Age / Location / Passion
34 / San Diego, CA /Running, hiking, yoga (especially kundalini)
Also stoked about?
Backpacking, hammocking, coffee dates, and finding really delicious vegan eats.
Favorite place to get outside?
Moonlight Beach, Encinitas or in a hammock in Holbox, Mexico when I can swing it.
Go to Gear?
My iPhone X camera, Bose noise canceling headphones, and Lululemon running beanie.
What’s your story?
I was born in Indiana and had already lived in 5 states by the time I was 5 years old. That number hasn’t gone beyond 7, but needless to say, I am accustomed to being on the move. I was fortunate to grow up taking family vacations with my parents and two younger sisters. Australia, Italy, Thailand, Aruba, and beyond. I studied abroad in Madrid during college and fell in love with the Spanish language. I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, but I’m pretty proficient (and will never stop trying).
A pivotal moment in my life took place a few years ago. I got married and not too long after, divorced. After the unexpected and traumatic split, I stopped to analyze EVERYTHING. I made a conscious decision to stop doing things that didn’t make me happy. I quit my corporate job and bought a one-way ticket to Quito, Ecuador where I volunteered and traveled solo for the first time in my life. When I returned to San Diego nearly 1 year later, I knew that my passion was in helping other women. I got certified in holistic coaching, pursued a spiritual path, and launched my own women’s empowerment coaching business. Now I take my love of helping others on the road with me and can work from anywhere with wifi. I guess you could say I’m traveling indefinitely. Everywhere feels like home.
What’s something coming up this year that you’re stoked about?
I am moving to Mexico City on March 1st. I have always wanted to live abroad, and after spending nearly 1 year exploring Latin America, I felt incredibly inspired to make the move. I’m following my heart and can’t wait to see where it takes me. How long will I be there? Who knows.
Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. Anyone who is true to herself, pursuing her passion, and doesn’t apologize for it. Now THAT is inspiring.
You embarked on a solo journey through South America for a year. What is the biggest lesson you learned while you were there?
I learned that I CAN do it on my own. After being in a relationship with someone for nearly a decade, I gradually lost sight of what it was like to be my own person. This trip showed me that I can handle anything that life throws at me, from armed bus robberies to overnight volcano treks, from navigating floods to surviving the chaos of Bogota. I know exactly what I like, dislike, and will and will not allow into my life. I learned how to be unapologetically me.
How has your traveling changed after that year?
I used to travel quickly and hop around from place to place, trying to see as many things as possible. I had it all planned out and was all about counting countries. I used to think 2 weeks was a long vacation. Now 2 weeks is just getting started. When I was in Colombia for 9 weeks, I still craved more. I think slow travel takes cultural immersion to the next level. That and connecting with others has become my priority on the road. The less I plan, the more open I am to new experiences.
When you’re not coaching women or traveling, what are you up to?
Writing, singing, and dancing. Note: I only get paid for one of those. I love to write and currently freelance and work part-time for a publishing company. Music is another one of my passions in life. And another really fun part of traveling. If I’m not doing any of the above, I’m probably at a cafe or roaming around outdoors.
What’s a bit of advice you’d share with a woman who is about to start her solo traveler journey?
Don’t let your fear, and the fears of others, stop you. You will probably get a host of opinions thrown your way, many of them unsolicited. Remember to stay true to you and never forget why you’re doing it.
Also, practically speaking, download offline maps on your phone from Google Maps. My iPhone is my compass.
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without on the road?
My Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Seriously, I use them all the time. On bus rides to cancel out the chaos, in hostels to cancel out my snoring neighbor, and around the clock for podcasts, reggaeton, and dance parties.
One Instagram account that you’re crazy about?
I found Jessica Lively’s podcast during my solo travels and learned that she is also an empowered 30-something female, indefinitely solo traveling, and working for herself.
She lived out of a suitcase for a long time, and I’m about to do the same. Previously it was a backpack, so I consider this an upgrade. I love discovering other fearless females pursuing their dreams, whatever that may look like.
Thanks for sharing your story with us. Keep exploring + inspiring.
Gabaccia + Stranded on Land