I recently returned from an amazing month in Costa Rica and Panama -- and I had a blast! Let me show you:
SOOOO much surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, ATVing, motorcycling, and amazing people meeting!
Not only did this trip inspire hundreds of photos and a video -- it also inspired three songs (the first I've ever written in my head -- normally I can only write music on my guitar) and several blog posts, including:
Everyone Thinks I'm So Cool And Brave for Traveling Alone As a Woman - But These Lady Travelers are WAY Cooler Than Me.
Just me, myself and I, hanging out at the Rio Celeste in Costa Rica. #MieScattering
Let me start by saying, you're right. I am pretty cool for traveling alone. It's something I love about myself -- that if I see something I want, I go for it. Even if "it" is a country on the other side of the world, and no one else wants to go there with me.
I read the saddest story ever this morning. A beautiful, vibrant woman named Geraldine Largay, or Inchworm, was found dead in her tent, almost two years after losing her way along the Appalachian Trail.
Summer is here, and you know what that means: sunshine! Daydream! Vacation!
But, unfortunately, many people worry about gaining weight over the holiday. The good news is, vacation weight gain is not inevitable. In fact, using these three tips, you might keep the weight off more easily than ever -- without resorting to carrots and other boring "diet foods."
Everyone who knows me… knows that I’m a little gross.
I eat the carnitas burrito I accidentally left in my car for 24 hours. I use sticks I found on the ground to scoop my peanut butter and rocks to scrape the meat out of my coconuts. And I definitely don’t follow the five-second rule.
But one thing I will never, ever do… is cook in a hostel kitchen. And you probably shouldn’t, either.
Have you ever had an experience that was so wonderful that it was the last thing you thought about before you fell asleep every single night for five years?
Many years ago, I visited Bath, England -- a place of water, life, and healing. Upon one of the fountains there was engraved, "Aqua est Vida." Water is life.
And plastic is death.
Whether traveling alone or with friends, many people travel to have an authentic cultural experience. And while the idea of talking to and having adventures with lots of strangers can be daunting, making friends when you travel is actually pretty easy.
1. Do What You Do At Home While You Travel. You'll have plenty of time to interact with locals when you're buying stuff from them or paying them for a tour. But if you want to make the interaction more authentic, try doing something you're already good at, something you'd do anyway, with them. For me, this often means basketball or volleyball. As I wrote in this post:
This happens to be one of my favorite basketball courts ever.
A while back, someone on Quora asked,
How do I celebrate my birthday when I am all alone in my life?
Here's my answer:
Take a solo vacation. At 27, the best possible trip you could do is probably a solo one (probably especially if you're traveling while female). You'll meet tons of new people every day -- trust me. (If you're concerned about your social skills and/or ability to meet new people, I'd recommend reading The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism before you go. It'll teach you skills you can use personally and professionally to attract and connect with more people.)
If you're afraid of being lonely when you travel alone, don't be! A three-hour friendship with someone you meet while traveling can feel more meaningful than a convenient one you have with coworkers and neighbors.
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my scooter... hop on the back and go to an amazingly beautiful place with me maybe?
Note: See also: Life Hack - Do What You Do While You Travel When You're Home.
I love basketball. It's probably the best sport known to man, and I've spent way too much (or possibly not enough) of my adult life playing it. There were times when I would be at the courts three hours a night, every weeknight. It's just that great.
General convention says that you should open your mind and try new things when you travel. And I agree. But I also think that doing what you do at home while you travel is one of the best ways to make new friends and get involved in new communities. I think this because of basketball.
I happened upon a pickup game in Warsaw once, when I heard balls bouncing in a gymnasium I was passing. So I introduced myself to one of the guys, asked if I could get next, and hopped on. Language barriers didn't matter -- we got sweaty together and had a fun time. We went out for drinks after, and I got into a discussion with one of the men about the Polish word wolność, which means freedom.
"There is a phrase in our national anthem, 'Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła / Kiedy my żyjemy,'" he told me. "It means, 'As long as I am alive, Poland is still fighting.' Because wolność is a very important word to us."
The eagerness and sincerity in his eyes is something I'll never forget. Who knew I'd come to glimpse something so dear to him... because of basketball?
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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