February ’16 GLOBAL GIRLS

February…the month of love.  *Sigh*

Pink and red cards, chocolate boxes, roses and weekend getaways…commercialized romance comes here to flourish and fizzle out as quickly as February 14th comes and goes.

Let’s create a more rewarding and sustainable concept, shall we?

Self-love.  

Instead of joining the romantic masses, this month we are featuring 5 bad ass solo female travelers from all around the world.  Each of these women has a unique perspective on what it really means to travel the world as woman- alone.  All five were picked for their stories and what they have made of themselves by following their own path.  And bonus, they are all single!  I don’t know about you, but in my experience meeting people on the road, solo travelers usually have the BEST stories to tell.

Each of this month’s picks were asked the same three questions and delivered some refreshingly insightful and honest answers.

I am excited to introduce these ladies and hope you all are as inspired by them as me!

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OLGA MARIA

Olga GG

DreamsInHeels.com

What does Valentines Day while traveling solo look like to you?

I love traveling solo anytime of the year so I don’t mind doing it on Valentine’s Day. What I really love about traveling solo is that you tend to meet so many people. Also, you don’t have to compromise your schedule or interests. You can wake up early and leave, or you can stay in and rest. It gives you so much freedom to just “do you.” Also, Valentine’s Day is not only about being with a partner; for me, it’s also about friendship and appreciating the people that I love. I’m not saying that it’s not nice having someone special to travel with, but everything has its time and place. For me love should be celebrated all year round, not only on that particular day.

How do you think being single has impacted your travels? 

I think being single is a positive thing when you travel. It has usually opened more doors for me. I tend to network more, meet new friends, speak with the staff at the hotels, I have even received perks/discounts. Most of the time, since in most countries people enjoy meeting others from different cultures/backgrounds, it is pretty exciting meeting locals, exchanging stories and learning about different traditions, food, music and much more.

What advice would you give a girl who is dreaming of traveling the world but is scared to do it alone?  What was the best advice you received?

Ever heard the saying that if you can’t keep your own company, you can’t be good company for someone else? I would encourage her to experience traveling solo for herself. Life is too short and it should be lived – so go for the dream. The experience you get when you travel is not equivalent to any degree or job. It’s a unique way of learning about life, about others and, most importantly, about yourself.

Best advice I ever received: One of my mentors once told me, ‘You can feel alone even when with someone else. The best way to find happiness, to understand what you really want and to fully experience life is by enjoying being by yourself. The rest will come along.’

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TYGUENNE SOLOMON

Tyguenne GG.JPG

TheBeautifulShift.wordpress.com

Valentines Day while traveling solo…Good/Bad?  

Valentine’s Day for me has always been about champagne and chocolate. This year it will probably consist of ‘buckets’ and chocolate while on the beaches of Thailand! I enjoy being single and love taking time for myself, so Valentine’s Day has never been an overly-significant day on my radar. I look forward to spending the day in the sun with friends! Although, if there is a hot Australian that wants to buy me chocolate I wouldn’t be opposed to that!

How do you think being single has impacted your travels? 

I am a ‘professional single girl’ at this point in my life and wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always believed your 20’s are for self discovery and having as much fun as possible! My last boyfriend introduced me to international travel, and I am so grateful for that, but my journey now is all about my independence. I am creating my own fairy tale, not waiting for a man to give it to me.

What advice would you give a girl who is dreaming of traveling the world but is scared to do it alone? 

The trap some people fall into is over analyzing, and therefore creating fear. A common fear many have is being alone-but this doesn’t have to be a scary thing! Most don’t take the time to truly fall in love with themselves. In the one month I have been traveling I have learned so much about myself just by stepping outside of my comfort zone. And the beauty is you’re never really alone-you will meet so many fantastic people along the way!

The best advice I have every received was from my parents-‘trust your instincts and follow your heart.’  Tap into your intuition, because deep down you always know the right thing to do. 

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JANEY BRECHIN  

IMG_0934

LittleWanderLustStories.com

Valentines Day while traveling Solo… What does that look like to you? 

Valentines day is just another day. It has to be. I’m traveling around the world on my own and although I’m now in a permanent position in Auckland for a while I am in no hurry to settle down or enter into any kind of relationship. I think Valentines Day is a beautiful day for those celebrating it but is horrible to feel the pressure to have someone to be with on that day. Instead I’ve decided to treat myself, I’m not sure how but I know I’m going to be spoiled!

How do you think being single has impacted your travels? 

