When I was little, every time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, my answer was: “Globetrotter.”

There was never any question in my mind. None whatsoever. That’s what I wanted to be. I even asked my dad how I could get a white passport!

I devoured every adventure book out there. When Enid Blyton become too boring, I got onto stuff like Thor Heyerdahl and Jules Verne.

At the grand age of eight, I was determined to build my own Kon Tiki and sail to Easter Island!

I also wanted to build my own Nautilus and sail the seven seas forever.

The moon? But of course! I’d go there next!

I’d already earmarked the North Pole for my first expedition. El Dorado was going to be next.

The people around me found my enthusiasm endearing.

But things changed as I got older.

Suddenly, enthusiasm gave way to annoyance and even anger.

“Stop sticking your head in the clouds and come back down to earth!”

“Now, now – remember where you’re from and keep your feet on the ground, girl!”

And slowly the little girl decided to keep all the excitement to herself and act “normal” to the outside world.

🌺Slowly, the little girl died🌺

She raised her head one last time when at 16, I was determined to become a telecommunications officer at sea. Travelling the seven seas was once more my ultimate plan.

But the little girl got her final, terminal blow when she was rejected for being female and wearing glasses. A lethal combination that cut off a career at sea there and then in the 1980s.

Her death struggle was accelerated when all of her alternative career choices – pilot, archaeologist, photographer – were met with derision and contempt by the career officers at school.

Once again, the little girl was told to “get her head out of the clouds and keep her feet on the ground” and was offered a job as a bank clerk instead.

As well as being female, my parents’ lack of money was now also held against me.

All of my career choices would have cost too much to finance and were also not eligible for public funding as the chances of a female completing the training were regarded as very low.

The government thought that all females get themselves pregnant at 19 and waste government money. So nobody ever invested in real careers for women. You had to have your own funds or “get a real job”.

And still the little girl died a hard death.

After leaving school, I decided to backpack across Europe for a while to work through my frustration.

I wasn’t willing to die behind a desk.

And once I met my husband in the UK, the travels continued as we gigged all over the place with our own Rock’n’Roll bands.

The little girl was still having fun and travelling – not globetrotting, but crisscrossing Europe. A great consolidation prize.

But then life once more served the little girl lemons.

My gigging days came to an end when my husband got severely ill. I suddenly was the sole provider. So I did the sensible thing and took a job as a financial translator for one of the Big Four.

🌺The little girl put on her big girl pants and grew up🌺

She got her head out of the clouds and became sensible.

She sacrificed her happiness for the money to pay the bills.

I branched out and started my own translation agency. I was doing well. Earning good money. I had more money than at any other time in my life.

But the price was high.

It cost the little girl her happiness, her soul.

Years went by and she tried to keep a tiny spark of herself alive by becoming an energy healer and discovering her spirituality.

And slowly, oh so slowly, she started to recover little bits of herself here and there.

And slowly, but surely, her old dream of travelling the world started to resurface. She started thinking about booking trips to Nepal and Machu Picchu. She started reading travel blogs and dreaming again.

But something was still holding her back.

She was convincing herself that she needed to earn more money and that she couldn’t afford to take too much time off work.

She kept putting off her dream.

She’d become scared of her own dream.

Europe was safe and it was enough, she told herself.

But then something happened that changed everything.

The little girl was invited to Sedona on a retreat. And the old dream was back in a heartbeat. It had never been dead at all – just buried under the pretence of adulthood.

So she got her ESTA and bought a plane ticket.

Her adult self told her that she was being stupid – that she hasn’t got enough time and certainly not enough money to travel in comfort for six weeks.

But then the little girl saw her chance, rose up like the almighty warrioress she really is and finally defeated her adult self that had suppressed her all these long years.

She remembered how time and money never were an issue in the old days. How she and hubby used to travel all over Europe on nothing much more than love and fresh air. How she always used to backpack with nothing more than an Interail ticket to her name.

And she remembered that time and money have nothing to do with it. You have to make the conscious decision to go – and the rest will fall into place.

I was so glad to see the little girl again after such a long time! I embraced her fully and welcomed her back into my life.

And now I’m about to set off on a six-week backpacking trip through the USA: New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Sedona, Austin and Oklahoma City.

Travelling solo, like I used to as that adventurous, life-loving teenager.

Leaving Europe for the first time.

🌺I finally am going to be a globetrotter🌺

So little girls’ dreams really do come true – even if it sometimes takes a while.

I bought a monthly Amtrak ticket and a subscription to Couchsurfing.

That’s it.

Nothing else is in place.

I will figure it out as I go along.

Just like I used to.

And to make it even more fun, I’ve set myself a challenge to live on a micro-budget, to remember how it can be done and to show the world that time and money really are no excuse for putting off your travelling plans.

I will be meeting lots of dear friends on the way who I’ve not seen in many years and some whom I’ve never met in real life at all.

It will be beautiful and emotional!

And I want to take you all on this journey with me!

I’ll be recording my trip and posting on this blog and social media every day, or as often as internet connections permit.

You’ll all be there with me each and every step of the way.

But even though I’m travelling solo, I don’t want to do this on my own.

So I’m looking for 15 women who have also travelled solo.

I want to collect your stories of adventure, obstacles, joy and passion.

I want to create a compilation of powerful travel stories that inspire other women to try solo travel for themselves.

Because solo travel is about THE most empowering thing a woman can ever do for herself in my opinion.

And there is way too much fear and prejudice surrounding this topic.

Since announcing my travel plans, my inbox has been exploding with women voicing their fears for me and trying to dissuade me from going and messages of downright hostility for even thinking about travelling alone.

Not a single comment from any of my male friends, except to take lots of pictures and have fun!

The fear of branching out on your own without any help or guidance appears to be deeply rooted in a lot of women.

The little girl inside me finds this very sad.

She can see all of these other little girls buried, like she was, under the fears and false beliefs of adulthood.

And that’s why I want to break the paradigm!

I want women all over the world to realise that it’s ok to be independent!

And I want to do it together with you, sister!

In the multi-author book
Fearless Female Travelers: Why Traveling Solo is Safe, Empowering and Fun!, we all
🌺 share our solo travel story from the heart
🌺 are part of a community of awesome women
🌺 get guaranteed exposure in Tier 2 publications
🌺 learn how to market and monetise our book
🌺 become a bestselling author
🌺 HAVE FUN AND INSPIRE OTHER WOMEN!
🌺 have the option to upgrade to 6 months of creative story coaching and performance of our story on Zoom in front of a live audience

It will be a powerful, life-changing experience for all of us! And I want you to be part of it if you have a solo travel story to tell!

I can’t wait to hear from you and your little girl!

🌺 Email me at silke@innerhippiebooks.com 🌺

 

Silke Harvey, the Inner Hippie