E5 | Fearless Female Solo Travel with Alexa Humphreys

E5 | Fearless Female Solo Travel with Alexa Humphreys

Female Solo Travel can be one of the greatest joys in life. It builds self-esteem, makes us feel empowered and accomplished, and is enriching in the most magical ways. Today I’m chatting with Alexa Humphreys (AKA Alexa Travels The Globe) all about fearless female solo travel. Alexa is 34 and has travelled around 58 countries so far. She’s also currently on day 12 of a 30-day solo bike tour of Portugal!

Come along as we swap stories of solo adventures from all around the world and share tips and advice to help you start planning your first solo trip.

Episode Transcript

Angela Carson 0:10
Good morning Good afternoon. Good evening from wherever you are on our beautiful planet. My name is Angela Carson. I’m the host of always get lost a podcast about life and travel abroad. Today I’m coming to you again from the Rio islands sat on a pretty stretch of coastline. On the island of bottom, my windows and doors are completely open. So if you hear the sounds of nature or what looks like an impending storm, please forgive me not. Today we’re going to talk about fearless Female Solo travel with a friend of mine who I met about a decade ago at a rooftop bar in Bangalore, India. Her name is Alexa Humphreys. She’s a humanitarian who has worked assessing the nutrition status of populations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She currently works with action against hunger and the technical rapid response team. She is a crazy addicted avid traveler, a foodie, a cyclist. Alexa is originally from the US. But today she is an immigrant living in Portugal. And we’re going to be talking about the first solo trips we both took about the kind of trips that we both find enriching. We’re going to swap tales of our most epic solo trip, talk a bit about planning talk about which countries we would recommend to first time Female Solo travelers, and the number one tip for really getting to know a city. So let’s get right into it and chat with Alexa Humphries. Hello, Alexa, how

Alexa Humphreys 1:46
are you? It is wonderful to see your face. Hi, Angela, him so well. Thank you. Thanks for having me today.

Angela Carson 1:55
thank you so much. You’re my second female storyteller that I’m having on. I’m very Happy to have you. So where are you in the world today?

Unknown Speaker 2:02
Where am I in the world? I’m currently in, in Portugal. I’m in a little town called Craig English, the monster rush. I’m trying to pronounce that as I’m kind of on the east, along the eastern side of the country on the border of Spain.

Angela Carson 2:22
Oh, nice. How many hours? Is that From where? You You live in Lisbon, right?

Alexa Humphreys 2:27
Yeah, yeah, I’m based in Lisbon in the capital M by car. It’s probably I take two or three hours.

Angela Carson 2:35
Nice. Okay. Yeah. Well, I mentioned in the intro that you and I met on a rooftop at a bar, actually kind of the the most Swank and swish lounge bar that there was in Bangalore at the time called sky and I walked up to you because you were behind the bar, shaking cocktails and in In India, it’s illegal for women to work at bars or it’s illegal for women to be bartenders or to work in a bar in general.

Alexa Humphreys 3:08
I mean, it’s funny because at the time, I don’t know if that was legislated or if that was just more common practice.

Angela Carson 3:15
No. It was a proper law. Yeah. I because I asked a couple of bar owners. And yeah, they said they did it as a precaution to keep women safe.

Alexa Humphreys 3:28
It’s so interesting, because the only thing I really knew at the time was that there were essentially no female bartenders in India. And I was actually in India. for other reasons. I was I was I was volunteering and working with another organization and it was a friend that was like, Oh, you bartend you should bartend on the weekends here would be very fun. And I think that for that bar they were willing to take I mean, I was essentially let’s be real. I was I was basically an illegal immigrants. We could talk about it like that. I was was working illegally to be there but I think they took it on it kind of as a publicity stunt because to have a female behind the bar was so unique and of course they did it was a huge risk for them to I don’t think you ended up doing it as many times as you thought you would. I think maybe the they became a little bit more cautious and how many how many weekends Did you bartend Well, I started at the sky bar where we met and then I shifted to ice bar.

Angela Carson 4:27
At the Taj?

Alexa Humphreys 4:29
Yeah, at the Taj I guess and all it was like, probably three of the six months I was there. I bartended.

Angela Carson 4:36
Oh, interesting. I don’t remember ever seeing you at ice but I only went on Friday nights with my friend Joshi. Do you remember Joshi?

Alexa Humphreys 4:43
Yeah, yeah, I remember Joshi

Angela Carson 4:45
yeah. So we would go Friday nights was our ice night. I don’t know. I can’t remember why Ladies Night or something. Maybe? Yeah. Okay, so what do you remember from when we first met?

Alexa Humphreys 4:57
I just remember that you came up and walked up to me. And started asking some question like, Where are you from? And me, I will say I’m I’m originally from the US, but when I’m in other countries, I somewhat tend to avoid Americans. Because I’m not here yet. I’m not there to meet Americans, you know, but you in particular, I just thought you were you were the coolest and that we had to be. I instantly knew we would have to be friends.

Angela Carson 5:23
That’s sweet. I Yeah, I remember and I just thought you were so fabulous behind the bar. Because you’re How tall are you? You’re almost six foot, right?

Alexa Humphreys 5:33
Yeah. 5′ 11″

Angela Carson 5:34
Yep. 5′ 11″ and beautiful. And you were just you had this big, beautiful bright smile as well. So that was that was a fun, a fun encounter. It was a fortunate encounter meeting you vividly remember going out and having a lot of fun and dancing to reoffer we have sweaty, sweaty dance photos on Facebook somewhere.

Alexa Humphreys 5:58
Yes, yes. I remember cleavage.

Angela Carson 6:02
That’s hilarious, I would have to be yours not mine. pretty careful, but that stuff. So I want to talk about solo travel today because just like you, I’ve been passionate about being a solo traveler, since I was 20 years old. So it’s going on about 30 years in October now, which makes my stomach hurt when I say I’m almost 50 but that is the case. So I want to get into not just how to solo travel but share experiences so that anyone listening you know, a young girl or maybe not young girl, but a girl or young woman who is thinking about solo travel, can hear some of our fun, you know, hear the passion behind the words and and the feelings that we have about solo travel. And we’ll give some tips as well but I just want to swap tails for a bit if that’s okay. Yeah, I think that’s great. I’m very happy to share some some road stories. I haven’t been solo traveling quite as long. I think this is coming up on 14 years of solo traveling. younger than me, aren’t you? Are you 30,31?

Alexa Humphreys 7:19
I am 34

Angela Carson 7:21
Well, you’re all grown up.

Alexa Humphreys 7:23
I know.

