Why I Travel & Why I Blog
This blog has been a long time coming. I’ve had friends and acquaintances tell me for years that I need to be sharing and documenting how/where/why I travel. Most have been impressed with either that a) I have well over a decade of primarily solo-female travel under my belt, to over 40 countries on 6 continents (no Antarctica…… yet.), or b) that I have whittled down a number of tricks and strategies over the years for getting as many flights as possible for very cheap or even free.
While I think that both of these are excellent reasons, especially the first as my solo travels have literally shaped who I am, what actually led me to pick up the pen (or, the keyboard more accurately) was a very significant weekend that ended up to be the catalyst (perfect storm?) to finally start what had been in the back of my mind for a couple of years. That weekend I witnessed several close friends/family making huge and exciting changes in their lives. Simultaneously, I was experiencing an ongoing and extremely difficult work situation with no resolution on the horizon. And- for the first time in a very very long while- I felt exhausted by my obligations rather than energized by them. I felt burned-out. Yes, even though I had just returned to the States after a trip to Fiji, and even though I was set to head to China in less than a month afterwards… I felt mentally and physically exhausted.
Lastly, around that same time, I heard a series of fear-based comments that really surprised me. First were two very matter-of-fact conversations about how dangerous it is to travel these days, how unsafe location XYZ is, how they will “never go to” XYZ because of that danger, etc etc… and let me be clear, these comments were not made about war-torn countries with current civil unrest. Second were comments from seemingly independent and strong female acquaintances of mine who said decisively that they can’t do things solo. Whether it was travel abroad, travel in-country, or even go out running at night in their own home base alone. And honestly, it was shocking to me. It just doesn’t align with my life experience or beliefs.
Please don’t misunderstand me— there are absolutely safety concerns to consider before any trip. There are actions you can take that will either significantly improve your safety, or significantly impair it. And yes, the world can certainly be crazy. But if travelling is “too dangerous” nowadays…. then how have I been to all of these offbeat and often considered dangerous places alone, and survived? How, as a blonde-haired and green-eyed female did I make it solo around the Middle East, Central and South America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe alone? Certainly I’ve learned a lot along the way that makes me travel smarter, which absolutely helps. But I think the other 50% is due to the world not being as scary as the media would have you think.
Do you ever notice that the people who say how dangerous the world is are usually the ones who don’t travel? So, I’d urge you to base your travel decisions on the word of people who do travel, who are experiencing things first-hand, and who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth of it all- the good the bad and the ugly. And, that’s what I’ve finally decided to do.
I hope to empower my readers, particularly females, to chase your dreams. Don’t let other people’s fear, or the media, or your own doubt hold you back. Be smart, be safe, and GO. DO IT. Travel. Experience. Learn from the locals. Live an adventure. Cherish your friends around the world– you will make them. The way I see it, your life is short, and the time is going to pass by quickly. Why not fill those days with adventures and challenges that you can look back and and feel proud of? Really, what is the other option?
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What are your dreams and what might be holding you back? Let me know what topics you would like to see me write about below!