Wednesday Women: Lauren

 

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Meet Lauren.

Lauren is a Mexico City based travel blogger at Northern Lauren who writes (mainly) about Mexico, food, and feminism. While she loves writing about other people and places, she thinks there’s really nothing more horrifying than putting together a humble yet engaging personal bio. Find her rainbow coloured pictures and pins on Instagram and Pinterest, or follow her irreverent thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

How long have you been traveling?

I don’t really know if you can class what I’m currently doing as traveling – I would say I’m more of an expat! However, I definitely first caught the travel bug when I moved to Mexico for my year abroad. Ever since then, all I’ve wanted to do is see more of the world and that was in 2014.

What is your travel style? Budget, First class, etc…

I’m a budget gal all the way. I cringe a bit when I see people dropping hundreds of pounds on hotel rooms or fancy flights, or overpriced tours because for me that’s not traveling. I’d rather explore on foot, get around myself (without tours if at all possible) and stay in low price hostels. That’s not to say I don’t like my home comforts, but I’ll just wait til I actually am at home to enjoy them rather than when I’m in another country.

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Tell us your favorite destination. Why?

My favourite destination…that’s a tough one. I obviously love Mexico as I’ve lived here nearly two years, but I would say that Porto was a really amazing place to visit. I went with a group of friends to celebrate our final year university exams and it was just the perfect goodbye as we all went off into the big wide world. Not to mention that it’s one of the rare cheap, picturesque European destinations outside of Eastern Europe. Plus, the pasteis de nata are to die for.

Any horror/funny stories while traveling?

All my travel horror stories involve unexpected upset stomachs. Honestly, the list goes on and on, but the funniest (or most horrible, depending how much you do or don’t like oversharing) had to be the time I got struck with an urgent need for a bathroom when I was in the middle of a crowded bus in Guadalajara. If you’ve ever traveled on buses in Mexico, you know how crammed they get. Anyway, this was right after I’d just got to the country, so I shoved my way to the front and demanded to be let off in the middle of the road. After a frantic and unsuccessful search for a toilet, I ended up in a grotty men’s gym. It was after I’d sat down and gone to town that I realized there was no toilet roll. Let’s just say my socks laid down their lives for me that day…

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Are you married? Single? A mom? How do you think your status affects your traveling?

I’m in a long-term relationship and I do think that, even if you don’t necessarily want it to, it affects how and when and where you travel to. For example, I feel a pang of guilt every time I go somewhere without my boyfriend because I know he’d love to come too. Realistically though, my job has far more flexibility than his does at the moment and I have to take advantage of that while I can.

Being in a relationship also means I travel far more frequently to the place he’s currently living, Monterrey, Mexico when ordinarily I probably would have only gone there once and had done with it.

Describe your ideal travel mate.

Someone who has similar, but not the same, tastes as me in terms of things they like to do when traveling. For example, ideally someone who doesn’t mind hostels, who enjoys wandering around the city rather than ligging on the beach all day and would rather blow their budget on great street food and constant snacking than going to a fancy bar or all-inclusive resort. Having said all that, it’s also important to have someone who does have different tastes to you, because they’re the type of people who push you out your comfort zone and make you try new things.

It goes without saying that my ideal travel mate has to be skilled at capturing that perfect not-candid-candid shot of me though…

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How long have you been a travel blogger?

I’ve been a blogger since 2013, sporadically, but only really dealing with my inane thoughts on a bunch of different (mostly uni life related) subjects. I’ve really dedicated myself to travel blogging in particular in these last few months, so my blog has been undergoing a complete overhaul. It’s tiring and challenging but totally worth it.

Any tips for aspiring travel bloggers?

Don’t give up easily and don’t go into it half-heartedly. If you do, you’ll never get anywhere, because the whole process of travel blogging, from the research to the promotion of your pieces can be frustrating, tiring and garner you very little recognition at first. In short, it’s complex and disheartening at times, but when it all pays off you realize why you do it in the first place.

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Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

Yes, a multitude of differences. I think you feel far more vulnerable traveling as a woman. I find myself questioning and wondering about whether something or somewhere is safe for me to go, whereas I imagine there are far fewer men who have this kind of internal doubt dialogue over travel.

