Why I Travel Solo
I prefer to travel with friends or family, but it isn't always possible due to timing and schedules, so if there's somewhere I want to go and no one can, I won't let that stop me. It's rather freeing and exhilarating not to be tied to anyone else's schedule and to be able to do exactly what you want when you want without compromise.
I Try To Travel As Often As I Can
Pre-pandemic, I was traveling about 75% of the year. Now, it's more road trips and weekend getaways. As things open up, I'll be looking to find a better balance where I'm on the road half the time.
My niche is offbeat adventures, so I always look for the quirkiest, most unexpected outdoor attractions wherever I go. I've done everything from horse surfing in Florida to blackwater rafting in New Zealand.
Why I Choose Where To Travel Next
I keep a running list of places I want to go, usually inspired by an Instagram photo or article I've seen. Each trip is different -- there's no set length.
Once I decide I'm going somewhere; I'll do a deep dive into the area's tagged photos, read blogs and articles about the place, and check out the tourism board's website to make a list of things I want to do and a rough itinerary.
How I Pack For My Trips
After completely losing my luggage twice and trying to drag away a heavy, completely impractical bag up Machu Picchu, I learned to get life down to one backpack.
Now, I never bring more than a carry-on anywhere (even for 2-3 week trips) because, quite frankly, I never want my bag out of my sight. Packing is always a balancing act between flowy and photogenic Instagram dresses, yoga pants for exploring, and flip-flops. Must-haves include dry shampoo and wet wipes. Lots of wet wipes.
Safety Precautions I Take When I Solo Travel
I'll research neighborhoods and areas ahead of time and read up on any travel warnings and CDC alerts. When you travel solo, you have to be more conscientious and aware of your surroundings, so you're not walking through dark alleys or getting so inebriated that you put yourself in a precarious situation. When you only have yourself to rely on, you have to trust your gut and listen to your intuition more than normal.
Places I’ve Visited So Far
I've been to 41 states and 36 countries, and my goal is 50 before 50. I always try to find under-the-radar gems and show my audience there's no such thing as a flyover city, state, or country. My first "real" overseas trip was to teach English in Israel when I did a homestay with a family for the whole summer. We were paired with an Israeli co-counselor to show us the ropes, so we really got to see the city from a local perspective.
My Favourite Travel Apps
Skyscanner is my favorite booking app by far as you don't have to put a destination in, but rather have it show you the cheapest places to go at any given time.
Why I Started 'The Down Lo'
I just like showing people things they didn't even know they wanted on their bucket list. A new side of their favorite place or somewhere they didn't even know existed.
One Of My Coolest Travel Stories
I became a certified Viking in Iceland after a week of outdoor adventure challenges like glacier hiking and ice climbing.
Some Things That Prevent Me From Traveling More
Well, the pandemic made travel infinitely tougher, but in general, time and money are barriers to traveling more. When you don't have people to split meals and rooms with, things can add up quickly, but there are always ways to save money if you're smart and scrappy.
My Advice For New Solo Travelers
Solo travel may seem intimidating when you're completely out of your comfort zone but just do it – there's no better way to really be present and completely immersed in a new culture. It's one of the best gifts you can give yourself and a chance to truly get to know yourself.
New to our blog? Here are some of our inspiring solo female traveler's stories worth checking!