Blessed With Supportive Friends & Husband And A Thriving Business, This Passionate Traveler Has Capitalized On Her Liberty By Traveling To 30 Countries And About 25 States
What is GAFFL?

GAFFL connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

29th Jan | 4 min read

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    At GAFFL, we love to publish inspiring travel stories from adventurers around the world. You can connect with adventurers from 170+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together. In this post, we are featuring Kara Harms, founder of Whimsy Soul.

    Whimsy Soul, a lifestyle website committed to helping women uncover their everyday wonder. Kara loves sharing anything from extensive travel advice so readers can feel confident taking PTO to beauty hacks, size-inclusive style inspiration, mental health conversations, and cocktails. You can find her on Instagram and on TikTok.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
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    What Inspired Me To Start Traveling

    I’ve had the travel bug my entire life. I took my first international trip in 8th grade with my Spanish trip to Mexico and fell in love with learning about another culture firsthand. I haven’t looked back since.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    How Often I Travel And Choosing Next Travel Destination

    The nice perk of running your own business is you get full control of your schedule, so I get to travel 2-4 times a month. As I live in San Francisco, my favorite stomping grounds are the West Coast. There’s always a cool hot spring, historic hotel, or city to check out.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Of course, I take international trips whenever I can, but I love helping our readers discover spots near them. There’s this idea that travel is ONLY long European road trips or expensive villas on an island, but I think adventure is everywhere, even 20 minutes from your house.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    My Trip Lengths And How I Prepare For Them

    I’ve done everything from 1-day whirlwind trips to month-long road trips. My honeymoon, for example, was 3 weeks driving around Ireland and Scotland but I just got back from a 1-night stay in Napa Valley. There’s no set timeframe on how to have a good trip.

    When planning, I love using spreadsheets to help keep track of ideas, hotels, and restaurants. I also use Instagram and TikTok to help me discover things to do or places to eat.

    The Packing Manual I Follow

    The older I get, the larger my med kit gets while traveling. Unglamorous, I know, but having pain killers, tums, allergy meds, and first aid creams on hand are lifesavers. I learned this the hard way a few years ago. I was in Arizona and got insanely painful heartburn at around Midnight. The hotel was too far away from gas stations or drug stores (not like the latter would have been open) but thankfully the hotel sold a tiny packet of tums. For $10, of course. From then on, I always make sure I have a fully stocked med kit, just in case.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Favorite Memory Of Meeting New People Or Exploring With Locals

    I’m lucky to have a great group of girlfriends with who I travel a lot. We’re known for waking up before dawn to drive to a waterfall or swimming hole or hot spring to do a sunrise soak in. One of my favorite memories was last year when we went swimming at McCloud Falls in Northern California. It was so early, we had the whole place to ourselves. Yes, it was cold but it also felt so magical to go swimming at such a special place all alone with my favorite people.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    The Number Of Countries And States I Visited And My Bucket List

    I’ve been to over 30 countries and about 25 states, though that list is always growing larger. Right now, the top of my bucket list is Japan to eat all the food, Finland in December to soak up Christmas vibes, New Zealand to go wine tasting, and Montana to go hiking.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    An Enabling Environment To Travel More

    I don’t feel like I’ve had to make any compromises. I have a great home, a great marriage, a cute cat, amazing friends, and a thriving business. You don’t have to sacrifice those things to live a life of adventures.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Managing Work And Travel At The Same Time

    Whimsy Soul is rooted around passive income streams to earn money 24/7. It took years of work to get it to the point where I can leave my inbox alone for a week and it’s fine. This gives me the time to go travel and make a lot of content without worrying about client projects. I definitely recommend full-time travelers work to create passive income streams for themselves.

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Managing Cost During Travels

    I swear by credit card points and hotel + flight reward programs. I hardly ever pay out of pocket for flights, hotels, or car rentals because I use these programs to my benefit. That helps a lot with cutting down on costs.

    A Cool Experience To Share

    One of the coolest travel activities I’ve ever done is pet reindeer in Leavenworth, Washington. I believe this herd is the only one in the lower United States so it was super special to hang out with them, especially in December at Christmas!

    My Thoughts On GAFFL

    I’m lucky to have girlfriends and a husband to tap when traveling but not everyone has go-to travel buddies. It’s great for solo travelers, especially women, to find a new friend to travel safer and cheaper.

    Lessons Learned Through Traveling

    Kara Harms, the founder of Whimsy Soul

    Where you sleep matters. When I was 18, I was fine getting a horrible night's sleep in a $20 hostel but that grew old, fast. Often, the hotel can actually be the destination.

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
    Try GAFFL