Do you have any dos/don’ts when it comes to traveling as a woman?

Try not to worry too much, because that can really impact your travels in a negative way, but also stay aware and don’t get complacent. That’s what happened to me and I ended up getting mugged for being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Enjoy yourself, above anything. If you have the privilege to travel the world and see new people, things, and cultures, don’t waste that opportunity.

Want to learn more about Lauren?

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Wednesday Women: Alaska

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Meet Alaska Rue.

Hi there! I’m Alaska Rue, a typical millennial that just didn’t want to get a full-time job straight out of university. I’m in the jack-of-all-trades breed of humanity, and I’m the master of none (yet)! As a quasi-digital nomad, a self-published author in her early beginnings, a travel blogger/vlogger, and a book lover, I’m constantly trying to do too many things at once, to my own downfall. I’m in love with the location-independent lifestyle, and I’m determined to be my own boss. No more working for minimum wage, please!

Fun fact? I can solve the Rubik’s Cube in thirty seconds, sometimes less. 😉

 

What inspired you to start traveling?

Honestly, boredom. When I went on my first solo backpacking trip, I wasn’t satisfied with my life. I’d just been spending all my free time outside of school hanging with my friends, doing the same old thing all the time, and it was quickly getting old. I was wasting all my money on the same boring activities, just to pass the time. I needed something exciting in my life.

It randomly occurred to me that there was so much more of Canada to see. I’d been in Vancouver (where I lived at the time) for over a year already and hadn’t seen anything outside of the city limits. So, instead of waiting for a miracle to happen, I decided to take the money I would have spent on the same old habits and spend it on travel instead. I spent two weeks hitchhiking around the Okanagan, British Columbia, and two weeks touring the big cities in Canada by Greyhound (back when they still had discovery passes).

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What is your travel style?

When I first started traveling, I thought I was a backpacker. While I still travel with a single tiny backpack, over the years, I’ve come to realize I’m squarely in the category of a flash packer. I’ll still overnight it in an airport if I can, and I’m always trying to find the cheapest way to get to places, even if that means longer and more connections, or hitch-hiking. Instead, I tend to spend less frugally on activities and souvenirs (I absolutely love sending postcards!).

I fell in love with outdoor adventure travel when I traveled around Southeast Asia back in 2015. That trip, I got scuba diving certified, and did a lot of rock-climbing, deep-water soloing and deep diving. Now, I’m addicted. In the next two years, I’m looking to get skydiving certified, do a lot more outdoor rock-climbing, and try surfing.

 

If you had a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

If it was paid for by someone else, I’d probably go to Antarctica or Greenland. Those places are expensive to get to!

If I was paying for it out of my own pocket (most probably), I’d probably go back to Southeast Asia. I’m an adrenaline junkie and adventure travel enthusiast now; that region is where I can get access to activities like rock-climbing, windsurfing, scuba diving, ATV riding, etc., on the cheap.

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Any horror/funny stories while traveling?

A lot, ranging from the lightly comedic to the downright traumatizing.

To pick from the less dark of the pile—when I was on a two-week solo cycling trip along the Irish coast in 2014, I got myself into a really dangerous situation. I hadn’t realized that my brakes were completely shot until it was too late. Going down a steep hill that went on for a good kilometer or more, I was not able to brake. It was raining, and the roads were slick and narrow; if a car had come out of nowhere, I would have been toast. Somehow, I kept calm long enough to navigate the crazy descent (I couldn’t even use my shoes to brake because I was wearing slippers; I tried, and cut my toes). The moment the road leveled out, I got off, shaking uncontrollably, taking long, deep breaths, and thanked the higher powers for letting me survive that. Even thinking about it now, I don’t know how I got so lucky.

 

Are you married? Single? A mom? How do you think your status affects your traveling?

I’m single, but only recently so. I’ve been in kind-of, not-really, on-and-off relationships for the last five years, and consider myself fully single just this January.

