Lisa from Girl about the Globe Shares How She Organizes Her Bags When Solo Traveling

Girl About the Globe

I am Lisa, a forty-something divorcee who has changed her life and left everything for a life back on the road. I have a Journalism Degree and run a website called, Girl about the Globe, a travel resource site for solo female travellers, promoting conscious travel. My aim is to show that solo travel isn’t as scary as people think.

I’m from a small seaside town in the south of England but I’ve been travelling and living in different places since I was 21 years old and the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place is three years. I’ve now been lucky enough to have travelled to 113 countries and 73 of these solo. I’m currently in Barcelona but about to get back on the road.

I love dancing, learning about different cultures and just travelling. I’m a bit of an introvert and also experience some social anxiety so if I can travel the world solo then anyone can!

Girl About the Globe

How and why did you get into traveling?

Since the age of 21, I have been travelling and living abroad. I’ve always wanted to travel and made a collage of all the places I wanted to travel to when I was a teenager. I never went abroad with my family as we always had caravan holidays in the UK so the first time I even went on a place was at the age of 17 when I went to Spain with a friend. But my first solo trip was to France to work as a chalet girl and I missed home so much that I only lasted a week. Then I worked on a cruise ship and the fear and homesickness set in again and I lasted 2 months. I gradually built up my confidence until I was away for a year. I was so shy and unsure of myself back then but each time I came back to the UK, I knew that I should have stayed longer so I went away again. I set a bucket list and I’ve been travelling ever since. I stay in shape by walking and jogging when I travel.

How do you finance your travels?

I make a living from my blog. Before this I used to work as a freelance travel writer but it’s now such a competitive industry to get into. I travel on a budget and stay in hostels so I keep my travelling costs to a minimum. Saving money when you travel also seems to give the best adventures too. I am lucky enough to get press trips or complimentary stays so this definitely helps too.

Girl About the Globe

Why is traveling important for you?

Because travelling solo empowers me and gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I don’t get travelling with others. I see it as a voyage of personal discovery. When you’re solo, the only person you need to worry about making happy – is you. There’s no give and take and no compromise.

When you’re travelling solo you have so many more adventures and more interaction with people than you do as part of a group or a couple. Travelling gives me an education about the world. I learn about the country’s history and traditions and immerse myself within the local culture, and see the world in a completely different way to the image that’s portrayed.

Travelling solo is a voyage of personal discovery, and I really get to know myself inside out when I’m alone in the middle of nowhere with no one else except me to figure things out.

Girl About the Globe

How do you bring your things with you?

I travel with a pink backpack (of course!) to be true to my brand. The only decision I had to make was where can I buy a pink backpack. I also have a pink wheels suitcase and have started to travel with just hand luggage which is so much easier. My 60L Caribee backpack is ideal because it opens up completely so I can see what’s in it. It’s been to dozens of countries with me. I’m not a fan of the hiking backpacks which only open from the top. I like to see what I have in my bag.

How do you organize things in your bags?

Depending on where I travel to, I usually pack the clothes that I won’t need that much at the bottom (such as a fleece for example). I keep all my clothes as flat as possible then pack my underwear and socks to the side and my shoes at the end. In the smaller end I pack my toiletries and my first aid kit. Then carry any notebooks, my laptop and chargers in my day pack which is my hand luggage.

To have waterproof/water resistant bags are really important, especially when travelling on a boat and you need to protect your laptop or phone. In the past, I’ve had to use plastic bags as a temporary solution.

Girl About the Globe

How do your bags and gear hold up?

My Caribee backpack has been good to me over the years and I regularly travel with 15lbs on my back. The straps just need adjusting depending on the weight.

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

I always pack too many clothes so learning to pack less is definitely my lesson. My tip would be to pack enough for a week then wash them. I take a sarong which doubles up as a towel although most hostels now provide towels (some for a fee). And I’ve reduced my shoes to just flip flops, dancing shoes, and trainers.

What has been your best travel-related purchase below $100?

My sleep mask! I am such a light sleeper and staying in dorm rooms means that it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. Since wearing this I have slept so much better (along with good ear plugs too of course).

Girl About the Globe

What is your best advice for other travelers?

To be open when you travel and not expect things to go to plan. To listen to your intuition, slow down and not sweat the small stuff. To learn from other cultures and understand their way of life and realise that deep down we are all the same. Travel teaches you not to judge and be open to any experience, whether good or bad. It’s a never ending learning curve and every time you travel solo, you will learn something new about yourself. If you are thinking of travelling, just book the flight and take the first step!

Girl About the Globe

What will the future bring?

More solo travel and travel with friends too. I have a surfing holiday booked so am pushing my comfort zone and trying something which actually scares me. Hopefully, a press trip in the Caribbean as well as more European travel. I have my wanderlust back so am looking forward to getting back on the road for more adventures. I am also trekking the Sahara Desert in November to raise money for War Child.

As for Girl about the Globe, creating a larger community of conscious solo female travellers. Join here.

Visit Lisa on her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter


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One Comment

  1. Fun interview. It is nice to read stories about other travelers here.

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