Most people dream of traveling the world. They will secretly be scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram feed and dream a little.
What would you do if you had countless money? That’d be easy for me; I’d travel the world – without worrying too much about my old friend (read “best enemy”) – the bank account.
Most people seem to think you need to travel with a lot of savings.
Some others think traveling is a bit crazy/scary/impossible.
When I first started A Broken Backpack, I had one goal in mind; to prove you could travel long-term without being rich/even if you’re broke. I wanted to inspire the world to travel; to see what’s out there.
Many people ask me how I afford to travel so much, how to travel when broke, and more importantly, what it’s like to travel solo.
For some reason, it seems that my blog is more appealing to the male adventurers – but this time, I wanted to encourage the ladies out there by proving to you – one more time – that it’s possible.
If you have been stuck in the dreaming stage for a while, I’m pretty sure these 17 travel girls will convince you to take that trip.
I divided this article into three inspiring sections which I could actually even call three easy steps;
1. Chase the most beautiful places on Earth;
2. Challenge the world;
3. And never return.
SECTION 1: CHASE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES ON EARTH
Finally Free on Easter Island, Polynesia/Chile – Kimberly Erin of A Walkaboot
I found my freedom on Easter Island, I really did. I had been struggling at home, both with a relationship and with finding my place in this world, when with perfect timing, my family took a vacation to Peru. The magical Easter Island had always been on my mind, let’s just say I’ve always had an addiction to the mysterious. While in Peru I realized I was closer to Easter Island than ever before; I had been saving money, and on top of everything else home just did not feel productive. On the last day, I looked at my dad and said: “please cancel my flights, I think I need to do this”. Twenty-four hours later and I was on a bus to Santiago Chile, to catch my flights to the illusive Isla de Pascua (Easter Island).
I remember with great clarity the morning I arrived on Easter Island. After dropping my bag off at my hostel I immediately walked into the small town of Rapa Nui. I made my way directly to the shoreline. I gazed upon the ocean, I looked to the Moai statue to my right, and to the small town coffee shop to my left, I took a deep breath and for the first time in a while felt tranquility. This was it. I finally felt at peace with myself. It was here where I let go of a fading relationship at home, the societal pressures presented by my country of Canada, and began to do what was best for me….3 years later, I have not stopped traveling, I am still on that trip that gave me my freedom, that allowed me to fall in love again, and which filled my life with opportunity.
Road Tripping with my Dad Through Norway – Jamie Italiane of The Daily Adventures of Me
So much on my blog right now is about Norway because it was one of the most stunning places I have ever been! My two others on that list are Iceland and Moorea. When I am in a place like that I can not stop taking pictures! What tops your list of prettiest place you have been? I really want to get to the Faroe Islands, Patagonia and Croatia because I have a feeling they may make it on the list too. . . . . . #getaway #travelblog #travelpics #mytravelgram #travelphotography #worldcaptures #tourism #worldplaces #worldingram #traveller #traveler #tourlina #we_heart_norway #norge #visitnorway #visitnorwayusa #ilovenorway #bestofnorway #nortrip #dreamchasersnorway #Excellent_Nordic #gotravelgirls
There were so many reasons not to take a trip to Norway… a lack of money, no more time off work, too much time away from my kids. Heck, it was not even a country that was on my bucket list. I am over 40, own a business and have many people who rely on me. But as has always been true for me with traveling, I am so glad that I did not listen to all my excuses. I now have another place to add to my list of my favorite and most stunning places on earth.
I am not sure why Norway wasn’t on my radar. Nature gets me excited. I love hiking, waterfalls, and bodies of water. Norway is full of tall wooded mountain ranges, emerald green fjords at the foot of sweeping cliffs, quaint red and white villages tucked into the crooks where fjord and mountain meet.The coastline is made up of islands. I even saw one of the most stunning public restrooms with a glass floor floating over a rushing creek at the head of the waterfall!
Best of all, I got to take my dad along on this trip with me! Very little in life is as precious as time with our favorite people. While we were in the village of Undredal, which was just astounding, we found out his mother had died. She meant so much to both of us, but we felt so blessed to be together in this place and that this was exactly where the universe wanted us to be. So, get on out there and experience this globe! No excuses!
Discovering my Inner Zen in Hawaii, USA – Justine Cross of Wanderer of the World
Exploring Hawaii was the moment I truly found my inner zen. When traveling, you’ll often come across places you love, you may even find some you hate, but then there are the places that really take hold of every inch of you. Even after leaving, that place is all you can think about, you want to travel back there as soon as you can and you probably never wanted to leave in the first place. For me, that place was Hawaii.