Angela Carson 7:27
So we’re 16 years apart then when was your first solo trip? What was your first solo trip? Tell me all about it.

Unknown Speaker 7:33
My first solo trip actually happened by accident. So I was 20 at the time and a good friend and I a male friend. We both have Norwegian heritage in our background, both American but with Norwegian heritage. So we plan to do a three week backpacking trip around Norway. We wanted to spend some time in the cities Time in nature and we had this whole thing planned out. And then last minute, he wasn’t able to go. And me being a very stubborn person. I was like, Well, I’m still gonna go, and I am right.

Angela Carson 8:13
Just because you can’t go…

Alexa Humphreys 8:16
Exactly, like I’m not gonna wait until you know yours in the future when you have the opportunity. And so I ended up taking a step back and restructuring the whole trip. So I decided, Okay, this is my trip. Now. I’m going to start in France because I have a friend who’s studying abroad there. I’m going to travel by train, I’m going to work my way up through several countries and end up in Norway and finish the trip there. Ended up being a fabulous trip

Angela Carson 8:42
first. Wow.

Alexa Humphreys 8:45
First because it was my first time in Europe, but second because I got to really, really make it my own. And not that if it had gone the other way and I traveled with another person, not that it wouldn’t have been a great experience, but I wouldn’t have had The same ownership of the trip and I wouldn’t have had that same sense of accomplishment and just knowing that I can navigate through the world by myself. So it was actually for me it was it ended up being a huge opportunity that it was a solo trip.

Angela Carson 9:15
What is something fun that happened or something memorable that that you kind of still see so vividly as a memory from that trip.

Unknown Speaker 9:27
It’s a good question. among so many memorable things was I arrived in? Oh, no. When I was in Germany, I had a there had been a foreign exchange student when I was in high school. And when I was going through homework, I was like, Oh, I wonder if he’s, if he’s back here. If he’s if he’s at home bored, and I sent him a message over. I think it was MySpace at the time. I think it was right before my space died. He and he found the message in hand Like, just before he deleted his account, found the message we connected and I went and stayed with him and his family for two days. Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah. And he showed me all around the town and you know, it’s just you know, a foreign exchange student in the US you don’t think you’ll ever see them again but stayed with them and I vividly remember one morning his grandmother who didn’t speak any English makes us breakfast and she made us something called met and met is raw ground beef on bread like you butter the bread and then it’s raw ground beef and then salt pepper and I think minced red onions are

Angela Carson 10:43
How was it?

Unknown Speaker 10:44
It was very good. I mean, Germans are big meat eaters. So it’s like okay, I guess this is what they do. I

Angela Carson 10:52
mean, I bet you ate so well at their home to because it’s when you’re solo traveling, you’re always out you’re, you know, you dine out but it’s hit and miss because you don’t know where it’s going to be and it’s not a home cooked meal with someone who’s making it with love generally.

Alexa Humphreys 11:08
Yeah, so anyway, that was a memorable part of that trip was just that that reconnection with someone that I hadn’t seen in a long time and hadn’t imagined I’d be able to see again and then getting to meet their family and stay in their home was nice.

Angela Carson 11:22
Okay, well, mine I was also 20 years old. I was attending the University of California, Irvine, and I also had a job a full time job. Oh, I think it was maybe 30 hours a week. And I remember just feeling completely overloaded and stressed and wanted to escape. And none of my girlfriends i was i was roommates with four of my girlfriends from Redlands, which is the town I grew up in which is about an hour and a half. From the beach where we were living. We were on the beach in Newport. Just having the best time and None of them could get away while either they didn’t have the money or they couldn’t get away. And I ended up finding this really, super cheap week, stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. And I, the hotel was it was kind of one of those, like Club Med esque places where the staff also do entertainment at night. And so it was a little bit on the cheesy and weird side, but the room opened up onto the sea and it was beautiful. And the first morning, I was there, I went down to the lobby, and there was this really cute boy who was sat at a table who was the travel agent that would come in every day. And he arranged the sightseeing trips for the guests. And I remember going up and talking to him, and we had such a fun chat. He ended up inviting me out that night. With his friends, and we went in downtown Puerto Vallarta for dinner, and then they took me to a bar and then a dance club. And I was out almost all night and it was so much fun. And I really liked this, this boy. And I think we kissed the first night it was very exciting. And the next day, I went back, you know, to say hi, the hours I knew he was there and I ended up booking an excursion for myself. I think he recommended the best one. And it was like a donkey or mule ride through the hills of portable you know, behind fourth of Majorca. And you know, with a homemade food and you’re outdoors all day, and it was really, really fun. But I literally just spent my days at the beach, or at the pool at the hotel, and then my nights were with Danielle and his brother and They’re girls, not girlfriends but friends in the group that were girls and ended up having the best best time. It made the trip, like much more culturally diverse than I would have had because I went to one of their apartments and they were taking me to places where I was the only waiter, you know, the only blonde so they call blonde Americans down there. So I was the only really the only American or the only tourist there. So it just made it so so so exciting that trip and it was nice because I really do like to go out and dance and drink. So it was nice not having to consider doing that on my own on my first solo trip, I guess. Because I’m sure I probably wouldn’t have done I would do it now. Like now I take my laptop and I go to a bar and I sit at the bar you know and do my work and just Get a feel for a city. But I don’t, I don’t know I would have done it back then I probably would have stayed at the hotel, except for that excursion that I took, and like a day walking around shopping and poured my art done. So that was that was good fun.

Alexa Humphreys 15:16
Yeah, it’s so nice when you can land in a new place and kind of build a little crew for the time that you’re there or like find, find a group of people. Obviously, that can that can make the whole experience but I do think going to a bar on your own, especially when I was younger is quite intimidating.

Angela Carson 15:35
I agree.

Alexa Humphreys 15:37
In a way because going to a bar, it’s like, Alright, I’m at a bar unless you bring like you said a laptop or a book or something that gives you another purpose while you’re there. It kind of just looks like you’re there to pick up guys. And it’s like, I don’t necessarily want to pick up guys like you want to be the social face. So

Angela Carson 15:54
over the years, you had to have done some trips because you’ve actually To remember, have you been to 57 countries?

Alexa Humphreys 16:04
I believe it’s 58 now Yes,

Angela Carson 16:06
sorry 58 All right. So what is it about solo travel that you find enriching? I know you mentioned that you you felt the content there was a sense of accomplishment with that first solo trip. What is it that now going on? What 16 years that you still find so enriching that makes you step out and go solo travel?

