Solo Female Traveler Interview: Charlotte

Hey adventurers! It’s time to introduce you to the latest awesome solo female traveler in the series. Charlotte from The Global Shuffle took the time to answer my questions and give some awesome solo travel advice. Don’t tell Charlotte, but I’m super jealous of her for living in Vancouver, one of my favorite cities anywhere.

 

Where are you from, and where are you currently residing?

Sydney, Australia, but I’m living in Vancouver, Canada. 

Where is your next destination?

Next destination outside Canada is the US in October! Heading to Texas and I’ve never been to the States before and I’m so excited about it.

 How long have you been traveling?

I moved from Australia to Canada in March 2017, but I travelled intermittently before that. I’ve travel a lot around my home country because it’s just so big and there’s so much to see, and I spent five months travelling solo around Europe in 2016, and backpacked around India, Nepal and SE Asia for a few months in 2014, so travel for me is always an ongoing thing.

 What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to go to South America, specifically Argentina and Peru. Now that I’m in the Northern Hemisphere, it feels a lot more likely that I’ll go.

 What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling?

There have been a few…

My whole month driving around Iceland was a crazy trip – the sun never set and I was camping, I picked up hitchhikers, drove around with a girl I met on the internet, and battled blizzards somewhere in the fjords (read about that here).

And the time I had to accidentally hitchhiked in Bulgaria… I couldn’t speak Bulgarian or read the Cyrillic alphabet, realised I was in the wrong place when I got off the bus, and had to approach a group of guys in a pub and try and communicate using the only Bulgarian word I knew – Melnik, the name of the place I was going (you can read the whole story here).

 What’s your favorite place in the world and why is it so great?


I think Bulgaria is one of my favourite places in Europe – I never planned on going there, but I was so surprised at how much I loved it. I went there in summer, and realised it’s just a beautiful and very historic part of the world that I never really knew much about – so full of music and life, cobbled streets, flowers, wonderful people, great food, and amazing beer and wine. Plus, it’s really affordable.

 What lessons have you learned from travel?

I learnt that everyone is the same. The fears, anxieties, and self-doubts I had about travelling solo were widely shared among the greater community, and figuring that out was eye-opening, and kind of liberating. I felt as though that knowledge gave me the freedom to approach people, start conversations, and make friends because there were so many people who were really anxious about doing it as well. If I can empower people to do anything through my website, it would be to give them the courage to travel solo. Without sounding cheesy, it’s a life-altering experience and I think everyone should do it.

 How do you combat loneliness when traveling solo?

I used the ‘hangout’ feature on the Couchsurfing app, swing by traveller bars, or talk to people at my hostel – things I would never have done before my trip around Europe. I was really worried about being lonely when travelling alone because I’m pretty socially-awkward, but I’ve actually never felt less alone – when I wanted to hang out with people, they were always around, and I made some really good friends.

 What advice would you give a woman who wants to start traveling but is struggling with doubts and uncertainties?

Join female travel groups on Facebook, download the Couchsurfing app, don’t overthink it, and book a ticket. I had so many doubts before and after I booked my trip, but I really didn’t need to put so much energy into feeling that way – once I got there, it was all great. It’s difficult to let all your anxieties go, but my advice would be not to let those feelings control you – you’re a capable adult, and relying on your own sense of judgement and your ability to look after yourself on the road gives you a sense of independence I’m not sure you get doing anything else.

Charlotte MyAdventureBucket.com

So there you have it! Isn’t she awesome? How many of you want to book a ticket to Bulgaria now? (Me!!)

Thanks, Charlotte! Have a fantastic time in Texas!

Here’s all the places you can follow Charlotte and her adventures:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theglobalshuffleblog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theglobalshuffleblog/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/globalshuffle/boards/

Website: http://theglobalshuffle.com

Like this? Check out another awesome solo female traveler here.

Feeling inspired? Share with your friends!

