First up is Pree. You know her on the gram as @secondgendesi and let me tell you… This young lady is incredible. A 29-year old solo traveling female currently living abroad in Italy. After securing her Ph.D. in California, Pree set off to Italy initially on a fellowship. Once there she decided to settle in for a bit.
Pree, who was born and raised in the USA, is a first-generation-born American in her predominately South Indian family heritage. Pree goes into detail about growing up as a “second-gen desi”, or someone born in a different country than their parents, on her blog. But her IG is loaded with great snapshots of her solo travels making her one of 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022.
When it comes to solo traveling and living abroad, Pree’s experience has taught her much. Her insight for someone about to break into the best decade of her life is astounding. For example, Pree says, “solo travel and living abroad can get INCREDIBLY exhausting. That’s why I believe solo traveling should be done when we are ‘ready’. Having a foundation of self-confidence, energy, and desire is necessary to get going, but being aware of your personal needs and energy requirements is essential.”
Pree has left Instagram since the original publishing of this blog and therefore does not have an active link available to share.
Tia is another internet friend in my head because we’re both teachers living and working abroad. We’re also both Content Creators and Travel Bloggers. We’re also both Black in this game (raises fist in solidarity). One of my favorite things about Tia’s account is how well her personality shines through. Besides supporting budget travel tips and tricks, Tia “wants to change the narrative that travel is for the rich and famous.” Tia “aims to show those who can’t travel a world beyond their comfort zone.” That traveling is possible “through her comedic spirit, relatable pictures, and inspiring videos.”
I asked Tia to say more about her ideals of visibility in a predominantly white industry:
I have found that showing my experiences living abroad and traveling around the world has given others the representation that I wish I would’ve had growing up. It shows my community that this type of lifestyle is not only possible, but safe, and can also generate income so that it isn’t only done once a year or whenever you can accumulate some time off.
Word, Sis. If you’d like to live abroad like Tia and I (and countless others), she offers the following advice:
- Research before you move
- Be flexible
- Save money
- Meet new people
- And enjoy!
Has your wanderlust been fully activated yet?
When I first discovered Jen’s account, I was angry I hadn’t been following her sooner. A gem and mega advocate for solo female travel, Jen’s account lauds solo adventuring. A former investment banker, Jen’s IG now “reflects [her] passion for inspiring others to travel beyond their comfort zone and live with fulfillment.” Speak on it, Jen.
To me, solo travel is the ULTIMATE self-care. It means complete freedom to do and see what you want when you want. I think many women instinctively act as caretakers for those around them. While that’s a beautiful, selfless act to be proud of, it can also be incredibly draining! Solo female travel means taking a break from that daily way of life and allowing yourself to surrender to your wants and needs. I can travel to another part of the world, deal with mishaps independently, meet amazing strangers who broaden my horizon, and yet, return home safe and sound–all on my own! It makes me feel like a badass; like I can conquer anything I set my mind to! That feeling is addictive and I love that I can now share that with other adventurous women through my company.
There’s so much truth in all of this. The self-empowerment that derives from solo travel is addicting, to say the least.
Speaking of community, allow me to introduce you to the fourth of 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022. Believe it or not, Silvia found me on the Gram. Another 29-year-old badass and serial ex-pat that speaks three languages and has adventured across four continents. When Silvia isn’t expanding her global travel treasure trove, she is researching Immunonolgy in her laboratories at Harvard (supportive side-eye). Join me in a solo female traveling round of applause for Silvia, please.
As a sustainable-based traveler, Silvia and I vibe to the T. What I adore most about the sustainable travel movement, is discovering that other solo female travelers share the passion. Sustainable traveling to Silvia means “connecting with people from other cultures, understanding new pieces of history, trying new foods. I find the diversity of experiences I get out of traveling enriching in a way nothing else can come close to.”
When I asked Silvia for a handful of her best solo traveling nuggets, she dropped these beauties:
- Pack less; you’ll never wear everything you think you are going to wear and lugging around luggage is a pain
- Remember to spend time away from your phone and enjoy the moment.
- Get travel insurance, especially these days
- Start small, go on a solo staycation within your own country, slowly expand your
- comfort zone
- Just go for it!
If all of this adventuring has been a little too much for you thus far, let’s take a beat. As we swing around the globe to learn more about these SHE-mazing females, let’s head to the Caribbean.
There we find friend-in-my-head Aneakaleigh. A 29-year-old mindset coach from Trinidad and Tobago, that embraces solo female travel as responsible self-care. This fellow Black ex-pat has taken up temporary residents in both Colombia and Spain over the years. During that time she learned much about herself. And how living abroad can serve as a foundation for slow traveling as a solo female in the process. Tell us more about it, Aneakaleigh.
