Wednesday Women: Ashlyn

ashlyngeorgebedjump

Meet Ashlyn.

I am a twenty-something outdoor adventure traveler. I’ve been to 52 countries on six continents and fund my travels by freelance writing, speaking and shooting and editing videos. I also sell photography when possible as well.

I like to push my limits when traveling and you’ll most likely find me out hiking, surfing, scuba diving or trying out any crazy adventure activity an area offers – I’ve even flown a military jet! If it scares me, I can’t say no.

What inspired/inspires you to travel?

After five years completing two degrees in university, I decided I wanted to spend the same amount of time traveling the world so I designed a five-year travel plan. On my first six month trip, I was hooked and knew it was a lifestyle I couldn’t easily give up. I love how every day I wake up wondering how the destination I am in is going to change my life. It’s thrilling and educational – much better than sitting in a classroom to learn.

As for travel inspiration, my destinations are usually chosen based on photographs I’ve seen as well as recommendations from other travelers.

ashlyngeorgealleedesbaobabsmadagascar

Where is your favorite destination to date?
It’s really difficult to decide but I loved spending a month in Madagascar. It’s not an easy destination to get to and there aren’t very many tourists so the locals are still curious yet friendly. The wildlife and landscapes were pretty spectacular as well and I spent a lot of time hiking and diving.

How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?
I spend most of my time traveling on my own but always seem to meet up with other people on the road. Admittedly, I prefer traveling with family and friends as I find the experiences more meaningful when I can share them with someone I care about. To date, I’ve managed to visit six continents with my mom as she enjoys meeting up with me around the world.

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Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?
There are definitely differences traveling as a woman than as a man. Some of them are positive and some are negative. As a woman, I’m more likely to get picked up while hitchhiking, but I’m also more likely to be bothered, catcalled and stared at by men. I have to be modest in how I dress and very respectful of other cultures depending what area in the world I’m in. Men and women definitely get treated differently while traveling.

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How do you plan your trips?
I’ve discovered that long trips are best left to planning on the go, while shorter trips it’s easier and less stressful to plan in advance. I prefer to plan as I go as I like to add in side trips that I didn’t know about until I arrived at the destination.

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When is your next one?
I’m currently working on a book back at home in Saskatchewan, Canada so I don’t have an immediate trip planned. I recently flew back from British Columbia where I hike the 75 kilometer West Coast Trail. Next month I’m thinking of escaping somewhere warm in the Caribbean if I can find cheap flights.

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?
A scarf is one of the most helpful items to carry. It adds warmth, style, and additional coverage when entering mosques or temples. It can also be a towel on short notice.

Want to know more?

 The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World  
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