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Solo Female Travel Series – Who am I?

 New Orleans, USA
New Orleans, USA

Solo travel can be many things and solo female travel, even more so, polarizing and daunting. So I decided to start an ongoing serious about solo female travels and my adventures specifically.

It will include some of my favorite destinations that are, in my opinion, fantastic for solo female travelers and I will also cover topics such as basic safety and common sense practices while traveling, things that for me may be normal but not necessarily for everyone, especially if they are just starting out traveling internationally, on their own.

To kick off this series, I am going to reintroduce myself and share my story in how I started traveling solo.

 Morocco
Morocco
Who am I?

I started traveling at a really young age. My family would take trips to different states in the US and I often would spend summers visiting family in other states. I remember taking a super quick forty-five-minute flight with just my sister from Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was just 7 or 8 years old and we had to wear name badges around our neck.

We moved soon after that to Israel opening a whole new world of travel opportunities. I began taking public transport around the city of Haifa and the country on my own when I was about 11 years old. My parents gave my sister and me an exceptional amount of freedom once we moved there.

We traveled internationally a lot and anytime we went somewhere new my parents always gave time to explore the city on our own. It never even occurred to me as something that could be dangerous or questionable. Honestly, I think that all of these things slowly building over time, gave me the confidence to really go out and conquer the world on my own.

I remember exploring Barcelona on my own around 12 years old. My family would meet for breakfast and then set a time and place to meet back up later that afternoon or evening. Barcelona was always a favorite of mine. After about 6 visits, I was able to navigate the city so easily, I never got lost and I had developed an inner sense of direction that would help me for years and years to come.

When I was about 14 or 15 my parents and I took a trip to Southern Spain, I invited a friend to come along and once the plane landed we basically only saw my parents for breakfast and dinner occasionally. We had a week to ourselves in Marbella and the freedom was intoxicating!

 Morocco
Morocco
My First International Solo Trip

My first international trip truly on my own was just after I turned 17. I finished high school early (I was homeschooled) and due to many different circumstances, I found myself in Ukraine for almost a year.

I had one suitcase to take me to Ukraine and the security going through the airport was just awful. They questioned me for almost 2 hours, going through all of my luggage, slinging pads and clothing everywhere in front of the entire airport before they took me to a separate area and strip-searched me.

I could honestly tell you it was an awful experience but I had spent so many years already watching how my dad handled one-thousand and one questions about everything under the sun and let me tell you, he was always calm. No matter what they asked or what they wanted to know, he just stayed calm.

I learned to mimic him in that sense, that I really have nothing to worry about, just answer the questions and everything will be fine. That wasn’t the last time I was strip-searched by the way… but that’s another story for another day.

When I moved to Ukraine, I didn’t really have a plan for being there and I didn’t really know many people there but I met a lovely American family that was looking for an Au Pair for their twin 5-year-olds and I had been working with children for years! This was a perfect fit!

I lived in Odessa and made new friends, explored Ukraine, traveled to visit my family in the states for Christmas, I visited other friends in Istanbul and all when I was 17. I look back at it all now and it is a lifetime ago but when people ask me if I am scared to travel alone now, I can answer with a confident and resounding, “No.”

 Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Travel is My First Love

I took quite a long break from traveling and even longer from doing it solo but when I started traveling solo again in 2018, I was a bit unsure about it all but soon found myself sliding back into the familiar independence of choosing what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

I traveled to Morocco first with a tour group in the Spring of 2018, partially because someone recommended Intrepid tours as a fun thing to do and partly because I honestly figured it would be just so much easier than trying to figure out all the logistics on my own.

Once my tour through Morocco was complete, I traveled on to Tunisia & Portugal as a solo female traveler. I immediately was reminded why I love to travel and how incredibly amazing and challenging it can be.

I returned to the United States knowing that I needed to do this, more, so much more. So I sold all of my belongings (well, most of them anyway) and took off traveling full time on my own, save for meeting up with friends intermittently.

After spending a month in Portugal I went onto to Morocco for a month, again as a solo female traveler. I was much more confident with my abilities at this point but it was still overwhelming and exhausting at the same time. I planned to spend the whole time in Marrakech and while normally it would probably be fine, it also happened to be the hottest month of the year and I was staying at a hostel to save money so to say it was uncomfortably hot and exhausting is probably an understatement, I mean when I walked into the room and the only other girl in there was sleeping in her underwear…. that probably should’ve been my first clue. lol

 Porto, Portugal
Porto, Portugal
Freedom in Solo Female Travel

There are so many crazy things that can happen while traveling solo but I also feel like, for me personally, I am always up for more of an adventure when I am traveling alone.

I can get up early and explore or I can sleep in without having to plan my day around someone else, I can go back to my room in the afternoon for a nap or I can literally spend the whole day wandering around stopping at every single coffee shop or food stand to try something new and delicious! I can spend each day doing something touristy or I can bypass all the touristy things entirely and spend my week working (which is something I definitely have to do more of smh).

Regardless of how I chose to spend my time the point is I get to choose and that is never something to be afraid of or have anxiety about. That is a beautiful release from the expectations and constraints of others.

(Don’t get offended if you like traveling with people! I do too, I love meeting up with friends along the way! I am just making a case for the people who want to travel solo but haven’t quite committed to it yet! lol)

 Aarhus, Denmark
Aarhus, Denmark
I Challenge You! 😀

So now that I have told you a bit of my back story you’ll understand why since I grew up spending plenty of time alone that the idea of traveling alone was just another activity and certainly not something to fear.

Now that being said there are certain places I would say require some vigilance, a stronger backbone, and maybe an extra bit of resiliency but don’t worry, I will cover some basics of things you may want to be prepared for, how to handle certain situations and a few tips on safety in one of my next posts in the Solo Travel Series.

But for now, I challenge you all to do something solo that you otherwise might shy away from. Go to the movies, Go out to eat, Go to a bar! There is plenty of adventure to be found when you realize the best company you will ever keep is with yourself!

“There is plenty of adventure to be found when you realize the best company you will ever keep is with yourself!”

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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