Alexa Humphreys 16:30
Yeah, I mean, I I would say I’m going on about 14 years

Angela Carson 16:37
sorry, yeah, you’re 34 not 36

Unknown Speaker 16:40
It’s ok I’ll be I’ll be there soon. That’s fine. Um, there are I mean, obviously with my with my as in my first story, my first solo travel happens by mistake you know, it wasn’t originally planned to be solo traveling and, and then as time went on, I just found that I kept solo travel Because I wasn’t finding others whose whether it was the timeline or the availability of the or the objectives for their trip, it just wasn’t aligning with what I wanted to do. So I kept solo traveling because it allowed me to see what I wanted to see and have the experiences I wanted to have. And it really evolved, you know, it started being kind of out of necessity and then evolved into my preferred way of traveling most of the time to be quite honest. And I think there’s I think it’s twofold. I think the first piece is that as a solo traveler, you’re so open to meeting other people. You’re, you know, not to discredit traveling in a group or with a with a friend because I’ve, I’ve traveled in all of those ways. But when you’re traveling with a with a friend or a partner or in a group, you’re kind of dedicated to that construct to those people. But when you travel solo, you’re you’re just open to meeting all kinds of people, you know, you’re more likely to engage with conversation. conversation with people on the street in the restaurants in other social settings. So it’s, in a lot of ways, I think it allows me to experience more. And then the second piece is, is that feeling of accomplishment, that feeling of you know, I’ve everything from the logistics to, you know, finding, finding my way around in your city. That’s something that I did and I accomplished. So I think there’s, it’s it’s twofold how enriching that can be.

Angela Carson 18:30
Yeah, I don’t think I could say anything better than what you just did. Because for me, it was the same I went the first time because no one else could. And I thought, Well, I’m not staying home for that reason. And now as I get older, it’s just it’s just easier to be able to travel my way and my style and be able to talk to who I want to do what I do and change my plans in a heartbeat if I want to, because I love canceling things. So there works out so much better. I think one of the things I realized from solo travel trips as well, it teaches me that I can do anything. It’s kind of like what you’re saying about feeling accomplished it also, it gives confidence because you really are out there doing something that not everyone does. Not everyone even understands or sees as, like, I get comments on my YouTube channel all the time. Like, why don’t you have a boyfriend you need to find a man so you can go on you’re not alone. I think, what are you talking about?

Alexa Humphreys 19:43
I hate that.

Angela Carson 19:46
That is not that is not how life gets better. Like no I’m it’s it’s mind boggling to me. But you know, everybody is different. So hopefully anyone listening to this who’s thinking about selling Travel, will, on their first trip, start feeling everything you’ve just said about about solo travel because it really, it really does hit you instantly and it stays with you.

Alexa Humphreys 20:12
Mm hmm. Absolutely. And I don’t mean to get too esoteric during this conversation, but I was reflected a lot on solo travel in preparation for this call. And I mean, if you if you take a step back historically, no, let’s say, for all the males that could be listening to this, no offense, no offense to men, all the lovely wonderful men out there, but we should be realistic. We should be real about the fact that this world was created for environment and historically for you know, a lot of for biological realities. Women have historically been closer to the home and the heart and spaces outside of that have been created largely by informatics So political, economic, but as well as travel, like, so many of the spaces that we as female travelers decide to to enter were created for men, even just from the beginning. So I guess all that that waxing poetic is to say that we, we should be very proud of being solo female travelers. And we should be aware that sometimes we’re in spaces that are not considered. They’re not built for they’re not designed for they’re not meant for women to be there. But the more that we go there, the more that we push that envelope and we push those limits. We’re actually normalizing women being in those spaces.

Angela Carson 21:39
So that does that is wonderfully true.

Alexa Humphreys 21:44
Yeah, I was. I was thinking about this a lot yesterday and I feel like that’s a that’s a really strong takeaway for me because sometimes it is difficult being a female solo traveler. But we’re we’re making the you know, we’re making the world a little bit better for, for for future Female Solo travelers to come? Yes we

Angela Carson 22:03
are. Yes we are. Yeah.

Alexa Humphreys 22:06
So something I always hear from people since I started solo traveling and that people are a little more used to my shenanigans now, but I always hear, be safe, be safe, be safe and don’t want to like,

Angela Carson 22:20
you know, it’s gonna be fine. It’s gonna be fine. So if

Unknown Speaker 22:24
I if I had a nickel for every time someone told me to be safe, I would be a very rich woman today. But I did think it would be good to talk about safety on this on this podcast. Because it is a it is something to be considered and you having about I mean, you have almost twice the the solo traveling experience as I do. Do you have any reflections on safety as a female traveler or do you have any? Maybe any stories to tell about that?

Angela Carson 22:53
Yeah, I’m guessing that you’re going to have better tips than I will because I tend to Not play it very safe and to just do whatever the hell I want. And so far it’s worked out. The only time I’ve ever been mugged was when I was living in Spain, like on any of my trips, except for one time when I was 21 in Spain, and down in the south that a man I was traveling with a girlfriend and Amanda like started he followed us to the hotel. And then when we went into our room and locked it, he came in was knocking on the on the door and trying to get in and that was quite terrifying. But generally speaking, people are good. And I find that when I’m on my own, I do like hold my bag a little bit differently or secure it on my body a bit differently. I do try to to, you know, stay in well lit streets at night and you know, generally try not to be stupid. But I just carry on and it’s kind of like an accident. You know, you don’t ever expect an accident to happen. And you can count on one hand the times you’ve had true accidents in life. And I think the truth is, the same is true with when you’re traveling, that you don’t need to expect that something terrible is going to happen. I ended up moving to Mexico after that trip, because I thought I had fallen in love with the cute boy Daniel. I took my Jeep Wrangler from California down to Puerto Vallarta, and I would ride around in my bikini with my top down on my jeep. Like, just so I was so stupid, so stupid. So I am hoping you have some time. good tips because mine is just use common sense. And okay, let me see how to put this. I have had hookups when I’ve traveled as well in different countries. And I think the safest thing is to always go back to your room, don’t go to their room don’t go to their home. You know, they’re there. Little things like that that you can do to try and try and stay safe. Okay, please tell me you have some good tips because I am the worst person about safety because I just go balls to the wall and do whatever the hell I want.

Unknown Speaker 25:37
But honestly, I think there is wisdom in that. I know that sounds good. But there is wisdom in knowing what you want to do and going for it and applying common sense the difficulty with safety and the reason I get so frustrated when people were like, be safe, be safe, be safe, be safe, is because some point the reason they keep saying that is because we’re never Gonna be considered to be fully safe. Unless we are either our male or our with a male. There’s that underlying assumption, we are never enough to be fully safe. And by our own tradition, our own our own capacities, and that really, that really frustrates me. I don’t know, if I have a lot of tips per se, it’s just, you know, be aware of your surroundings and listen to your intuition.

