How My Initial Solo Journey Changed My Lifestyle

Solo Traveler Snapshot

Deborah and her pups on the Battenkill River in Vermont during her 2021 Airstream trip across America.

Deborah and her pups on the Battenkill River in Vermont all through her 2021 Airstream excursion across The usa.

Picture credit rating: Deborah Dennis

  • Identify: Deborah D.
  • Age: 63
  • Locale: Oakland, California
  • Marital Standing: Single
  • Beloved Solo Trip: Airstreaming Across The usa

Deborah’s enthusiasm for touring solo began in her more youthful several years and has taken her to some of the most unbelievable areas on earth. She now travels with her two best pals throughout America in her Airstream trailer.

Solo Traveler Inspiration

TravelAwaits: What encouraged you to journey solo?

Deborah: I have been solo traveling most of my lifestyle, beginning with climbing and camping in the wilds of Upstate New York where by I grew up. Following college or university, my additional comprehensive journeys were being commonly centered all around my vacation photography which took me on solo adventures to remote wilderness spots in Yosemite, Peru, New Zealand, Alaska, Costa Rica, and Africa.

Initially Solo Vacation

TravelAwaits: What was your first solo journey?

Deborah: My initially large intercontinental solo journey was to southern Africa in 1995. I had a 6-7 days compensated sabbatical from Apple Personal computer and desired to do a little something grand. I couldn’t obtain a good friend to go with me, so I planned 3 months solo backpacking and 2 weeks on a group Earthwatch expedition monitoring black rhinos.

I experienced never been to Africa. 

Again then, I was brave, packed my luggage, and bought on the plane. It was pre-World-wide-web days, of course. I try to remember having off the plane after 24 several hours of touring, and I was fatigued and desperately essential a shower. I was standing in the airport terminal in Harare, Zimbabwe, and hunting about. I considered, what am I heading to do now? I understood no 1. I experienced no lodge reservations and wanted to determine out how to get downtown. I experienced just thrown myself comprehensive-force way outdoors my ease and comfort zone, which is when I turned a savvy solo entire world traveler.

My experience monitoring black rhinos in Zimbabwe had a profound outcome on me. That journey adjusted my lifestyle in so a lot of means:

  • When I returned from Africa, I began my possess journey pictures company referred to as Black Rhino Photography.
  • A number of months later, I commenced my very own freelance internet design enterprise identified as Black Rhino Design.
  • I experienced my initial vacation images show and marketed 10 prints.
  • I experienced two journey stories with my photos printed in my regional newspaper and went on to promote many extra.
  • Several yrs later, I led a modest team of women again to Africa. We rented a 4-by-4 and drove as a result of Namibia and Botswana.

Favored Facet Of Solo Travel

TravelAwaits: What is your beloved section of touring solo?

Deborah: My favored element of solo traveling is meeting local persons and hearing their tales. 

For instance, when I was in Zimbabwe, I rode the teach, and 1 day I was in a sitting down compartment with area indigenous Zimbabwe women of all ages and a person who happened to be from the African National Congress.

He was intriguing to pay attention to. I had no plan of the politics there at the time or how the U.S. despatched aid, such as tractors which ultimately broke and could not be made use of mainly because they had no sections to correct them. He gave me a distinctive standpoint than something you’d ever read in the information. I loved hearing the tales.

Favorite Solo Excursion

TravelAwaits: What is your favored solo journey so much and why?

Deborah: My favourite solo journey was my 2021 6-thirty day period, cross-place tour of the U.S. in my Airstream with my two smaller canine. I started out in May in an Airstream I experienced just purchased in February. I had never towed something before, and I had never been RVing.

I begun my trip in northern California and zig-zagged my way through Yellowstone to the Grand Tetons, Wyoming, Iowa, and Illinois, exactly where I stopped to see good friends. Then I drove and camped via Wisconsin, Michigan, and in excess of to the East Coastline ending in Maine. Then I turned all-around and took a distinctive route back residence. I begun my blog site at to file my adventures and pictures.

Most significant Solo Vacation Concern 

TravelAwaits: What was your most important problem right before your first solo trip and how did you triumph over it?

Deborah: When I was in Africa, 1 of my most significant worries was logistics with my things. Where do I depart my backpack and costly digital camera gear when I go to the loo or buy a prepare ticket or river raft down the Zambezi? 

It turned out, while, that I was feeling loneliness, which I hadn’t anticipated to really feel. When I saw my initially herd of wild giraffes bounding throughout the savannah, I was just in awe. And then, at the identical time, I wished I had another person there to share that experience with!

Overcoming the loneliness was figuring out how to tell my possess tales about my trips, and when I received house, sharing my photography turned a huge part of that mission.

Team Or Impartial Vacation

TravelAwaits: Do you travel with a group or independently and why?

Deborah: I really like to vacation largely independently simply because I am just wired to be the wayfinder and a trip leader myself. When I joined teams, it was matters like the Earthwatch expedition in which I bought entry to mountaineering by the wilds of Africa with armed national park guards that no just one else could do then. I’ve also joined team images tours to get skilled instruction and camaraderie with fellow photographers. I enjoy to find out so that I could be a part of a cooking class in Italy or Spain, or a group tour in distant destinations like Patagonia or the Galapagos.

Favourite Vacation Item

TravelAwaits: What is a person product or service you are unable to are living without the need of on your visits?

Deborah: My camera, even if it’s just my Iphone, which will take fantastic photos.

I Desire I Would Have Joined A Group For This Trip…

TravelAwaits: Is there a solo place/vacation spot that would have been improved in a team and why?

Deborah: If I were returning to Africa again, I would definitely just take a team trip to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. And in the Okavango Delta, I might also make a group journey back there. Some remote destinations or access to endangered animals are best completed with a group.

Ideal Assistance For Solo Tourists

TravelAwaits: What assistance would you give anyone who is thinking of solo vacation?

Deborah: ​​It’s not as frightening as it appears when you at last do it. And for sure, prevent listening to everybody else’s fears mainly because they most likely have never ever even long gone everywhere! I tell everyone the very same thing who asks me about my travels, in particular my Airstream excursion. I convey to them, “Go now. There is in no way likely to be a improved time. Just go.”

You can observe more of Deborah’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and her website.

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