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She Roams Solo Ladies – Bryony

solo-female-travel-interview
I'm a 20-something Liverpool based travel blogger currently working in digital marketing. My profound love of culture and history alongside my burning wanderlust makes me an extremely eager traveller. And I've been this way for as long as I can remember. As a Tourism Management graduate my education only made my love of exploration and wonder more intense and after my studies I spent 6 months exploring Latin America with my boyfriend. Prior to that I have taken solo trips across Europe and even to Cambodia to take part in some Voluntourism, a subject with questionable ethics I care deeply about. I'm a lover or new experiences and a general lover of life and feel that travel gives me the opportunity to enjoy both of those things. 

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?

My first trip overseas alone was to work in Italy at the age of 18. I’d been doing a ‘resort reps’ qualification as part of my Travel and Tourism course at my local college and I somehow found myself applying for a role overseas that would last me 12 weeks. I flew to Tuscany in July of 2011 and I was terrified. I was so nervous and excited at the same time I had this overwhelming sensation that life had just begun for me and in a sense it really had.

How have your experiences travelling alone been compared to travelling with someone? Do you have a preference on alone or travelling with someone?

I love travelling with friends and with my boyfriend and probably do prefer it to solo travel, but sometimes you just have to do some things for yourself. When I went to Cambodia for three weeks back in 2013 I was meant to travel with a friend who actually ended up dropping out of the trip. It became one of the best solo travel experiences of my life because I had to completely throw myself into the experience. Although I love solo travel it does require a lot of effort - you can become very lonely if you don’t make effort to socialise.  

What are your thoughts on traveling alone as a women and the issue of safety?

Don’t go looking for trouble and be cautious. Know your surroundings and do your research before heading to any destination.

Now this is a tricky one for me because I understand safety isn’t always something you can control, not just as a female but as a human being. We are often forced into situations that we wouldn’t necessarily like to be in this can be quite daunting especially when you’re so far away from home. On a lighter note it is extremely important to be switched on when you’re travelling whether you are travelling solo as a duo or even in a group. Danger comes in all forms and it's certainly important that it's always in the forefront of your mind.  Don’t go looking for trouble and be cautious. Know your surroundings and do your research before heading to any destination.

Tell us a story about your best travel experience (with or without someone else)

As a frequent traveller it's not easy to answer this question. I have had so many truly incredible experiences that it’s hard to choose just one. Something that will always stick out in my mind as a truly unforgettable travel experience is renting a moped/scooter on the volcanic island of Isla De Ometepe in Nicaragua (on Lake Nicaragua) and spending the day going round the island. The feeling of total freedom that came from that experience is enough to take your breath away. Yes, I’m really that passionate about this particular travel experience.

What are your top 3 favourite countries you have traveled too?

  1. Italy is my favourite country I’ve lived and worked there three times and some of my best young adult memories were formed in spectacular country.
  2. Mexico - probably the most diverse country I have ever been to. I spent 5 weeks in Mexico and besides the food poisoning I loved every second.
  3. Its tough to choose just three but I’m going to have to say Nicaragua. Its one of the most vibrant countries in Central America and I can’t name a single bad thing about it.

What is your least favorite experience or country traveled too?

I enjoyed my time in Oslo but I found it to be ridiculously expensive. Norway sticks out in my mind as being a fun trip but a seriously expensive one. I’d also have to say, regrettably that my time in Costa Rica was cut short and ruined by an experience I had in a place called Tortuguero. Without getting into too much detail I found myself on a National Park hoping to watch some turtles hatch in their natural habitat and make their way to the ocean. Unfortunately, all the turtles had been killed by stray dogs and the nests were then finished off by birds. After 2 wet nights in the rainforest and one in San Jose I left Costa Rica confused about my experience. I’m heading back to Costa Rica in November so I hope to have a better experience.

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 –Hungover lake jumping in Guatemala at Hostel Fe, San Pedro, Lake Atitlan.
  • TRAVEL - Travel blogging and finally setting up my blogger account on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
  • FOOD - Literally pizza in every destination I have been to. I can’t think of food without thinking of pizza and all the places I’ve eaten it.
  • MEN - This is so random but I got on a flight to China when travelling to Cambodia and I was the only female passenger on the plane!
  • EXERCISE - I remember two girls I travelled with in Ecuador doing exercise at a hostel we stayed at, I watched them from the window and wondered if I’d ever be that dedicated.
  • INDIA - Someone once told me I wouldn’t be able to handle the level of poverty in India and that worries me.
  • AMERCIA - Latin America!
  • PACKING - My trusty little blue backpack that’s been everywhere with me and packed with more outfits than I care to admit.
  • JOB - Almost every hostel in South America was looking for staff whilst I was travelling there. I considered it for a while but decided working to travel longer would only make me miserable that I was missing out.
  • ALCOHOL - Local beers in Poland with fruit flavoured syrup to make them taste less like beer.
  • DANGER - Arriving in a new place at night with no currency and no hostel. We did this in La Ceiba, Honduras.
  • TAXIS - Taxi scammed in Bratislava, Slovakia and the taxi driver threatening to phone the police if we didn’t pay the extortionate rate.
  • BED BUGS - The Point Mancora, Mancora Beach, Peru and the strongly worded trip advisor review I wrote after an argument with the manageress.
  • LOVE - The feeling you get when you tick of a bucket list item. Machu Picchu, tick. Angkor Wat, tick.
  • FAMILY - My first time travelling alone to Italy and the constant messages and calls from my concerned family.
  • NEW FRIENDS - Arriving at a hostel for the first time and someone saying ‘Are you doing the pub crawl tonight?’ Instant friendship.
  • OLD FRIENDS - The people you meet on the road but never forget.
  • SWITZERLAND - Not sure why I haven’t been to Switzerland, but heard it's also pricey.

What has traveling alone taught you?

Travelling alone has taught me to be myself. Be the absolute most raw and purest version of yourself and still manage to connect with people after a few hours. Travelling alone has taught me that in any circumstance you can find kindness and compassion from the people around you and gives you a real feeling of hope for the world knowing that there are likeminded and similar people to you in a thousand different places.

Travelling alone has taught me to be myself. Be the absolute most raw and purest version of yourself and still manage to connect with people after a few hours.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to travel alone but is too scared?

You will literally never know who you really are until you are forced to fend for and think for yourself on a solo trip. Yes, its scary. Yes, it’s. No, it doesn’t always work out but you will never truly understand yourself and your own company until you take a solo trip.

You will literally never know who you really are until you are forced to fend for and think for yourself on a solo trip

 

Your preference on how to travel, by which modes of transport?

I like to fly. Budget airlines in Europe have become the new inter rail or bus travel. The European travel market has become so accessible thanks to the likes of Ryanair. Love them or hate them you really can’t beat the value of a budget airline.

How would you describe your travel style in under 50 words?

My travel style is mostly budget and backpacking. When I travel I aim to pack in as much as possible in the time I have so my travel style is really get up and go for as cheap as possible whilst experiencing the most humanly possible.


How to get in contact with Bryony and read more of her adventures:

She-Roams-Solo-Icon-Blog  http://www.instagram.com/cbrondbo She-Roams-Solo-Icon-Facebook

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