, hence the reason to travel slowly.
Read more: Amidst Heavy Pain And Despair Emily Turned To Solo Travel To Rediscover Herself
I Don’t Necessarily Agree That People Travel To Find Themselves
My advice for new solo female travelers is to just go. The first step or plane ride is the hardest, but traveling is so rewarding in so many ways. A lot of people say they travel to find themselves, I don’t necessarily agree with that statement, I think it’s more about opening your eyes to how things can be, how other people live, finding out what normal is for people all around the world. Travel is knowledge and makes you appreciate everything you have and gives you great stories to tell.
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