“Feeling lonely or homesick can be horrible, but again, it’s a small blip and easily remedied with a phone call home. Long bus rides, exhausting days of travel, food poisoning, and I had a few bus crashes that were pretty rubbish. However, all of the challenges I have faced are what has made me into a strong, resilient and confident woman. I wouldn’t change a thing from the last six years – not even the worst moments – because every experience has made me who I am”.
Lucy is a solo female traveller from the UK who quit a nine-year relationship and her job as a journalist to travel the world. Armed with just her backpack, she left behind all the things the world thought she “ought” to be doing and instead took a year out for adventure. Well, over 40 countries and six years of full-time travel later and it took a pandemic to bring her home!
In addition to solo travelling full time, Lucy is also a travel blogger, photographer, and social media influencer, particularly through her Instagram Stories which allow her followers to really join in on her trips. You can also find Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
Why I Became A Solo Traveler
I had always wanted to travel, but I felt I couldn’t after university because I was one of the lucky ones who managed to find a job during the recession. Unfortunately after four years in that role, and as my relationship broke up, I reached burnout level and realized I couldn’t continue down this path. I realized there had to be more to life than just this work-eat-sleep-party-repeat routine. I decided I needed to get away and see the world. I asked one of my best friends to join me on the trip – we had talked about doing this while at university. But she was in a great job and a new relationship that she didn’t want to leave, I realized I could wait six months on the off-chance she changed her mind, or I could just go by myself! The fear of never travelling was far greater than my fear of doing it alone, so I went for it and soon realized how much I love travelling solo. It’s my greatest passion in life and six years on it’s still my favourite way to travel.
I’m Always On The Go
I usually travel or live abroad pretty much full time – just before the pandemic hit I was a few months into a year-long trip through Central & South America. I travel slow and prefer backpacking because it allows me to travel for longer while meeting more people. My style of travel is all about connecting with a place and the people, I have the luxury of working online so it enables me to slow things down and really delve into the culture. I love being active and chasing adventure so anything with an adrenaline rush is high on my list, I love hiking, climbing, and getting out in nature, whether that’s volcano hikes or national parks. I’m huge on camping, road trips, and getting off the beaten track. I love to balance this more active side with relaxing on the beaches, exploring cities, culture and eating ALL the street food. Then dancing the night away with the locals – there are lots of ways to have amazing cultural experiences and I love to embrace all of them!
I’ve Traveled All Over
I’ve visited around 40 countries and these range from tourist hot-spots to entirely off the beaten track – I much prefer to visit less touristy places and hidden gems. However, I also really enjoy visiting a more popular place and finding the quirkier and more unusual side to the place. Less focus on the main attractions and more focus on the people and connecting with the place on a deeper level.
Most of my best travel memories come from the times when I have been travelling alone and have been invited to join the locals on adventures. These include hiking through the jungle to a secret beach party in Thailand with only the locals, or going fishing in Cambodia and swimming with the phosphorus plankton. There was the night I met a famous local artist in Thailand and was invited to join his family in his gallery where I sat chatting with him while painting with his daughters. There was a random night in Slovenia where I joined a group of locals and went to an underground bar where a local rock band was playing. Or the week I spent in Romania teaching English and getting to know a wonderful group of local people as they shared their culture and traditions. In Mexico, the locals hosted a guacamole-making class with Mezcal and a lot of laughs, before we went salsa dancing for the night. Over in Guatemala, I was blown away by the hospitality of my new Guatemala friends who invited me into their homes, took me for the best local food, and insisted we go dancing. I could tell a thousand more stories like this! Travelling solo really opens you up to meet the most incredible people.