After exploring two of the islands: O’ahu and The Big Island, I discovered so much beauty and kindness there, which is what lead me to find my own inner zen. In Hawaii, you can find beautiful beaches, dramatic landscapes, fiery volcanoes and glimpses of the Milky Way with nothing but your own eyes!
On the island of O’ahu, near Kaneohe is a magnificent Buddhist Temple: Byodo-In Temple. This is an absolute must see if you’re also after your own Zen moment. Here, you can marvel at the golden Buddha statue, revel in the temple’s exquisite beauty and feed birds that are so tame that they just hop onto your hands.
In all of my travels, I have not yet once found somewhere that is so stunning as Hawaii is. I’d urge anyone thinking of traveling there to go for it – it is as incredible a place as your imagination thinks it is!
Exploring the Most Beautiful Beach at Whitsundays in Australia – Becky Angell of Becky the Traveller
A beach is just a beach isn’t it! Well, I thought that until I visited the beautiful Whitehaven Beach on the Whitsunday Islands just off the East Coast of Australia.
A 7km stretch of the whitest sand I’ve ever seen. Against the turquoise waters, it really is a postcard perfect setting. You can get to the island by sea or air. I opted for a boat trip, the cheaper option as well!
Just arriving at the beach you get a real sense of its beauty. But it wasn’t until my bare feet touched the silky sand I had the real “wow moment”. The white silica sand that is among the purest in the world, you need to try it for yourself!
A few meters up the beach and you have a luscious green tropical bush. Great for exploring and there’s a great lookout point if you take the path to the top. Watch out for the sleeping monitor lizards. You can’t miss them as they are over a meter long. But they will soon get out of your way when they hear you coming!
The fact that this beach is on an island means that experience isn’t shared with hundreds of other people. And sometimes that’s what makes somewhere so beautiful.
Became a Disney Princess in Cappadocia, Turkey – Sonal of Drifter Planet
Someone asked me yesterday what’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. It took me no time to say Cappadocia. There are caves, fairy chimneys, underground cities.. ❤️and pretty much everything that can make you forget real world. This place made me feel like a Disney princess 👸! Looks like a set from Star Wars, no? Well, this place was the inspiration for Planet Tatooine!
Cappadocia is one of those places where you will actually feel that you’re on another planet. There are strange volcanic formations, fairy chimneys, hot air balloons, underground cities.. and pretty much everything that will make you feel you’re in a fantasy world.
To make things even better, there are caves inside Cappadocia’s strange formations and people actually live in them. There are hotels, hostels, and bars INSIDE these caves and you can sleep inside one too instead of a room. My eyes literally popped out their sockets as soon as I stepped inside Cappadocia’s backpacker hub – Goreme.
I visited Cappadocia at a time when everyone warned me not to visit Turkey because of the unrest. I’m happy I did not listen to them because Cappadocia was my dream destination since years and I did everything possible to make it happen.
Exploring Alien-Like Landscapes in a Country No One Knows: Montenegro – Milou of Explorista.net
When planning my road trip through the Balkan I was lead not so much to where I wanted to go, but mostly by time restraint. If I’d had my way I could’ve traveled for months on end and still not seen everything I’d wanted to – the Balkan really is that diverse and beautiful of an area. But I I only had three weeks. And so I and my permanent marker zoned in on my must visits: Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ideally, I also wanted to visit Kotor in Montenegro, as I’d seen the images and loved how beautiful it looked. I figured I was in the area anyway, so why not.
Since we were planning to go from Sarajevo to Montenegro, it made sense to make a stop somewhere in between. The choice landed on Durmitor, a natural park in northern Montenegro that seemed beautiful and little known. Its high location would offer some respite from the 35-degree weather we’d encountered all throughout our trip so far. Getting to Durmitor was a journey worthy of its own book, but let me summarize it by telling you it involved twisty mountain dirt roads, passing a truck on a one and a half car wide mountain pass, and driving over an actual plank at some point – all the while I promised God I would better my life if we’d just make it to Durmitor in one piece. It’s a great story.
Upon driving into Montenegro from the north side we were greeted with fjords that would give Norway a serious run for its money. We then took another mountain road into Durmitor and spent the afternoon driving through the desolate landscapes that were as close to otherworldly as I’ve ever seen. In wintertime, Durmitor acts as a ski resort, but in summer time it’s quiet, green and filled with breathtaking views and beautiful drives. In the whole afternoon, we probably didn’t pass more than thirty other cars. One of my favorite things about Durmitor is the changing landscape – one moment you’re driving through flat highlands that look like you’re on Mars, then dramatic canyons and later you’re sat in the sun by a lake. And you’ve got it almost all to yourself. As I round up one of my favorite memories, I have to ask you for a favor though: please go visit ASAP, but don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep this place our little secret. Deal?