Being in a steady relationship wasn’t the best thing for my travel spirit. I got into a live-in relationship right after my second solo backpacking trip, and went into dormancy. Didn’t travel for two years. It was because of my relationship that I didn’t transfer to a university across the country, even though I wanted to. But, when my last chance to go on exchange showed up, I knew I couldn’t miss it. It was tough. I missed him every day in the beginning, which was so bad because I would just hang out in my dorm room skyping and texting him instead of exploring Prague. Although I still did my fair share of traveling through the summer, I regret not doing even more and feeling so hung up over my guy at the time. I almost actually left field school early because I missed him so much… So glad I didn’t!

Being in a relationship that wasn’t really a relationship was even worse. At least with the first, I knew where we stood, and I could go off traveling, secure in that. With my next relationship, I made my travel plans around his because I wanted to be with him. I knew that if I didn’t follow him, we wouldn’t last, because he wasn’t interested in a long-distance relationship. It wasn’t sustainable at all; I ran myself broke trying to keep up with where he wanted to go. Eventually, we had to say goodbye because I literally had no more funds to continue, among other things. That was the most irresponsible I’ve ever been in my life, all because of love. I basically ran out on family obligations, and should have been working instead of traveling.

But, now that I’m single, I have the mental clarity and time to work hard on my own creative projects and on becoming the best version of me. It’s very empowering, being single after having been in relationships for so long. Being a single traveler opens up another world of opportunities, where I—only me—get to determine my experiences without having to consider the feelings of a significant other.

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Solo or with a group? How do you prefer to travel? Why?

I prefer traveling solo, all the way. I don’t mind going on road trips with friends, but only for short periods of time. I find that unless you’re with really good friends who are easygoing and flexible, being in a pack is more stressful than fun. You have to compromise and miss out on things you want to do, or you have to deal with people who want to sleep in instead of go out and see things. The worst feeling though is when you get sick or just need a rest day, but feel like you need to put on a good face so you don’t become a burden on everyone else. I absolutely hate feeling like that, so the best solution for me is to just go my own way. I also like time to myself, and being able to experience a new place with my own thoughts in my head, rather than feeling like I need to entertain other people all the time.

 

How long have you been a travel blogger?

Like, less than a month? Haha.

Well, I’ve had my travel blog since 2013, but never really kept up with it. I wrote the (very) occasional post. I only decided at the end of February 2017 that I was going to get serious with it.

How do you plan your adventures?

I open up Google maps and the Wikipedia list of countries I can go to without a visa, then imagine the possibilities.

Recently, I’ve begun orientating my travel plans around certain activities. For example, next year, I really want to take part in the Mongol Rally, so I’ll be spending a large chunk of my summer going through Europe, the Middle East, and Mongolia! After that, because I want to focus my travels more around learning new skills and hobbies, I plan on heading to Mui Ne, Vietnam, for windsurfing; Indonesia and Thailand for scuba diving; India for yoga; etc.

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Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

Well, I think there’s a difference doing anything as a woman versus a man. It can sometimes be good and sometimes bad. Based on appearances alone, I know I am typically more approachable as a small Asian woman with funky yellow glasses than a big, tall, hulking man with obvious tattoos (people see what they want to see, right)? I think it’s easier for me to find rides when hitch-hiking, and people seem more willing to help me if I need it.

On the flip side, people also think it’s easier to rob a woman or sexually assault her, or worse. While I generally feel safe in most places, I do think women feel like they have to take care of themselves even more so than men. But I’d still do everything I set my mind to, no matter the traditional challenges a woman has doing them.

Do you have any dos/don’t when it comes to traveling as a woman?

DON’T let other people tell you what you can or can’t do! That’s my number one thought. I absolutely hate it when people tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do something “because I’m a woman”. Please, find a more original reason to stop me. You do you, and I’ll do me.

Want to learn more about Alaska Rue?

Travel Blog www.mydotonthemap.com

Author Website: www.alaskarue.com

Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mydotonthemap/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/mydot.onthemap/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/alaskarue

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/alaskarue/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheWhateverFreak

Wednesday Women: Dany aka Danila

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Meet Dany.

Danila Caputo is a blogger, translator and digital nomad currently working and living near Naples, in the South of Italy. Graduated in languages and literature, she worked as a columnist first, then as graphic designer and photographer for several Italian magazines after her degree. She firmly believes that the world is our heritage and that we should preserve it for the next generations. That’s why she supports sustainable travels and local activities, encouraging her readers to be responsible travelers.