As you can imagine, in your first year abroad you think you’re going to be traveling a lot and doing all of the things but it was financially tight and a bit difficult to get away as often as I would have liked. So I spent most of that year in and around Bogotá – getting to know the city, its people, the corners and crevices inside out – and I am better off for it today than I thought then. A lot of times we’re always thinking about the next trip, the next destination, the next sight-seeing location, etc. that we miss what’s happening right now at this very moment.
With complete concurrence, I too, attest, that living abroad has opened my eyes to the benefits of slow traveling. When Aneakaleigh told me, “Life abroad was a daily reminder to appreciate what is in front of you”, I felt it in my soul. Aneakaleigh’s stance on the benefits of living abroad as connection, awareness, and self-exploration aligns perfectly with my outlook. Would you agree, too, adventurer?
Hang on tight for this next one because her adventurous heart is unmatched. Bea, born and raised in Spain has solo adventured to Ireland, France, and Wales. Seemingly a fan of the United Kingdom, Bea’s passion for horses is what originally motivated her to venture out on her own. Choosing to spend her summers working at different barns to be nearer to them. Now married at age 35, Bea travels with and without her husband, depending on the location.
Bea admits that traveling solo opens more doors for her than traveling with a companion. Doing so also helps her hold herself accountable for overcoming her social anxieties around meeting new people. Bea is, “actually very shy and therefore always feels apprehensive before going into any situation that involves being social. However, meeting people is what [she] craves, [and traveling solo helps] to force [her] to step outside of [her] comfort zone and do it.” What a shining example of how empowering solo traveling can be even for the shiest of us.
Bea’s solo traveling tips for females include:
- Research and learn a bit of the language and culture
- Always take a food tour
- Get out there and give it a go
Is anyone else seeing the trend in these helpful tips? Just go solo!
Four years ago Kasey bought a oneway ticket to Europe to backpack solo after quitting her job in Florida. According to her, she hasn’t “stopped traveling since.” Born in Ohio in the United States, Kasey has adventured to 23 different countries. Leaning into a digital nomadic existence as she “backpacked through Thailand, hiked volcanoes in Costa Rica,” and so much more. Kasey feels strongly that “every woman should take at least one solo trip in their lifetime. Who knows, it might even turn into a full-time journey.” I’d have to agree with this statement considering how diverse my solo traveling journey has become.
Solo traveling isn’t without its challenges, though. Kasey explains further, ”I find being away from my friends and family to be the most challenging part of traveling. Since I am gone 90% of the year, I make it a point to come home every few months to see my family and FaceTime/call frequently. The most rewarding part is meeting new people. I am an extrovert and I love making new connections with people from all over the world.
Still, the flexibility that solo traveling brings wins out every time. “Want to jet off to Greece tomorrow? Done. Want to skip your walking tour in Tokyo and sleep in? Done. There is no one to answer to.” And as an extrovert, Kasey finds solo traveling to be majorly empowering. To her, it “represents a world of possibilities outside what you know. Being exposed to different cultures, food, languages, etc. can help you grow tremendously as a person. Furthermore, solo travel, especially as a woman, is extremely empowering. I have learned so much about who I am, the person I want to be to others, and what I can give to this world through solo travel.”
All of these amazing women stand in solidarity about being an advocate for solo travel. It is further proof of why these 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022 are right on time.
My favorite part of getting to know Reyna, the Queen friend-in-my head, is how real she keeps her messaging of solo travel. The same goes for her ideals around living abroad as a female. Reyna recalls her first time “moving abroad [as] the hardest. I still remember bawling like a baby on the plane, but it makes [moving to] the next one a lot easier.” Born in England, Reyna has traveled extensively and lived in two different Caribbean nations during her 45-years of life.
For this Queen, “solo travel represents freedom, growth, and empowerment.” Say more Reyna! “The most rewarding part of solo travel for me is that it has been a life-changing experience in many ways. I feel like a new person.” I heard that. Solo travel catalyzed bringing me to my authentic self, too, so I can profoundly relate. Not to mention, solo traveling is, as Reyna’s wanderful IG handle title highlights, a journey.
I’ve touched on the sensational benefits of solo traveling in the past, but let’s get a few nuggets from Reyna’s perspective:
- More self-confidence
- Developed independence
- Becoming aligned with interconnectivity
- Discovering the power of self-awareness
Those are powerful benefits, indeed.
Next on this epic list of 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022 is Canadian-born Charmaine. This powerhouse heads up her website documenting what it is to live abroad and travel on a budget. Jammed with insightful stories and resources, The Canadian Wanderer seeks to inspire others to get themselves abroad to experience a fuller existence.