Local is Beautiful: New England – Cathy of Nothing But New England
I have lived in New England my whole life. Miles of beaches and rugged mountains to hike are a quick drive for me. Red, yellow and orange foliage in Autumn I see every fall. While some dread the snowy cold winters here, I love the winter wonderland the forests and mountains become. Until I became a traveler I didn’t appreciate how beautiful my home was.
Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro I found similarities to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Some viewpoints and sections of trail reminded me of home. Then in the gorgeous islands of the Azores, the ever changing weather made me feel right at home, it was typical New England weather!
My wanderlust and desire to see the world will not go away but my home and heart will always be in New England (which is beautiful in any season by the way).
SECTION 2: CHALLENGE THE WORLD
Traveling to Bangladesh When Everyone Said “No” – Alice Teacake of Teacake Travels
There is so much in this world that people don’t understand and therefore misjudge. Me included – we all do it. When the idea of traveling in Bangladesh came to me, there were many things people wanted to voice. “You’ll get shot”. “People are horribly poor”. “Women shouldn’t go there”. “You’ll run into trouble”. There were 3 things I knew about Bangladesh for sure. It’s one of the most populated countries in the world. It also has one of the longest unbroken beaches in the world. And, down south in its vast mangrove forests, you can go Bengal Tiger spotting.
When I arrived, it was overwhelming and I was nervous. Locals were incredibly curious. I was surrounded most of the time and police constantly questioned me about why the hell I was there.
Yet, I also found the most generous and kindest culture. I wandered through stunning ancient architecture. I savored the most delectable curries. I hiked to spectacular waterfalls and I navigated possibly the craziest city in the world: Dhaka.
When I left, I sighed in relief because everything was full on 24/7 and I just needed space to breathe. Yet, as soon as I touched down outside its borders, all I wanted to do was dive right back into that chaos. Bangladesh has been on my mind ever since: I’m hoping to go for Round 2 later this year.
The Crossroads: An Inner Struggle of Change – Maegan White of The Wanderlust Dietitian
I choose to challenge the world: I just celebrated 5 years with my career as a dietitian. That is what society wants for me. However, my heart breaks because I am removed from the life I yearn to live. My eyes have been opened and enlightened to the world of travel and the joy that comes with connecting to people from distinct parts of the world. I need more than just 2 weeks’ vacation to explore it!
Ditch the 9-5: I am tired of mundane routines, expectations, and responsibilities placed on me by others; I can no longer withstand the work-life balance of slaving away for 5 days with only 2 days of respite.
For the first time, I am being brave, I am listening to my heart and challenging the world around me. I am buying an RV and moving abroad to gallivant around Europe and the UK! I am recreating my life, despite society’s norms!
When you choose your own path instead of the path others “want” for you, there is always going to be a backlash and mixed emotions. At the end of the day, live the life YOU want and dare to be different! Just GO!
As Elizabeth Gilbert says in Eat, Pray, Love, “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”
Terror is For Wimps: Getting Over my Fear and Heading to the Middle East – Katie Williams of Traveling Spud
I took off on my year-long solo trip around the world in September 2016 and after traveling around Europe by myself for about 3 months I had an urge to visit the Middle East.
Turkey had been on my bucket list forever, but in November 2016, the media would not stop talking about ISIS and the terror attacks happening. I really wanted to go, but I was scared! So, I asked everyone I knew for advice. The consensus was a big fat: “don’t go.”
So, after listening to everyone, I decided not to go. I was depressed about it, but thought maybe it was for the best?
Then, right as I had thrown the idea out and a bomb had just hit the stadium in Istanbul, a girl walked into my hostel. We immediately hit it off and I asked her where she was from. SHE SAID TURKEY!
I knew it was a sign! She told me why I SHOULD go and how I shouldn’t listen to other people’s opinions. My gut knew she was right! Long story short, I went to Turkey. I felt safe. It was amazing. And right afterward I went to Israel and Jordan. It’s all because I had a special girl from Turkey tell me what I already knew deep down. Always listen to your gut!
