Author: Bungee Girl Media
Lately everyone’s been talking about Iceland. It can be a shorter flight for New Yorkers than going to L.A. where you can see the northern lights, meet real Vikings and experience the most picturesque glacier lagoons. You’ll hear stories of trolls and elves still shared today and rejoice in the pride each Icelander has with tracing their lineage over a thousand years. It’s liberal, feminist as hell and one of the safest places to travel to. It’s the perfect destination for solo female travelers and has its own set of fierce, independent and adventurous travel girls. One of them manages to travel for a living while being a fulltime student.
Meet Sigrun…..She Travels to be free, happy and in control of her own life.
Let’s be real, we all wish we could travel more if our work or lives would permit. If you’ve got the luxury, you can get clever and find a line of work that allows you to travel often. Sigrun did just that and for the past 5 years has been a flight attendant for the Icelandic airline WOW Air while also pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Journalism. Sigrun isn’t a 9-5 person, so this job suits her perfectly because she gets days off in the middle of the week or can squeeze in a mini holiday once in a while. The airline is a relatively new company, it was founded five years ago so it still has a start-up vibe, which she loves, even though it has grown significantly in the past couple of years. The non-routine life makes it easier to mix work and study.
Like Sigrun, you shouldn’t fall victim to your wanderlust, but conquer it. We all may not have the financial means to travel the world as much as we like. Not all of us can afford to take a year off work to backpack Asia or use each and every one of our vacation days venturing to far off places. Some of us have to keep working. Some of us have debt that won’t pay itself off. But don’t be discouraged. You shouldn’t give up your travel aspirations. Travel is one of the most life-changing and educational experiences a person can have. For some travel has meant finding a new home, meeting your spouse or best friend, discovering your ancestry, learning a new language, uncovering a new talent or passion. Maybe you desperately need alone time or that perfect environment to finally write that book. Maybe you’re checking off your bucket list before you leave this earth. Maybe you need to get real with yourself and reevaluate some things. There’s no better way to take a mental health check than to take a much needed trip. If your current situation allows for it then you should explore all the potential options there are to travel for a living. One of the most popular ways to do this is being a flight attendant as Sigrun has done but there are so many more:
- Work on a cruise ship
- Be a digital nomad (such as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, web designer)
- Teach English aboard
- Be a travel agent
- Try out a secondment as an expatriate
- Start a travel blog (this may be a very crowded space now but if you stay authentic and find a very niche market you have the potential to be very successful)
- Take care of children as an au pair
- Be a photographer
- Make money renting your apartment to travelers using home sharing sites like Airbnb
- Join the Peace Corps
The list can go on and on…and although many of the options available aren’t realistic for everyone, there’s definitely an opportunity out there that will allow you to live out some of your deepest travel desires.
Although working for an airline means a lot of short stops in and out of different locations which many would say doesn’t constituent as “traveling” it still provides for the opportunity to interact with the locals from each destination, hear new languages and learn something new about a different culture. Sigrun has been all over Europe making these shorter stops but has been lucky to have layovers in US and Canadian cities that can last a day or two. “There are some perks working for an airline, I would say the really, really cheap flight tickets are the biggest perk of all. It makes all the long working hours totally worth it. This job has made it possible for me to travel around the world. The layovers are also super nice to get to know your way around a city. I’m a big foodie and I love going out for dinner so I usually try to find exciting restaurants or cafés during my layovers.”
When she’s not whipping across the Atlantic Ocean attending to guests, Sigrun is taking advantage of those job perks and living out her true Bungee Girl spirit. Sigrun has been all over the world and has had many memorable experiences. “I had a very scary moment with an elephant in a national park in Sri Lanka. I came too close while I was trying to take a photograph of the elephant (always trying to capture that perfect Instagram photo). He started running towards me and I completely froze and thought that this would be my last moment alive. All of a sudden he stopped and I ran towards my scooter and drove away, alive and well but a little bit shaken. I think the elephant was warning me to not step on his turf. That was noted.” One of Sigrun’s favorite destinations is Cuba because of its rich culture, scenery and atmosphere. But she’s got her eyes set on venturing the other side of the equator into South America including Colombia and Brazil.
Whatever you do, don’t suppress your curiosity. Don’t put limits on your nomad tenancies. If there’s a will, there’s a way. For many traveling can be intimidating or overwhelming or worse, seem completely out of reach. Sigrun has found a way to travel for a living and pursue her educational aspirations. While that arrangement might not work for everyone nor do some of you want to do, whatever your travel roadblock may be there’s a way to overcome it. GIRL, MAKE IT WORK!
So you’ve got the travel bug and want to live out some of your travel goals? Heading to Sigrun’s hometown might be a great fit. For obvious reasons, Reykjavik (the capital city in Iceland) is an ideal and sought out location for solo female travelers. Sigrun suggests you rent a bike to cycle around the city and don’t forget to party on the weekends when Icelanders really get wild. “Reykjavik is a small city so it’s easy to go around, and it’s very safe. I recommend trying the seafood, it’s amazing. The food scenery is great in Reykjavik. Remember to bring warm clothes since the weather in Iceland is insanely unpredictable. We have days where we experience all the seasons (rain, snow, wind and sun). There are so many places around Iceland that are truly amazing to visit. 2-3 days in the city should cover all the things to see there, then rent a car and head to the countryside. All of the places in Iceland are beautiful. The Vestfjords have a special place in my heart.”
Sigrun even helped Founder and CEO of Bungee Girl, Maxine Outerbridge, have an epic experience on her recent solo trip for her 29th birthday with some great tips and advice. They connected on the Bungee Girl App and leveraged the insider knowledge of each of their home cities to help the other on upcoming trips