Travelita Interview Jodie Hopkins


1. Okay, Miss Jodie, what was the specific incident that got you to this interview?

            I have just recently released my new book, Journey for One: A Guide to Gaining the Courage and Skills to Travel Solo.  The book is a heartfelt opportunity to share what I have learned over my 47 years of solo travel.  I was a teacher for 40 years and felt like I had the essential understanding of the challenges and concerns faced by those thinking of traveling alone and the teaching skills to be able to present it in a way that I knew would lead to new skills and increased self-confidence for others.  As I was researching my book, I began to look for every possible channel for reaching out to the solo traveler community, especially those travelers who had not yet taken that big step of their first solo journey.  One day, while running through Facebook, I ran across the Travelita group posting and thought we were a perfect match.  I contacted Tina and we quickly connected and I agreed to this interview.

2. What has earned you the right to be an authority on this topic?

            I jokingly say that my first solo journey was when I was 5 years old and I ran away from home with nothing more than a hobo stick.  It was a stick with a red bandana at the end that was filled with cookies, an apple, and a few other tidbits for survival.  That journey lasted as long as the snacks held out.  

            In truth, I started traveling solo, meaning without my family, at the age of 15.  I was a Spanish student who went on school study trips to Mexico for many summers.  What other people might call solo travel, I was 32 years old and my boss sent me on a business trip to St. Louis, Missouri.  I was terrified.  In order to try and overcome my fears, I spent 3 weeks trying out the skills I knew I would need to know in order to be comfortable traveling alone.  I took myself out to dinner alone. I visited places in my own city that I had not seen before on my own.  I then took a big leap to spend the night in a hotel alone by going to a lakeside resort about an hour from my home.  By the time I left for St. Louis, I felt much better prepared, still a bit scared, but a lot more confident that I could, indeed, do this.

            After a successful trip to St. Louis, I graduated to trips to Europe, Latin America, and Japan.  After many years of teaching, I decided it was time for an adventure and ended up teaching English and Special Needs at a private international school in Vienna, Austria. I moved 7 thousand miles away from home, on my own, knowing no one, and not speaking a word of German.  My intention was to stay for 2 years just for fun. In 2018, I left Austria after 11 beautiful years, to return to my home in the United States. 

            My years in Europe allowed me to travel to many countries, explore unfamiliar places and people, and get to know people who were kind enough to share themselves, their time, and their culture with me as I visited their homeland.  I have now visited 34 countries on 6 continents and I have no intention of stopping.  I am now focusing my time and travels on promoting and supporting the idea of solo travel as a wonderful and fulfilling option for travelers.

My great-grandmother once said that she was the richest woman in town.  This was, in fact, far from the truth.  Great Grandma said, “Oh, I know that others have more money in the bank than me, but my scrapbooks are thicker than theirs.”  This notion has become my motto.  I now have a sign in my living room that says, “She with the thickest scrapbook wins”. 

3. What is your brand, your topic exactly about?

            In my travels, I have had many, many people say to me that they could never travel alone.  It’s just too scary and that they wouldn’t know what to do.  I would give them tips and tricks about how to safely and enjoyably journey on their own.  My book, my mission, and my travels are all about encouragement, empowerment, and excitement.  I want to continue to grow as a traveler and to provide anything I can to those who want to go alone but just don’t know where to begin.  The title of my book, Journey for One, is a declaration.  Just as someone would confidently enter a restaurant and request a table for one, I encourage others to do the same with their travels.  I advocate for walking confidently and happily through their lives with a sense of self-empowerment and be quite comfortable going on a journey for one.

4. Why is it important?

            Society, historically, has put great importance on pairs, partners, groups, and the more the merrier.  We have somehow lost the reality that solo, alone, single, solitary, and independent are acceptable and valuable concepts as well.  I am strong in my desire to help society see solo travel as a gift.  It is valuable, exciting, self-reflective, empowering, and unbelievably meaningful.  If you can learn to live with those goals in mind and do it while traveling, I say that is incredibly important.