Being single enabled me to travel the world the way I always wanted to. Being free to be spontaneous and change my travel plans without having to have a discussion with anyone else. There is no compromise or meeting in the middle, no waiting around for anyone else, it is all on me and gives me the freedom I desire to travel. This doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely and sometimes long for the companionship people that travel as a couple have. But I also know that if I were in a relationship I wouldn’t be on the other side of the world right now.

What advice would you give a girl who is dreaming of traveling the world and what’s the best advice you have received?  

‘If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’ – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

You can wait forever to meet that perfect person that dreams the same dream as you to travel the world and they may never come. The scariest thing about traveling alone is making the decision to do it the rest is easy. You are never truly alone unless you want to be, travelers are some of the friendliest, kind and caring people I have ever met. You will surprise yourself with just how capable you are and it will change you (for good) in so many ways. Get out there girl!

When making the decision to travel my dad told me how he has got into a career and worked the last 20 years away sacrificing family, friends, travel plans and dreams and now he is coming to an age to old to some of the things he had always dreamed of. He told me to go, do everything I dream of and don’t stay and get trapped working the best years of your life in an office. This is heartbreaking. I don’t ever want to get to a point in my life and look back and think I had missed out on life. 

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TONI FRAZER

Toni GG.JPG

EnchantedSerendipity.com

What does this Valentine’s Day look like to you?

Being single for many years now, Valentine’s Day is just another day. Whether I am home or traveling, I tend not to think about it. But it reminds you that you’re single no matter what country you’re in.

This year, I am home in Melbourne, and I am doing a girls night with a friend, watching ‘Sleepless In Seattle’ at a historic theatre. Last year, I was on a 3 week European Topdeck tour and spent the night in Warsaw, Poland. One of the other single girls and I went to a restaurant, we ate pierogis (dumplings) and drank mulled wine looking out into the square.The restaurant gave everyone gingerbreads hearts too, so that was really nice.

How do you think being single has impacted your travels? 

Being single has allowed me to travel where I want, when I want. My last long term relationship was in 2008, and in the past 7 years I have explored Europe, visited Canada, New Zealand, ticked off 43 states in the United States and plenty of Australia. I recently lived in London for 15 months and I am now heading to Vancouver in 2016 for another working holiday. If I had been in a relationship during this time; I would never have had these opportunities. My life has changed so much it is really incredible, and I will always be thankful for that, even if it meant being on my own.

The flipside however, is that as great as solo travel is; it has made me crave the real thing. I love my single life; but I also want to find something real, something genuine and ultimately something I have been looking for, for my entire life. I am not sad about it, but every year you don’t find that connection, it does make you wonder if it is ever going to happen. But I decided a long time ago that I would do things for me and when it’s meant to happen it will. So for now travel is my boyfriend.

What advice would you give a girl who is dreaming of traveling the world but is scared to do it alone? 

Solo travel is the best thing you can do in life. It’s scary as hell, but so freeing. You don’t need anyone else to travel. Never forget that. You have a relationship with yourself forever, and spending quality time alone is so important. The minute I landed on my first international trip was the best moment of my life. The best part about that first trip was that I fell in love with travel- with having independence.

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NATASHA NIKOLE

natasha GG.jpg

TheBoozyBackpacker.wordpress.com

Valentines Day while traveling Solo… Love it or hate it? 

I’ve never actually been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day.  It’s not that I’m averse to love, I fall in love all the time. I just make a really, really , really terrible girlfriend. Like I’ll totally eat that candy bouquet you sent me but holding hands in public is kind of a lot of pressure.  I do think it’s probably more fun to be traveling on VD than stuck at home, at least if you’re single and/or allergic to commitment like me. Instead of having to listen to all your married or coupled up friends talk about their big dates and pester you about how “eventually you’ll meet the right guy who will change you blah blah…” you can just go out and explore a cool new city and actually have a good time. Plus, so many people travel solo, you’re bound to meet people to go out with even on a “couples” day, especially if you’re staying in a hostel with tons of other travelers.

And when all else fails, there’s always Tinder.

How do you think being single has impacted your travels?  Positive or negative?

