So here we are. I'm out here on my own, literally and figuratively.
For a while I had wanted to create something that encapsulated the things I loved, the things that made me me, and something that was all mine, but nothing really excited me. None of the ideas that popped into my head seemed worth the effort of execution. Or maybe it was the wrong place, wrong time, wrong idea.
Anyway, after a particularly mediocre day in the office, while daydreaming about far flung places on my very average commute home, Solo, Skint & Skyward sparked in my brain. I'll go out on a limb to possibly put it down to the BA plane flying over Clapham Junction, at sunset, a week before payday and a week after returning from LA. I guess it'll be one of life's little mysteries.
Happily solo, perpetually skint, and forever looking skyward.
My aim for this project is to share my experiences as a solo female traveler and hope it helps give other people the confidence to at least try. I promise you won't look back. I want to share the unusual spots and stumble-upons, tips, tricks and helpful hints on getting along alone at home or abroad.
For me, going solo is a mindset to go out and do as opposed to exclusively going out and about alone. There's so much in this big, badass and beautiful world, don't let the lack of a plus one hold you back.
I guess sharing a bit about me will help tell you more about Solo, Skint & Skyward (SS&S because I'm lazy like that). My name is Jess; I'm a Welsh Londoner, Aquarius, dorky, animal loving, socially awkward, solo female hodophile.
Much to the joy of my parents, I've always been incredibly independent. This determination to live relatively non-linearly has seen me go down some peculiar paths. I'm more than confident there's more of that to come and I for one can't wait to see what's next.
Keeping on top of the beautiful corners of the UK aside, I've visited 27 countries so far. The majority being over the last 6 years where digging into Europe, Far & South East Asia, and the Americas have dominated my travels but Ecuador & The Galapagos, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are firmly on the list.
Road trips and summer camp took the front seat during university and after receiving my physics degree (I'm not joking) the first thing I did was find a job combining the things I loved the most - new horizons and horses.
After nearly accepting a post at a ranch in Southern California I actually ended up moving to Dubai to join the Jebel Ali Equestrian Club family. I can't say my parents were thrilled I was packing up to move to the Middle East essentially solo but they supported me nonetheless. I guess thinking I was only going to be away for 6 months helped. Breaking the news I wasn't coming home for Christmas definitely didn't.
Two years, many new friends, and a bank of exceptional memories later, I returned to the UK with London in my sights.
I got me back.
There is nothing in the world that makes you grow like travelling - giving your friends severe FOMO via Instagram is merely a delightful bonus - and while stepping out by myself has had it's "Oh Shit" and "I don't wanna, can't make me leave the house" moments, especially over the last year, it would be an understatement to say it's the best thing I ever did. Why? Because I got me back.
Sure dining out alone is daunting, that first solo sashay through airport security is pretty scary ("am I even in the right airport?" has definitely crossed my mind at least once before), and figuring out how to fill your days when you don't know a soul or the neighbourhood can be a hurdle. Sometimes even getting out of the house takes more of a hefty shove than gentle nudge. Trust me I've been there, done that and got the t-shirt.
But the fact remains that now I'm happily solo, perpetually skint, and forever looking skyward. So yeah, let's do this.
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