5 Myths About Traveling Alone

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As I’m starting to plan out my next adventure with two of my friends, I’ve been being reminded of how different it is to plan out things with a group vs. being a solo traveller. One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is the reaction people have when I tell them that I’m flying overseas…with my friends.
The moment I say I’m traveling with two other girls there are smiles, story swapping and all kinds of laughter and fun. Since I’m human and therefore not exactly anti-acceptance I’ve gone along with it for a while, but being the solo traveller that I naturally am, it has started to bother me. Why is it so much more societally acceptable for a woman to travel with a couple of friends than for her to travel by herself? Do we still, subconsciously, live within a world where a woman needs to be “chaperoned” in order to safely traverse the world around her?

Of course you should all know my feelings on the matter. But as an added bonus, I thought I would debunk some myths that people told me about traveling as a woman, based off of my personal experience.

Travel Myths1. You won’t have any friends to talk or share memories with:  I’m am a pretty hard core introvert. I’m not the most outgoing person in general, but something kicks into gear when I travel. There’s something beautiful about having thousands of people around you who you don’t know, and may never see. For me, it’s so freeing, and it’s one of my favorite things to make friends with the people I meet along the way. Whether it’s meeting people in hostels, people I’m staying with or just people I meet on the road – I have some of the coolest stories based just off of the people I’ve met and adventured with. Would I have been as outgoing if I was traveling with other people? Honesty? I don’t think so.

2.  You’ll get lost and never be able to find your way back. When I travel, I don’t have an iPhone that works outside of Wifi, I don’t have any special GPS or anything magical that makes me able to travel flawlessly. Sometimes I get lost, and sometimes I get to make new friends just by asking for directions. Those are some of the beautiful aspects of travel, though! And you would be surprised how much you learn about map reading when it’s your only way of getting around! I know – sounds like something our parents did, but traveling without any kind of help has always worked beautifully for me (no horror stories to tell). If you’re really bothered, you can always pay a small amount of money for a personal GPS, as well.

3. It’s dangerous. Here’s some news – life is dangerous. And if you live cowering in a corner, you’ll never experience some of the most beautiful moments. I live by a mantra: Don’t be scared, be prepared. Research, research, research! Know about the country and culture – know about the people and the places you’re going to. The safest I’ve ever felt is having plans (even if I throw them out in the end). This is also a great opportunity to make friends when you travel! Having people know you, is a great way to make sure you have a contact if something does happen.

4. You won’t get as much out of the experience: Like I said, I’ve been on some pretty epic adventures in my time. I’ve never regretted traveling alone, and while I would never discourage traveling with friends, I would definitely say don’t wait to travel just because you can’t find people to go with. I waited two years for people to go with me on a backpacking trip and I regret that SO MUCH – as soon as I actually bought my ticket and went on my trip it was amazing to see how many of my friends started getting interested in traveling more. Be a leader! Take a step forward and embrace the adventures that are waiting for you!

5. Something will go wrong/you’ll die: It always amazes me how many people told me of how my travel adventures would result in my untimely death. Obviously, I’m not dead yet. And the thing about this myth is that life is never guaranteed to us, no matter how carefully we live it. If I die while traveling, I will die doing something I love with every ounce of my being (not a bad way to go). And statistically speaking, travel adventures are a lot less likely to land you in the morgue than the general public seems to believe. While I do, of course support being informed, careful and vigilant when traveling, I also encourage not allowing the unfounded fear of others (especially if they aren’t speaking from any personal experience) to dictate how you live your life.

Plane Ticket, December 2015: And The Winner Is….

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Today I’m challenging myself to write a blog post during my lunch break. It has been way too long since I’ve really updated you all on my travel life, but never worry – there is a trip in the works!

As you all know, I’m quite the solo traveler. I love to travel alone, and I think I may always, BUT there is a time and a place for changing one’s habits. This time the time is December 24th, and the place is – of course, IRELAND.

That’s right, I’m heading back to my favorite Island and this time I’m bringing my crew of two – two of my very close friends, with me! I’m so excited for this upcoming adventure for so many reasons.

  1. I get to show them all of my favorite spots in Ireland, London (and maybe even elsewhere – who knows!?)
  2. I get to introduce my two lives – European and American together and my friends in the UK/Ireland will get to meet my two best friends!
  3. It’s going to be awesome. Honestly. I’m so excited.

The plane tickets have already been bought and now all that’s left is for us to wait a few months! I honestly could not think of anything more perfect than spending Christmas in London and New Years in Dublin.

