"Brave New Girl"

"Brave New Girl"

Barcelona  ❤️
 August 27th, 2015
“You brave young lady!” the woman at my hostel says to me over sangria. “That must be very scary for you.” She’s genuinely impressed and concerned alike, and I’m charmed by her caring demeanor. Apparently I am a fragile looking thing to the outside world. But that’s not how I feel inside. Inside I feel strong, like nothing could ruin this journey for me, and I can conquer the world, one passport stamp at a time.
Everyday I’m told by strangers I’m “brave.” Brave to be traveling outside of my home in the states. Brave to be traveling the world alone. Brave to be traveling alone as a female, specifically. It is still a “man’s world” after all and there are many dangers for a solo young female backpacker like myself.  The sheer audacity of such an act is so hard for a lot of people to understand. “But it’s so dangerous! Who will watch out for you?”
“Me” I always reply. “I will watch out for me.”
My response is my mantra I repeat over and over. I’m telling myself and them at the same time. Every time I say it, it becomes more real. I am, in fact, my own personal guide and watchdog simultaneously.
At least ten times a day this conversation occurs with strangers, depending on how social I have (or have not) been that day. Somedays I really haven’t felt like conversing with anyone at all, so I don’t. I’ll go find a coffee shop or a park and sit with my journal and a good book or I’ll go wander around with my headphones in. I love rocking out to my music while I get lost in a new place. Yesterday I listened to the 90s R&B station all day and danced along the streets of Barcelona to Boyz II Men and Michael Jackson. It was great and I’m sure I provided quite a few laughs for people watching my terrible rhythm while I jammed down the street. Glad I could make people laugh. Good! I’m here to entertain, always.
 This process is already transformative and I’m only on week two. I’m learning to enjoy myself out and about all by lonesome-  versus staying in the house like I habitually did at home. I crave the peaceful centered feeling I have when I am only with myself out in the world. It is so reparative. I find new places and have to navigate my way around and learn how to communicate with people who do not speak English. (Mom, my Spanish is getting better!) I am healing everyday and when I take time away from all the noise, it speeds up the healing process. Sometimes I just need alone time with my brave, female self. She’s great, fun company and always knows what to do.
Getting my mind right, one day at a time.

By |2015-08-27T13:27:21+00:00August 27th, 2015|Dear Diary, Inspiration, Overcoming Fear, Solo Female Travel|8 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? SheGoesGlobal.net is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. Rachel Sales August 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Heather,
    I’m the editor of Pink Pangea (www.pinkpangea.com). Your travels sound wonderful, and we’d love to feature them on Pink Pangea. Get in touch at [email protected] if you’re interested!
    All the best,
    Rachel Sales

    • HD August 27, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Rachel!
      Thank you so much. I just sent you an email so check your inbox! 😉

  2. Lynne Ditmars-Currie August 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Brilliant writing and sharing of an experience that only the strong internally could pursue. You have definite “chutzpah” just as you should. You come from a long line of strong women. Keep in mind your great grandparents came to the United States from Europe during WWII with probably nothing but, hypothetically speaking, a backpack and a hope for a good life. I am one very proud mama ❤️

  3. Diane January 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    What an exciting adventure! Best wishes on a most amazing time. 😀

  4. […] One of the most frequent things I hear from people I meet around the world is this: “Id love to do what you’re doing but couldn’t never find the guts to actually do it. You are soooo brave.” […]

  5. […] coming to understand forgiveness is a choice, and it’s one made only by the strong and brave.  It’s far less about being “the bigger person” than I thought.  As it turns out, […]

  6. cordovogh June 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    This was a big step for you Heather and I’ve become so inspired by your tales to begin travels as I enjoy seeing different places and people, learning about them and their culture, but for an average Ghanaian, travels is thought to be expensive, how did you do it, any pointers when it comes to a specific amount needed for such trips around the world…. I am automatically a big fan of your blog now.

  7. Homemqcozinha.Top September 27, 2018 at 2:53 am - Reply

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    However just imagine if you added some great visuals or video clips to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and
    clips, this site could certainly be one of the greatest in its field.
    Good blog!

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