 

How long have you been traveling?
Since when I was a little girl. My parents loved road trips in Italy and Europe, so we used to do that a lot. Me, my little sister, our cat and our parents spent weeks in exploring, tasting, smelling new places. Dad used to bring along his 35mm Olympus with him and I remember wanting to learn how to take photos as well. All these moments have stuck with me and shaped who I am today.
What is your travel style? Budget, First class, etc…
I’m in the middle! I try to save by taking smart decisions when booking, but I don’t feel compelled to go for luxury experiences.
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 Tell us your favorite destination. Why?
The area that in Italy is commonly named “The Real America”, so all the States around the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been in South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming… and what can I say, I just fell in love! I’ve been often on the American West Coast, which is in second place of my personal top 3, but still… I’d love to explore more the area that maybe had the bigger influence on me when I was young. I love the Old Wild West history, and thus I bought a lot of books, maps, movies and documentaries, so exploring it in person was a pretty powerful experience. I want to go back and stay longer!
4. Are you married? Single? A mom? How do you think your status affects your traveling?
I’m married and I’ve been with my then boyfriend/now husband for the past 17 years. If anything, I think it had a positive influence on me because I found the perfect travel companion. We’re on the same page and even when I’ve traveled solo because of my work, he never once held me back.
Describe your ideal travel mate.
That’s easy, it’s my husband!
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 How long have you been a travel blogger?
Almost one year. I’ve started working on my Instagram but micro-blogging there wasn’t enough, I tend to write too much! So feeling the need to have my own space where I could hand out tips and travel hacks, I decided to try my hand at travel blogging. I had no idea I’d enjoy it so much!!!
 How do you plan your adventures?
I start by picking a period of the year and a place I want to go to. Then I go from there. I am in love with Lonely Planet Guides so unless I already have what I need, I go to their website and start buying… well. A lot more guides than I’d need, actually! It’s just that I really like to read them! Because I generally prefer road trips (see how childhood memories stuck with me?) I prepare an itinerary and see if there’s a panoramic highway or something in the area. If I find it, then I proceed by booking the lodging along the road and a car, according to the terrain (es. a Jeep or something if I plan to do some offroading or a convertible Mustang for a road trip on the Route 66!). Of course, by the end, my Lonely Planet is full of colored post-its and quite battered, but they’re more beautiful that way!
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Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?
I know for a fact that when I used to travel on my own sometimes I haven’t felt safe or completely at ease. And it’s the worst feeling, to be honest. As women, we have to be extra careful when we travel. It’s not right, but more often than not we have to deal with people who don’t understand the meaning of “no”, or “personal space”. It doesn’t mean we cannot travel on our own, only that we are unfortunately more exposed to certain dangers. Does this make me mad? Hell, yes!!!
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 Any advice to your fellow female travelers?
Always be extra careful. Tell your friends and parents where you’re going. I always leave a detailed itinerary at home, with all the info, telephone numbers, lodging and so on. This way should anything happen, your family and friends will know where to look for you. Because I’m extra careful, I also register to our institutional Italian website http://www.viaggiaresicuri.it/home.html so our government knows where I am: if there’s a similar website in your Country, then always use it!
Want to know more about Dany?

Happy Women’s Day !!!

Wednesday Women: Isabel

isabel-leong-ghent-belgium-street-artMeet Isabel.

I’m Isabel and I’m a freelance travel writer and travel blogger at Bel Around The World. I work full time at a digital agency specializing in social media. Pulling from my own world travels and lessons, I give tips on Bel Around The World about how to make use of student travel perks and stretch every penny while traveling experientially. 🙂

What inspired/inspires you to travel? 

I got inspired when I set off on a one-way ticket to Europe through my school’s international exchange in 2015. This program allows university students to do a semester of classes abroad in any host country.  Through exploring Europe on my own for 6 months, I’ve grown to love the idea of exploring the unknown and discovering new places.

Since then, I’ve only taken traveling in my own hands and begun seriously pursuing it, both with my blog and setting time and money aside to do it throughout the year.

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Where is your favorite destination to date?