Angela Carson 26:23
Yeah, that that one’s really good to like, don’t have a headset if you have just one ear but in not both. If you’re listening to music and walking around, don’t mindlessly on your mobile without taking your surroundings into into it without taking what am I trying to say to consider into consideration or intake you

Alexa Humphreys 26:46
know, but I guess I mean, like really, one thing that I think I’ve developed a lot during my travels is my intuition. And that and when I say intuition, I mean being able to sense when in when a situation just doesn’t feel right. And I just leave that situation. I don’t need to stay there if my gut is telling me something is wrong, and also intuition in terms of really being able to read people. I mean, I I’m not I’m not perfect, but I feel like I’m pretty good. If someone approaches me I could tell pretty quickly what they want. You know? Are they want to steal something from me? Are they? Do they have something sexual in mind? Are they just really curious, are they they kind of want to check in and make sure I’m okay. Like there’s people can approach you with many different intentions in mind. So I feel like my intuition is really developed. And I know when to be rude to people and tell them to leave me alone. And I know when to be when to be kind and take time and have conversations with people so I think, you know, we’re we’re never going to be quote unquote, enough because we are women, right? We’re weaker physically. Yes, quote unquote, will never be in Enough to fully take care of ourselves. But I completely I have huge air quotes there because i think that’s that’s bullshit and so we should just be aware of our surroundings strong adaptable, listen to our intuition, listen to our guts. Even though the world of travel wasn’t built for women, I think we can also be much better travelers than men. In a lot of ways.

Angela Carson 28:24
I agree with that. Yes, right on Sr.

Alexa Humphreys 28:28
and not to get too caught up on this but I will say that one thing that is against us in the world is pockets are gendered. Good ones are very rare on female clothing.

Angela Carson 28:41
Why don’t all my dresses have pockets?

Unknown Speaker 28:44
It drives me crazy like I am dying. I think I’m going to design my own Alexa travel jacket. I’m dying to have a really nice, just a beautiful, versatile jacket that has an interior pocket from my passport,

Angela Carson 28:55
one on each side.

Alexa Humphreys 28:57
Yeah, forpassport, I love men are so lucky they get all these wonderful, you know, useful pockets and we’re given nothing so we end up having to dangle everything on a little purse on the end of our arms. I wear my damn pockets.

Angela Carson 29:33
are just an epic trip that you’re proud of. Okay,

Alexa Humphreys 29:37
I have had a number of epic solo trips, but I am going to do a bit of a shameless plug about the trip that I’m on now. Go girl. started off with I love riding bicycles. And I love bicycle touring. So basically traveling by bicycle carrying what you need with you and seeing the world in that way. I think seeing the world from a bicycle A beautiful thing. My current trip that I’m on right now, I’m actually cycling around. I’m cycling around the country of Portugal, a 30 day cycling trip, completely solo. I’m not with a group, I’m not with a company. I’ve completely planned the trip myself. And I’m carrying everything I need with me on my bicycle. There’s no support vehicle or anything. And I’m just so excited about this trip. Obviously, there’s the additional layer of risk. The covid 19 pandemic is obviously a concern in Portugal. It’s not great, but it’s fairly controlled. So I’m just monitoring the situation closely.

Angela Carson 30:41
So you just need to worry when you’re at the restaurants and, and the hotel.

Alexa Humphreys 30:47
Exactly, yeah. And being outdoors. I feel much, much safer. I know I’m not taking public transportation. I’m not taking trains. It’s actually kind of an ideal way to be traveling right now. But I literally I have a little bag on my handlebars and On one side I have a mask and on the other outside pocket on the other side I have my hand sanitizer so I’ve got my like

Yeah, so I for this trip I’ve I’m traveling the lightest I’ve ever traveled. I’ve done other long distance cycling trips with other people where I had more bags like you can have the bags that go over the sides of the tires basically, for this trip. I am traveling the lightest I’ve ever traveled. I have that tiny little bag on the handlebars which is kind of like a purse. That’s where you know money and phone and credit cards and my COVID-19 kit is and then I have a bag. I have a small rack that goes over the back of it. Tires behind the seat and a very small bag there and I’m talking bare essentials. I barely have more clue in what I’m cycling in. And a few tools to work on the bike, fix the bike if I need to for something minor. And some toiletries and that’s about it. Any very streamlined, no laptop.

Angela Carson 32:21
No. What have you got for electronics?

Alexa Humphreys 32:26
for electronics? I have my phone and not much else. I’m actually for this trip. I am posting photos daily on Instagram at Alexa travels the globe. Well, you’re

Angela Carson 32:36
doing you’re doing daily live videos on Instagram as well, which I find quite quite fun because you talk people through your plan for the day.

Alexa Humphreys 32:45
Yeah. And so I’m doing in the mornings on Instagram. At Alexa travels the globe. I do a really brief little live and I show a bit of what I’m seeing. So it could be a landscape or a site or something and kind of talk people through that. I wanted to say to Another thing that’s really special about this trip for me is that I’m, I’m currently an immigrant in Portugal, I’m a resident, and I am on track that hopefully, in a few years, I can apply for citizenship. And so this trip for me is also not only is it you know, a wonderful, wonderful travel experience, it’s an it’s a way to get to know better the country that I’m trying to make my home. So that’s been the beautiful aspect of this is getting to see small towns and villages and, and try the cuisine in different places and see the different sites the natural wonders of the country because it’s actually a very geographically diverse and interesting country, even though it’s small.

Angela Carson 33:38
Nice. Well, okay, I’ve seen the photo of you at Petra. So I kind of thought that your most epic story was going to be something like Petra, but was that a work trip that you were on? I mean, were you there?

Alexa Humphreys 33:52
No, Petra was interesting because I was actually working in kable in Afghanistan at the time, and we had a week of electric Where are all of our operations will be completely shut down, just no movement whatsoever. So I actually opted to instead of being stuck in Kabul for that week to go to Jordan, I had another friend that was working there. So I wanted to visit her. But to go to Petra, I was just like, I’m in Jordan, I have to go to Petra. So one of the days, I rented a car and just drove down to Petra, which was really fun thing. I also like driving in other countries, because I think the driving is so different in different places, and

Angela Carson 34:32
when they’re on the other side of the road.

That’s hilarious. Yeah, it takes me time to get used to it. But it’s so much fun because it just doesn’t feel like normal driving at all. Uh huh.

Alexa Humphreys 34:58
Yeah, I do love driving cars. other countries.

