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What started as a dare from one of my close friends, and travel guru, Justin, turned into a slow unfolding of my digital nomad lifestyle.

I always had a passion for travel, from summer trips to Cabo to studying abroad in Spain with my childhood best friend. After college, I signed up for an organized tour to Australia and Fiji. I loved many parts of the experience. However, I wanted to experience travel in a new way. I felt that squeezing as much in as possible in a short time frame by being shuttled on a bus with strict times was not how I wanted to move forward with all my trips.

At the time, this was the only way I felt comfortable traveling, with tour groups, friends, and family members. I was too afraid to venture out on my own without a program to pick me up at the airport and organize all my activities. 

After Justin tossed a challenge at me, everything in my life changed. Here are the main reasons why I started to solo travel:

I got dared and wanted to push myself

When Justin called me in November 2015, he asked if I wanted to join him on a trip to the Philippines. I said “Yes!” and we were on a flight 3 weeks later. The rush of the fast turn around, whizzing into the unknown with my travel buddy got me hooked on the excitement of it all. His spirit was glowing with risks of big adventures and it was contagious. One night we were eating dinner on a plastic table with matching chairs on a beach in El Nido. That night, Justin dared me to take my very 1st official solo trip without an organized group. I was hesitant at first but the suggestion made me giddy, and I quickly accepted.  I realized I wanted to challenge myself to something new without the safety net of tour companies.

I wanted new experiences

When we got back from the Philippines, I started to dream of where I would go. My work slowed down towards the holidays, making November and December the ideal time,  which gave me a year to plan. I wanted to try something completely different that involved bungee jumping or skydiving with the most beautiful scenery. I selected New Zealand and by December 2016 I landed in Auckland  with a planned flight out from Christ Church 2 weeks later. I had no itinerary, except that I knew I had to make it down south for my flight home. 

The two weeks in New Zealand felt surreal and better than anything I could have imagined. I did adrenaline sports, had sexy romance stories, met really good people, including a boy from the Netherlands at a hostel spending all night talking, and sneaking kisses until 4am, a friend who ended up moving to New Zealand after our travels, and we have maintained our friendship on social media, and I learned to enjoy alone time. 

I wanted to test the magic of the universe

I was stuck in a loop of my 9-5. I have always been into Personal Development books and courses, where a lot of them speak about the power of conviction, positivity and manifestations. I wanted to live the lessons in these books. To my delight, everything on that trip felt magical. The most profound  moments for me on that trip were the continuous undeniable proof that I was incredibly supported by the universe

One moment specifically, was when I was sitting on a van heading to Wanaka to go Skydiving. I got a call from Justin to check in about how my trip was going.  Strangely, I did not have a SIM card and the only way I could get calls was if I was connected to Wi-Fi. While waiting at a stop for other passengers, I turned to my left and noticed a cafe I had been in several days prior. My phone automatically reconnected to their Wi-Fi, giving me the chance to pick up the call with my dear friend and catalyst to this wild adventure. It was only fitting that he called at this exact moment when I told him I was headed to jump out of a plane. 

When I arrived, and went to pay for the dive, they asked my name and said a man named Justin called and took care of my jump plus footage. It was perfectly poetic that my #1 travel support fan had covered me literally leaping out and facing my fears. I  was in tears from the gift he gave as a celebration of my bravery. 

Wanaka, New Zealand Skydiving

New passions and goals

When I returned back home from my trip, the collection of magic I witnessed, experiences, incredible people, boosts of empowerment and confidence I had made me hooked into venturing out on my own. Solo travel was where the gold of life was for me and I was eager to keep planning. I made a commitment to myself that every year I would take two national trips and one international trip solo and stayed the course.

Slowly I started to add on to more “risky” plans, selecting locations that were more out of my comfort zone, longer trips, one way tickets with zero plans and no return flight.

I didn’t want to compromise with anyone

I started to wonder why I kept going on these bigger trips, alone.  What was it about traveling alone that was so freeing? Why did I start to prefer it over joining up with good friends and family? Not that I did not enjoy those moments too, but the countdown to when I got to fly on my own was thrilling.  It presented new opportunities and incredible moments.  The added benefit that I got to say “yes” or “no” to things I actually did or did not want to do. I could leave when I wanted to leave and not worry or wait for anyone else. 

A New Mindset I didn’t know I was craving

I had to  learn to let go, have complete trust in myself, breathe into the truth that I am always vulnerable with the only control being my belief in a greater force, my own strengths, street smarts and capabilities to work through problems and obstacles. 

I fell in love with the unknown, I was no longer afraid, but instead, it became an ally, friend, partner and teacher.  2016 was my very 1st big step to creating the life I have always dreamed of as a soon to be digital nomad. 

Queenstown Hill, New Zealand

What started as a dare, ended up uncovering the deeper truths of who I was, what I wanted and how to get it. To build a different level of confidence, life perspective and find more joy. It wasn’t about the thrill, it was about the people, friendships, personal growth, self love , and a self discovery journey and sure, the thrills were nice too!  

I’ve come to realize over years with traveling, that one of my missions is to share my stories of travel and ultimately, life, to inspire and encourage those who resonate to embrace their own solo journey. Whether it be to a physical new destination or a new life change. To be scared and do it anyway. To go out into the world with an explorer mindset, openness, flexibility and trust.  What you will get back will be worth the risk and I hope to be here to hold your hand through it, while you take the jump out into the unknown. 


Just give me the Damn Information” Bullet Points:

  • I got dared as a new challenge and wanted to push myself
  • I wanted new experiences 
  • To learn to believe in myself  more
  • Have a new mindset change 
  • I didn’t want to worry about anyone else
  • I am here to support you. Feel free to contact me with questions

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