Author: Bungee Girl Media
When you realize your beautiful picture of Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains means nothing to so many but you can travel all the way to South Africa to stand in front a pastel colored wall and suddenly your likes are blowing up, there’s something seriously wrong going on. Even though you have this epic story about your adventurous journey to this historic landmark, nobody cares unless your picture has perfect lighting, with no tourist in the background and you look like a model in the most unrealistic outfit. Don’t forget to wear your fancy hat just in case you get caught off guard gazing off into the scene in front of you. And don’t get us started on the perfect tea parties in the middle of the desert? We get it, it’s a business and we’re not here to bring down someone’s hustle. But we can’t help but notice the value of travel experiences rapidly deteriorating and too often see people more concerned with replicating the photo of a travel blogger than visiting locations for all the glory they have to offer. You do know they’re getting paid to recommend stuff to you, right? Not to mention it is completely setting people up for utter failure because the images many travel bloggers share are a combination of the most unnatural series of events and do not correspond to actual experiences people have. When did we start caring less about those “eatpraylove” stories? Those stories are raw, where you learn the good, bad and the ugly. Remember when you traveled to face your fears, learn a new language, meet people who didn’t look like you, find out about yourself, discover new interests or try some new kinds of food? Ask yourself, have you been losing sight of that too? We hope to inspire you again. We’re starting our new “SHE TRAVELS” blog series where we feature a bunch of bad ass travel-loving women as they explore the world on their very REAL journeys.
Meet Chrissy…..She travels because the world is too big and as an American has had too many westernized travel experiences.
Chrissy is doing what so many women want to do but don’t have the courage: solo travel. After getting over the initial butterflies and reassuring her family, she set off to get out of that westernized bubble. “I was inspired to travel solo by a high school friend who was on her journey for 14 months. I would sit at work following her on Facebook. I began to feel the wanderlust. I began to ask myself, “What is stopping me from seeing the world?” I had a strong calling to get out there and take the risk. I started to do research and put a plan in place. The first thing I did was set a “leave by date”. Mine was December 30, 2016. With a goal established, it was so much easier to achieve. My mom was super supportive. She knew the struggles I had with “finding my passion” so she thought it would be a great way to get out and explore that. I was ready for that “finding myself” journey. My dad, on the other hand, was extremely apprehensive at the thought of my solo travel. He asked me a million questions and wanted me to find a travel partner. With lots of assurance, and promises to call every day, he became more relaxed.”
How many of us can admit that we get too comfortable even in our travels? Like many Americans, Chrissy didn’t get “outside” the box for so long. Traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean and staying in 4 or 5-star hotels never really gives you a true sense of culture. For her solo travel trip she decided to travel deep and venture for an impact. “I enjoy and crave the type of travel where you can get out and explore. Get lost in a city and just wander. Eat street food, interact with the locals, really experience the culture and embrace the differences.”
You know a woman is finding her way when she starts embracing new things and having no regrets. You should come back from all your trips having tried a new challenge, faced a fear or learned something new. Sometimes it takes getting out of your regular environment to realize you have more courage than you thought you did. Sometimes you need to get away from that same circle of family and friends to do different things because you don’t have to deal with their judgment or opinions. Chrissy has fully flourished into her adventurous spirit during her solo journey and has tried so many new firsts including the world’s largest swing, cliff jumping and jumping out of a plane. “My next bucket list item is scuba diving. I tried doing it in the Great Barrier Reef, but I freaked out. I have such a fear of drowning. I think with practice in a pool, and the right training, I will be ready on my next go-around. I’d really like to do a dive in the Philippines and swim with sharks.”
Inspired yet? You should be! Chrissy is a reminder of the deep personal growth that travel can bring. It’s not always roses and butterflies but these kinds of experiences will change your life and shape the person you’re destined to be. These are the kind of experiences that open your eyes and bring a new level of awareness. These are the kind of experiences where you have that “Ah ha” moment. We don’t want you to lose sight of that. We don’t want you to fall victim to the glamorization of travel. We don’t want you to chase Instagram likes but travel because it serves a real purpose and has a true meaning for you. Be like Chrissy and be the difference. We’ll keep sharing stories of women who live for the adventure.
Solo travel doesn’t have to be scary but you’ve got to be willing to take a leap of faith. Chrissy wasn’t scared but did have to get over that first initial anxiety. “I’m so independent I’m just used to being by myself. When I left I had a few butterflies in the tummy, but once I got to my destination, got to the hostel, and met people, all of that went away rather quickly.” Find out where Chrissy goes next. Follow more of Chrissy’s journey on Instagram @itschrisssyyy.
More stories for the “SHE TRAVELS” series coming soon at https://bungeegirlcom.wordpress.com.