I started to travel when I was younger, around ten, with my parents, and I have never stopped! I made my first solo trip when I was 17, and I found myself in the middle of Tennessee. The first three days, whenever someone offered me water, I could not understand a single word because of the accent!
Today I am 36 and I live in Montpellier (France), my birth city, to which I went back after a couple years of travelling around the world, a time during which I also created my blog A day in the world. Nowadays, I balance my life between my communication agency Agence Babouche and my travels and missions abroad. Whenever I travel, I need to find a meaning, a goal.
So far, I have travelled in 50+ countries on five continents. It is hard for me to give me only one favourite! I really loved Iran, which is probably among the greatest travels of my life. The Iranians’ conviviality, and their kindness, are unique. Also, Colombia, because this country is a daily party! To me, it gathers the best of South America.
Benin. I was there for a humanitarian project in collaboration with a women’ shelter in the suburbs of Cotonou. It is an adventure that really moved me and about which I think a lot. The religious side really surprised me, because no one has a single religion, but multiple ones! Voodoo is for example widely spread. I went to some really impressive ceremonies.
Travelling, to me, is a bit like meditating, it is a return to one’s self. One must know that when one travels alone, one is actually never really alone - at least we are only when we want! A trip is made of encounters, of exchanges and sharing, so it is easy to meet some road buddies.
It is hard to answer for me because I have travelled ever since I was a little. To travel did not change me, but I would say that it helped me to build myself.
I have travelled in a lot of developing countries and I have carried out several humanitarian projects, like in Middle Atlas in Morocco for a school, in Tunisia with Berber women, in Benin with a shelter of women between 15 and 25 years old. These experiences cannot let anyone indifferent.
That it is entirely false! One is in no more danger at night in the streets of Rio as in the Parisian subway! The most important thing is to know and listen to one’ self, and to be aware of the potential dangers. But this applies anywhere in the world and in every situation! It is what one teaches to a five-year-old kid about to cross the street for example. I think that solo travelling in general is not for everyone. Depending on someone’s personality, it will not be a pleasure, but rather a challenge, so one cannot be forced. To me, it was the best experience of my life! For someone who would like to start travelling solo, Asia is an “easy” continent, one feels safer.
I think there are different categories and levels, in the “worst experiences” department. On my side, I’ve never had any bad experience. I’ve experienced the hacking of my credit card in Brazil, or a shitty guide in Jordan, a klutzy American woman while hiking, a flat tire in Mongolia, a quick trip to the hospital in Chile because I couldn’t put my foot on the ground anymore…But none of that was serious enough to make me go back home or impact my life!
To inform oneself about the place one is about to visit, to adapt one’s clothing accordingly (in cult places but also in general, depending on the place’s religion). To use hostels or couchsurfing platforms, which are the best way to meet people, especially if one is scared of getting lonely. Everyone is in the same state of mind: travelling and meeting new people. Regarding safety, one should avoid arriving by night and should try to have booked an accommodation for the first night: it will avoid the struggle of looking for a place to stay when one has just arrived. Also, always have a padlock (with a code is better) and an anti-theft -I invested in a flexible one for my backpack.
I went to Mongolia, for a three-week journey on horseback to travel through different regions and live among the nomads. It was fantastic! Also, Bolivia, because it is where I have seen the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The panoramas were breath-taking, especially the region of Sud-Lípez.
Free yourselves, live, laugh, and travel! This is the only way to be happy and to thrive! If I could, I would leave tomorrow…
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NomadHer is an app for female globetrotters to encourage solo travelling safely. NomadHer has a vision of empowering women through travelling.
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