What prompted Charmaine to start all of this? Her desire to travel, of course. She craved three main elements in her life:
- Travel: Moving to a new city gives me an opportunity to travel to other cities/countries nearby. For example, when I lived in France, I could easily take the train or plane to another city for a very affordable price and do not have to feel rushed to complete my trip in a two-week annual vacation.
- New Experiences: Most of the time, I do not know what to expect from the experience, but I knew that I was looking to expand my knowledge of the world. Moving to a new city/country is refreshing – everything is new and there is so much to learn from every corner. I am constantly learning about the people, the culture, and even the language on a daily basis while also learning to manage and balance this new life.
- International Experiences: I think it is important to have international experiences on your resume because it shows employers that you are not only adaptable, but you are also resilient in challenging times. Living abroad is definitely not for the faint-hearted, as it requires you to always think on your feet and deal with problems unexpectedly.
As a supporter of strategic traveling, Charmaine’s aforementioned cravings are perfect examples of what strategic traveling can offer. More info on that concept is coming to the Bag Lady Meredith San Diego blog space soon.
Nothing is more satisfying than moving pictures to document one’s travels. I’m talking about videos and vlogs, in case that needs to be spelled out for you. As a vlogger, I have an insight into what it takes behind the scenes to deliver wanderlust videos that appease the masses. Sixtina of Six Miles Away does the same with her Youtube channel. This destination channel tackles travel guides, travel tips and tricks, and plenty of adventure.
A shining example of a global citizen, Sixtina gained her education at multiple institutes around the world. “I spent one year in an American High School as a teenager, studied for 4 years in The Netherlands, lived for 6 months in Mexico (study abroad semester), and did an internship in Spain (study abroad semester) for half a year as well.” Currently based in The Netherlands, catch Sixtina “doing a handstand at the edge of the cliffs, creating memories in a photo box, or trying to eat spicy food without crying.” Sixtina is “all about [the] real local experiences and living in different countries long-term.”
When I asked Sixtina what solo traveling means to her, she had this to say:
“Travel means transformation and being happy with a little bit of everything. It teaches us how to appreciate every moment life brings – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Travel means building relationships with people you never would have met otherwise and treating ‘strangers’ like family, leaving you in tears when being forced to say goodbye.
Travel makes you realize that you don’t need much in life, and possessions only bring you temporary joy. Real happiness comes from within and freedom.”
What else is there to say?
Believe it or not, there’s still plenty to say on the topic of adventure. Let’s swing back to the American continent to meet Emily. A 27-year-old epidemiologist and solo female traveler from Massachusetts. When she’s not studying the patterns of disease and/or injuries, she’s exploring the globe and empowering other multifaceted women to do the same.
My hope is to make travel feel more accessible by sharing costs, tips, and guides. I love the complete freedom of traveling solo. The feeling that you can go anywhere, do anything, and be anyone. It is a feeling you really can’t get anywhere else.
And one I became addicted to and then obsessed with sharing. Glad someone else gets it. Emily’s fun and engaging IG content make me giggle daily while reminding me of why I do what I do. To inspire others to go and do it too. And for those of you that may choose to believe that to solo travel is to go big or go home. You’d be surprised to know that “you don’t need to go abroad or somewhere far away to start your solo travel journey. You can always start small with a staycation or local trip.” Trust me, all it takes is that first trip to get you hooked for life.
Last, but most certainly not least on this litany of 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022, we have Miss Cynthia. This 34-year-old fellow Black-American has promised to drip the goodness about solo traveling. With over 70 collective passport stamps even I sit down and pull up a chair to take notes. Tell us more about your story, please, Cynthia.
My love for traveling started after a semester abroad in Dakar, Senegal. Before then, I traveled annually to Honduras to visit my grandma. Honduras was all I knew outside of the United States. There is something about being somewhere new, somewhere others have dreamed to visit, that makes me so excited about traveling. I crave tasting new foods, practicing an introduction in [a] local language, and just being present. When I [traveled] to Senegal [in 2007], I knew I wanted to see more [of the world]. I haven’t stopped since. When I am not traveling, I am writing about my experiences and curate trips for others.
Take it from someone on her passport stamps heel, travel nuggets from avid travelers like Cynthia are priceless. Solo traveling according to Cynthia:
- Flexibility is key. Things will not always go as planned and you should be prepared to roll with the punches
- Don’t knock it, ‘til you try it. Trying new things while abroad will make your experience even richer
- You are not alone as a solo traveler
Here’s to adventure! And here’s to these phenomenal females on this shortlist of 12 accounts to sustain your wanderlust in 2022.
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