Traveling Solo As A Female

 

females traveling solo, women traveling solo, travel tips for females


Traveling solo as a female can be invigorating. I’ve traveled solo many times for business and several times on a much needed vacation. I’ve lost track of the number of times that 
I’ve been asked throughout my journeys, “Are you going alone?” “Don’t you have a friend to go with you?” or “You aren’t afraid to travel by yourself, I could never do that.” Lets not forget this one, “Do you get lonely?”  

I remember the first time I traveled alone for vacation. I was married and at the time my daughter was five years old. I decided to head to Los Angeles to visit my sister and her family. It was the first time that my daughter and I had flown. My husband made sure we got on the plane without issues, and the flight to Los Angeles was smooth. The next task was to get our luggage and find my sister. This too went without incident. I juggled luggage and a 5 year old through a international airport.  We had a great time in Los Angles and the surrounding areas. We made our way back to Washington-Dulles, and it was at that point I was bitten by the travel bug. 

I started making my way around the country for my job shortly thereafter. Getting in and out of airports became second nature to me as well as either renting cars and driving in strange cities or hailing taxis to get from point A to B. When you have a job that requires you to travel, your company doesn’t pay for another person to accompany you so you don’t have to go alone. You put on your big girl pants and you conduct business. 

               Vacationing in Savannah, GA


I’m no longer married, but I still love to do personal travel. Yes I have friends that I could travel with, but trying to coordinate a week’s vacation with a friend or group of people can be taxing. I’ve been through that experience before, and it was by far worst than anything I’ve encountered while traveling solo.  I made a vow to never go there again. I’m not one to sit around and wait for another person to get in a position financially to vacation or find the time for a vacation. Most importantly, because a person is alone doesn’t mean they are lonely. There’s a difference.  

The people that I have met along the way have been insightful and have impacted my life immensely. On my last trip I met a lady at the airport that I have now become friends with. She called me her angel. I had arrived early at the airport and the United counter had not opened nor did they have a sign posted about their hours. I asked if she knew what time the counter opened. She didn’t, but after a small conversation I could clearly see that she was stressed. She was on her way to the states as well; however, she was an inexperienced traveler. We talked and got to know each other and it turns out that she was from South Africa. In fact not far from where I would like to go on safari.  

                                                                                                  Vacationing In Mexico


It’s funny people see women who travel solo as courageous or brave. Why don’t they see men this way?  Actually I see myself as neither, I’m simply doing what I love to do. As a matter of fact, I believe traveling solo has contributed to making me who I am today. I also believe that every woman should travel solo at least once in their life. Here’s my tips for women traveling alone:  

1. It Forces You To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – It requires you to face your fears. I was quite nervous the first time I traveled alone, but I pushed through and marched forward. As a result, I became quite confident in my abilities to reach a destination and enjoy myself. It is definitely a self-esteem boost.  

2. It Broadens Your Perspective  – Traveling allows you to see that that there is another part of the world besides the little piece of paradise that you experience daily.  It allows you to interact with  people outside of your circle and allows you to get to know them and a little about their daily life.  I have met wonderful people along my journey, some I have remained in touch with and some I’ve just had a pleasant conversation with. All remain memorable. 

3. It Allows You to Experience Different Cultures and Foods – One of the things that I love most is experiencing different cultures and treating myself to local dishes. Eating out by myself the first time was a little uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to take my Kindle. I noticed one lady who was traveling solo doodling. People find a way to occupy themselves. I’m comfortable enjoying my meals alone and not feeling like an outcast. I’ve had people invite me to join them, but I’ve found I like relaxing and eating alone. I’m not obligated to make small talk and can focus on reading or getting on line and retrieving emails etc. 

4. It Teaches You To Think About Your Safety – Safety should be a major concern when traveling solo. It forces you to listen to your intuition and to become aware of your surroundings. I always do my homework before traveling. I educate myself on taxi fares so I will have some idea of what I should be buying. If I will be driving, I make sure I arrive during the day so I can reach my destination before night fall. I make it a habit of checking my surroundings, and never venture too far my hotel at night. I always park under lights and always keep my doors locked when driving or in my hotel room. They make peep holes for a reason, I use it before opening the door for room service, maintenance etc.  

5. You Return Feeling Like You Can Conquer The World – Traveling solo makes you stronger as a person. It enhances your leadership, planning and organizational skills. It allows you to get in touch with what you like and do they things you want to do. You get to plan and set your own schedule and not feel obligated to anyone. It’s freeing and totally invigorating!   

