1) Hi Jennifer, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we can currently find you?
Thank you! I’m currently on a road trip through Northern California, but not for long! I will be back in Portland, Oregon soon for a month before I move to New Zealand for a year!
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
I grew up in a very small town in Northern Idaho where culture and diversity took a backseat to football and hunting. I had always craved something different. I moved to another state the moment I turned 18.
When I moved to Portland, I loved living in a new city. It was here that I made friends with a coworker who told me about her love of travel.
One day, we spun the globe and it landed on Rio de Janeiro. Aged 19, I found myself heading to Rio for three weeks: it was my first trip out of the US. From the moment I landed, I was hooked. Seeing a culture so far from my own completely woke me up.
I realised that I lived in a very small bubble; one that I needed to burst.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
This question is so difficult to answer because each place I’ve been to has made an impact on my life, regardless of the situation or duration. However, I would have to say New Zealand because it was where I took my first solo trip. While there, I learned so much about myself. I was really pushed to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new.
4) Who would you say has been the most influential person to your travels, and why?
My friend Liz is the one who introduced me to international travel, and the one who took me to Rio. I will forever be grateful for that.
5) What is the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
I have so many hilarious (well, funny now) and crazy stories on this subject, but the worst thing to happen on the road would be losing my sponsored job in New Zealand and having to move out of the country within two weeks.
To be honest, the first week I was in shock and couldn’t move from my bed. The second week I tried to find another job and failed. I had to come to terms with my upcoming departure from the one place I didn’t want to leave. I ended up applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Australia with six days to spare and flew in to Melbourne to start a new adventure that next week.
It was by far the most stressful and emotional experience of my travel life. But, with every misadventure comes an adventure. I ended up meeting my best friend the first week I moved to Australia and I couldn’t imagine a life without him.
6) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
Hmm. I would have to say a camera of sorts -whether it’s attached to a smart phone or not. I love photos and capturing moments of my life one shot at a time.
7) Since being on the road, you've started Travel & Trust & Wanderlust, an initiative to encourage more women to have the confidence to take to the road solo. What inspired you to do this?
I recently was on a road trip home to North Idaho when I realised that I had jumped in to my car and drove six and-a-half hours without even thinking about it.
Then I started to think about how there are women who would never get in a car alone and drive for hours. I wanted to change that.
I felt at that euphoric moment of realisation that everything I had encountered on the road in the last 12 years was for this one purpose- And that purpose was to create a worldwide conversation of women empowering women to travel solo.
8) What does the Day of Trust involve? How has solo travelling impacted your mind frame for pursuing your dreams?
The Day of Trust was created to give both women and men a chance to test the waters of solo travel. It’s a pretty simple concept with huge rewards. If you’ve traveled solo, you know first-hand how incredible it is to expand your mind, open your eyes, and enjoy experiencing something new.
There’s only three rules to it:
1. You go solo
2. You go somewhere new
3. You experience something new
Whether it’s going to a new part of town and eating alone, or going on a hike on a new trail, or buying a ticket to a place you’ve never been, the purpose is the same.
And that purpose is time for yourself to reflect, to question your fears, to live in the moment. It's a chance to gain a new appreciation of what self worth really is.
Through participating in the Day of Trust, we hope to bring new insight to your life. We hope it encourages you to continue to experience something new by yourself again.
Being part of the social mission means that you’re actively taking part in a positive movement to celebrate yourself. Through these new experiences in new destinations comes new appreciation, love, and empowerment we couldn’t see before. Traveling helps you find new channels, new life, and sometimes new purpose.
As for how travelling solo: it has impacted every aspect of my life. I have grown confident in knowing that I can adapt to any given environment, culture or person. Travelling has also made me incredibly humble and grateful for the experiences I have. I feel like I’m constantly living out the ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) phrase. Travel has been the best example for me to learn from my mistakes, ask questions, be vulnerable, and love myself. All of these have mixed together to create life skills that I can take with me anywhere. And when it comes to following my dreams, I feel like all of my experiences on the road have shaped my dreams in to a reality, as I know that I am capable and confident in the process of learning.
9) What do you hope to achieve through all of your hard work?
I’ve already achieved what I set out to do and that was to help women realise they can go (out there) solo. We’re all a little (or a lot) hesitant of trying something new, and some just need a little extra support along the way. I get to do that daily!
Down the road, I hope to reach millions of women around the world with my words of encouragement, through example, and social experiments like the Day of Trust. I have plans for an app, a podcast, books, speaking events, you name it. I’m ready to go globelle!
10) What does travelling mean to you?
Travelling means everything to me. It allows me to see new places, meet new faces and turn strangers into friends. To borrow (and adapt) from Forest Gump, “Travel is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
I would tell them to write out a few goals that you want to achieve on your first trip.
Whether it be emotional (allowing yourself to open up to a stranger), geographical (visit three countries in three weeks), physical (climb a mountain), etc, writing down goals keeps you focused on the exciting part of travel, rather than the fear of being alone.
You’re on a mission to experience life, don’t ever forget that. (HQ: Brilliant advice!)
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, and involved in Travel & Trust & Wanderlust? How can globelle gals pledge?
You can pledge and get more info on the day at the website here :www.traveltrustwanderlust.com/pledge-2
If ladies are interested in sharing their solo travel stories on our website, we would love for them to contact us on the site under our ‘About’ section.