How I Caught The Travel Bug
My first big trip was a soccer tournament in Spain. I hadn’t thought about travelling much until this trip. After exploring Madrid and eating delicious food, I definitely caught the travel bug. It felt like I flew to another world and it made me realize there’s so much to discover. I continue travelling to learn about different cultures, try local cuisines, and create memories.
How I Choose Where To Travel Next
A lot of my travel inspiration comes from social media lately. I love browsing other travel accounts and seeing the neat destinations they visit. I also find a lot of inspiration from travel blogging groups that I’m in!
Once I decide where I’m going, my trip length depends on how many things there are to do in the places I want to see. I tend to research different cities and create pins on Google Maps to help determine how long to visit a place.
From there, I will start building a route and creating an itinerary for myself. Then I jump into searching for cheap flights and accommodations!
Lately, I haven’t been travelling much. I typically go on 2-3 big trips a year, along with many long weekend trips in between. When I travel, I love visiting local wineries or breweries, checking out markets, trying local foods, and exploring nature.
How I Pack For My Trips
I used to pack really poorly. There were times when I didn’t research the weather and travelled to a destination that was freezing and I only brought shorts! After I learned from making that mistake four times, I began packing a bit better.
My recent must-haves for packing are:
Safety Precautions I Take When I Solo Travel
When travelling solo, I do many things to stay safe:
Book accommodations ahead of time after thoroughly reading reviews
Land at my destinations during daylight hours
Download offline maps and watch where I’m going when in a taxi or other transit
Research areas I’m visiting and find places to avoid after dark
Share my location with close friends and family
Avoid being on my phone while adventuring to be more aware of my surroundings
Countries I’ve Visited So Far
I’ve visited 43 countries so far. For solo female travel, I think countries like Peru, Nicaragua, France, England, Thailand, and Japan are great to visit. They are all quite easy to travel around, popular for solo travelling, and were safe to visit in my experience.
Nicaragua was a great place for me to meet new people. There, I stayed at hostels most of the time and made an effort to make friends. I tend to build itineraries for my trips, but this was the first time that I broke my plans, blew off a hotel, and adventured to a different city with new friends we met at the hostel. It made for some great stories!
My Favourite Travel Apps
On my trips, I use Google Maps offline maps, Google Translate, Klook or Viator for excursions, Expedia or Booking.com for hotels, and various airline apps for points.
Why I Started A Travel Blog
I was inspired to start my blog through travel journaling. My mom always packed a new journal to take and document my adventures and it seemed like a great idea to move it online to share with others! I was also inspired by people asking me about what to see and do in places I’ve been to.
I help my readers by designing fun itineraries, highlighting unique excursions, and presenting them with new destinations to add to their bucket lists. I hope to inspire them to visit lesser-known travel destinations around the world!
How I Manage My Travel Costs
I don’t typically have a budget when travelling, but I do a lot to keep costs down. I plan a very thorough and detailed itinerary before I leave in an Excel sheet, highlighting what I’m doing most days, where I’m staying, and my means of transportation.
I’m very flexible when I leave, so I tend to set flight alerts and purchase tickets when I find the best deal. With hotels, I stay in very budget accommodations like hostels, especially because I spend most of my time exploring.
For food, I often purchase meals from a local market or grocery store rather than eating out for every meal.
My Coolest Travel Story
My coolest travel story is from my trip to Nicaragua. I visited the stunning city of Leon where I did one of the coolest excursions I’ve been on to date – volcano boarding!
I hopped in the back of a jeep with a group of fellow travellers and went on a 30-minute drive to an active volcano in the area. When we arrived, we collected a large wooden board and safety equipment before hiking up the side of the volcano. It was so windy that it was challenging not to blow over when walking up the sandy trails.
When at the top, we put on hilarious orange jumpsuits and goggles. We then sat on the boards and leaned back to speed down the side of the volcano. It felt like a long time sliding down the side, especially because it was terrifying! But it was so fun that it’s become one of my favourite stories to tell about my travels.
How I Manage To Work And Travel
I actually get asked this question a lot as I work full time as a Technical Product Manager and also keep up with blogging and social media. I tend to plan out my weeks on Sundays, highlighting tasks I need to complete for each day of the week. I try to get ahead where I can and use the extra time to relax.
It can be hard to schedule trips when working full-time, but I try to save up my vacation days and go on longer trips. I also use long weekends to travel within North America when I can.
When I travel, I try to stay in the moment and avoid work, blogging, and social media as much as I can. I still take lots of photos because I love documenting my memories, which also create content for future blog or social media posts.
Some Things That Prevent Me From Travelling More
Working full-time prevents me from travelling more, but I hope to go on a sabbatical at some point for an extended adventure. Even though I work, I still travel quite frequently!
Travelling solo can be so rewarding but can be dangerous. As a woman who likes to travel to less-touristy places solo, I need to pay extra attention to safety and be on alert at all times.
Another challenge with travelling solo is confidence. It can be difficult to step out of your comfort zone and do things alone in a foreign country. For me, I am quite shy and meeting new people or eating somewhere alone can be quite intimidating. While this is a challenge, it’s also a great way to grow as a person!
My Advice To New Solo Travellers
Just do it (safely). While travelling solo can be intimidating, it’s an incredible way to learn more about yourself and grow as a person. Be sure to do thorough research ahead of time to stay safe!
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