We asked those women who attended our FP Escape trip to Thailand how they keep their adventurous spirits alive, get over fear, and push their boundaries… read on for their inspiring answers…
Post and photos by contributor Joanna Rentz.
Traveling solo, and therefore living an adventurous life, can sometimes be intimidating and scary, even for the most seasoned traveler. Our latest FP Escapes, in partnership with The Sailing Collective, brought together eight women from all over the globe for seven days and six nights of sailing across Thailand’s teal waters. Though their backgrounds, careers, personalities, and ages varied, one common thread ran through each woman: an inspiring, confident, adventurous spirit.
As women become more financially independent and inspired by true stories like that of Cheryl Strayed, the author of the book Wild, they are making more adventurous moves on their own. However, solo traveling can be uncomfortable and sometimes overwhelming, causing apprehension and anxiety. So we asked those women who attended the Thailand FP Escape trip how they keep their adventurous spirits alive, get over fear, and push their boundaries.
“My adventurous spirit was probably cultivated by my parents, who highly value new experiences. I have always loved learning through doing and seeing, as opposed to sitting in a classroom, and I find adventures facilitate that kind of growth. I often work on boats where I don’t know any of the guests, but you make connections so fast in confined spaces. I usually feel like I’m traveling with old friends by the end of the week.
I’ve always loved traveling alone as it allows me to completely disconnect and be more present. Meeting inspiring people is the most rewarding thing about having an adventurous spirit. However, I find initiating conversations with strangers intimidating, but if the person is worth talking to, a smile usually goes a long way.
Everyone’s different. I say just take the plunge and you’ll figure it out what’s right for you as you go!”
– Katja Tausig, London-based chef at Koya City, and head chef for The Sailing Collective
“I think my adventurous spirit comes from being extremely curious about the world. I never want to miss out on anything and I’m always up for a challenge! I might not always be the most outgoing person, but I like to push myself and try new things, so that leads to fun adventures. You get to experience and do things that you could have never imagined! I would never have imagined being able to travel around Thailand, sailing and meeting such amazing women from all different backgrounds. You get to learn from people you would otherwise never meet in your daily life and see sights and places that are more beautiful than anywhere you had been before.
This was actually my first time traveling completely solo! It was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would recommend it to anyone. Since this was my first time, I kept reminding myself that I was doing something completely new and exciting. I talked to friends who had previously traveled alone and did as much research as I could to make sure any fears or questions I had could be answered.
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to say yes to more things that make me uncomfortable. In order to keep pushing my boundaries I’ve been trying to remind myself that, regardless of any situation, I will be able to learn from it and, in the end, I will be trying something new. I am also trying to remind myself that I can do more than I think I can. It’s much easier to say than to do but as long as I keep reminding myself of it and keep that support system around me, it’s been extremely helpful. My friends have been great in pushing me to do new things as well.
Just remember that you really do only live once. Work will still be there when you get back, your friends and the places you frequent, so why not take a break and go on an adventure?”
– Lauren Sharo, Chicago-based home decor and furniture buyer
“I have no doubt that my adventurous spirit stems from my father; he’s a world traveler, naturalist, sailor, artist, and he’s humble, to boot. I am an introvert by nature and an extrovert by nurture. I see the time I spend alone as a gift to myself. It gives me a chance to recharge and put forth my best self to the people around me. Being outgoing has become a sort of survival technique for me — for things as small as asking a stranger for directions, or pulling up a seat at a table full of people to share a meal.
I travel solo at least once each year, but I try to do so as often as possible; even if it’s just a short weekend trip to go hiking, or a long drive or a solo surf session. The time I spend with myself is often my happiest, most productive and rewarding. The greatest reward I’ve found in my solo adventures has been the confidence I have gained as an independent person. I often seek the companionship of friends, family and significant others, but I don’t need it. Having a “yes” attitude has proven to me that opportunity is always there — it’s just a matter of accepting the invitation when it finds you, and often times, going out and inviting yourself.
Traveling alone has never really frightened me; I used to fear the stigma of solo female travel more than the act itself. Being stubborn, and at times a bit overconfident, has lent me the experience and foundation for continued solo travel. Each time I do it, I become more confident and self reliant. Being alone does not equate to being lonely!
However, there have been instances when I wish I had someone to commiserate with after a trying day, or laugh with me over a hilarious situation, or share the awe of an incredible landscape. As much fun as it would be to share all of it with someone else, I know that each experience contributes to who I am, coloring and shaping me, making me unique. When the opportunity is there, traveling alone is especially conducive to opening yourself up to new experiences and meeting people, getting involved in with new things you may have otherwise never encountered. Sometimes — rarely — but sometimes I will find myself feeling uncomfortable when it comes to my own safety. In those times I have to remember the mantra my mother ingrained in me as a young girl, ‘Be strong. Be smart.’
Adventure is not a standard: it’s what pushes, excites and ignites you personally. Find that challenge that scares you and makes you giddy at the same time and chase it down, immerse yourself in it, and if you come out on the other side knowing anything new about yourself, it was a great success.”
– Lilly Cardenas, Hawaii-based Captain for The Sailing Collective
“At a young age we moved from New Zealand to Colorado — I believe that ignited my adventurous spark. My parents were big travelers so I was always curious about the world , even outside of my comfort zone.
I travel solo most of the time. Even if I embark on a journey with friends or work, I usually take a couple days to explore on my own. I find that it challenges me to go out and talk to the locals, fellow travelers and, most of the time, I end up pleasantly surprised by who and what I find along the way. I think it’s such an important thing to do for individuals, especially women. Go empower yourself!
Growth is the most rewarding thing about being adventurous. You cannot help but grow! Solo travel challenges you in every possible way. Emotionally, physically, mentally. If you’re naturally introverted you are forced to go out into the world, test yourself to flourish. Not to say it’s always easy — it’s not! You have hard days. I’ve met some of my best friends, done my best work and truly discovered how to be my best self through exploring the planet on my own.
It sounds cheesy but YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, so why not!? No regrets, just lessons. Take from it what you want and don’t look back. You just have to say YES. Find a place you want to go. Do your research and go. If it helps, for the first trip, book a group retreat or class where you know you’ll be with people in a similar situation and then you can go adventure on your own. Just remember to put your book down, put your phone away and dive deep. If you know you’re not good in groups, chat to one person. Keep it simple and things will unfold. Lock up your insecurities and remind yourself that they are just people exploring the world, too, and you could learn a lot from them.”
– Georgia Taylor, Los Angeles-based fashion and lifestyle producer
“I often travel alone, for work and for pleasure. I was born with an adventurous spirit! I lived overseas most of my young adult life, so I love to travel. And, yes, I love people! I started traveling alone when I was a kid attending boarding school abroad. I think the thrill of crossing borders and experiencing new or different cultures is what continues to fuel my fire.
If you are trying to overcome fear, make an itinerary, and have a positive disposition. The most rewarding thing about being adventurous is opening your eyes to others, embracing diversity, and helping as many people as possible. Just have an open mind and release your expectations. You won’t be disappointed.”
–Dara Hart, co-founder and trainer at NYC’s DogPound