We’ve come a long way baby. We have women who are executives in corporations or own their own businesses and they travel constantly. It seems that traveling for business is acceptable, but there’s still a stigma for a woman traveling alone for personal reasons. Females traveling solo don’t want to be looked at sideways. We want to feel invigorated, and we’re simply refusing to be stifled in any matter. Let us assert our independence.  


Virginia Beach Neptune Festival

 

Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, summer activities in Virginia Beach, Things To Do In Virginia, beach activities

 

If you’re looking for an event to attend with the family in the Hampton Roads area, check out the Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, VA. It’s a great way to spend the day with the family, soak up some sun and end the summer with a bang. 

The festival opens September 26, 2015 with a grand parade down Atlantic Avenue and closes October 4, 2015. You can stroll along the boardwalk from 18th – 29th street and find vendors under a sea of white canopies selling their wares and delicious foods. If you decide to attend, find the vendor selling the fish tacos. They are yummy in your tummy. They also sell veggie burgers, gyros, and a variety of other foods that you can expect at a festival.  There are also vendors selling arts, crafts and musicians to entertain you.  
 
What excites me about the festival is the artists who create these amazing sand sculptures. This year’s Neptune Festival will host 32 international sculptors who will flex their muscles and compete for the prize. Sculptors will bring their skills from the USA, Russia, Holland, Canada, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland and Singapore. Big money is up for grabs and big sculptures will rise on the sand. The precision that they use to make the sculptures is incredible. 

It is so much fun to walk along the beach and check out these beautiful works of art. To give you a taste of what you will see here’s a few pictures from prior festivals: 

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10 Tips To Do Beach Safety The Right Way

beach safety, children's beach safety tips



Kids often get excited and need reminders on being safe in and around the water. Although my granddaughter doesn’t like the ocean, she heads toward the water to fill her bucket for sand castles.  As a result, we need to have somebody watching the water and somebody watching her on the beach.  My grandson on the other hand will stay in the water until he shrivels up. We need someone to stay in the water with him until it’s time to take a break. 

Here are the rules that I’ve put together when we’re at the beach.  Our beach safety tips will keep your child out of harm’s way in and out of the water.  As parents it is our responsibility to keep our children safe:  [Read more…]

11 Reasons To Visit St. Thomas

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

I just finished a great vacation in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and I’m looking forward to going back next year. At least once a year I head to the Caribbean or some other destination on my bucket list, and return with a positive outlook and so relaxed. I found St. Thomas to be truly breathtaking from the condo that I rented for the week.  I don’t think I could have made a better selection if I had scouted out the place before boarding my flight. 
 
I thought I would share a few of my pictures from my balcony and list 11 Reasons Why You Should Visit: 

Tips On How To Pack For Vacation

vacations, packing for vacation, packing tips

Some people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. I agree, but so is packing for a vacation if you do it correctly. Previously, I tried to pack everything that I owned. For some insane reason, I really thought I needed 2 – 3 outfits per day and 10 pair of shoes to go along with all of the outfits.  Back in the day when I used to carry a garment bag, I had bruises on my shoulders because the bag was so heavy. You think I would have learned, but no I didn’t pack less.  I purchased new luggage and filled that to capacity too. Foolish right! I didn’t realize that I was foolish, I had the nerve to look at people at the airport and wonder how they traveled with so little. Now I realize that they were probably looking at me and wondering why I was dragging around my closet. 
 
Want to know what turned me around?  I’ll tell you. When I traveled for business, I usually drive myself to the airport and parked in the satellite parking lot. My company didn’t pay for valet or lots close to the airport. When you park in satellite parking, you have to take a shuttle to the terminal to catch your flight. I soon realized that the world isn’t full of gentlemen anymore who jump up to assist you, and I don’t have the strength and endurance that I once had. No sir, I was on my own getting it out of the car, on the shuttle, off the shuttle through the airport and back into my car. Not a pleasant task.   
 
Not only was it not a pleasant task, it was really unnecessary for me to take so much. Have you noticed that we’re the cause of the majority of our problems? The light bulb finally came on and I accepted that I didn’t need half of what I packed. I don’t know what took me so long, but guess what I’ve learned how to pack light and live with what I take. 
 
Here’s a few of my packing tips and tricks: 
1.  Make a list with 4 columns –  One column is for what I have to take like medicines, phone charger, toiletries, tickets, address for the hotel/resort and confirmation numbers. Another column is for things that I would like to take like my laptop, Kindle, camera, additional batteries etc. The third column is for activities that I have planned and the fourth column is for clothing, shoes and accessories based on what I have planned. I check out sights that I would like to see prior to my trip so I can plan accordingly.
 
