Fearless Solo Travel: Backpacking Tips for the Ladies

solo female backpacker

Traveling solo can be daunting and dangerous, especially if you’re a woman. But it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do, especially at a time like this. They say that backpacking is the province of men, but that paradigm has been shaken for quite some time now, and more and more women are feeding their wanderlust to their heart’s desire. If you think about it, female vagabonds are the living, breathing proof that we can do anything, a striking contrast to what society’s perception of us: dependent and incapable. Nevertheless, safety is a priority when you travel …

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Meeting Borneo’s Enigmatic Orangutans

borneo orangutan

On a solo trip to Kota Kinabalu, I met Sarah, a middle-aged woman who dedicated her entire life to the conservation of orangutans. She’s no primatologist, nor does she see herself as an eco-warrior of some sort. Deeply fascinated, I asked, “What made you decide this is what you want to do?” I expected to hear something political or a heated discussion about poaching and the destructive palm oil industry. Instead, she answered, “One day, I took a tour to a wildlife conservancy in Kubah National Park, and happened upon a motherless baby orangutan nibbling on a leaf. I felt …

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Discovering India on the Railways

India-evening-bazaar

There’s no other train system in the world that speaks so much about a country than that of India’s. It covers a staggering 71,000 miles of tracks and 41, 000 miles of network weaving across vast lands. While the Indian Railway is a legacy of the British Raj, its glory lies on the diverse topography it traverses and the 8.4 billion people it carries every year. These figures probably don’t mean anything at first glance. But these tracks form a fundamental part of discovering India, entrancing the likes of Paul Theroux and Wes Anderson. It was the Nizamuddin Duronto Express …

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Belonging Everywhere, To Everyone

Winter was driving on and snow was on the horizon as I fumbled my way out of Portland International Airport. This was a trip I wasn’t particularly keen on for a couple of reasons. One, I haven’t been chasing the sun only to freeze up, and two, I haven’t been home in a while. I met my sister Joanne in the waiting area and I kissed her like no time had passed since we last saw each other. We spent the night at her apartment downtown. We had dinner in her tiny balcony and watched night-shining clouds hang over Mt. …

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