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Wayfaring Broad

Finding Buddies While Traveling Solo

A deafening buzzer jolts me from a sound sleep. Desperate for it to stop, I slam my hand across the bed to hit the green glow of numbers sourcing the shrill alarm. It was still dark out and I was a little disoriented and confused as to why I was waking up so early. Gradually, I begin to remember the reason for my pre-dawn awakening and shoot out of bed.  I showered, dressed, packed, and was off faster than a toupee in a hurricane.  The drive took about two hours, but I arrived ready to depart for the next leg of my journey with time to spare. 

So convenient, isn’t it?  The only thing I had to be concerned with was myself.  I don’t have to worry about whether someone else gets up on time. I don’t have to worry about how long it’s taking the other person to get ready. I don’t have to worry about whether I’m making too much noise that would wake someone else up. And I don’t have to worry about whether the other person might have left something behind.  If something ends up happening, I have no one else to blame but myself.  Traveling solo definitely has its perks.  There’s a freedom and independence that solo traveling delivers that I really enjoy.  However, every now and then there’s this feeling of being left out or excluded.

Many of the activities that I have found while traveling is catered for couples or families.  Even eating in select countries, especially in Asia, can bring some issues to solo travelers as some restaurants don’t allow lone customers because they cook their food for two or more and won’t serve just one. Sounds bizarre, but even if offering to pay for two servings, I have been rejected service because I was alone.  C'est la vie.  Even though I enjoy the logistics part of traveling solo (sleeping, accommodations, transportation, et. al.), there are still times when buddies can make the experience a lasting memory. 

So here are three ways I’ve discovered to find and meet people when traveling solo.

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Wayfaring Broad
I totally get it! Couchsurfing isn't for everyone, but you can use it for more than accommodations. A lot of times I already had a... Read More
Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:47
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Wayfaring Broad

My Bucket List | For the BIG 3-0!


A big mile stone is approaching for me. I'm turning 30 in T-minus six months.  To be honest, I'm a bit anxious about the whole milestone. In reality, it's just another day marking that I'm older and won't feel different than any day in my 29s. But I'm leaving my 20s and there's a lot of thoughts going around in my head about where I should be at in my life, things I should've accomplished, and money I should be earning.

I’m still figuring it out. That's what gets me anxious.  Somewhere in my mid-twenties The concept of setting and reaching goals finally clicked for me.  I've set goals throughout my whole life, but they've always seemed to be assigned or coaxed out of me as either a school assignment or some other cursory activity. Somewhere along the way, I found value in it because it wasn't something forced upon me to do. Rather it became a mechanism that actually produced changes in my life that I wanted. Moving to Wisconsin to continue my education, getting a job in Chicago, moving halfway around the world to become an English teacher, and touring through Thailand and Europe for three months.  It all happened because I decided to do those things and I set up ways to accomplish them.

So, as it has worked for me in the past, I'll apply goal setting once again before turning 30. I've been thinking often about the things I have never done in my life. Heck, the first time I ever went camping was when I lived in South Korea.  In the spirit of goal setting, here’s my “bucket” list of things I want to do before turning the big 3-0.

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Grounded Expat


Living in a foreign land, flying to other nearby countries, taking mini-adventures, eating all sorts of food; the expat life was for me! And now....I'm grounded. So to speak...

After ending my contract teaching English in South Korea and taking the long way back to the states through Thailand and Europe, I am now back in the good ole U.S. of A.

Preparing to come back home, I would read up on others' experiences re-adjusting. What was the hardest thing about going back home? What were their next steps? And what was the best course of action for me?

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Wynwood Walls

I saw a plethora of graffiti during my tour of Germany.  What I didn’t expect was the art graffiti community not that far from me.  I went to visit my sister in Miami and she told me about this place call Wynwood Walls.  Never heard of it before, but she told me that is was an artist community with graffiti everywhere.  For whatever reason, in my head, I was expecting some half-assed art installations or some pretentious displays with some convoluted artist statement. Something like, “this Barbie head nailed to this canvas represents the conflict and oppression…..blah blah blah.”  I’m no art aficionado, but I know crap when I see it.  Pulling up to the parking spot we finally found, the first thing I see is this:


And I realized, “Okay this is gonna be good!”  Got out my camera and let my eyes feast on these big beautiful walls.

Everywhere I looked, it seemed like there was something extraordinary to look at. Just standing there scanning the image for all the details and colors. Thinking about how long it took these artists to complete and how skillful I thought they were. Even walking around, looking at the cement blocks of the sidewalk, there were spray-painted on pieces. Not as detailed as the walls, but little sayings or cartoons scattered about.

Here are some of my favorites:


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German Cafes


One of the first things I noticed while trekking through Germany is the umbrella filled spaces in front of cafes.  Hailing from the U.S., it’s not that we don’t have outdoor eating areas, it’s that they’re not the standard here.  Usually reserved for nice weather and sunny days, the outdoor space of a café or restaurant isn’t as utilized as it is in Germany. A little drizzle? Indoors we go. Too hot or too cold? Indoors to the lovely air conditioning or heating.  Not in Germany!  Whether hot or cold or a little rainy not much stops people from sitting outside to enjoy their meal.  Mostly, I think because of necessity.

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The Charming Village of Sankt Goar


I was five days into my trek around Germany. Staying in the town of Mainz, named after the river it was built adjacent to, just west of Frankfurt.  I was planning a day trip to somewhere and quite indecisive about it.   Daniel, my Couchsurfing host suggested I check out a small village on the west bank of the Middle Rhine.  The transportation was a bit tricky to figure out. The best way was by train, but finding the right train to take was another story.  At the Mainz Bahnhof, instead of entering the building and taking a train, as was normal SOP, I was instructed to go around the right side from the entrance where there stood an open platform for a few selected trains. Figuring out how to purchase a ticket from the machine was a feat in and of itself. Even Daniel, a native German, found difficulty in maneuvering the selection process to pick the correct ticket.

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Brilliant Instajoom

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