Embracing The Chase: First Solo Hostel Experience – Gemma Armit of Two Scots Abroad
I love this moody photo. Me in the Grand Canyon as the sun sets! Less than four weeks until we fly. #travel #america #grandcanyon #arizona #igers_arizona #igers_america #tourist #wanderlust #backpacker #travelblogger #instalike #insta_travel #colourful #love #natgeopro #natureaddict #picoftheday #photooftheday #weroam #JJ_Forum_1126 #JJ_reflecting #rsa_ladies #jj_forum_1127 #ladiesgoneglobal
Back in 2011, way back, before Gemma and Craig existed, I participated in a three-week group camping trip from the west to east coast USA. During the trip, I bonded with a lovely group of (mainly) girls but really found friendship with a Londoner called Kaci. We were as thick as thieves; hiking at Yosemite, line dancing in Houston, and partying in NOLA. As the group trip drew to a close we knew we had only one night in New York together so we booked a Brooklyn hostel (very cool), hit Forever 21 on Times Square (my parents were actually there too at this point), caught the subway to Coney Island, dined, slept and then parted ways. Holy crap! I was actually now traveling solo. My mission? To find friends to see the British band Metronomy playing at Pier 54 (for free, I love NYC!) the following day. I still remember pouncing on a guy with dark crazy hair who turned out to be a social subjects teacher too and was up for seeing them with me. We picked up pals along the way and watched Metronomy in the sun. I then took a solo bus ride to Boston and an internal flight to Chicago. The fear kicked in again on my second evening, I remember my heart pounding rapidly as I approached the hostel social area with a bottle of wine in my hand. Luckily the first two backpackers I came across were Aussies who accepted a glass of my cheap zinfandel. There haven’t been many moments in my life that I’ve experienced that engulfing fear but I think everyone should experience at least once.
SECTION 3: AND NEVER RETURN
A Trip to Australia Turned into a Life There – Stephanie Parker of Big World Small Pockets
Heading to Australia on my 1-year working holiday visa I had no idea that 4 years later I’d still be there.
But that’s what love does to you I guess!
Yes, I fell in love with the beaches of Australia, the colors of the Outback and the beautiful heat, but I also fell in love with an Australian … I guess it happens to the best of us!
Only 3 months after arriving in the country we met and being housemates, had already moved in together.
During holidays from work, we took lots of trips together exploring the country including to Uluru, Melbourne and even back to my family in the UK.
But we knew the road was calling us long term.
After living together for a year and after all my residency visa documents had been lodged, the scene was set and off we took on a magical budget 4wd adventure around Australia in a battered old Landrover.
A year later and we’ve made it as far as Perth, having started in Brisbane. We are taking a pit stop to earn some money, but hope to continue our loop of this great island soon. After that, and as soon as my residency is granted, adventures further abroad lie in store for us!
We can’t wait!
Finding Home in a Person – Amy Hartle of Two Drifters
I didn’t set out to travel the world with the intention of finding a husband, but I did.
In 2011, I stayed in a UK hostel (the cheapest one in Edinburgh) and there was my fellow budget-conscious traveler, Nathan, in the same dorm room.
What began as a sweet, spontaneous and romantic trip, eventually turned into something more. We kept in touch across the miles and even across continents at one point. Our mutual love of travel was so important to us, so we kept following our dreams. Eventually, our dreams led us to be together.
Now, we have traveled and continue to travel the world hand in hand. In fact, being in a relationship (and now married) has probably led us to travel even more frequently and farther. We’ve driven 5000 miles across Australia. Went swimming with whale sharks. Camped in the wild hills of Wales. Explored castles in Romania. Enjoyed museums in Montreal. And so much more. The adventures never end when you have the person you love by your side.
It just goes to show that you never know who you’ll meet out on the road when you choose to follow your passion and explore the world. And wherever you may be, that person becomes your home.
Carving a Path One Country at a Time – Laura Nalin of Willful and Wildhearted
I intended to stay in Seoul, South Korea just one year when I moved abroad in 2013. About six months into my journey, I met my sweet boyfriend – a chance meeting that would completely turn my world around. Although I wasn’t keen on the idea of staying in Seoul when I met him, I had a feeling in my gut that our budding relationship was worth it. We spent our weekends exploring the nooks and crannies of the quirky country we called home, musing about the funny and – at times – frustrating cultural differences between British and American cultures, and, more importantly, growing together and learning how to work as a team.
We left South Korea in 2016 and used our work bonuses to fund a five-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Our trip led us to New Zealand, where we lived and worked for almost nine months, and now at the start of yet another new and exciting chapter together. We’re currently visiting his family in Scotland, and will be jetting off to our new adopted home: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, next week.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that plane journey to South Korea would lead me to where I am today, but that’s the beauty of traveling and stepping into the unknown. While we don’t plan on settling down in either of our respective countries anytime soon, we feel grateful each day for being afforded the opportunities to create our own happiness. Has it always been easy? Hell no! Will there always be hurdles to jump over? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Take that leap – I promise it’ll bring forth some sort of positive change or realization.
