1) What made you realize traveling solo rather than traveling with a group would work best for you when you began your travels in 2009?
At first I traveled solo by default. My husband passed away at about the same time as my children were leaving home. It’s hard to coordinate with friends so off I went solo and discovered how fantastic it can be. In fact, it is often better than traveling with others. I met so many more locals that way and I could delve into the destination how I wanted (whether it was a museum or just sitting watching people) and at the pace I wanted. So now I do most of my travel solo and it’s definitely by choice.
2) Did you think when you began your blog that it would reach so many people who wanted to learn how they could travel solo?
As a freelance writer, I took the blog as an opportunity to write in my own voice about a subject that interests me, travel. I had no idea that the blog would be so successful however I did suspect that some would be interested – that some people would have a similar world view and be interested. I’m thrilled that so many do.
3) Why do you feel it has reached so many people ‘on the road’ and back home in their own cubicles who want to get out there and travel too?
I have to admit that I have worked hard to spread the word about solo travel. Part of my mission is to legitimize traveling alone. It is not odd but a preferable mode of travel on occasion. Many of my readers have found a voice for their travel choice in my blog and share it with others. This is how it has grown so well.
4) You have done so much for blogging, in general, with Global Bloggers Network, Meet Plan Go, interviewing with the media and e-books; Do you think you will ever slow down and settle in one place or continue your travels for years to come?
Though I will still travel a lot, I intend to spend more time at home in Toronto in 2013. Tracey, who acts as associate editor on the blog, will do more travel this year to balance everything out. However, I won’t be settling down. In 2011 I published my book, The Solo Traveler’s Handbook. In 2012 I formed Full Flight Press and published four books to turn my one book into a series known as The Traveler’s Handbooks. The series includes: The Food Traveler’s Handbook, The Luxury Traveler’s Handbook, The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook and The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook. I plan to publish more in 2013.
5) How important do you feel it is to know certain words in another language such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ when traveling?
A few words in the local language generates goodwill in any situation. It is very important. But words without a smile do nothing. Its more important to be congenial and respectful than to have the language.
6) Do you feel it is important to know these words in more than one language depending on how many countries you plan to visit?
I tend to learn them before arriving and often forget them as I leave. The important thing is to know the basic pleasantries of the country you’re in.
7) Any advice you can give to someone who would like to travel long term but they are letting their fear stop them from taking that last step from cubicle life to world traveler?
If long term travel is what you want to do, go. Regret will weigh heavier on the side of not going than going.