We enjoy meeting other travelers and reading about their adventures on their travel blogs. We love to interview the people who inspire us.
This is an interview with Laura, an American professional nomad and amateur runner. Take a look at her blog at awanderingsole.com to learn more about what she does. We particularly enjoyed the scarily honest confessions of a backpacker post.
Tell us about yourself and your story?
I was working full time before I took off on an 8 month around the world trip. I’ve now been home working for almost five months but will be taking off again in June.
I’ve always loved to travel. In college, I traveled to Central America for school projects and then spent a summer in San Francisco and a summer in Hawaii. I realized that independent travel isn’t as intimidating as it may seem.
What has been your favourite travelling destination?
Too many to list. Some of my favorites are Petra, Okavango Delta, Masai Mara, Bali, Laos, Sapa, and Cinque Terre.
What has been your scariest moment while travelling?
I’m not sure. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt outright fearful for my life. I’ve felt nervous being out at night a few times when I know I shouldn’t have been. I also was hit by a motorbike in Malawi and cracked a few ribs.
What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?
I went to an engagement party for a friend in Kenya. They had this long presentation in Kikuyu (the local language), I had no idea what was going on, and suddenly I was asked to come up and speak. I stood up, looked like a deer in the headlights, and whispered to my friend to find out what I was supposed to say. I ended up wishing the future bride and groom well and thanking her family for inviting me to the special occasion. Of course, my friend had to translate as I went so I had to make awkward pauses as well!
Don’t be stupid. Haha, I think I’ve made a lot of wise and rational decisions, but I’m also known to act on impulse. I guess, though, that’s what adventure is all about. I’d also remind myself not to feel so intimidated by people who may not speak English. Don’t be afraid to engage someone even if you may not be able to connect through spoken word.
What do you miss most when you are away from home?
The basics: a washing machine, a hot shower, the option to pick from an array of clothing in my closet, curlers, my friends & family and Mexican food.
The sense of monotony and having the same routine everyday.
What have you learned from travelling?
I’ve learned that people and cultures are much more alike than they are different and that the world isn’t as bad of a place as the news makes it out to be. I also have become more independent and learned to deal with all types of situations.
Do you plan to stop?
Who would ever want to stop traveling? 😉
What’s in your backpack? Which item could you not live without?
Aside from the typical clothes and toiletries, I also have running shoes, my snorkel gear, and my camera. I’d never travel without them.
Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
In life, I’m inspired by characters who either go against the grain or do what is right at all costs, like Nelson Mandela. I’m also inspired by people I’ve met on my travels that have survived unimaginable events… genocide, apartheid, and war, and still manage to lead an inspiring life. My grandmother inspires me to travel- she’s a strong, independent woman who has been traveling her entire life. I also have a dear friend who planted the seed that I really can travel anywhere.
What advice would you give newbie travellers?
Places aren’t as foreign as they seem. It can sound scary and intimidating to travel far from home, but usually people are warm and welcoming wherever you may end up.
What are your future travel plans?
I’m heading to South Africa for the summer, followed by a US cross-country road trip. Then? Who knows!