March ’16 GLOBAL GIRLS

2016, month three.  How are you holding up wherever you are in the world?

Personally, I am feeling anxious this month.  Anxious and excited for all that is to come this year.  So many amazing experiences I never saw coming are happening because I decided to take a major leap of faith and travel the world solo.  I feel I owe it all to my predecessors- the women who did this before me.  So many power women were influencers that told me I could take this journey alone and that everything would be okay.  I am proud to now be one of the many solo female travelers out there and I’m passionate to help inspire more women to take the leap of faith out into the world.

This month, I wanted to feature five ladies who are fairly new to the solo female travel and life on the road.  I asked these women to share what got them to where they are now and how their decision to travel impacted them as human beings.

Reading each one of the submissions this month filled me with gratitude and inspiration, while fueling my excitement to share their stories with all of you.  Some of them are bloggers and YouTubers, some are volunteers, ALL of them will make you think about life and question if you are living to your fullest potential.

I wish I could share each one of the submissions as they were all so powerful, but these were the five that resonated with me the most this month.

Read on and share the travel love bug.

xo – Heather

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MAGGIE LANGENESS  

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Maggie really moved me with her story.  She is not only a strong and beautiful woman, she is generous and kind- volunteering in many different organizations and helping countless people.  I am a HUGE fan and look forward to following her journey!  See her responses below.

What was the biggest driving force to get you to travel?  

When I was 20 years old two of my friends passed away in terrible accidents and it was recommended to me to channel my anger and sadness toward something good, so I volunteered at an orphanage in Peru for a month. Ever since then I have traveled because I really learned life is short and in the end you take with you your experiences and relationships with people not material things, therefore I spend money on travel.  

Where are your top 3 places you have or want to visit and why?  

My top 3 favorite places I have visited are: Mexico, India, and UAE. I love off the beaten path locations so I loved visiting the north of Mexico. I flew into Los Mochis, Sinaloa took El Chepe (the only passenger train left in Mexico) to Barrancas del Cobre in Chihuahua. It was one of the most beautiful trips I have been on! Then in my trip to India I went to the south in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. Here I got to stand up paddle board and see amazing temples and eat fresh fruits and sea food everyday! It was something totally different than what you think of when you think of India. Then I love visiting Dubai to brunch! This city has such a fun vibe and I love champagne and brunching which Dubai is the best at! 

How did taking the leap into solo travel change you? 

Solo travel has changed my life because I have become more independent and I think I look at life differently as in I see the beauty in everything now. I feel when I travel my friends who passed away are still with me. I am doing something for them because they didn’t get a chance to travel and experience more of life. They left the world too soon and I hope I am doing them proud by seeing the world instead of just buying material objects that don’t matter so much. Now one of my major goals in life is to see the 7 modern world wonders before I turn 30, I have 4 left to see in 2 years so I am getting a little nervous but I feel I can make it!! 

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HALEY CALHOUN

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Not only is Haley a fellow member of one of my favorite groups Girls LOVE Travel, she’s one of the youngest GLOBAL GIRLS yet and full of wanderlust and adorableness.  Haley is sure to have many adventures in the near future.  Check her story out below.

 

What was the biggest driving force to get you to travel?  

 

Simply put: curiosity. After traveling to Argentina my sophomore year of college, my eyes were opened for the first time as to how diverse and culturally rich our world truly is. I had never been exposed to a lifestyle so different from the one I had always known growing up in a southern rural American town, and I loved living it. Now, I have this insatiable craving to experience every culture, visit every country, speak every language, and try every local food I can; I enjoy not only preaching open-mindedness, I truly love to live it.

 

Where are your top 3 places you have or want to visit and why?  

 

While I have crossed off quite a few places on my bucket list, I have yet to see a good chunk of the world. My top 3 places I’d like to visit are: Greece, Thailand, and Sweden. Sweden is the birthplace of my grandparents, who immigrated to the United States back in the 60’s, so I’d love to see firsthand where my family comes from and our heritage. Thailand has always struck me as one of the most culturally rich and beautiful countries in the world, and I would love to experience it for myself. Lastly, Greece, from a more historical standpoint, is a can’t miss; seeing its many beautiful islands and taking a trip to visit the Parthenon in person would be a dream for me.

 

How did taking the leap into solo travel change you? 