Honestly, when I found out this adventure was even a possibility my heart felt like it started to beat for the first time in three months. The past months have been such a whirlwind of crazy. I’ve had two jobs and three houses to live in and I’m finally ready, I feel, for things to settle where they are for a bit of time.

It was icing on the cake for me to find out I would be spending the Christmas holiday season with some of my favorites!

Have any suggestions for where we should go!? Message me with your favorite spots in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and London and we’ll try to make it over!

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite pictures from Ireland – I’m so excited to go back!

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See you soon, Ireland!

Homesick For Somewhere

Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow, Scotland

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about not being here. Some may call it wanderlust, some may call it daydreaming, but I just CANNOT shake the feeling of needing to go somewhere. Not necessarily France, not necessarily anywhere particularly, but just the need to go.

In a weird way, I feel like I’ve outgrown my life, and appropriately, for my Slytherin (nerd alert!) nature, I need to shed my skin. I’ve always been a daydreamer. I stare out windows dreaming about places probably more often than I ought to. But the truth of the matter is, I’m homesick. Not in a depression way (although, PTD – or Post Travel Depression, is a real thing) but just in a wistful wonderment kind of way. In a way that makes you get goosebumps when you feel like an adventure is on the horizon.

Where have I been homesick for? Well, right now, it’s Scotland. Or, to be more specific, Scottish sheep farms. I don’t know why, but taking trains and buses along the coast of Scotland brought me more joy than is probably normal. I remember traveling in a bus, passing by old stone ruins – sheep dotted across fields of every color green, and thinking, “You know what, if I won the Lottery today, I would buy a Scottish sheep farm, paint all day every day and never look back.” Because, honestly, that’s what I would do with millions of dollars. Buy a farm, change my identity, and run away to Scotland with my paintbrushes. Standard.

But, in the meantime, to combat the devilish voice in my head telling me to pack everything up and run away, there are some tricks of the trade that I thought I’d pass on for the chronic travel nostalgic like me.

1. Never Travel.

Just kidding. Duh, you should travel! But the way you travel can really make or break your post traveling experience. When I travel, I make sure it’s never to run away from things. Because, no matter how much you wish, you’re probably going to have to come back at some point. It’s in my nature to want to throw all of my belongings in a suitcase and run away the moment something bad happens in my life, but I really try hard to only travel if I have all of my ‘ducks in a row’ on the home front. That way, I’m not dreading coming back the entire time I’m away. And it also gives me the motivation to keep a happy home life, in order to be in a healthy mental and spiritual place to travel beyond it.

2. Send Yourself Post Cards: 

This is something I’ve done for a while. First off, if you’re backpacking, it’s a good way to get yourself a souvenir without having to lug something around in your pack. Second, you get proof that you actually went somewhere, instead of owning something someone could find in a thrift shop where you’re from. Last, I just love writing – and writing myself is weirdly fun. Snail mail isn’t given enough credit.There’s something magical and priceless about finding a note from a place you loved in your mailbox when you get back home.

3. Write About It:

Blog or journal about your experiences! I love finding just the right journal to keep with me while I’m traveling. I generally go for the ones without lines on the paper, so I can sketch, paint or tape in little extra bits I find around when I’m traveling. Blogging is also a fun way to keep a day by day account of where you’re traveling, if you have access to a computer.

4.  Tell Your Friends: 

Sharing your knowledge is one of the best things you can do for travel nostalgia. There’s something about sharing stories and inspiration with those around you that not only builds you up, but helps the rest of your friends to get on the train with traveling as well. Inspiration goes a long way. One of the only reasons I’ve had the guts to travel in the past is that some of my friends did it before me. Sitting down to coffee, and hearing one of your peers talk about their experiences, really makes you want to go out and make your own memories!

5. Start Planning Your Next Adventure:

No matter how often I travel, the minute I get back I start planning my next trip. Not necessarily in the way of  buying a plane ticket as soon as I touch ground, but I really love having maps, dream boards, Pinterest inspiration boards and thoughts stashed away for where I want to go next. Before I went to the UK I had  (still have) a giant map of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales taped to the back of my bedroom door. I guess that could be partially blamed for my nostalgia every night before I go to bed, but I also like looking at it and remembering all of the great adventures I had.

Bon Voyage!

Me and my mom adventuring per usual
Me and my mom adventuring per usual

 

DID YOU KNOW?!?

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Did you guys know I am a writer/photographer for the website “The Exploress”? Check out some of my pieces and some of the other amazing stories about life, and traveling the world as a woman!

CLICK HERE to read more! 

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