Born and raised in the US, about one year before Lash finished university, she decided to devote herself to traveling the world, so soon after she graduated, she moved to Kyoto, Japan in order to save money to travel. That was in 1991 (Teaching English paid big bucks there then).
Lash lived and worked in Kyoto for six years, saving money and preparing for her upcoming travels until late 1997. Having completed her savings, she left Japan, invested her money, and started traveling full-time in 1998. She’s been traveling ever since.
Besides her passion for travel, Lash has been a health and fitness nut ever since she was a teenager. In her travels, she is especially interested in nature, culture, and the arts. You can connect with Lash on GAFFL and through her travel blog LashWorldTour and through her Facebook.
How I Started Traveling Solo
Well, actually, I never intended to travel solo!
I moved to Japan with my best friend, Rick, and we planned to travel the world together after saving money for several years. While living in Japan, we did many domestic trips together, as well as one international vacation, always preparing and learning lessons for our big world adventure.
Unfortunately, I guess Rick wasn't as devoted to the world trip as I was. I don't think he ever saved much money and eventually he found a Japanese girlfriend. But besides that, he and I had some serious difficulties traveling together, so by the time I was ready to leave Japan, I had already concluded that we couldn't really travel together. I left for the world trip and he stayed in Japan with his girlfriend.
So I became a solo traveler by default! It was either that or give up on my dream. My dream that I'd already diligently prepared for and anticipated for eight years. No way!
To be honest, that was initially a bit of a shock to my system. While visiting family in the US after leaving Japan, I eventually noticed that I seemed to be stalling on beginning my trip. When I examined that, I realized that I was indeed a bit intimidated about setting out on my own.
I finally overcame that by deciding that I was not going to let fear stop me from pursuing my dreams. I 'tricked' myself into taking the first step of flying to Bangkok, Thailand. I told myself that if, for some reason, I didn't like it after I reached Bangkok that I was allowed to stop and return home at any time. That did the trick!
Of course, once I arrived in amazing Bangkok and started exploring, I quickly wondered what I'd been so scared of. Since then, I haven't wanted to stop traveling yet, 22 years later.
My main motivation – drive – is that I've set out to see every country in the world. I have a clear goal.
As far as traveling solo goes, on the one hand, I'm quite ok on my own, doing just about everything. I'm perfectly happy eating at restaurants, going to stores & markets, attending the cinema, visiting museums & cultural events, riding trains & buses & planes, all solo. No problem, good fun.
However, I would actually prefer to have a partner. After all these years, I'm still a solo traveler more or less by default!
Much to my amazement, I simply cannot find one other person who can & wants to travel the world full time for the next 10 years or so! Do you know anyone who'd like to join me?
I've made good friends from many countries in the world. Most of them are travelers, some expats living overseas, and some fellow travel bloggers. I've also remained friends with many people who've hosted me on Couchsurfing, Airbnb, and HelpExchange gigs.
Thinking of my best friends that I've met on the road, I can say that we've mostly met at hotels and hostels, from scuba diving (I was a PADI Instructor for 8 years), rock climbing, hiking, and even dance clubs.