Charlotte MyAdventureBucket.com

Solo Female Traveler Interview: Cali

Hey Adventurers! I’m back with another awesome solo female traveler to introduce to you! Meet Cali, from Cali O on the Go! I felt like Cali and I were instant besties because she, too, knows what it feels like to be charged by a hippo. If you don’t, you probably want to do your best to keep it that way. Trust me on this.

Where are you from, and where are you currently residing? I am from Boston, Massachusetts and I reside in the area when I am not traveling.

 Where is your next destination? Guatemala!

How long have you been traveling? I have always had some level of interest in traveling, but it truly became an obsession about two years ago. I quit my job, sold my belongings, moved back home (from Texas to Massachusetts), and started traveling the world, mostly full-time, mostly solo!

What’s on your bucket list? What is not on my bucket list? One place I really, REALLY want to go is Madagascar. I just love nature and wildlife and Madagascar is home to some very unique species. I also love adventure and adrenaline so I am always on the lookout for unique adrenaline pumping activities to add to my bucket list.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling? I was charged at by a hippo at a campsite in Zambia. Luckily it was a warning charge, which is atypical of hippos as they usually charge to kill. We were separated by an electric fence which was not actually electrified due to planned daily power outages during the dry season in Zambia.

What’s your favorite place in the world and why is it so great? I know you know this is one of the hardest questions you can ask someone! Uzbekistan was a special country for me. It had an amazing balance of history (the Silk Road), culture, delicious food, and the friendliest people.

What lessons have you learned from travel? My favorite lesson I have learned is the recurring theme of generosity. Regardless of where I am in the world, I have been humbled by the generosity of local people. They offer assistance, food, or anything they have, even if it is beyond their means, in order to help improve my experience in their country. It is a lesson I truly try and implement when I am back home.

How do you combat loneliness when traveling solo? I try to turn it into appreciation. For me, when I am traveling solo, I am very rarely alone. Whether that be because I am staying in a busy hostel or I have joined a popular day tour or the locals strike up a conversation with me because I am alone. When I do truly find myself alone or potentially lonely, I force myself to appreciate that moment. Finally, I am by myself. I will likely go for a long walk, or binge eat local delicacies (because that is not my favorite way to make a first impression when I am among new friends), or find a quiet park and read a book. I use it as the time to do things I like to do, but don’t want to do with other people.

What advice would you give a woman who wants to start traveling but is struggling with doubts and uncertainties? I have gone off on my own so many times now and I always psych myself out into a whirlwind of doubts prior to leaving. That feeling is SO normal whether this is your first trip or you are a seasoned traveler. Being at home is easy and comfortable and I don’t have to think. But traveling is an opportunity to see the world, be resourceful, and open your eyes to culture, food, and scenery you’ve never experienced. Don’t let your inhibitions hold you back. All you have to do is take that first step to go. Book that plane ticket, know you can’t back out and your instincts will take care of the rest. You will surprise yourself and you won’t be disappointed.

So there you have it, the world according to Cali! I love what she has to say about experiencing acts of generosity all over the world. I have experienced the same thing, over and over again, and it’s always so humbling.

Cali myadventurebucket.com

Catch up with Cali here:

www.calionthego.com

www.instagram.com/diagoncali

www.pinterest.com/calionthego

If you enjoyed this post, check out some other awesome solo female travelers here and here!

Solo Female Traveler Interview: Carrie Mann

Hey Adventurers! I’m back with another awesome solo female traveler for you to meet! I caught up with Carrie Mann of Trains, Planes and Tuk Tuks to talk about my favorite subject: solo travel, of course! Carrie is a woman after my own heart, as you’ll see when you read her account of befriending a group of villagers in Laos.

Where are you from, and where are you currently residing? I’m American — originally from New England, but I’ve lived in Washington, DC my entire adult life.

Where is your next destination? I’m deciding between Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Nepal, or Peru for an early September trip.

How long have you been traveling? I’ve been traveling my whole life, but I took my first solo trip — to China — 7 years ago.

