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