Hailey Comes Alive When She Is Outside, Experiencing New Things, And Going On Exciting Adventures
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GAFFL
7th Feb | 9 min read

Table of Contents

    Do bloggers ever ask their readers questions? Well, Hailey does, and she asks her audience a simple question “What makes me feel alive?”

    The outdoors, off-the-beaten-path locations, and exciting adventures are what inspire Hailey to write. To walk along the edges of the world's highest building, and in one particular scenario, staying in a floating bungalow in Thailand.

    She takes adventure traveling to the next level.  If you want to learn more about Hailey's adventures, check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.



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    What Initially Piqued My Interest In The Outdoors

    I was lucky to grow up in a family that spent most of our free time outdoors. The majority of our summers were filled with camping and hiking. We also traveled a lot as a family and when doing so there was always a heavy outdoorsy component. I have early memories of hiking up a waterfall in Jamaica, with my mom carrying my little sister monkey style hanging off her front. My love for the outdoors continues to grow and I find it the best way to still have adventures when I am near home.


    Duration Of My Trips

    I go on adventures every week! But if we are talking about bigger travel adventures, then several times a year. I work as a waitress because it allows me to save up and then take off as much as I can. My trip lengths will vary depending on the type of adventure and budget. For example, this past year I visited Portugal for 2 weeks, Cuba for 1 week, and then spent 3.5 months traveling and volunteering all over Europe. I strongly believe in having an adventure filled life even when I am not able to travel abroad. I adventure every week by simply getting out for a hike near home, doing some through-hiking in nearby parks, or by trying a new sport or activity.


    How I Choose My Next Destination

    I figure out where my next travel destination will be through a combination of following my travel cravings and seeing what fits within my budget and time constraints. Similar to food cravings, I get cravings for different types of adventures. When I chose Thailand in 2018 it was because I was craving a tropical beach adventure. Other times, I’ll crave something a little more rugged and remote, like when I chose to visit the arctic in Norway. I try to go with the flow, going where the opportunities present themselves, because I want to go basically everywhere anyways.
    I prepare for my trips by doing some research, reading through travel blogs, determining what I want to do, and then figuring out the logistics to make it all happen.


    How I Pack For My Trips

    I pack for my trips by first looking through a packing list or two online. Even if I know most of what I need, it gets me excited for my trip and helps ensure I don’t forget any important details. I try to pack as light as possible. I’ve recently started traveling only with carry ons. After traveling for 3.5 months this summer, I realized how little I actually need and it makes moving between destinations so much easier.
    My travel “must haves” include my hiking boots (it’s rare for me to travel somewhere without doing any hiking), a book, my journal, my carry-on sized backpack that opens like a suitcase, and of course a camera for recording my experiences. While solo traveling, I also like to pack a tripod.


    Some Of My Most Remarkable Memories

    Some of the adventures I’ve been lucky to experience around the world so far include:

    • Living and working in Kathmandu, Nepal for 7 months. While there, I was able to do some multi-day trekking in the Himalayan mountains, as well as some remote homestays with rural families

    • Becoming a semi-professional berry picker in the Norwegian arctic

    • Staying in a rural village in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador 

    • Going on a sunrise morning safari through the Kenyan Maasai Mara

    • Seeing a blue whale on a boat tour in Iceland

    • Rolling Cuban cigars right on the farm in the Vinales Valley, Cuba

    • Skydiving over Lake Ontario in Canada

    • Stargazing in a jungle in rural India 

    • Walking along the edge of one of the world’s tallest buildings in Toronto

    • Spontaneously swimming fully clothed in the Adriatic Sea with friends to witness bioluminescent plankton

    • Driving an ATV around mountain roads in Corfu, Greece

    • Learning to surf in St. Maarten and Portugal 

    I have an endless number of adventures on my bucket list. Visiting Antarctica is probably number one on that list. I have dreamed of going since I was a teenager. I love the idea of the remoteness and harsher conditions. I actually have a trip booked to visit Antarctica for November 2023, along with a trekking expedition in Patagonia! Among other things on the list, I’d also love to go volcano boarding in Nicaragua, climb Island Peak in Nepal, ride full speed in a NASCAR, and travel to Svalbard in Norway. 


