FIRST THOUGHT: Independent Adventures
It can be tough journeying out on your own. There’s a Sex in the City episode in which Carrie Bradshaw wrestles with eating alone in a restaurant without the armor of a book or newspaper.
These days, we hide behind our smartphones and scroll through emails, social media and old text messages. And we don’t just do it at restaurants; cellphones have become our safety nets during networking parties, concerts, in the classroom, you name it.
Today, gain some independence from your cellphone and set out on your own adventure, one that may lead to some really fantastic self-awareness and cool memories.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 230 Percent
Women no longer need men to cover up puddles with their coats or to hold the door for us. We call ourselves Miss Independent and proudly dive into life experiences, now more so than ever. In fact, in the past six years, the number of women-only travel companies has increased by 230 percent.
According to the Travel Industry Association, within the last year, about 32 million single American women traveled at least once. We love to travel, and we don’t necessarily need companionship to do it. Women are traveling to more exotic destinations throughout the world, exploring more adventurous activities and increasingly traveling alone.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Kate McCulley, Founder of Adventurous Kate
Speaking of a woman who loves to travel alone, meet Kate McCulley, who has been blogging about her solo travels for the past six years and will give you some serious FOMO. (That’s “fear of missing out,” for all you non-millennials!)
When Kate was just 26, she made a bold life choice: She quit her marketing job to explore Southeast Asia. Her plan was to travel for six months, but six months turned into a nearly five-year trek that took her across more than 60 countries. After reading her travel blog, you’ll definitely want to add some of her favorite destinations to your bucket list, like Croatia, Montenegro, Thailand and Japan.
During her Asian quest, Kate started her blog, Adventurous Kate, eventually abandoning a conventional job to become a full-time travel writer. (Talk about a dream gig!) Adventurous Kate now has 200,000 monthly visitors and is a top travel influencer on Snapchat.
Traveling solo doesn’t have to be a bummer. Far from it! If you’ve ever been on a trip with a group of people who want to visit a cathedral when you want to take in the city’s numerous cafés, you can see the appeal.
Kate knows there’s a lot of misinformation out there designed to scare women away from traveling on their own. She clears up those myths through her goal of showing women that independent, solo travel can be safe, easy and a lot of fun. She’s committed to teaching women how to find the maximum value in their travels—where to splurge, how to save—and includes plenty of travel secrets she’s picked up along the way, all presented with a healthy dose of honesty and humor.
After years skipping across the globe, Kate now lives in New York City and takes a little more time off between her globetrotting travels. But she still keeps her blog up to date with helpful and interesting travel info.
Kate espouses some key safety tips when solo traveling, like researching your destination, blending in as much as possible, getting travel insurance and preparing for the worst by keeping backup cash. After all, she was shipwrecked in Indonesia, an experience that left her tattered yet grateful, and little bit wiser.
My favorite piece of advice from Kate is what she calls the secret to solo female travel: Order a glass of Champagne. She says a confident and chic woman orders the bubbly stuff, and it immediately turns her into the most mysterious woman at a restaurant, whether it’s in Barcelona or just her own hometown. Now that deserves a “cheers!”
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote is from thought-provoking writer Susan Sontag. She said:
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.