Each Tuesday, though, we are going to highlight one traveler from our traveler profiles and offer up a little more information about them. Learn more about traveler of the week Jenny below, who is on her trip right now!
1. What is the one item you packed that you have used least?
The one item I packed that I’ve used least: My playing cards! I was so excited to break out my playing cards, but I haven’t met anyone who enjoys a game of Gin or Go Fish. I’m still holding out though! I’m determined to use them.
2. What is the one item you packed that you couldn’t do without?
The one item I couldn’t do without: my bright red lipstick! I mean, I know it’s not the most practical thing when I’m climbing mountains or experiencing new cultures…but if I’m having one of those “I’m sick of sleeping in a room with seven other people and washing my socks in the sink” days, I just throw on a bit of lipstick and I instantly feel a bit less like a dirty traveler, and a bit more like a normal person.
3. What is one thing that worried you most before the trip that turned out to be no big deal?
Of the many many things I worried about, the main one was that I wouldn’t make friends. People told me I was silly since I’m pretty outgoing and a comedian (literally), but heading to the other side of the world all on your own is scary even for the most confident person. Luckily, solo travelers attract other solo travelers (and, once, an entire men’s cricket team) and after a few days, and a bit of practice, I found it easy to strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone!
4. Did you buy a round the world flight or decide to buy one-ways? Are you happy with your decision so far? Why?
I decided to buy one-way tickets and I’m really happy I did. I’m one of those people who likes to plan and detail everything out, but I decided to try my hand at ‘going with the flow’…and so far it’s worked out! I’m not stuck to locations, I can change dates on a whim, and I can change my plan whenever and however I like.
5. What would tell people who can’t quite commit to going on a round the world trip?
I do improv comedy, which is basically just jumping up on stage with no script, getting a suggestion from the audience, and trying your hardest to make people laugh (think the show “Whose Line Is It Anyway”, only less glamorous, more complicated, and you pay for your own drinks). Improv can be scary and tough; it’s full of unknowns, mistakes, terrifying silences, and failing tries. But the payoffs! The payoffs are why we keep doing it. When you come off stage from a great set, you don’t remember the fear or the failed jokes. You remember the high you felt, and the audience that laughed with you and supported you while you shone. You remember the split-second ideas that popped up in your brain and how much fun the journey was when you decided to follow them. You remember the applause and the pride you had in yourself for a set well done.
To anyone putting off their trip: stop worrying and just go. Jump on the grenade, run through the curtains, lick the salt off your hand…take a breath and commit to the moment.
Travel, and solo travel specifically, is a lot like improv. You have no idea what your’e getting into and it’s scary. It’s stupidly scary! But the experiences you have and the decisions you make and the findings you find, all amount to this wonderful, huge, amazing thing that just works. You remember the fear and odd bout of loneliness, sure, but even more than that you remember the feeling you had when you climbed your first mountain, or the taste of your first authentic curry, or the flirty night with the gorgeous Australian cricket team (just me?).
To anyone putting off their trip: stop worrying and just go. Jump on the grenade, run through the curtains, lick the salt off your hand…take a breath and commit to the moment. Then enjoy your time on stage, and get excited for the inevitable laughs to follow.