    Why I Began To Blog

    I was inspired to start my adventure travel blog because of the daily restlessness I was experiencing in anticipation of my next adventure. Over time, I have learned to channel that restlessness into motivation for creating an adventurous lifestyle. This means that in addition to the big epic travel adventures, I am intentional about being open-minded and actively creating that fun way of life. I started the blog because I wanted to inspire others to create that lifestyle as well. In between traveling, you could take a dance class, try knife throwing, check out a new hike, go rock climbing, or have a picnic. Just trying new things and opening yourself up to new experiences is all adventuring is about. As I say on my website “I have basically made it my life’s mission to be moving full speed ahead towards meeting all my biggest travel goals, adventure expeditions, and over all else, a life filled with FUN!” And my blog’s mission is to show others how they can do the same. 


    One Of My Favorite Experiences Meeting People Abroad

    The best way to enrich your travel experiences is by meeting new people from all over the world to adventure with. One of my favourite memories doing so was from when I was living and working in Nepal. I met up with a bunch of friends to celebrate Halloween. The group of us were from all different parts of the world, including some local friends who had never experienced Halloween before. We carved watermelons and cantaloupes because they were the closest things we could find to pumpkins. It was spontaneous, fun and an awesome example of how cool it can be to share traditions with other cultures. 


    Safety Measures I Keep In Mind

    As a woman who often travels solo, I am well versed when it comes to taking safety precautions. Some of the measures I take include keeping up frequent communication with family and letting them know where I am at all times. I have my location services turned on with specific family members. I always do my research before visiting a new place and travel insurance is a must. Staying in places I feel comfortable is also important, such as booking a female dorm if I’m sleeping in a hostel or getting private Airbnbs. 


    Major Challenges With Balancing Work & Travel

    One of the major challenges I have faced with traveling, specifically solo, is the mental game of being on my own. Solo travel can have its hard moments, but I’ve learned a lot about knowing the type of travel that works best for you when you are alone. For me, that was about knowing how important it is to be in a position where I can make friends.
    I am able to manage work on the blog and travel by enjoying a slightly slower paced itinerary. Since I’ve started traveling longer term, I’ve learned that it is good to have a few slow days in there for recharging and getting things done. Aside from the blog, the best part about the line of work I choose to be in as a waitress is the flexibility I get to leave and come back. It is also a job that I could potentially do in other parts of the world too so I’d be doing both work and travel simultaneously.

    How GAFFL Can Help Solo Travelers

    Solo traveling is great because of the opportunity it provides to connect with others and make friends from other corners of the world. Sometimes it can be hard to make friends organically while traveling if you are not in the ideal situation for it. The role that GAFFL plays in connecting solo travelers together through shared itineraries and interests is amazing because it breaks the ice and takes you directly to others who are looking for the same thing as you. It provides that assurance before you even leave for your destination that you are going to be able to share those memories with new friends, without the stress of hoping you’ll be in a situation to make them.
    Another website that I use frequently now for my trips is called Workaway. It’s a volunteer exchange website that allows you to travel for much cheaper. If you get in with the right host too, you can potentially be joined by other Workawayers and make some friends where you’re staying.


    One Of My Most Exciting Outdoor Experiences

    One of my most exciting outdoor experiences was when I did my first multi-day trek through the Himalayan mountains in Nepal. Hiking into camp on the first day, the sky was foggy and there was not much visibility. When we woke up the next morning the wall of fog had disappeared to reveal a gorgeous mountain towering over us. I was so surprised and it quite literally took my breath away. It was an emotional experience and one that led me to discover my passion for trekking. 


    My Advice For The First Timers

    My advice for first-time travelers or adventurers is to take the leap. Be prepared, do your research but take the leap! The best adventures I have had in life came from taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone. 



    Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Traveling

    Something I wish I’d known when I started traveling is that the adventure memories I cherish the most are not those that were meticulously planned but the ones where I went with the flow. On my first solo trip, I booked all my accommodation and transportation in advance and ended up regretting not having a bit more flexibility. I’ve learned that keeping a more open itinerary can result in unexpected experiences that end up being amongst the highlights of my trips. 


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