2.  Assess your luggage – Most airlines will allow 2 bags on the plane, so I will have my tote with my laptop and another carry on. The tip here is to place your small purse into your tote. My purse is small, I cross it over my shoulder and it just holds the essentials: money, hairbrush, keys, lipstick, a credit card, drivers licence and money. If you’re checking your bag, remember the weight limit so you don’t incur additional expense.  
 
3. Decide on a color theme – I lay everything that I want to take based on the activities on my list. I cut everything down to half and place the excess back into my closet and drawers. I settle for pieces that I can mix and match and use the same accessories and shoes. I take a black skirt that I can wear with 2 different blouses. I also pack sundresses that I can wear casually or dress up with a necklace, scarf, and cute sandals or pumps. They’re light and don’t take up much space. Leggings are great too. You can wear them under a casual dress or skirt from the above group, pair with a shirt or wear with a tee to lounge around in for the day. Throw in a few pair of shorts and tees. You can pair these with sandals.  

4. Pack toiletries in zip lock bags –  Pack body wash, hand wipes, toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, tanning lotion etc. in gallon zip lock bags. Take extra bags with you too. I always have one handy for my wet loofah after showering the  morning on my return trip. It’s never dry enough to just toss in the luggage, and they’re great to use on the beach or by the pool.   

5.  Assess shoes –  I take a pair of black pumps to wear if I want to dress up, a pair of walking shoes for sight seeing, and a few pair of sandals that will go with my final selection of clothing.  

6. Neutral hat  – When I’m heading to the beach or a tropical location, I always take a neutral hat that’s made specifically for travel. I can pack it and not worry about it losing its shape or getting damaged. Make sure that it will give you UV protection as well.   

7. Pack neutral custom jewelry  – I pack my custom jewelry in zip-lock bags and than place it in one of my cosmetic bags. I love the zip lock bags, they allow me to see exactly what I have. With the exception of my rings, I do not take my gold jewelry with me.  

8. Take 2 swimsuits and a plastic tote – I place the tote on the bottom of my luggage. I use the plastic tote as my beach bag if I want to head to the beach or pool. I’ve been carrying this tote for years. It can withstand the sand and I can wash it off to repack on the return trip.  

9.  Pack a wrap or blanket  – I always pack a wrap or light weight blanket that I can wrap around my shoulders just in case it gets cold on the plane. I just fold it and place it back in the bag after I land. 

10.  Roll your clothes –  Roll your clothes instead of folding them. It give you more room and less wrinkles. Rolling your items in tissue paper keeps down the wrinkles too.    

11. Buy sturdy luggage  – Purchase or use luggage that can endure your flight.  Make sure your address and cell phone number are on your luggage tag.  I also tie a piece of red ribbon on the handle of my luggage. The ribbon helps me to identify it on the carousal if I check it. 


I hope these tips will help you pack more efficiently too. They certainly have helped me to keep it simple and light when I travel now. 

You may also like:  Traveling Solo As A Female

 

Hunt Club Farm Christmas Displays

 

 

Hunt Club Christmas Displays

The holiday season officially starts for my family Thanksgiving Day.  The tree goes up and we’re planning holiday activities.  My daughter lives in Virginia Beach, VA.  A mile down the road is Hunt Club Farm.  They sit on 23 acres and cater to children all year.  Each year we take the grandchildren to see the Christmas displays.  Their displays are amazing.  They are full of automated elves, soldiers, reindeer and everything else you can image.  It’s a child’s delight.  Here are some of the displays from last season: 

 

Virginia Beach Hunt Club farm

 

It’s a great place for photo opportunities as you can see.  My granddaughter is not into picture taking for some reason.  She doesn’t like to cooperate for the camera, so I’m hoping I can get a few good shots.  This is my grandson last year in front of their Christmas tree.  Amazing how much he has grown in a year.  Precious I might add. 

 

If the weather is nice we move on to the Petting Zoo.  This is Mr. Llama.  He was on display last year.  The great thing about the Petting Zoo is you never know what animals you will come across.  The have great displays there too.  Last year they had an adorable little building that housed Santa.  Xavier was a little shy, but he gave Santa his wish list.  

 

We end our trip at the fire pit roasting hot dogs and making S’mores.  They have a stand that sells the hot dogs and buns and everything needed for the S’mores.  The roasters come with the package.  You can pick up hot chocolate or apple cider to wash it down.  If you live in the Hampton Roads area, plan a trip.  It’s a great way to start the holiday season and makes great memories for the kids.  

 

 

Traveling With Toddlers


Traveling with your toddler can be difficult.  A mother and her 2 year old son were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, TX because her son was disruptive.  According to a Southwest Airline representative, the child was so disruptive passengers were unable to hear pre-flight instructions. The child repeated over and over, “Go Plane Go” and “I Want Daddy”.
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