Some of my random observations as a solo female traveler.
Welcome to some of the most interesting and funny things I learned after over a year on the road as a solo female full-time traveler.
1. Everyone’s unique travel style is different, so don't compare yourself to anyone else.
2. Nobody's ever asked to see my international drivers license and I've driven all over the world and across multiple borders.
3. Get travel insurance. You never know when you might need it and you'll be sorry if you don't have it. It's worth the peace of mind.
4. You can pay for digital books as much as you want, but if you keep a free books app on your phone or pad, you can download endless classic books to read, for free, when you don't have wifi on train and planes. Can be a lifesaver.
5. Ladies, if you don't already have one, get a lunette cup and learn to love it. It's your new hassle-free, eco-friendly best friend.
6. Carry a universal adapter. You'll need it to stay charged all around the world. Absolutely essential. Always charge before security! If you try to go through airport security with a dead device, they can confiscate it from you since they may think it's a weapon. Yeah.
7. Even in this day and age, it can be surprisingly hard to find decent (and unlimited) wifi in the world. Plan accordingly.
8. Always make sure you have extra cellular data, or you could find yourself totally out and end up the wrong country. True story.
9. Skip the bulky heavy camera equipment unless you really are a pro photographer and need it to function. You can get perfectly great shots with your phone. Granted, I'm no pro, but I'm able to run my website using all iPhone photos, so there's that.
10. Travel carryon only. And, not only carryon only, but under seat only. Do not be the annoying person that holds everyone up getting on and off the plane. Do you think people enjoy standing like crooked flamingoes for 20 mins while you mess around getting things in and out of the bins? They don't.
11. Skip postcards and stamps and send custom photos to loved ones with touchnote. It's more personal and original than mass-produced cards of the same shots of the same monuments that everyone's already seen.
12. Almost everyone around the world takes PayPal, even restaurants and deliveries, but hardly anyone takes Apple Pay.
13. Contactless payment cards save so much time and energy. I want one. That's just a rant.
14. Visa debit cards are not accepted in Holland in most restaurants and grocery stores. Yeah, Albert Heijn, I'm talking to you.
15. Americans are not accepted in England. Who knew?
16. Trust your gut. If a situation feels dangerous, it probably is. So leave. You're not a tree.
17. I understand particle physics better than the schengen visa rules. And I’m not alone there.
18. The principles of minimalism work in life and especially in travel. I own everything I need so therefore I don't need to purchase any physical items, and all my money can go to experiences (and food!) instead of things.
19. People assume that as a single girl, I go on tons of dates and get free dinners and drinks all over the world. Um, no, no and no. And I'm not even against these things! Seriously! Show me a country where people pay for dates, and I'll be on the next flight.
20. People always assume that someone is wrong with you if you are alone. I get asked why I’m not married, why I don’t have a boyfriend, and why I don’t have kids. All. The. Time. I think it’s super rude but clearly noone else does anywhere in the world. It’s hard for people to understand the concept of wanting to be alone and valuing solitude.