 

I’m a much braver person for having chosen to travel solo. While I was told I was crazy and irresponsible by many friends and family, booking that plane ticket was only the first of many steps on a long personal journey. I have learned to value my independence and my life, in general: it’s short, I have to live it while I can. Now, I don’t hold back- no one’s opinion has the power to affect my dreams or to change the way I think about traveling, and just because I am a female who enjoys going the road alone does not make me careless, I am simply an adventurous soul with a brave heart. 

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STEFFANI CAMERON

Linda full nomad

I sold everything and I’m going digital nomad for 5 years. I’m 160 days in. 
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Steffani…what a bad ass.  Amazing story, great photography and blogging and chalk full of inspiration for any type of reader.  LOVE this power woman!
What was the biggest driving force to get you to travel?  
I’m 42 and not getting younger. I nearly died a couple times in my 30s (road accidents) and plunged into debt and it took a lot of work to whittle that down. I had the leather sofas, a beautiful Art Deco apartment, and it just wasn’t fulfilling me. I was already working remotely and my area (Vancouver) was getting increasingly expensive. I always wanted to travel and I saw some friends making nomad life pay off and decided to just go for it despite barely ever having travelled before. 
Where are your top 3 places you have or want to visit and why?  
I don’t know, really. Maybe Morocco, because something intrigues me about their lives and culture. Scotland’s highlands and Outer Hebrides, so I can explore my ancestry. Chile, for their beef and wine and nature. I will not see any of these until year two but I did just get 5 days in Scotland. 
How did taking the leap into solo travel change you? 
I guess it just made me less patient with people who won’t go after their dreams, no matter how big or small. I want to be around people chasing their passion. It’s also made me realise how much privilege I lived with, even despite my struggles, compared to the poor I’ve seen, and how much it’s not worth sweating over mishaps. (Some of my greatest travel days happened because of goofups.)

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NICOLE BREWER

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Chosen for her KILLER blog and bravery, Nicole is the real deal.  She’s the kind of the girl you’d not only want to travel with, but you want to get to know more!  See her responses below.
Nicole, what was the biggest driving force to get you to travel?  
I’ve come to the point where I don’t want to wait on someone else to live and have great experiences.  I live abroad and figure if I can go about this world solo in a city like Detroit, where I’m from, and navigating living in South Korea or Oman, I’ll be okay to travel solo.  My motto is to have experiences over things (things are nice, but I will always have these travel experiences).  
Where are your top 3 places you have or want to visit and why?  
My top three places I’ve visited would have to be Cape Town, South Africa. I really enjoyed the culture there and the people were amazing. My second choice would be Australia (Sydney and Melbourne). It is really easy to navigate and travel there solo. My third would be the Seychelles. The beaches there are amazing and so relaxing, plus the food was good. 
How did taking the leap into solo travel change you?
Taking the leap into solo travel has changed me for the better. I have so much more confidence in myself knowing that I can navigate myself out of certain situations. Also, the cultural immersion I’ve experienced in my travels has changed me for the better as well.

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LINDA D.
Linda GLOBAL GIRL MARCH

I chose Linda from LindaGoesEast.com for her strength and diversity- but mostly because I am huge fan.  She came from a mixed family and took to the road solo, changing continents.  Her YouTube videos are amazing and her writing is not only engaging for readers but incredible useful!  Check this lady out.  She rocks.

Linda, what was the biggest driving force to get you to travel?  

Honestly, I’ve always felt the urge to travel and venture to places far away. Born and raised in Europe to a German mother and American father, I grew up on two continents and got to travel Europe at an early age. I’ve always combined traveling with my passion for language learning to be able to fully explore and understand foreign cultures.

Where are your top places you have or want to visit and why?  

I lived and worked in China for a year and a half and traveled to numerous places in the country. It has a fascinating history, world influence and diverse scenery. I also love traveling in South Korea, where I live now, because it combines modern with tradition plus: it has a vast coastline! Now that I live abroad, I have also come to appreciate my home country a lot more! Exploring Germany is so much fun as it is rich in culture, history and has amazing food!


How did taking the leap into solo travel change you? 

Traveling alone has definitely helped me understand who I am as a person. I’m in my mid twenties and know what I want and where I want to be and a huge part of this is traveling solo and getting new experiences and meeting so many new and different people from across the globe! 

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