I usually go for scenic destinations since I’m based in a city. My favourite city is New York, beach destination is Maldives, and the best place I’ve been for a road trip is New Zealand!

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How do you prefer to travel? 

I love experiential traveling – trying new things and pushing my limits. This includes bungee jumping in Phuket, watching hot air balloons at sunrise in Cappadocia and trying out Couchsurfing in Europe.

 

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Solo or With a group? Why?

Everyone should have an experience doing both. I enjoyed solo travel for the freedom it gives and how it opens more doors to making new friends. It’s an experience you will not get so readily if you are traveling with a partner. Traveling alone also builds your resilience and independence – both of which are very essential qualities in a person!

Yet, traveling with a partner or a group injects more fun in the trip. You would dare to do more things than if you were to travel alone, like going to a pub for instance. I wouldn’t dare to visit a pub alone in a foreign country, especially since I’m a girl! Having a companion also means an extra pair of eyes to watch out for you.

Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman? 

It definitely is much more dangerous especially if you’re traveling alone. That said, it can sometimes be easier also – you get accepted by hosts more readily on Couchsurfing and you receive help more readily by passers-by!

How do you plan your trips?

I will Google the places not to be missed for that particular area, and map it on Google Maps. Further to that, I will export it to an app called Maps.me so that I have easy access to it through my phone and offline when I’m on the go! More on this feature in How To Export Your Google Map Itinerary To Your Phone & Use It Offline!

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When is your next one? 

Bali in April and Hokkaido in May to catch the cherry blossoms.

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers? 

Yes! One of it is to be bold and never do anything (or the lack of) you would regret – you may only have that one chance to visit a place or try something foreign. More tips for first-time travelers in this post: 10 Tips For New Travellers.

 

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Wednesday Women: Theresa

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Hi. My name is Theresa. I am a logistician, a paper crafter, a cook, a mother, a nerd, a writer, and a lover of books and coffee.  I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. In pursuit of that goal, I have been a Peace Corps Volunteer, a tech entrepreneur in West Africa, and now I work for my government abroad.  I am currently posted to Jerusalem.
I write about my adventures and those of my globe trotting family as I seek to balance a rewarding career, parenting, and travel.
 
What inspired/inspires you to travel?
I have lived abroad for over a decade now.  My job takes me from country to country, and we can’t help but explore while we’re there.  The world is a very big place, and it would be a shame to see only a tiny part of it.
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Where is your favorite destination to date?
I don’t know if I have a favorite!  I’ve loved living in Jerusalem and exploring Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  I loved living in Freetown and Cotonou and DC.  I loved visiting Jordan with my parents and kids.  Europe’s wonderful to visit (but so so so expensive, compared to many of the other places we’ve lived).
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How do you prefer to travel? Solo or with a group? Why? Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman? How do you plan your trips?
These days, almost all of my travel is with my family.  I have two young children and traveling with them opens my eyes to the world in way I’ve never experienced on my own.  They see things I don’t notice, and their delight in discovering the world is infectious.
I plan our trips around my children’s capacity to not melt down into total monsters.  That means we can do two things per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a long break in the middle of the day for play, naps, and quiet time.  If we plan a physically challenging outdoor activity, usually we do it in the morning, then spend the afternoon relaxing somewhere tranquil.
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When is your next one?
We’re moving to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea for my job!  I am super excited to spend a few years living in a country I’d otherwise not be likely to visit.
Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?
1)  Just do it and go with the flow.  Travel never works out as planned.  Go ahead.  Plan a perfect trip where you see all of the tourist destinations, then take time out to explore a less traveled path.  But when life jumps out at you (you miss your bus, your kids melt down, you see a poster for an amazing comedy show or poetry slam), ditch the plan and go for it!
2)  Travel with your kids.  Solo travel (or travel with other adults) is certainly easier, but traveling with our children has been rewarding in ways we never imagined.  Seeing the wonders of the world through their eyes is life affirming, and these experiences will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
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Wednesday Women: Danielle

worldsmith-headshot-2Meet Danielle.

I’m a freelance travel writer and blogger on a year-long RTW trip. Over the years, I’ve supported myself financially with everything from leading tastings at a winery to overseeing public art programming (and some less glam stuff too, but who likes to read about bookkeeping?). But it’s all been in support of this – my true profession.

