Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m a solo traveller on a budget who seeks out food, culture and street art wherever possible. I don’t stick to well-trodden parts of Europe because I travel solo; I like to travel far afield and be adventurous – then share my travel tips to help you do the same!
Quick facts about me:
- For the past 5 years, I’ve either been travelling or saving for travel
- I quit my 9-5 to travel and now make money online, partly thanks to this blog
- I travel solo and on a budget. You can usually find me at a hostel or food market.
- Food is my life! I’m a die-hard, self-confessed foodie
- My most memorable solo trips have been India, South Africa and Mexico
- People assume I’m brave but I’m a baby when it comes to adrenaline. The paragliding photo above is a rare exception!
My solo travel story
The first time I travelled solo, it wasn’t my intention. I was desperate to take a career break and see more of the world. Although I had a good job and life in London, I was wondering what else was out there.
I’d travelled before during a gap year and as a study abroad exchange in Canada but these experiences didn’t seem enough to sustain me ’til retirement. Travelling meant leaving behind friends, a partner, a flat and London so it wasn’t the easiest decision to make. Especially solo. After much debate, I decided to bite the bullet and quit my job.
None of my friends could commit to a whole year away but a handful joined me for parts of my big Asia trip of 2015-16. Initially for the parts I was alone, I tagged on with people whenever I could and made sure I always had a book when I was sat alone.
Over time, that changed. I started to enjoy and savour the independence of solo travel and I loved being in charge of my own itinerary and, well, life!
Saving up for Asia
In 2015, I moved out of London to reduce my living costs, got a new 9-5, and also worked remotely for my old job. Add on a 1.5-hour commute and I’d leave the house at 7am, get home at 7pm, open my laptop and work again! I knew it would be worth it.
I anticipated a trip of 6-8 months backpacking Asia. But by staying in hostels, eating street food and volunteering for food and board, I extended my trip to almost a year.
Not stopping: Africa!
After my Asia trip, it was clear the travel bug had bitten me hard! I’d also realised how cheaply you can travel on a budget. I saved up again and took a camping tour from Kenya to Botswana, sleeping in the wilderness, digging our own toilets and glimpsing the big 5. Then, I backpacked and stayed with friends in South Africa. Cape Town remains one of my favourite destinations ever.
Blogging & career
Writing has been my favourite thing since I got a necklace saying ‘abc’ and my mum explained it was the alphabet. My eyes grew wide, maybe I was about 4, and I never wanted to do anything else.
I studied English and Media throughout school and uni, writing for college newspapers. After graduation, I did a gruelling internship funded by working at H&M at weekends. Shortly after, I got my first proper job as a copywriter and moved to London.
Around 2013, I remember wanting to start a travel blog but not knowing what to write about. When I visited Asia, my inspiration arrived in bucket loads. However as I was travelling with just an iPhone5, I only worked on it occasionally.
Switching to remote work
After my Africa trip of 2017, I knew travel wasn’t something I was going to get out of my system: it was part of who I was. Sharing my travel adventures online was becoming more of an interest and I was keen to save for a laptop so that I could blog while travelling.
I was following other bloggers who were making money online or subsiding it with freelance work. I had all the right experience so I thought, if they could do it then why couldn’t I?
To achieve my goal, I got savvy. I spent a year at home working full-time while preparing not just to go back abroad but to set myself up as a freelancer. Around my 9-5, I geeked up on blogging tips and grew my social media channels while offering my writing services cheaply to build a portfolio, saving every penny I could.
Since 2018, I’ve been living nomadically around the world, basing in places for a few months while working online. Although it’s my dream, I won’t pretend it’s perfect because it can be tiring and challenging. I’m not as carefree a traveller because I deadlines. There are fewer nights out and more laptop days. I get overwhelmed running a business with no team.
But I do get to spend longer in places and see them in-depth, and I’m less stressed about my trip ending. Through my blog, I’ve managed to work with brands and have experiences I wouldn’t otherwise.
An alternative life
Honestly, I never expected to feel so different from my peers. When I was younger, people didn’t talk about remote jobs or digital nomads. When I finished uni, I assumed the goal was finding a ‘proper job’ and settling down. Now it’s clear I don’t have to live the traditional life if I don’t choose to.
We don’t have long on earth so if you’re not drawn to settling down and getting a mortgage (or at least not right away), know it’s not the only path. You can travel the world and follow your own path. Take me as proof!
Check out my solo traveller interview series to read stories of people who feel the same.
I don’t know if I’ll do travel this way forever. There are ups and downs like everything in life. Right now I don’t crave normality, but I do crave hanging up my clothes for more than 3 days. But whatever happens, I’ll always find a way to travel to some degree. The road is life!
My travel timeline
2009 – I took a year out before uni and volunteered in Ecuador (something I wouldn’t promote now) then travelled around Peru and Bolivia with the friends I made there, ending the year by backpacking Australia with a friend from home.
2010-11 – In my second year of uni I did a study exchange to Ontario, Canada and over Christmas fitted in visits to Vancouver and the US. I’ll always have fond memories of snowy Canada and Timmy’s coffee & bagels; I even have a Canada-related tattoo from my trip (thankfully not an ode to Tim Hortons).
2012 – In my final summer of uni, I trekked the Great Wall of China for three weeks with a group. My love of Asia was born but I was about to move to London.
2012-15 – I loved living in London, from after-work drinks to weekend festivals. With the blogger mindset I have now, I wish I’d started my blog and written about it. But I was busy having fun in my early 20s so I don’t regret anything. I didn’t travel during this time because I couldn’t afford it with London rent and a first job salary.
2015-16 – I quit my London job, moved home to save and then backpacked around India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Indonesia, Fiji, New Zealand, Japan
2017 – I saved up again and took an Africa
2019-20 – I moved to Mexico with a plan to slowly travel overland to South America.
2020–21 – I took a long travel pause for obvious reasons and spent my time working, cooking Asian and Mexican food at home, and crying… basically lol.
2022 onwards – back to Mexico with more of LATAM in mind!
My travel style
By their early 30s, many people are done with dorms and night buses. Honestly, I’m not about to phase them out… Although I do increasingly love getting a private room. But I’ll never be one for luxury hotels: I’d rather spend my money on food! As a solo traveller, it’s also more social to stay in hostels.
As well as being a budget traveller, I see myself as a slow traveller. It sounds cliche but I like to get to know a place. I always try to meet some locals to learn what their lives are like and what’s important to them. I also love finding hidden gems and learning about the history of a place, plus any fun facts and trivia.
Also, I try to be an environmental traveller and take overland transport rather than flights wherever possible. There’s no special reason behind this – we all should be. I’d hate to travel the world and leave it in a worse state. I’m hoping to bring more tips and environmental content to my blog soon.
Current location (December 2022): Mexico!
I think that’s everything for now. Thanks for reading!