Angela Carson 35:01
Nice. So

Alexa Humphreys 35:03
Angela, what would you consider to be your most epic solo trip?

Angela Carson 35:06
I think I was trying to think about that because I, there’s so many countries that are just magical. But I think for me as far as a solo trip it was when I decided to be a digital nomad. I had moved to Malaysia for a job that didn’t work out. And then I was offered other jobs, but the salaries were so low, I hadn’t realized the concession that this company had made when they relocated me. And so it turned out that it was I made a lot more money, just freelancing, and working with different clients around the globe, then, having a full time 40 hour a week job about 40 5060 whatever they are. So I took off from Kuala Lumpur, and for close to six months, I was a digital nomad all around Southeast Asia. And because of Have my YouTube channel and my luxury travel blog. I was able not all of the time, but I was able to set up reviews. So while I was traveling, I wasn’t spending any money on accommodations. And I was staying only in five star hotels. I wasn’t paying for food because you know, I would have to review the restaurants and meet the chefs and all of that. So for me, it was it was just this big win win trip, but it was also just exciting. I traveled around Malaysia, even to Borneo on the Malaysian side, and I was in Singapore for a few weeks. And Thailand. And I went to different different islands in Malaysia as well, and Indonesia. So it was just because of what it was in the amount of time that I lived out of a suitcase. That was that was what I learned a lot. lot about packing on that trip too. Because I took things I never wore that were just so stupid so i i not as brutal at Packers you right now, but I definitely learned some amazing lessons that have helped me in my future. You know in the future travels I’ve done so far. Wow. One of my favorite memories from those months as a digital nomad was a week that I spent on Borneo. And I was given the opportunity to do some unusual sightseeing. And the way to get from point A to point B when I was doing the sightseeing was on a traditional Malaysian long boat. And we would go because I because I was shooting video, I would always want to be the first one there. So we would leave we got special permission to be able to arrive a little bit before everyone else. And so we would be traveling in the mornings, you know 5:36am on this long boat, and I remember seeing life start to people starting to come to life along the river. And the Malaysia sounds like them bass. No everyone was waking up. There was, um, there was

one gentleman who was you know, he was stood in his, his, um, you know, he was stood on the side of the water and he was brushing his teeth and have a glass of water in his in his hand and his toothbrush but he was you know, his family must have still been asleep or he was about to hop in the boat, but he was there brushing his teeth, people fishing and just, it was it was very nice.

Alexa Humphreys 38:49
Sounds like it’s it sounds like it was a very kind of intimate moment to see that little village along the river. You know waking up and getting to see Sort of the routines of people, those moments can be really, you know, that’s not a planned tourist thing. That’s the moment that happens. And sometimes this doesn’t really stay with you. It really does. So Angela, and I guess contrasting with with other other kinds of travel with groups or with with another person, how, how do you go about planning a solo trip?

Angela Carson 39:22
Yeah, I’ve learned a lot over the years actually, especially because of the YouTube channel and my blog on tips for how to plan a little bit more efficiently. But generally speaking, because I was a single mom on a really tight budget for so long, and even when my daughter went off to uni, I was still paying for her life and her education and mine. So it’s only been the past couple of years that I’ve haven’t had those restraints on me. So for the longest time in four decades, I was traveling on a budget, but I always enjoy nicer hotels and doing, I wanted champagne, but I had a beer budget. And so generally speaking, when I’m planning a trip, I don’t always know where I’m going, I start to look at the cost of flights first, and get a feel for how much it’s going to cost with the air. And then I work backwards from there. Because and I’m not always even particular about what city I fly into. In a country either. If there’s a great deal, then I’ll shift. So once once the air travel is decided, and the country in the city of origin is fixed. Then I turn on to Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel and Leisure, and I look at their country guides and their most relevant articles that they have on the cities or traveling that country and I get a feel for what they say to do. And I do jot down a couple of the you know if there’s interesting properties that they mentioned then as I start to build out the itinerary because generally speaking items just fly and stay put somewhere. If it’s like Howie or Bali, yeah, okay, maybe I fly and stay put and do day trips. But I then start making a list of food that I have to eat the top destinations. I go on to UNESCO and I see what the UNESCO sites are for that country if I didn’t already get that information from Travel and Leisure or Conde Nast Traveler. I think everyone that travels frequently has their has a different slightly different system. So what do you do? How do you how do you plan a trip?

Alexa Humphreys 41:44
In general for for any sort of travel? I’m going to start by outlining my objectives like what is the real reason I’m going on this trip? What is it that I want to see or do or experience and then based on that, then I can

Angela Carson 41:59
keep my head You know what you want to see or do an experience? First because if you’re going to a country you’ve never been to. How would you know that first?

Alexa Humphreys 42:09
I just mean like, imagine if your goal was you want to go cage diving with great white chucks. Imagine if your goal is you want to see the Great Wall of China imagine, you know, there’s different. Let’s say you want to go do some amazing hiking in some part of Utah. Like there’s different. I agree. If If your focus is a country, then you’ll focus first on the country and then then the objectives come second. Sometimes the objectives do come first though, I think, no,

Angela Carson 42:37
it’s interesting. I’ve never I’ve never done it that way. So okay, carry on Teach me.

Alexa Humphreys 42:44
Okay, I’ll walk you through my process or what I think is my process is, so I start by outlining my objectives, what I want to see or do or experience for example, in the future, I really want to go cage diving with great white sharks or I really want to go to the Great Wall of China, something like that. And then based on what I want to do, I’m then going to look at locations like where are the best places in the world to do that from, you know, where are good places to stay, where are good places to travel through. But another thing that increasingly I like to incorporate in my travel is not just about the things to do, but also I have, at this point, I’ve met so many amazing people around the world and so many travelers and global citizens, I also like to kind of map out where my friends are, because sometimes you can incorporate visiting friends. during your travels. You know, you were supposed to come here to see me in February when the lockdown basically before lockdown really happened February or March it was something like that. Yeah, exactly. And so that trip would have been obviously an opportunity to see that country in that part of the world but also visiting you I would have that that’s a great example of structuring a trip around where a friend is based because and then is just that is travel gold. When you have a friend that lives there or is based there, they tell you the good things to see they tell you the not good things to avoid. You really, that is the best way to do it. I would say if you can travel to see a friend that lives somewhere, I would do that overpaying for a travel company or an excursion or tour anything.