What inspires you to travel?

Travel is just who I am. It’s in my blood. My dad grew up as an army brat, even spending a few of his formative years in Thailand. His parents continued traveling for fun well into their 70s, so I grew up with a strong awareness of the world beyond my home. I came by my wanderlust natural, and was very fortunate to have a childhood filled with stories of China, Egypt, and Peru. Travel was never painted as inaccessible to me, which sadly isn’t the case for everyone.

Where is your favorite destination to date?

It’s really impossible to pick just one. I don’t even play the favorites game with books or movies, much less cities. My most visited destination is the south of France, both Provence and the Languedoc. Florence ranks pretty highly in my book. If I had to choose a place to live, I’d probably go with London or Paris. And in the realm of pleasant surprises, I fell head over heels for Ljubljana, Slovenia and Belgrade, Serbia this summer. Two very different cities I never expected to visit. Ljubljana’s charm was instantaneous with a strong café culture, surprisingly good wine, and a clearly high quality of life. Belgrade was slower to warm, but once you get past the communist bloc architecture, the city has such a tremendous spirit and energy.

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How do you prefer to travel? Solo or with a group? Why?

I’ve been on some fantastic group tours, but currently I’m a solo traveler through and through. I’m very introverted, which a lot of people mistake for being shy. Not the case. Shyness stems from a fear of rejection. Introversion is a more complex personality type, but essentially it means you have a limited amount of social energy and need alone time to recharge. Traveling solo gives me complete freedom and control over how, when, and with whom I socialize. It keeps me from burning out.

Do you think there is a difference traveling alone as a woman?

Hell yes! There’s a difference doing almost anything as a woman. That’s not because men and women are fundamentally different. We all have more in common than we realize. But a long, long history of people believing in a fundamental difference has led to genders being separated and having different experiences. (Is this too philosophical for the Internet? Sleeping is not allowed at the Athens airport, so I’m writing this at 2am to keep myself awake.)

For a more practical answer, women often have different safety concerns. Travel affects our health differently too because of menstrual cycles. And obviously people around the world react very differently to women traveling alone, even in more “liberal” countries where they think they’re being positive. I get a lot of “Damn girl!” and “Wow, good for you.” No one would find a man traveling alone remarkable, positively or negatively.

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How do you plan your trips?

Obsessively. Travel planning is my favorite thing to do. Whenever I had time to kill at home or was procrastinating at my day job, I planned travel. I played with flight itineraries on Skyscanner or Bootsnall Indie and overland itineraries on Rome2Rio. I sketched out maps on post-its and compared daily costs of living. My RTW trip is a journey three years in the making, and I’m still making adjustments as I go. It is a constant process and always on my mind.

A couple of rules of thumb I use when planning a leg of my trip:

I try to travel overland as much as possible, but at the same time, I rarely book a bus or train ride longer than 10 hours. As a result, I often wind up in unexpected places.

I subscribe to Sherry Ott’s “one day on, one day off” model of working while traveling. When I decide to visit a city, I get a rough count of the things I want to do there, guess how many days it would take me to do them, and then double that number for my booking, so I can alternate work days with travel days.

When is your next one?

Who knows? It’s really hard to see beyond the end of my RTW adventure. I expect to return to my hometown at the end of June 2017. I’ll definitely need some time to regroup and save the money for whatever comes next.

The next stretch of my current trip will take me out of Europe for the first time, to India and Nepal, where my boyfriend is meeting me for a two-week Himalayan trek to celebrate his birthday.

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Any advice you would like to give your fellow travelers?

Ditch your bucket list! Expectation is the mother of disappointment, and pinning all your hopes of happiness on a place you’ve never been is a risky game to play. I went to Dubrovnik in large part because kayaking around the city walls had been on my bucket list for ages. But thanks to a misleading sales rep and a rude guide, the experience was actually awful. My visits to unexpected corners of the Balkans like Ljubljana, Mostar, and Belgrade were all much more rewarding and enjoyable. I do still take part in “bucket list” activities, but I try to have a much more relaxed attitude about doing so.

 

Want to learn more about Danielle?

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Wednesday Women : Eva

eva-explores-3Meet Eva.