What’s on your bucket list? Current top-three are: 1. See the mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC. 2. The Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal. 3. Iran — when I can get a visa to travel independently.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling? Good crazy or bad crazy? (I have plenty of travel-fail stories if you want the latter…)

Five years ago, I did a jungle trek in Laos. After two days in the jungle, my group and I swam across a river to get to a Khmu (hill tribe) village for a ride back to town.

Our guide was from the village, and one of the other people in my group spoke a little Lao. So they conversed a bit and apparently reached the conclusion that we were all invited to the chief’s house to drink some Lao Hai (local moonshine) and be initiated into the village life.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting on this bamboo porch, in a circle with all the men in the village. In the middle, there was a giant urn filled with concentrated Lao Hai and two bamboo straws. The chief had a metal cup. The idea was you fill the cup with water, pour it into the urn to dilute the liquor, and drink until the liquor level is back to where it was before you poured in the water. So we went around in a circle and everybody drank from the urn. We sat around chatting (or mostly hand-gesturing for communication) for about an hour.

It sounds like a little thing, but even in the moment, I was thinking “I can’t believe this is happening. This is the 21st century. People don’t spontaneously gather on porches in the middle of the afternoon to initiate a handful of strangers into their village.” But there I was — the only woman in the group — in this village with no cell phones, no computers, (probably no electricity), joking and laughing with these strange men who spoke no English. We didn’t even pull out our cameras. It was a travel experience I never could have dreamed of.

 

What’s your favorite place in the world and why is it so great? It may not sound that exciting, but I really love Mexico. I’ve been three times and still want to go back.

In terms of sights, it has everything — an ancient wonder of the world (Chichen Itza), amazing beaches, fascinating museums, jungles, volcanoes…you name it. I could spend months exploring Mexican history through Diego Rivera’s murals alone.

It’s also culturally fascinating and unique. The food is good. It’s cheap to travel in and easy to get around. And no two parts of the country are the same.

On top of that, the whole country just exudes a good-times vibe. When I step off the plane, I can feel the stress of travel bounce right off me. People are friendly, but more than that, it’s just a much more laid-back place than the U.S. — and only a three-hour flight!

What lessons have you learned from travel? The big one is “don’t panic; everything is going to be fine.”

When you travel alone on a tight budget, sometimes things don’t go your way. Hotels might be full. Restaurants might be closed. Buses could break down. You might have a hard time pulling together a good group of people to do an adventure tour with.

Travel helps put these minor annoyances into perspective. As long as my safety isn’t at risk (and it’s very, very rare for my safety to be at risk), I’ve learned to avoid freaking out, stay clear-headed and solve the problem, then laugh it off.

I’ve applied that lesson at work and in relationships with friends and family. A big project doesn’t go my way? While I might have once been tempted to hide in the bathroom and cry, now I use it as a learning experience and let it go.

On a less serious note, I used to be extremely shy. Travel taught me to not worry so much what other people think of me and just dive in and talk to strangers.

How do you combat loneliness when traveling solo? I actually feel like I spend less time alone when I travel solo than when I travel with friends or family. I meet more people. I think when you’re alone, you look more approachable to strangers.

I’m often an object of locals’ curiosity — especially local women. They’ll chat with me, show me around, or invite me to spend time with them and their families. I also usually stay in hostels instead of hotels, since it’s easier to meet other backpackers. Finally, public transportation — trains and buses — are great places to make new friends. I just look for anyone else with a beat-up backpack or suitcase and ask where they’re headed!

What advice would you give a woman who wants to start traveling but is struggling with doubts and uncertainties? I have doubts and uncertainties every time I get on a plane, so I know how you feel. But the hard parts are deciding to go and getting there. Everything kind of falls into place after that. After all, walking around, visiting museums, eating great food, going to the beach, and enjoying nature are not exactly hardships. You may never feel fully prepared — but that’s okay, you don’t have to be. People will help you. So just go!

Also, recruit an encouraging friend to watch you buy your plane ticket. When the doubts creep in, they’ll put you back on track!