Angela Carson 44:21
Well, if you can use that as a home base, you can take more things in your luggage as well. And then just when you’re off traveling around and you know out for a week, you can pare down and take a smaller piece but

Alexa Humphreys 44:36
yeah, mm hmm definitely. But no, if you can build visiting friends into your trips, I think that’s just amazing. So after I’ve outlined my objectives, and I figured out locations and where my friends are in that, then I’m going to book flights. So look at flights. And then the very last thing I’m going to do is booked the lodging Of course because once I’ve established where the flights are then I know where I

Angela Carson 44:59
where I want to sleep Well, and I don’t, I don’t always plan, either. I’ll pick a flight. And I’ll have the first hotel. And sometimes that’s all I do with with my YouTube channel and I’m going and going into a country either for my own reviews or on assignment for magazines, which I’ve done in the past as well. Then that is structured because you, you have that set up so far in advance because of approval. But when I was a digital nomad, the times when I didn’t have reviews scheduled, I didn’t know where I’d be tomorrow. And there’s something quite exciting about that. Because if you’re talking to someone and they tell you this amazing place that you really it’s like you’re saying like with friends, who are living someplace who know what to do, what not to do. It’s nice to be able to be agile and just take off and Devil May care and have fun and explore in that way makes it feel more alive, like without the restraints of a schedule.

Alexa Humphreys 46:10
Mm hmm. Agreed. Agreed. I mean, just in general, traveling alone, you have so much more flexibility and agility and you can make those decisions quite quickly if you want to change something. But I would say for any sort of travel, always build in flexibility into your itinerary because you don’t know what you’re going to find or get a great tip for something you want to go see. And if you’ve overbooked your itinerary and you have no flexibility that can be the worst.

Angela Carson 46:35
No. All right, so rapid fire. Let’s give some tips and advice. Great, I’m good. Okay. All right. What country would you recommend to first time Female Solo travelers? Or what countries? Give me your top three? Ooh, top three.

Alexa Humphreys 46:51
Just as a general characteristic I think it’s your first time solo traveling go somewhere that has good travel infrastructure. agree there. there there’s hotel there’s a step. Hotels and hostels, there’s good local transport, there’s good tour, all of that is built in. So you’re not trying to scramble and make the trouble happen. Second country where language is not going to be a huge barrier, I think would be more helpful. So I disagree.

Angela Carson 47:15
Okay, sorry. Okay.

Alexa Humphreys 47:16
Let me tell you why the either English is commonly spoken as a traveler language or a business language so that you can navigate through that space or maybe from maybe you speak more than one language and you speak some of the local language. I just think it’s hugely helpful in navigating but go ahead and I welcome the healthy debate that

Angela Carson 38:23
Thone gentleman who was you know, he was stood in his, his, um, you know, he was stood on the side of the water and he was brushing his teeth and have a glass of water in his in his hand and his toothbrush but he was you know, his family must have still been asleep or he was about to hop in the boat, but he was there brushing his teeth, people fishing and just, it was it was very nice.

no, I okay, it does make things easier, but it’s not as exciting. It doesn’t. It’s not as challenging. Because back back when I was first starting out, some of the countries I was going to first I always had a Facebook with me, and I tried to learn a bit of language before I went. I think English is much more More commonly spoken now than it was in 1990 when I was first solo traveling, so for me, I have such fond memories of flashcards, you know, on the plane tried to learn and cram this language or that language and using the phrase, I don’t know, there was something there was something extra extra about those trips where, you know, I had to have the Arabic phrase book or people didn’t really speak English in Spain or Mexico back then very much and

Alexa Humphreys 48:32
not to discredit that I think that’s a wonderful experience having to kind of mentally cram a language so that you have some of the basics to navigate. No, I think that’s great.

Angela Carson 48:41
So which countries would you recommend

Alexa Humphreys 48:43
top three countries that I would recommend for your first solo travel, people say this is overdone, but Thailand, Thailand is an incredibly wonderful, fun, loving, welcoming country. And I think for for someone who’s who’s traveling to Asia for the first time, they’re just I mean, You can go there dressed as a banana, they’ll love you like you can do anything. There’s that. There’s not like clothing restrictions. There’s not people are just really kind and fun loving and just some of the nicest people. So Thailand for sure.

Angela Carson 49:12
Okay. Yeah, I love Thailand I’ve been maybe I think I’ve been to Thailand five times. I just actually okay to plug something of my own. I’ve just posted on my YouTube channel in the past week, a luxury guide to Bangkok and a luxury guide to Phuket with the top five places to stay and what to do. And so that was, that was my most recent video on YouTube. So for me, I think my number one is Spain. I have traveled I’ve road trip the entire country. I lived in Spain for 12 years, just south of Barcelona and a seaside village. So I have a ton of love for Barcelona. But the entire country is just beautiful and the architecture is gorgeous. And the People Okay, well, the people in Barcelona they’re quite rude to tourists because they are inundated with tourists and don’t don’t love it. But once you get outside of Barcelona or outside of Madrid, people are very, very sweet. But it’s a beautiful country. It’s safe. I think that would be a perfect epic solo trip. Mm hmm. All right. What’s your next one?

Alexa Humphreys 50:23
Portugal. This is where I live now. And it’s an amazing country and I some of the great food some of the best wine I’ve ever had. It is so hard to find bad wine in Portugal. And it’s incredibly cheap. I don’t know how they do it. Yeah, so I have to do a plug for my my country of residence. Portugal’s amazing and lots of English speakers and everyone is so kind.

Angela Carson 50:45
And it’s obviously very safe. You’re on a solo cycle trip right now around the country.

Alexa Humphreys 50:51
Yeah. And it’s one it’s considered one of the safest countries in the world. That’s not why I moved here. But I keep I don’t know, as you’re in a place you learn more about it, and it’s An incredibly safe country. Yeah,

Angela Carson 51:02
you know, I’m going to say Malaysia for my next one. It’s incredibly safe and there’s so much to do. And within a week or 10 days, you can literally go from a UNESCO protected rain forest on the island of Borneo to Langkawi, which is like the Bali of Malaysia to Penang, which is the foodie epicenter of the country, and a UNESCO UNESCO protected city that you feel like you’ve stepped back and 16th century China and Kuala Lumpur, which is a vibrant city with the Petronas Twin Towers and it’s just so much fun to eat your way through. Not only just Kuala Lumpur but Malaysia. And when you’re there, you could also do a quick, quick trip down to Singapore. It’s a quick 40 minute flight to Singapore. Very cheap, like less than $100 round trip. And Singapore is great fun for a few days. So I would say a combo of Malaysia and Singapore would be would be perfect.