I’m Eva, a solo female traveler who just left on a trip of indefinite length! I am working remotely as an editor and social media manager along with running my travel blog, Eva Explores, about solo female travel. I love expressing myself creatively, whether that’s taking photos of colorful buildings, singing a song, or creating a sketch comedy video with my friends.

What inspired/inspires you to travel?

I love to see how other people live around the world, and even how they used to live when I visit places with a rich history. The fascinating nuances of how culture differs around the world, but how we are all essentially the same. Also, to be honest, I am constantly searching for the best cup of coffee!

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Where is your favorite destination to date?

I’m going to go SUPER cliché right now and say Paris! Although I recently went to Prague for the first time and that reminded me of Paris in a lot of ways. I just love French culture, and of course food! I feel like I’m living inside of a movie when I am in Paris.

How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?

I personally prefer traveling solo. I went on my first international solo trip this year, and was hooked! I love having the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want. It’s an easy decision for me, since I’m an introvert. Solo travel lets me choose whether or not I want to engage with the outside world or just stay to myself observing everything around me.

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Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

I do think that there is a difference. Unfortunately, women still have to think about safety in a unique way before deciding on a destination, and then during her travels. It’s no reason to stay at home, but it factors into the way we travel. I rarely leave my accommodation at night if unaccompanied, because I feel more comfortable. Also, around the world women don’t have the same freedoms to travel as men. In much of the world it’s still expected that women will get married and bear children at a relatively young age. There’s no time to travel, and even if there were the money they would spend traveling has to go to necessities like taking care of a family.

How do you plan your trips?

Currently I just wing it! When I first started traveling, I planned everything down to the hour. Now that I’m traveling long-term there’s really no need to do that. I usually get the desire to go to a certain place from reading a travel blog or seeing a photo on Instagram. Or I travel somewhere because I have friends who live there. From there, I try to travel overland as much as possible (I actually hate flying!) to any nearby destinations. For my current trip in Europe it was a combination of everything. Originally I wanted to explore Eastern Europe because of the beautiful photos I saw on travel blogs. Then I added Helsinki, Finland as a base because my best friend lives there. While in Helsinki I was browsing Instagram and saw a photo of a coffee shop in Prague and thought ‘I have to go there!’ I booked a flight to Prague and have been taking buses and trains north back to Helsinki.

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When is your next one?

I am currently in Poland, but in October I am going to Asia for the first time! I’ll be going to my first TBEX as well. From there, I have one or two planned countries to visit, but mostly I’ll be taking my time exploring the region slowly.

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?

Embrace the unknown! Anyone who travels for any amount of time will tell you that things pop up you never could have expected. If you’re rushing around from place to place just trying to check off the top sites, you miss so much. Try waking up in the morning with no idea of what your day will hold and then letting your intuition guide you!

Want to know more about Eva?

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Snapchat: @evaeec

 

Wednesday Women: Courtney

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Meet Courtney. 

Hi, my name is Courtney, and I’m a travel-obsessed twenty something! I come from a city called Wollongong on the south coast of NSW, Australia, about an hour and a half south of Sydney. I love the outdoors and exploring beautiful landscapes, and in the summer I basically live at the beach. I work in marketing & communications at a travel company, and save every penny I earn to go on adventures!

 

What inspired/inspires you to travel?

The thing I love most about travel is that every destination you visit, every person you meet, every culture you discover, and every experience that you have is different. You’re continuously challenging your perspective every time you visit somewhere new. I’m inspired by these differences, and am determined to seek out as many as I can, and become as worldly as humanly possible.

 

Where is your favorite destination to date?

It’s hard to choose a favourite destination, but if I had to then I can’t go past Rarotonga, Cook Islands. I’m a beach lover, and Raro is a paradise like no other. The people, the beaches, the landscape, the culture…. Everything about it is incredible. Plus, there’s something for everyone; from those who seek a relaxed, beach holiday to those who seek an adventure holiday full of thrills. It’s also perfect for families, couples, groups of friends or solo travellers!

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How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?

