*Interviewed by Digital Travel Guru*
Hey there Strangers! It was an honor to be interviewed by the lovely Eliza French of Digital Travel Guru. She asked me a tone of great questions about being a solo female traveler and what it is like to backpack long term.
Digital Travel Guru is a TOP NOTCH travel blog. It launched in 2016 with the goal of sharing the childhood passion for exploring the globe with people all around the world. They wanted to bring their readers on their adventures, to see their photos and travel videos to share experiences and also to motivate and help people to plan their trips and fulfill their wanderlust dreams. Since launching, they can proudly say they have grown a fantastic travel community across all our platforms which has made everyone very happy Guru’s.
Check out the original post here or look at an excerpt below!
AS YOU ARE A SOLO TRAVELLER – DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD SOLO TRAVEL TIPS TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Talk to as many strangers as possible. One huge advantage of traveling alone is that you are more approachable to people who might not feel comfortable going up to a group of people. When you are alone, especially as a woman, people are more curious about you and are more likely to talk to you.
I have been able to have just as insightful conversations with strangers as I have friends who I have known since I was four. Only these conversations hold no preconceived notions; you are able to talk from where you stand in that moment and not let your past cloud how the other person perceives you. It holds more opportunity for honesty and is impeccably freeing.
AS A SOLO TRAVELLER – DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD MONEY SAVING TRAVEL TIPS TO SHARE?
For most of my trips I have tried to couchsurf + volunteer as much as possible. I don’t necessarily do it because it is cost effective, but I truly get a better perspective and understanding of the people and place I am staying in. The fact that it is free/ cheap is a bonus.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY SCARY OR STRANGE EXPERIENCES WHEN TRAVELLING ? IF SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Oh, we don’t have enough space on the internet to go into all of them. However, I have been trapped in a tannery in Fez, was almost sold for a pack of cigarettes in Turkey, was abandoned at a bus stop in Rome, had to bail someone out of jail in Essaouira, hitchhiked in the Netherlands, and had my passport stolen in Mexico. Fortunately, the universe was kind in all of those situations and nothing detrimental happened to my mental/ physical/ emotional health happened.
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS TRAVEL HAS TAUGHT YOU?
Travel has taught me so much more than I could have anticipated. There are more than three things that travel has taught me, but there are overarching lessons that really stick out.
First is that your problems follow you around the world. I thought that because I was traveling I wouldn’t feel lonely or directionless, which were two feelings that would plague me at home. However, they still crept into my hostel rooms, sat next to me on buses, and walked me home late at night. But after months of traveling alone, I got cozy with these feelings and stopped allowing them to dictate my experience. I honestly love being alone now because I feel more centered as a person and am truer to who I am.
Piggybacking on the previous point, because I traveled alone, I was able to see what my true potential was and who I was without the influence of others. I was able to become more mindful of the parts of me I needed to work on. Simultaneously, I became more solidified on the integral aspects of who I am regardless of my location. Traveling alone gave me time to see my true potential and become a more empathetic person to myself and others because of it.
Lastly, I think I was able to test how strong I really am. When you travel alone and aren’t dependent on others, you have to rely on yourself. I was in a relationship during my last long trip in Latin America. I was traveling with my ex for two out of the five months, and I realized while my (ex) partner and I were traveling together that I was embarrassingly dependent on him. I was nervous that once he left, which was part of the plan, that I wouldn’t be able to travel on my own. This was a truly ludacris thought because years before I had traveled on my own for months at a time, for farther distances, and with fewer inhibitions. But there was this level that I couldn’t trust myself. When I turned my back on him and gave him the last kiss we would ever exchange, I stepped onto the bus with the fear that I couldn’t do it. However, the universe has a way of showing you your true strength. In less than 2 hours, I had made friends with some Kiwis and locals on the bus and went out to dinner with them once we got to our destination. I remembered the high of traveling alone and realized that I could travel as far as my legs could take me without him or anyone.