1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was the first country I set out to explore fully when I initially bought a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia after quitting my job and selling everything I had 3.5 years ago and I remember being so in awe of the feeling of freedom and the amazing temples I was seeing. It felt like life in high-definition.
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
Gosh there are a lot of answers to this. I’d love to buy a Land Rover and drive it through Southern Africa, take a car through China, visit Antarctica, and pick up hitchhikers as I take an RV through New Zealand. All of these things will come to fruition eventually but it’s not a matter of resources or money, but rather time.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
Quit my job and travel! I think the hardest part of traveling solo, especially as a woman, is getting over the fear and dealing with naysayers. I wrote a solo female travel guidebook now that I have the benefit of over three years of experience because I know that part is the hardest and I want other women to know it’s possible and it doesn’t have to be scary.
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
Usually Google Maps and a currency converter. I want to always know what the current exchange rate is.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
The United States, actually! I find that there are a lot of misconceptions about the US and so many people have an opinion about it without ever having been there. Unfortunately I encounter a lot of anti-Americanism when I travel but it’s never from people who have actually been to the States. Almost everyone I meet who has spent a significant amount of time there comes out of it really loving the people and the place. We’re friendly!
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Never think that you’re better than anyone else, from my Aunt. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to excel at everything that you do, but rather to remember that absolutely everyone is equal regardless of racial, educational, or religious background. I think that kind of egalitarian mindset is essential to immersive travel.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
Constantly. Right now I’m hitchhiking the Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia to the most remote part of South America, and the locals who pick me up are such amazing, kind-hearted people. People think hitchhiking is dangerous but in reality it’s the best way to experience humanity at its kindest.
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
My Grandmother. She traveled the world too and her photos and stories always inspired me. Last year my mother and I followed one of her old journals through Europe. It was like she was still with us in a way.
9.) I travel because….
I travel because I’m addicted to newness. The new friendships, spices, aromas, handshakes, smiles, words for ‘hello’, waterfalls, glaciers, the way that rainbows look the same everywhere in the world but the views from a hiking trail almost never do, and the possibility that there’s always more out there is what keeps me going. I don’t think the novelty will ever wear off.
Kristin Addis is a former investment banker who sold all of her belongings and bid California goodbye in favor of traveling solo all over the world while searching for off-the-beaten-path adventures. There’s almost nothing she won’t try and almost nowhere she won’t explore. You can find more of her musings at Be My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.
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