I think there’s something we have to get straight between you and me. I love traveling and having adventures, but when I’m at home I’m unbelievably lazy and for some reason, really into watching cake.
Not making it. Not even eating it. Just watching it.
I’ve logged hours watching a certain cheesecake recipe from Tasty on loop (like honestly 50 times or more). I follow a lot of cake decorating accounts on Instagram, and I just got way too into the Great British Bake Off on Netflix. Is it just me or does it start off wholesome and then get way too high stakes and engaging to turn off?!
So I think it’s probably obvious that I am grasping at things to share here, because my life at home isn’t all that exciting. I’m a girl who watches cake in order to stop myself from working all day and night. Impressive, I’m sure.
So the other day when thinking up things to share, I realized it had been a while since I did a Q&A – four years to be exact. I asked you on Instagram stories to ask me anything. These are some of your questions, and my sometimes-cheeky-but-mostly-reflective answers:
How do you gain confidence in your decision making?
Let’s go down memory lane a bit to 2012. I have been agonizing for the better part of the year over the decision to quit my job, start a blog, end my relationship, and buy a one-way ticket to Bangkok. I was not at all confident with this decision. It seemed like I was really buying a one-way ticket to the poorhouse and leaving a job that paid me well and a life that from the outside, looked pretty good.
I didn’t even let anyone know I was toying with the idea, because I felt so unsure about the decision that I couldn’t let anyone talk me out of it. Nowadays, I confidently make decisions much more quickly and I owe it to the past eight years of so much solo travel and running my own business.
There’s often so much going on that I don’t have time to agonize over this or that. I’ve also realized that doing anything other than problem-solving when things happen is just a waste of time and energy. Over time, I’ve trusted myself to make the right decision, even when I make the wrong decision I learn from it and keep getting better.
So I suppose that’s a long winded way of saying that fear can be really paralyzing. It can cause us to mistrust ourselves and hesitate to act. It’s probably the biggest scourge on humanity that I can think of – fear that we will fail, lose love, or be rejected.
But I’ve had to rely on myself so many times that it has helped me face my demons, and largely led me down a path where I continuously do that as often as I can. Facing those fears makes me realize that they are mere concepts. Just ideas that hold us back. So take chances, because life really is short and it would be a pity to live in the land of what-ifs.
What’s the most off the beaten path country that you would return to in a heartbeat?
My mind immediately went to Mozambique. People really make a place, and I can’t be sure that I would feel the same way about it without the same people, but I still think of it so fondly for the bonds that I made, the Thanksgiving that I had, and the heartbreak that led me to go there in the first place. I had been scared to go alone, especially to the capital city of Maputo, but that first night dancing at the art gallery, surrounded by amazing people, I realized I could go anywhere and do anything alone.
So not only was it empowering, but it was particularly beautiful, laid-back, and just seems to attract the most interesting people. Sometimes with places like that I wonder if I should just leave it like it is in my memory or go back and make new ones. Time will tell!
What ever happened to the house you were going to buy in Hawaii?
It’s probably time for an update. I was talking all about this last year and then boom, went quiet on the whole thing.
ICYMI, last year I put out a video about how I was house hunting on the Big Island of Hawaii:
I found a house I really liked, put an offer down, and then my offer got accepted!
…and then I pulled out of the deal after the inspection.
And you know what? I am SO HAPPY THAT HAPPENED.
I have never been happier for something to fall through in my life. It was meant to be a vacation rental but realistically, it needed a lot of work. Right now I’d be paying for a money sinkhole on an island I can’t even get to for a property that nobody would be staying at for the foreseeable future. It would be so damn stressful and I’m SO glad I listened to my gut and said ultimately said no to the house.
That said, the dream is still alive. I don’t want it to be a rental anymore, but rather a home. I’ll let you know when it finally does happen, but we’re taking our time in this crazy world.
Who finances your travels?
Whatever sugar daddy I can allure at the moment and if that doesn’t work I shove 3 kilos of uncut cocaine up my ass when I fly to make ends meet.
*JK, in case it needs to be said, I have always funded my own travels and business 100%, all legally, and through hard work on this blog over the past 8 years.
But I’ve waited a long time to give that answer to this very rude question, so thanks for indulging me.
Do you see yourself traveling for the rest of your life? Having kids? Traveling with them?
It used to really bother me when I got this question but you’re asking me something I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.
At some point I’m going to have to decide, because there’s only so much time left on the (biological) clock.
Sometimes I think it would be amazing to be a mother. Creating life is an experience that only women get to have and I feel I’ll be missing something if I don’t do it. On the other hand it’s a life-altering decision that I can’t take back, and I’ve taken it to heart when a few friends with kids have quietly told me, ‘don’t do it, it’s a trap.’
I wonder if it’s selfish to bring a kid into this world on the brink of an ecological disaster that they didn’t help create. With the world population set to exceed 8 billion people, I wonder if it’s a dick move to keep reproducing when the world so obviously does not need more people.
So yeah, I don’t know, but I think about it almost every day.
Do you have advice for a 24 year old who lives with their parents, wants to solo travel, but is worried about the pandemic?
I remember wondering the same things when I was 24. Well, there wasn’t a pandemic back then, but we were coming out of one of the biggest financial collapses in history. It’s probably still going to have nothing on the one that’s to come, but all I’m trying to say is, I get you.
The thing is nobody can tell you when or if it’s right or wrong for YOU to do the things you want to do in your life. But I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for, because that’s not the answer I was looking for when I asked the same question to a stranger on the internet in 2012.
I wanted someone to tell me it was okay to just go.
So I’ll be that person for you, too. If it’s in your heart, then just go.
With the current state of the world I can’t advise you on the pandemic part, because if I’m convinced of anything right now, it’s that there is no right or wrong. But I suspect when the time is right, if you’re committed, you’ll make it happen.
Does solo travel help you discover yourself?
In many ways yes, it does. In fact I found myself running right back into myself over and over – the same issues I thought I was running away from followed me on the road, too.
Solo travel will intimately acquaint you with the parts of yourself that drive you crazy. If you play it right, you’ll be open minded and honest enough with yourself to notice these things you don’t like, soul search, and change them.
You’ll also get to see the side of you who makes all of the decisions, problem solves, becomes more outgoing, and all of the other benefits of solo traveling. I think everyone should do it in life.
Thanks for connecting, for reading, for getting through my somewhat self-indulgent stream of consciousness. I appreciate you for being here.
If you have more to ask, feel free in the comments below.