Alexa Humphreys 52:10
Yeah, that sounds great. So just in order to have some regional representation, I do want to do a small plug for a country that’s dear to my heart because I did some work there. Zambia, okay, Gambia, in South South Central African continent. Zambia is an incredible place. It’s a beautiful country, they have some of the best Safaris in the world. So if you want to be able to go and see animals you normally could only see in a zoo and their natural habitat. Zambia is amazing. It’s also an incredibly safe country. I mean, one of the safest countries I’ve ever lived in, worked in. People are incredibly courteous and kind. And there is great travel infrastructure, especially when you get down they have Victoria Falls. It’s one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. There’s a great night scene. There’s some really great bars. That are just I don’t know how to explain it exactly. But Zambia is wonderful and Zambia, you go to the bars and you feel like you’re welcome as a foreigner. But the bars are mostly full of Zambians. Like it’s not. There’s places you can go in the world where you feel like the bars are only foreigners. And it doesn’t feel it doesn’t feel like they’re for the people. And in Zambia, mostly, I felt like the bars are for the people.

Angela Carson 53:26
Okay, big shout out to Zambia,

Alexa Humphreys 53:29
big shout out to Zambia.

Angela Carson 53:32
Alright, let me see my last one. I’m trying to think of places where I always where I always felt safe, where there wasn’t any UI moments, or there was no leering by men. And anything that made me not want to explore back alleyways that night, and, you know, just dive in. I think I’m going to go with China, and I will tell I lived there for a few months. I’ve also been to a couple of different cities in China. Just as a tourist, I actually have a 10 year visa for China. That’s still valid.

Alexa Humphreys 54:12
Yeah. How did you get that? We need to talk about that.

Angela Carson 54:15
I’ll tell you after if they were giving the I’ll tell you after but yeah, it’s fabulous. I’m super happy about having that because it’s also my plan. See if everything goes tits up, and I don’t end up getting a visa now to Singapore, since Malaysia has forbidden all Americans and I was supposed to be moving there in October. China’s now like my plan, plan, D or E, I think so. But I would say going into either Beijing or Shanghai. And if you fly into Beijing, there are some amazing places to see the Great Wall of China close by Beijing is a really amazing city with the with the Forbidden City. There’s back alley ways to Walk through that have been there for centuries. And it’s they there’s not a lot of English spoken, but you can get by. And some of the amazing UNESCO sites are just so picturesque. It’s incredibly, incredibly safe. And there’s just such a diversity of what to see. And if you traveled the Silk Road for a week, that would be amazing. It’s Yes, China, China and sticking with China. I love it. I love it. That’s great.

Alexa Humphreys 55:31
I we could talk about more countries, I would probably mention New Zealand, which is incredible. I would probably try to orient us towards central South America and talk about some lovely countries there.

Angela Carson 55:45
Yeah, I think once you’ve done the first trip and you have that confidence that you can go anywhere because you and I have both traveled to places where it’s been dodgy as far as being a female like me. India and there are countries like that even Italy like is as nice as Italy is like the men. They they can’t call they will whack your backside they it’s a great place to travel. I love Italy I love traveling in Italy but you as a woman, it’s a little bit like Ecuador and places like that where the men are just a little bit more overtly sexual in a way that makes us women uncomfortable.

Alexa Humphreys 56:30
And that’s the frustrating thing. Again, it’s it’s alluding back to what I said before about a lot of spaces being traditionally male spaces and you know women going there if they’re accompanied by a male but if you go there alone as a female, you can see a very different side to a city. For example, I went to Cuba for three weeks. Amazing, but I was so frustrated because there were parts of Havana I would walk through and the men would just like cat call and I was getting so frustrated and angry because I know there is a Cultural element to men being very vocal on the streets towards women and Cuba, but I just did not appreciate that.

Angela Carson 57:08
it just me not want to walk around as much at times? Yes. Because you just know you’re going to be subjected to that. And it’s not like that in every country. Thank goodness. Yeah.

Alexa Humphreys 57:20
No, no, it’s not goodness. Yeah, thank goodness, it’s not because that would just be exhausting. But it is frustrating in those moments where you’re again, you’re like, it’s not enough to be female, you have to be accompanied by a male to not be, you know, verbally harassed. And I have encountered you know, numerous situations like that. And that’s, um, I think the frustrating thing for me is like I my my goal and my hope is to to walk this earth as a human being first and a female Second, if that makes sense. Like I’m a human being and I should be treated as a human being and there are settings and moments where men decide to treat you like you We’re there for them or sexual pleasure or whatever they think you’re there for you know, it’s considered a male space and you’re in it. And those are just the most degrading moments. Those are the moments where I really like I get so angry I want I there’s a dark part of me that wants to inflict pain on them but I’m like you know if I if I hurt them that’s not helping anything.

Angela Carson 58:17
Is your kickboxing coming into?

Alexa Humphreys 58:19
Yes. Coming in Nice. Yeah, this Yeah. So but it’s so frustrating. You know, like, you know what I’m talking about now I really what you’re talking about negatively affects your experience.

Angela Carson 58:32
Well, and a lot Okay, let’s leave on a fun on a fun note. So the last tip I’d love for us to share is how to really get to know a city. What would you say is your go to activity or one thing that you always do on a trip if possible, to really get to know the city.

Alexa Humphreys 58:52
There are different ways to approach this but I’ll tell you one thing that I used to do a lot. I don’t do it as much anymore. Maybe I should revive it, but If you like to walk, I used to have a game I played with myself where if I was in a new city, I would write down the address of my lodging on a piece of paper, you can also put it on your phone. But sometimes I like having things on paper. And I would put it in my pocket. And then I would just set out and my goal was just to walk around the city. So I wanted to just organically visit the city, the best parts, the worst parts, whatever I would encounter. And then I would always make it a game to see if I could kind of understand the layout and the landmarks and make my way back to lodging without using GPS without using a map. So that was and if I failed, if I couldn’t find my way back, I just pull out the address and I give it to the taxi driver and I go back to the hotel. So that’s a game I used to play with myself, but you have to really love walking to play that game.

Angela Carson 59:48
No, no walking is a great way to get to know a city. Do you know that the podcast is titled always get lost, because that’s my favorite thing to do at least once when I’m on a trip. And when I used to travel with my daughter before she went off to uni, we would pick like a metro stop. So we were in the Czech Republic for Christmas and New Year One, one year, we were in Prague, and we literally just kind of picked on the map. Okay, we’re going to like IP Pavlova or something like that. And we did that we walked out and then we just we walked and got lost and took photos and had a great time and, but that’s why the podcast is called always get lost. I love them. All right. My tip is when, whenever possible, go to a night market. If you’re in a city that has a night market, or an organic farmers market, if you’re in someplace that has that or a food truck lot or something somewhere where you can dig in and Try kind of the street food and the local food. And that’s really easy in in Asia because in Asia night markets are very popular, especially Southeast Asia, which is where I’ve called home for the past several years. So that’s, that’s number one on my list. But finding a way to get a sampling of the local cuisine, I think is a great way as well.

