Jemma Has Been Solo Traveling For Almost A Decade With A Strong Focus Towards Sustainability
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14th Jul | 6 min read

Jemma is an avid traveller, blogger and teacher. She’s from a small, but a famous town in England called Stratford-upon-Avon. She’s been travelling on and off since she finished school back in 2011. So far Jemma has managed to rack up 24 countries and counting. Along with those she has also lived in 3 countries for periods of time, her favourite and most recent being Malta. Currently, she is working as a Teaching Assistant in a SEN school in the UK until the pandemic passes and she can go back to travelling. You can find Jemma on her blog, AdventuresWithJem and by following her on Instagram.

Why I Travel

When I finished school, I didn’t really know what to do with my life, a lot of my friends went off to uni, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do, so I decided to go and do some travelling instead, and that is when my love of travel started. I had no choice but to do it solo as none of my friends was really ‘into’ travelling and actually it was the best thing I ever did.

I've Made So Many New Friends While Traveling

I can happily say that I have friends all over the world now, not only from travelling but also from working as an ESL Teacher. The best group of friends I met was when I did a solo trip with G Adventures to Costa Rica, it was a 16 day trip around the whole country.

I arrived on the first day knowing no one and came home with 9 fantastic friends. We meet up and have done a couple of other trips together. The girl I shared a room with, we are really good friends and since have been on 5 other trips together. Travelling really does help you make friends forever! 


How I Choose Where To Travel To Next

I am quite spontaneous when it comes to where I want to go, I have a bucket list the length of my arm. Usually, I work out when I can have time off, then look at flight prices around that time and just book something that way. The last 5 years I have worked in schools so generally I can only have certain times off, but if I can get a weekend trip in I try to do that. The average length of my trips is usually between 1-2 weeks if I can get the time off.

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Some Easy Tips To Help You Travel More Sustainably 

Recently I did a post on my IG about sustainable travel and it is surprising how many people do travel sustainably without realising.

Some of my top tips would be:

✿ Always take a reusable water bottle with you and avoid using plastic as much as you can, it’s so easy to buy a bottle of water in the shops when you are away, but most people will just throw the bottle in the bin when they have finished and a large amount of plastic ends up in the sea each day, so by using a reusable bottle you are preventing that from happening. Just make sure the tap water is safe to drink first. If not, invest in a bottle that filters the water or buy some purifier tablets.

✿ Explore local places, you don’t always need to get on a plane to see beautiful and new places. Your country will have a lot of amazing places, you just need to get out there and find them.

✿ Shop at local markets and eat in local restaurants, supporting small, independent business is something we need to do more, especially since the pandemic. The best way to know if a restaurant is a local one is by looking at the menu. A lot of independent local restaurants will have the menu in the country's language rather English.

✿ Recycle when you travel, clean up after yourselves. This of course is a no brainer but the amount of people who don’t do it, it’s shocking to see. Also try and leave nature as it is, so this means don’t take souvenirs such as shells from the beach and leaves from the trees etc.

✿ Use a hotel towel more than once or take your own towels. This saves on hotels, hostels washing, which in turn uses less electricity, therefore helping the environment.

One Of My Best Travel Memories

I have so many memories from all of my trips. But if I had to choose one, it would be staying in the Sarapiquí rainforest in Costa Rica. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. Deep inside the rainforest, a 2 hour tractor ride. Surrounded by nature everywhere you looked. Being woken up at 4am every morning by howler monkeys, going on night walks and seeing animals in their natural habitats. Making homemade empanadas. Being totally disconnected for a few days from the world.

Evening bonfires with singing and games. Swimming in the river that runs through the Sarapiquí rainforest. If you ever get the chance to do something similar I highly recommend it. It was an experience I will never forget with some of the best people I’ve met travelling.


Things That Prevent Me From Traveling More

Time and money. I think it is the same for most people. My job doesn’t enable me to have much time off and when I do get time off it’s in the school holidays like everyone else, so everything is more expensive. Being in the education sector we also aren’t paid very well, so the lack of money means that sometimes I have to save for longer periods of time to be able to afford a bigger trip.

Ultimately I would like to live the nomad lifestyle where I can work from my laptop and be free to travel whenever I want.

Challenges While Traveling

There can be many challenges when travelling, but you need to make sure you are prepared for them. 

Things like your flights getting cancelled, always make sure you have travel insurance.

Lack of internet/phone signal, I always make sure I do some research before and have some notes on my phone, also I use the app which is an offline map, just make sure you download the map when you have internet and then it can be used the same as google maps.

Food, I am a vegetarian, so sometimes it can be hard to find food that I can eat, for example in Cuba I lived off rice and beans for 2 weeks. Again, doing your research beforehand always helps.

The language barrier, google translate can be your saviour in times like this, but I always try to learn some of the language, just the basics to get by.

My top tip would be, just make sure you are prepared, just in case things go wrong then you can cover yourself.

My Travel Bucket List

As I mentioned earlier my bucket list is the length of my arm. I would love to tick off all the 7 wonders of the world at some point as so far I have only seen one. I would also like to do a safari in Africa and stay in a tent in the wild. I’d like to travel around Australia and New Zealand for a year, along with exploring Japan and more of Asia. And I would love to spend a night under the Northern Lights.

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