5. Now that I know what it is, now that I know why it’s important and relevant, how are you implementing this on your travels? I mean like, is there a process, that you follow when traveling? 

            I absolutely follow my own advice.  Since the book is written from my own experience, it would be dishonest to do otherwise.  I am a planner by nature.  I like to feel successful in my efforts to do anything.  Therefore, I really do practice what I preach.  The book lays out the processes of envisioning your journey, determining desires and things to leave out, setting travel goals, researching, dealing with fear, planning, and safety. I have gone on over 100 solo trips and can honestly say that by following my own advice, I have only met with misfortune once. I had my glasses stolen at a busy Guatemalan market. That’s an incredibly good record for that many trips. Have I had difficulties, mishaps, and frustrations? Absolutely yes.  Have they ruined my vacation? Absolutely no. Each and every one of those journeys was far more fun and memorable than the moment of challenge. I would be a terrible hypocrite were I to travel but ignore my own advice.

6. What if people took advantage of your tips and steps you are providing? What will happen, how will their travels change? 

            It is my sincere belief that pre-planning and being flexible are the two greatest tools that any traveler, especially a solo traveler, can use.  A good deal of my book deals with those exact topics.  It is my belief that a great deal of what happens on a journey has to do with your level of both preparedness and flexibility.  I suggest being as well prepared and as knowledgeable about your destination and activities as you can be, while at the same time, knowing that life can throw us a curve once in a while and our greatest hope is to be flexible and open to new opportunities. I tell people all the time that when we return from a trip and tell people about our journey, we never say “Oh, the plane landed on time, the hotel shower was functioning well, and the museum floors were particularly clean.” No. We excitedly and proudly announce that “The plane was 30 minutes late leaving the gate. The tour bus driver fell asleep and forgot to pick us up on time. We couldn’t find the concert that we wanted to attend, but we did spend the evening in a great little pub that had live music and we clapped and sang all night.” Let the mishaps happen. Plan for a good outcome but be flexible and open to the possibility of an even better one. This is the message I hope will stay with the people who will read my advice.

7. Now we would like to get just some general information about you and your travels: 

            I am currently a happily retired and single woman living in Denver, Colorado in the United States. I grew up in a family that traveled as often as possible. I was exposed to different people, cultures, beliefs, and locations by my very insightful parents. I have an extended family that understands, celebrates, and encourages my traveling and my tendency to be away for birthdays and other family functions.  I discovered in my early 20’s that many of my friends either could not afford, didn’t have the time, or had family obligations that would not allow them to travel with me.  If I was going to live out this wanderlust that my parents had encouraged, I was going to have to go on my own.  I admit it was a bit scary the first few times that it was a vacation rather than business travel, but each time I gathered my courage and made the trip, it made me more confident and in love with traveling on my own.  I still have a long list of travel destinations that I want to experience.  I want to visit Antarctica, my only continent left to visit. I have a wish to visit Mauritius, and a safari in Africa is on the agenda for this year.  Having said all that, I consider every day an adventure.  My mom taught me when I was young, that even trips to the laundromat can be an adventure. It all depends on how you look at it.

(if not answered before) – When did you start traveling? (Answered above)

– Do you remember how you felt when you traveled alone for the first time?

            I remember being very, very scared.  I sat on the airplane running through every possible disaster or trauma that I could think of. If some terrible event didn’t occur then I was sure that I would be stuck in a country where I didn’t speak the language so I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere or do anything because I wouldn’t be able to make myself understood well enough to get my needs met. In any case, my long-range vision for my chances of having a good time was pretty bleak.  Luckily, in the time since then, I have been able to change my outlook, improve my skills, and develop a much more positive long-range vision.

– How did you, or do you deal with fears?