Alexa Humphreys 1:01:25
I think that’s great. Another tip I would add is I like to start in the oldest part of a city. So a lot of cities will have can have an older part and then it kind of expanded out and you’ll have the newer parts start in the older part of the city. That’s usually kind of the heart of the city and where the original inspiration and beauty comes from. And then you can work your way out to the newer parts if there’s other things you want to see.

Angela Carson 1:01:48
Yeah, I often try to stay in the older parts as well, like Istanbul, I stayed in the in the Old City, but the problem with that is that the older the The older part of the city, the hotels don’t generally have like double plain double paned glass that block out all the noise and it’s a little bit more. Your good night’s sleep isn’t always guaranteed in those spots. But it does. You just you feel the charm and you you feel the history. That’s that’s a great, that’s a great tip. All right, man. Well, this has been very fun. And you were a genuine delight to swap tales with and I learned a lot from you. You’re you put on your Instagram bio, that you’re a travel addict. And having been to 58 countries, I think that is very apt. It’s it’s amazing what you’ve accomplished at just 34 years

Alexa Humphreys 1:02:49
old. Thank you so much, Angela. It’s been a real pleasure. We haven’t had an opportunity in a long time to sit down and and talk about travel and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen sat down and talked specifically about it, what it’s like as a solo female traveler. So this has been a joy. And I’ve learned from you as well. I love the point about researching adventure. Where the UNESCO world heritage sites are, generally for me, I just go places like it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’m like, Oh, I have no idea. That’s so good. But I will, I will, I will take that tip with me. For sure.

Angela Carson 1:03:23
It really helps to try and figure out the itinerary if you know that they’re not all worth going up. I mean, okay, but let’s show how to say that in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m disparaging UNESCO, but they’re not all going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But there there are some surprising UNESCO sites that you wouldn’t know or cities that it’s just seven blocks within the city that are the UNESCO protected areas that are just so worth saying. Thank you again. So let us know again what your social media channel is and your blog and you haven’t Another trip lined up after this bike trip. Where are you? Are you going to lay low for a bit after this?

Alexa Humphreys 1:04:05
Yeah, so just to summarize from from earlier, I’m on day 11 of my 30 day cycling trip. So there are 19 days left math, I can do math. There are 19 days left to this trip. And I’m posting daily on Instagram at Alexa travels the globe. I’m posting daily on Facebook ad Alexa travels the globe. And I’m also posting full blog posts on Alexa travels calm under the cycling Portugal tab. So those are the best ways to if you’re interested in following this crazy solo female cycling journey. That’s the best way to follow. And after this, I don’t have any travel plans on the horizon. Just given the COVID-19 situation I’m really for me, this is a time to be cautious and also to focus on of course respecting the rules and regulations. For your your country or your area, and exploring our own backyards, you know, this is a, this is the time to embrace what’s a little closer to home. Because so often we overlook that. But maybe that’s one of the gifts of the current pandemic is, you know, spending more time with loved ones and, and appreciating our own backyards a bit more.

Angela Carson 1:05:19
That’s very true. Well, and I’m sorry, but Lisbon is a gorgeous, that’s a gorgeous backyard to have as your playground.

Alexa Humphreys 1:05:27
Yeah, well, whenever COVID calms down and international travel is more feasible. I will come find you somewhere and we will we will toast to a long remote friendship and solo female traveling. Oh, how do you say goodbye in Portuguese? Oh, we say I do.

Angela Carson 1:05:43
I do. Okay, well, Adios. Wait. Adios. Yeah, everything is very shh in Portuguese. So we know Yeah.

I think I was trying to think about that because I, there’s so many countries that are just magical. But I think for me as far as a solo trip it was when I decided to be a digital nomad. I had moved to Malaysia for a job that didn’t work out. And then I was offered other jobs, but the salaries were so low, I hadn’t realized the concession that this company had made when they relocated me. And so it turned out that it was I made a lot more money, just freelancing, and working with different clients around the globe, then, having a full time 40 hour a week job about 40 5060 whatever they are. So I took off from Kuala Lumpur, and for close to six months, I was a digital nomad all around Southeast Asia. And because of Have my YouTube channel and my luxury travel blog. I was able not all of the time, but I was able to set up reviews. So while I was traveling, I wasn’t spending any money on accommodations. And I was staying only in five star hotels. I wasn’t paying for food because you know, I would have to review the restaurants and meet the chefs and all of that. So for me, it was it was just this big win win trip, but it was also just exciting. I traveled around Malaysia, even to Borneo on the Malaysian side, and I was in Singapore for a few weeks. And Thailand. And I went to different different islands in Malaysia as well, and Indonesia. So it was just because of what it was in the amount of time that I lived out of a suitcase. That was that was what I learned a lot. lot about packing on that trip too. Because I took things I never wore that were just so stupid so i i not as brutal at Packers you right now, but I definitely learned some amazing lessons that have helped me in my future. You know in the future travels I’ve done so far. Wow. One of my favorite memories from those months as a digital nomad was a week that I spent on Borneo. And I was given the opportunity to do some unusual sightseeing. And the way to get from point A to point B when I was doing the sightseeing was on a traditional Malaysian long boat. And we would go because I because I was shooting video, I would always want to be the first one there. So we would leave we got special permission to be able to arrive a little bit before everyone else. And so we would be traveling in the mornings, you know 5:36am on this long boat, and I remember seeing life start to people starting to come to life along the river. And the Malaysia sounds like them bass. No everyone was waking up this one gentleman who was you know, he was stood in his, his, um, you know, he was stood on the side of the water and he was brushing his teeth and have a glass of water in his in his hand and his toothbrush but he was you know, his family must have still been asleep or he was about to hop in the boat, but he was there brushing his teeth, people fishing and just, it was it was very nice.

Alexa Humphreys 56:30
And that’s the frustrating thing. Again, it’s it’s alluding back to what I said before about a lot of spaces being traditionally male spaces and you know women going there if they’re accompanied by a male but if you go there alone as a female, you can see a very different side to a city. For example, I went to Cuba for three weeks. Amazing, but I was so frustrated because there were parts of Havana I would walk through and the men would just like cat call and I was getting so frustrated and angry because I know there is a Cultural element to men being very vocal on the streets towards women and Cuba, but I just did not appreciate that

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