Tell us about your first trip alone overseas? What emotions you felt, scared, happy, excited, was it a mixture of everything? How old were you? Where did you go?
I was excited, but mostly terrified for my first trip alone overseas… Which also happened to be my first ever trip overseas, period.
After finishing my undergraduate career, I committed to studying 6 months in Taipei without any prior knowledge of the Mandarin language. Although it took a long time to adjust to the lifestyle because it is quite different from life in the USA, I really recommend everyone to visit Taiwan!
How has your experiences travelling alone been compared to traveling with someone? Do you have a preference on alone or traveling with someone?
There are trade-offs between traveling solo and traveling with others, but my most negative experiences have always occurred with other travelers. These include a disastrous visitation from an ex- while I was abroad and missing out Balinese highlights because my classmates preferred shopping to visiting temples. During those trips, I felt most happy when I veered off on my own.
But there are trade-offs. While I am very comfortable traveling solo, I do expend more energy worrying about: getting lost, becoming a target for pickpockets and not being able to finish all of my food.
What is your thoughts on traveling alone as a women and the issue of safety?
Any life worth living involves some risk, and dangers of traveling alone exist regardless of gender. I think women should travel to countries they generally feel safe in and where they believe the law will protect them fairly. Expanding your comfort zone is fantastic, but you don’t want to go somewhere so out of your comfort zone that you spend your whole trip feeling paranoid.
Some dangers are unforeseeable and unavoidable. There is always the chance of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, though this can happen in your hometown, too. However, other dangers can be avoided by demonstrating alertness and street smarts. A good dose of research beforehand always helps, too!
Any life worth living involves some risk, and dangers of traveling alone exist regardless of gender.
Tell us a story about your best travel experience (with or without someone else)
My best travel experience occurred when I took up the invitation of a fellow I met abroad in Taiwan to spend a weekend in Seoul. Though we had just met, at the time I had the inkling that he was the one for me. We are now married and travel together frequently, but that spring weekend in South Korea was my most delightful and enjoyable trip: strolling through the park during the flower festival, scarfing down too many treats and even heading to the furniture museum – which was on both of our “must visit” lists! I hadn’t realized travel with another person could be so easy. And now I believe that is a sure sign of a soul mate.
I hadn’t realized travel with another person could be so easy. And now I believe that is a sure sign of a soul mate.
What are your top 3 favourite countries you have traveled too?
What are your least favourite experience or country traveled too?
Most of my Indonesia trip was a bummer since I let my friends talk me into going on a banana boat. As we were jarred off of the yellow cylindrical raft “for fun,” the person behind me rammed his head into my shoulder, dislocating it. Then I went to the hospital where they gave me muscle relaxants that made me severely nauseous and feel ill for days. Oof. It was bad. But I would like to visit again – on my own terms!
Let’s play a game, give us the first word or sentence that pops into your head around these words. (Think experiences on the road).
FUN – easygoing
TRAVEL – adventure
FOOD – family style sharing
MEN – straightforward
EXERCISE – move your body every day!
INDIA – Holi
AMERICA – freedom
PACKING – a necessary evil
JOB – (hopefully) a fulfilling way to make a living
ALCOHOL – meh
DANGER – alertness
TAXIS – yellow
BED BUGS – GAAAHHHHHH! Ew.
LOVE – warm fuzzies
FAMILY – thankfulness
NEW FRIENDS – vibrant
OLD FRIENDS – accepting
SWITZERLAND – Swiss Alps … and chocolate
What has traveling alone taught you?
Traveling alone has taught me so many things: to be open to new experiences, to connect with people who have different viewpoints and paradigms from my own, and to confidently traverse this beautiful planet solo.
Lastly what advice would you give to someone who is looking to travel alone but is too scared?
You may be scared, but you are capable. You will likely need help in the form of directions or recommendations throughout your trip, and there are great people from all walks of life that will help you simply out of kindness. You may lose some belongings to a thief or have an airhead moment and leave a personal item behind, but just go. Exploring the world at your own pace, in your own time, is worth it.
You may be scared, but you are capable. You will likely need help in the form of directions or recommendations throughout your trip, and there are great people from all walks of life that will help you simply out of kindness.