 

Here are all the places you can follow Carrie and her adventures:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trainsplanesandtuktuks/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/carrieem

Blog: www.trainsplanesandtuktuks.com

 

There you have it- Don’t panic; everything is going to be fine! Definitely words to live by. Now I think I’ll go find some friendly villagers myself. Or at least some moonshine… Happy adventuring, Carrie! 

PS, definitely go see those gorgeous Ugandan gorillas. Standing face to face with one of these incredible creatures was the absolute highlight of my entire life. You can read about it here.

Like this? Check out more awesome solo female travelers like Carrie here!

 

Solo Female Traveler Interview: Sky Fisher

Hey Adventurers! You all seem to enjoy reading about my travels, so I thought I’d share the love and bring you some tales of other solo female adventurers. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the lovely Sky Fisher and her pura vida attitude; I think you will, too.


Where are you from, and where are you currently residing? I’m from Pennsylvania, USA. I grew up in a tiny town no one has ever heard of in Northeastern PA and then moved to western PA, about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, for a few years. I left the States in June 2016 and have been living in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica since October 2016.

Where is your next destination? Even though I’ve been in Costa Rica since October, I still consider it a travel destination. There is SO much here to explore so I make it a point to go to a different part of the country for a few days every month. Beyond that, I’m heading to Nicaragua in June for a few days and will be visiting the States and doing an East Coast road trip in the fall!

How long have you been traveling? This trip officially began in October 2016 so I’ve been on the road for about 9 months now. Before that, I took some time to explore more of the United States and I also took my first solo journey to Central America in 2015. Traveling isn’t something that I’ve always done, though – I actually had never left the East Coast until I randomly decided to go on a school trip to Guatemala as a junior in high school!

What’s on your bucket list? SO MANY THINGS. A few of my top bucket list things right now are learning to speak Spanish, visiting every country in Latin America, seeing the Northern Lights, and road tripping Iceland. I don’t really keep a true bucket list, though – basically I just want to see, learn, and do everything!

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling? I don’t actually have any crazy wild stories! Most of my travels have been pretty calm and I’m okay with that!

What’s your favorite place in the world and why is it so great? Guatemala! Guatemala was the first country I ever visited. I was 16 years old and fell completely, 100% in love with everything about it. I haven’t returned in a few years but it’s still my favorite place in the world. There is so much history, culture and beauty throughout the country. The people are incredible too!

What lessons have you learned from travel? There’s a saying in Costa Rica, “pura vida”, which literally translates to “pure life” but is more or less all about having a laid back, don’t-get-upset-over-nothing, chill attitude and while it seems to come naturally to all of the locals, it’s definitely something I’ve had to learn! To just take a breath, relax, and let things be. It doesn’t matter that plans changed or that we’re leaving half an hour late (nothing is ever on time anyway!) and I don’t always need to know every single detail of everything before it even happens. Not everything needs to be controlled. Just relax and go with the flow!

How do you combat loneliness when traveling solo? My main method is, honestly, to just talk to others. Be social in the hostel. Smile. Be proactive in suggesting doing something or getting dinner as a group. Most people are just waiting for someone else to ask!

What advice would you give a woman who wants to start traveling but is
struggling with doubts and uncertainties? You can do it! Travel can seem overwhelming at times but it’s so worth it. Just remember that there’s no “right” way to do it! There’s a thousand different travel styles. If you’re not comfortable doing eeeeeeeverything solo – don’t! It’s okay to join a tour (I haven’t yet but I want to try Contiki) or to pay extra for a private service. For example, when I crossed the border from Bocas del Toro Panama to Puerto Viejo Costa Rica, I took one of the shuttle services. It just made my life easier to not have to worry about the details myself. But, honestly, if you’re even considering traveling solo – DO IT. It will change your life!

Here are all the places you can follow Sky on her adventures:

www.skyvsworld.com

www.facebook.com/skyvsworld

www.twitter.com/skyvsworld

www.instagram.com/skyvsworld

Happy adventuring, Sky!