I was pretty lucky to be born into a family who love – and prioritise – travel. While I didn’t go on my first overseas holiday until I was fourteen, I grew up with family members constantly heading overseas and therefore always hearing stories of their travels. My parents even waited twelve years after meeting to have kids so that they would be able to travel as much as possible before fully settling down.
My favourite travel inspiration, however, was always my paternal grandmother. She passed away a year ago, but I grew up listening to her discuss all of her adventures – including ten years of solo travel around the world after my grandfather died. While she’s not the only solo traveler in my family (two of my aunts are also solo travelers, as are three of my cousins – you could say it’s in our blood!), she’s always been my biggest inspiration to follow my travel dreams.
While she was literal #solotravelgoals, my favourite trip to hear about was always the trip she took to Antarctica in her seventies. While she spent almost fifty years married to my grandfather (and traveled significantly with him in that time), she didn’t let her life stop after he got sick and passed away. Instead, she jumped back into her trips and headed to the edge of the world, and not even for the ‘gram!
Whenever somebody asks me why I don’t wait for friends to be available to travel with me, I always think of my grandma. Of course, she did her fair share of group travel, but it was always the adventures she set out on alone that really inspired me. Life is too short to not jump in to every opportunity you have for travel, even if that means setting out by yourself into the unknown.
While so far my solo trips are a lot more “major cities in comfort” and a lot less “adventuring to Antarctica”, I have a lot of big travel dreams to follow, and big shoes to fill. I hope my journeys will make my grandmother proud.