For the Love of Travel – Laura Lynch of Savored Journeys
You could say I’ve always had the travel bug. I picked it up just after high school and I spent a good part of 10 years traveling mostly either solo or with a travel buddy.
I always wanted to find someone who shared my love of travel, but when I met Nick, he didn’t even own a passport. The more time we spent together, the more I knew I had to convince him that he would love traveling if he’d give it a chance. He finally got a passport and we headed off to South Africa for his very first overseas trip.
That trip turned out to be the gateway to a lifetime of traveling. We’ve been to 31 countries together in the past 6 years. Nick even had to renew his passport this year because it was full of stamps. And we have no intention of slowing down.
We love traveling together so much that in November 2017, we sold all our stuff, packed up and moved to London. One the way, we spent 2 months exploring Spain. And now we’re visiting a minimum of 2 countries every month. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to live in London, and I certainly never dreamed I’d be doing it with a wonderful husband who loves to travel just as much as I do.
Meeting and Going on Different Paths – Katherine of Tara Lets Anywhere
One of our first travels together is at Alibijaban and we did stop at Sombrero Island for a swim and this view. more info here: www.taraletsanywhere.com/alibijaban-and-burias-islands/ #woogoph #discoverph #comeseeph #travelph #travelcouple #twoontheroad #natgeotravel #itsmorefuninthephilippines #wheretoph #buriasisland #sombreroisland #masbate
I was a homebody. When I signed up to join friends for a voluntourism trip to a community in an island most people haven’t heard of, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be swept off in an adventure, much more be swept off my feet.
I met my current partner in that event. For 3 glorious days, we helped give out slippers and school stuff to kids, leaped from two-story boats to crystal-clear green waters and drink coconuts that seemed to hold unlimited juice. We walked on sand that looks a shade of gold, too soft that our feet would sink a few inches deep each time we dare to step forward. He told me of his past excursions to different parts of our home country, the Philippines, and how his wanderlust started after he’s seen the beauty of Coron in Palawan.
Meeting him was the start of my own travel adventures.
For 2 years, we’d remained in the Philippines to explore its off-the-beaten provinces. We’d been far up north in Luzon to an island with scenic pastoral cliffs, down south to the pristine beaches and lagoons in Mindanao.
This year of 2017, we promised to do more, see more. We’re off to different countries. He’s planning to transfer to a city in the UAE, I’m about to work in another Southeast Asian country with amazing cuisine and culture. We’ll plan how we’ll see and visit each other. Right now, what’s important is how we’re there to support each other’s dreams, wholeheartedly.
Making A Life Of Travel (Fulfilled With Love) – Melissa Giroux of A Broken Backpack
It's crazy how I miss #Australia. I miss the blue skies, the sun, the road-trips… and my tan. I met this one while I was travelling in #Australia. And now, here I am, in the UK with him. Have you ever fell in love on the road? . . . #Backpackerlife #girlslovetravel #girlsborntotravel #shetravels #expediapic #staycurious #adventuretime #globetrotter #freedomthinkers #adventureculture #intothewild #womenwhoexplore #adventurethatislife #liveauthentic #lifewelltravelled #welovetravel #keepitwild #optouside #makeitcount #sheexplores #couplesofinstagram #travelcouple #travelcouplelife #australiagram #seeaustralia #anotherdayinwa #love
I don’t even know how it happens. I was moving to the Canadian Rockies for two months with a simple goal in mind; improve my terrible English. This time, life had other plans for me. As I was planning my life back home, everything was falling apart. They say “No reason to stay is a good reason to leave” and I thought that “No reason to return could be a good reason to stay”. The two-month trip became a five-month trip and here I was booking a one-way ticket to Australia. I left for Australia with a tiny budget and huge dreams. Two months later, I met someone special. He became my partner, my travel buddy, my best friend. As love doesn’t know any borders, we extended our time in Australia so we can stay longer together. We lived in a van, we became farmers and we discovered the best places in Australia.
Somewhere on the way, I decided to take the leap. I started this blog and I made sure I could afford to be on the road longer by creating a job that could bring me more freedom.
It has been three years since I first left home. I now visit my family and friends once a year. They know I’m not planning on coming back permanently.
Last year, I moved to the UK, traveled in Europe time to time and I recently moved to Portugal. I love my lifestyle. I love my freedom.
But the best part is probably that my partner understands my passion. We don’t always travel together, but it’s okay. He doesn’t hold me back. And I love him for it.
Are you convinced yet? What are you waiting for? Where to next?
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