I’ve never done a fully solo trip, but even if I had I think I’d have to say a group, or at least with one other person. I like to share experiences, especially when travelling. Obviously, solo travellers meet plenty of new people on their journey, but I prefer to travel with at least one other person I know. I spent a week in San Francisco by myself at the end of my summer working as a camp counselor and I felt incredibly lonely without someone to share the experience with.

 

Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

I guess that depends on where you go! As much as I hate saying it, I do feel safer when I’m travelling with a male. My friend and I (both girls) had a few uncomfortable moments during our eight-week stint in the USA, and I think these could’ve been avoided had we been travelling with a guy. I do admire those independent women who travel to dangerous countries on their own – their spirit and desire to change the way others think is very inspiring.

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How do you plan your trips?

Usually I figure out a destination I want to visit, and then go from there! I see if there’s anyone interested in going with me, work out the best time I can go, and pretty much wing the rest. I like to be spontaneous when I’m travelling, but there are some things you do need to plan in advance!

 

When is your next one?

Although I’ve got nothing booked, I’m planning to travel to Europe in the northern summer next year. I’ve only touched upon mainland Europe in my previous trips, and am dying to visit Italy! Specially, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast – get me into that hot Mediterranean sun!

 

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?

My biggest piece of advice would be to save, save, save! There’s nothing worse than looking forward to a trip, then realizing halfway through that you can’t afford to have the experience you expected. I’ve found myself short of cash on too many occasions due to my terrible budgeting, and have vowed to never again go anywhere unless I have saved enough!

 

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Want to learn more about Courtney?

Courty Stelt 

IG: @courtystelt

Twitter: @courtystelt

 

Wednesday Women: Marina

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Meet Marina. I am a french/german traveler who currently studies in Buenos Aires. I started traveling with my dad as a kid, exploring mostly Africa and Europe. Since then, the “travelbug” kind of got me.

During the last years I lived on three different continents and I am definitely not ready to settle yet.

13669106_10205001239870161_4185364637308626934_nWhat inspired/inspires you to travel?

Due to my two nationalities and my family living in three different countries I always was on the move. When I was thirteen my dad took me for a thrilling African safari. Afterwards I only had one wish, to see as much of the world as I can. 

I started reading books like “Into the wild”, “wild” or “the beach” and felt travel sick, when I was at home. People who live out of a backpack are my true heroes. 

Where is your favorite destination to date?

Koh Rong Samloem. It’s a tropical, wild Island in Cambodia – not to mix up with the party Island Koh Rong. 

It has no infrastructure, no wifi, no supermarkets. Just endless white beaches, a dschungel (jungle in english) and great snorkeling spots. There is one hostel on the other end of the island, a true backpacking resort at the end of the world. I spend the most adventurous, wild days there. 

13173669_10206912582832624_5003513747830832186_nHow do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?

Currently I prefer to travel solo, because  I kind of like the idea to decide about everything I do, myself. I do not have to worry about other people, I don’t have to make compromises or sacrifices. Also, even if you are travelling alone, you never really are. With all the people out there exploring the world, you always have a second family wherever you are. 

If I do not travel alone it is with my best friend from childhood. Because she understands what it means to be a traveler. We never make sacrifices, we just decide to split for a while and rejoin later, when we have different plans.

10615459_10202330242016884_8012395811199177674_nDo you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

The only difference might be the safety. Often women are easier to take advantage of. But besides that, I think there is no big difference to men traveling the world. 

We live in a world where there are more female traveler than male ones. So I think, for us it’s the perfect time to go and explore it.  

How do you plan your trips?

Most of the time I have a country in mind. But then I change my plans and book a flight to a totally different country. 

Then I do a lot of research on blogs or pinterest, just to find out later, that the best way to learn about a country is to actually be there. So now, I literally just book a flight and leave. 

Once I even traveled to Czech Republic just with a handbag with my money and my phone, because it was so spontaneous I did not even had the time to go home to pack stuff…

When is your next one?

Argentina is currently my home base. But I need to go to Chile or Uruguay for a little visa run. I might stay for a week and explore some parts of the Country. 

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?

As long as you are young and have the time, go see the world. If it’s just you, or with your best friend or boyfriend, go and explore. The only regrets you will have, are the things you wanted to do, but actually never have. 1535637_10200433888169223_1433985289_n

Want to know more about Marina?

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