I’m a better person when I’m single. I’m an only child, so I figured out the whole autonomy/self-reliance thing when I was like five…To me, traveling alone & making all of my own decisions about everything is easy. I prefer to travel with other people.  I like being social and sharing the human experience even if it is more challenging. Maybe because it’s a challenge. Sharing first discoveries with someone else just deepens the whole experience. But independence and DGAF attitudes aside, there are things that suck about solo travel. Like sleeping alone (i.e. no morning sex. And everyone knows morning sex is the best. And also right before sleep sex. And ‘oh, are you still awake, me too’ sex, and ‘we’re going to be late but ok first lets’ have sex’ sex…) And in the event you do stumble across falling in love on the road, it is a doozy.  Whether you’re shacked up in a Bangkok hotel for a 3 day sexanthon or you go on some epic cross-country road trip and whisper your life stories to each other under the stars…eventually that ‘just the two of you in the world’ bubble of sensory experience comes to its inevitable bittersweet end when one or both of you has to catch their flight. ‘Adios, mi amigo. Catch you on the flipside.’

What advice would you give a girl who is dreaming of traveling the world but is scared to do it alone? 

The toughest mountain you’ll ever climb is your own fear. We, especially women, are constantly being told to be something smaller, more rib like, to be softer and quieter and prettier and more this, less that. It’s stupid. Never be afraid of yourself, or afraid of being yourself. Be in your own corner, have your own back, and know that no matter what happens you’ve got you.

The best piece of advice I ever got was from my friend Wendy, who told me it took a long time to figure out that the worst thing that can ever come from asking for something is being told ‘no,’ and rejection sucks but it’s not going to kill you. You can’t ever be told yes if you aren’t willing to get told no.  This applies to everything from applying for a job you don’t think you’re qualified for to ‘Do I get free dessert since its Valentine’s Day and I’m single?’

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25 thoughts on “February ’16 GLOBAL GIRLS

  1. Sharon says:

    Loved reading everyone’s perspectives! I’ve been married for 26 years but we don’t get hung up on a day on the calendar. We’ve been apart the last 3 years on Valentine’s day, but it doesn’t really matter. I also still love traveling alone occasionally, getting to set my own schedule and not defer to anyone else’s like or dislikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TravelPrayLoveBlog says:

    I absolutely love this because it’s so different then all the typical “where to go with your sweetheart’ Vday posts we see this time of year. SELF LOVE. Loving the feel of this post (and your blog, it’s super cute!)
    PS; the photo at the top (first one) is so gorgeous.

    Like

  3. Julie Laundis says:

    Awesome job picking this list of badass lady travelers!! I can’t totally relate as I am now married but we’ll be on a 20 hour plane ride to India on Vday this year so not boxes of chocolates for us… Love the post

    Like

  4. Melissa Legarda Alcantara says:

    Great post! Single female travellers unite! Valentine’s Day has turned into such a grotesque commercial racket founded upon the idea of love. Totally agree that it’s just another day – although when in a relationship, it’s nice to celebrate it. Self love to the max! Needed this today 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Eva Casey says:

    Hell yes!! As a single traveler myself, I love reading about other women who are doing it on their own! It’s such a rewarding experience. Thanks for putting this together 🙂

    Like

  6. tamarasw says:

    I’ve never traveled alone, except to take a plane across the country to visit family when I arrived. I’m glad no one has to miss out on fun travel experiences!

    Like

  7. natalietanner says:

    Love learning about solo travel = everyone has their own perfect way to travel. I have never traveled alone as I always take the kiddos! The twist of the whole ‘love on Valentine’s day’ is a great one. Too commercialized and too ‘romantic’ for the general public.

    Like

  8. Dean says:

    Speaking for the other side, I salute woman (and men) who are not caught up with the pressure to be in a relationship over Valentines day. As for me and being married, Valentines day is only to remind me how blessed I am with a great partner. It also reminds me to celebrate the gift of love every day since we never know how long we will have it for.

    Thank you, Heather for sharing your experiences while travelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah says:

    Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday by the card industry to drum up business! No one should ever have to feel sad because they didn’t share the day with a guy(or girl)! Self love daily is the most important true love.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Woven Whim says:

    this is awesome. I’m not single, and I’m lucky enough to be with someone who loves to travel. But I think Valentine’s day is so dumb, and you should show yourself and other’s you love them every day. Not just a hallmark day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. karyld2016 says:

    What a great read. I’ve never done a whole trip completely solo, and I’m not sure if I’m at the point of doing it yet. But reading these have sure inspired me to take a longer look. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy says:

    Lovely posting. I have always travelled with my best friend and now husband–except when he’s afraid to go to the jungle and visit gorillas–then we girls go. But now my 28-year-old niece wants advice on how to travel alone after her last friend gets married. I ‘m sending her to your blog .

    Liked by 1 person

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