So many of us share the dream of picking up and leaving. To head out into the world, not knowing where the road takes us or where we’ll wake up tomorrow. To many of us, that dream stays, well, just a dream. However, there’s some people out there who dare to take the leap. Who dives right in, making that dream a reality, and the world their home. But what’s it really like living everywhere, yet nowhere? What’s it like being a young female solo traveler today? Doesn’t it get scary? And what do you do when you go all in, just to find out, it was the wrong choice…. I was so happy to get to talk to Rachel, the fantastic woman behind the travel blog Global Roaming, and she knows, because she did it all, and than some…
I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia- the most isolated city in the world. Being so far away from countries like Europe and America, I had a thirst for travel at a young age. In the early years of school, as the internet opened up a window to the rest of the world, I started seeking information from across the globe and the desire to see the world grew. My parents were also experienced travelers. They actually met in Saudi Arabia- so their stories of the different cultures and far away lands definitely added to my wanderlust as a kid. Getting to travel a lot as a child, especially through Asia, Europe and Australia wasn’t exactly a cure to the growing wanderlust but definitely helped shape who I am today.
When I was 18, I left Australia to move to Ireland, which was at the time, an awful choice. I was very young, very immature and I was left regretting the decision at that point of my life. I had no degree, no money and no desire to live in Dublin any longer. I did however, know that I needed to set myself up for the next big move, I created a 5 year plan. I returned home to Australia determined to get a degree in Tourism and Marketing, work and earn money. After 3 years of full time work on top of full time study, I was exhausted. After graduating- I realized that all the hard work and long hours had paid off, as I had the skills and determination to start my own career as a blogger. I packed my bags and havn’t looked back.
Being a solo traveler is fantastic and I must say, it is pretty amazing to do what I do. I get to see and feel things that so many people only dream of, however it can be a little lonely sometimes. The passion and determination to share these great experiences makes it all worth while and I just keep thinking to myself- you only have this one shot, this one chance to do these things before you get old and tired!
However, it can be scary and I’m scared a lot. But I try to change the fear of the unknown into excitement. Like public transport freaks me out, so I always try and chat my way through awkward or scary situations- make a friend on the bus or train so I don’t feel so alone. Sharing my daily life on snapchat, Instagram etc also helps- when I feel like somebody knows I am there, I feel safe!
My best tips for any female out there who is considering solo traveling; Be to be organized. To me, knowing that you have a plan and you are scheduled is important. I make sure I check everything about airport transfers, ticket information, opening times etc. well before I am there. I don’t really like surprises so I like being well informed. I also think that it is important to fit into your surroundings. When you stand out, especially in extremely foreign countries to your own, you are more likely to gain unwanted attention. As a female, this mainly comes in dressing appropriately and staying under the radar in large crowds. You will have a much better time when you are able to see and explore cities without being hassled!
Of course there’s always pros and cons to everything and so also with solo traveling. My favorite part of solo travel, I would definitely say, is the freedom. Waking up whenever you want, like before sunrise, is great and you can do and go wherever you want at your own pace. However, there’s scary parts to. To me, it is that you have to rely on yourself more than ever before. You have to trust you make the right decisions and you are sometimes left feeling like a complete idiot!
Do I ever feel rootless? Well, a little. I think that home is where the heart is and you only feel rootless when you don’t connect with a place. I learnt from my experience in Dublin when I was younger that you should never try and make something work when it makes you feel so terrible. I didn’t move across the world to be unhappy- so do something about it. But when it comes down to it, I just love the freedom. I love meeting new people and being whoever I want to be. I love the fact that I can just get up and go whenever I feel like it and the only thing stopping me is myself. There is no one to hold me back, no one to tell me no!
Currently, I am living and working part time in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is a fantastic place to bade yourself as it is a central hub for flights in Europe! I have been heading out almost every week to a new destination, with even more on my bucket list for 2016. Next year I will be seeing some of the US, Canada and Mexico- plus I hope to get back to Australia and see my family!
* * * *
* * * *
* * * *
* * * *
Probably the most frightened adrenaline junkie you’ll ever meet. Have traveled the world, twice, and enjoys local cousins almost as much as the local environments. Based in Malmö, but there’s always a new travel plan burrowing in her head. Loves a great story, especially when she gets to tell it herself.