Balancing her day-job in health administration with being a proud mother of her pet rabbit, Charly, 30-year-old Ty considers herself a part-time traveller with an affinity for off-the-beaten-path adventures. From the Bay Area (with a stint in Japan), she’s trekked the corners of the earth; whether it’s riding camels in Morocco, soaking up the sun in Guadeloupe, or playing with elephants in Indonesia, Ty’s done it all. We had found each other on Instagram, and it quickly became one of my favourites. With a frankly striking feed full of rich, warm colours that embrace you like the sun during golden hour, her Instagram (and upcoming blog!) will welcome you into her world with portraits, landscapes, dizzying drone shots, inspirational quotes, and warm anecdotes on her travels.
I can help my readers with a lot of things, but I know nothing about female solo travel. Being a guy, I don’t think twice about solo travelling; if I’m able to go somewhere, I’ll buy one round-trip ticket with no hesitation. While writing about my penchant for solo travel, someone had pointed out that I didn’t write much, if anything about solo female travel. So, I put a link there for an interview on someone else’s blog. But, I don’t think that’s good enough. Plus, I’ve never done an interview on here, so why not! The first person I thought of was Ty, as I’ve been a fan of her page for a while, and I knew the answers she would give would match the quality of her own content.
1. Favourite Country – Japan
2. Favourite City – Portland
3. Dream Destination – Antartica
4. Favourite Travel Song/Album/Playlist/etc – Hera by Justin Nozuka. I always listen to this song and the album (Ulysses) when I want to relax on a flight.
5. Three Things You Can’t Travel Without – iPhone, Bose Headphones, Lavender Essential Oil
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you and which country do you come from/ call home?
My name is Ty and I am from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA.
2. What inspired you to start travelling/travelling solo?
I remember wanting to travel from an early age. My friends would return to school from summer break, with stories from their home countries, some of which included: Yemen, Mexico, El Salvador and the Philippines. I always felt left out because we could never afford to travel.
3. What would you tell women who want to travel solo but worry about their safety?
I would tell them to travel someplace close to home, maybe a few hours away and see how they like it. It’s important to do your research but most importantly, be confident when you’re travelling solo, as you’re less of a target that way. I also recommend staying in Hostels/Airbnbs as it’s not so lonely.
4. Which steps do you take to make sure you’re safe on your travels?
I always leave a travel itinerary with my mom, I check in with family/friends daily and I NEVER post my exact location on social media in real time (I.e, which restaurant I’m at or where I’m going). I like to keep pepper spray on me as well.
5. Have you been in a situation where you felt unsafe? What did you do?
Yes, I made the mistake of following a “merchant” on the beach in the Dominican Republic, to his “shop” down the beach. It was a pretty sketchy place, and I felt very uncomfortable when I entered an office to pay for my items (AND he closed the door behind him!!!). I remained calm and I left the shop unscathed but it easily could have taken a turn for the worse.
6. Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo? I only ever felt lonely for the first time myself in Budapest, in September 2018.
Not so much. I’m naturally an introvert, so being alone doesn’t bother me as much as it would an extrovert. When I feel lonely, I either book a guided tour, stay in a hostel as mentioned before or go to a coffee shop. I find being in the presence of others is enough to stave off feelings of loneliness.
7. What should every solo female traveller pack?
Tissues and hand sanitizer. I cannot count how many times I’ve had to use the restroom and there’s either no TP or bathroom attendants expect a tip for a few pieces. They’re also great for general hygiene so if you have to over pack one thing, I recommend lots of tissue packs!
8. I know you have your blog coming soon. What inspired you to start your Instagram/blogging?
I’ve always loved photography, I got my start in Black & White Photography during my Undergrad years. I started taking Instagram as a serious creative outlet during Graduate School. I had little time to do the things I loved since I spent most of my time studying. After taking a Marketing course, I learned how Instagram could also turn into a business if I worked really hard at it. I’m still learning, but I think launching a blog, could be the start of my brand. It’s a little daunting but I’m up for the challenge!
8. If you had to recommend a first destination (city, country, anything) for a solo female traveller, what would it be?
I’ve only travelled solo once this year, and it was to Portland, Oregon. It was such a fun hip city and was very solo-traveller friendly! If I had to pick a place abroad, I’d say Tokyo, Japan! It is such a beautiful, quirky city, but you’ll no doubt feel safe travelling solo. Just be sure to download the Google Translate app so you can decipher the Kanji characters!
I’ve been wanting to interview someone for a while, and I’m delighted in the fact that I got to do it on such a particular topic outside my range. Be sure to follow her on her Instagram and be on the lookout for her blog! Thank you Ty for speaking with me, and I hope one day we can meet in real life!