            I don’t believe you get over the fear of doing something by not doing it. That only prolongs the agony.  There is a saying that says something like “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of the fear.”  When I first started traveling alone my go-to strategy was hiding in my room and crying when I was afraid.  After going on a few solo trips and learning that my “self-talk” was much more powerful than any other strategy I had, I now use it to my advantage. I have outlined, in my book, a strategy to deal with the fear that includes deep breaths, identifying the real problem, figuring out options, and making the best choices.  The secret to getting over fear is not giving in to it.

– Is there a place where you have been and you would definitely not recommend it for women on their own and why?

            I live in a big city.  There are nice parts of town, not-so-nice parts of town, and really bad parts of town.  I would definitely not recommend the really bad parts of town for women because despite whatever you may do to keep safe, there are too many factors that are out of your control.  You are at a disadvantage because you don’t know the culture, layout, or players in that part of town, The same goes for countries, continents, states, or regions.  Let’s take the middle east for example.  There are beautiful, friendly, and safe places in the middle east to go and be pretty safe.  Depending on your nationality, this may be a different place than it might be for someone else.  But, as an American right now, there are parts of the middle east that I know because of political, cultural, and economic reasons, are not safe for me.  Going on what I said before about being prepared and flexible, I advise everyone to do their homework.  Use websites like the U.S. Department of State and their Travel Advisories as a place to start.  Check with organizations like travel clubs, travel agents, embassies and other organizations that deal specifically with foreign travel to that country.  Your neighbor down the street who heard from somebody that their nephew went there and said it was okay is not a reliable source of information.  Another factor that many women don’t think to check is the cultural norms about women that exist in a country.  What may be acceptable on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, will definitely not be acceptable in Abu Dhabi.   Do your homework.  Be informed and be prepared.

– Do you still have this excitement, when you go for a trip?

            I certainly do.  A big part of the excitement of traveling for me is the research I do in making the decision about where to go and what to do.  The more I read and the more I hear or see about a place, the more excited I get.  Because I have been able to do some pretty incredible things after doing research, I am always eager to look for festivals, performances, holidays, events, and communities that are out of the scope of what a typical tourist would see.  I have been fortunate to be in India for Gandhi’s birthday, on a ship in the harbor on the night of the World Fireworks Competition in Montreal, and in Mexico for the celebration of el Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  The possibility of participating in a special event in the place I visit is what drives me and excites me about traveling.

– what are your top 5 destinations and why?

            1. Antarctica – It’s the only continent I haven’t seen yet. Now that I’m retired I can go since there are only limited times of the year that you can travel there.

            2. Russia – It has always been somewhere I have wanted to visit and after having so many Russian students in Vienna I am eager to go there and see and do all of the things they told me about.

            3. Israel – The history, culture, and people interest me.  To see those places and talk with the people who have spent their lives there is an opportunity I really want.

            4. Mauritius – During my teaching career, I taught about Mauritius and the intermingling of cultures there. I am fascinated to go and see those cultures and the lifestyle in action.

            5. The Maritime (Eastern) Provinces of Canada – This part of Canada is the only part I have not visited.  There are so many stories that come from that region and the movies and photos I have seen of that area are breathtaking. As a kid, I was a fan of Anne of Green Gables so it would be fun to go and see where that story took place.  I also love anywhere that has an ocean.

– The funniest story that happened to you when traveling?

            The first time I went to Europe, I took advantage of being there, and at the end of my organized tour, I rented a car and took a road trip to visit the hometown of my favorite Grandfather in Germany.  I didn’t speak any German so I relied heavily on “Follow the Leader” and gut instinct for knowing what to do in traffic situations.  One particular day in the beautiful German countryside, I found myself in an unexpected and fairly long line of cars going slowly. Not knowing what was going on or having any alternatives in mind, I just smiled and followed the cars.  The next thing I knew I was following the line into a huge, open field on a dirt path.  About then I was stopped by a young man who appeared to be taking tickets.  Tickets to what, I wondered. Well, it turns out that this was the weekend for some famous world championship bike race.  I got the message across that I wasn’t there for that and that I would just turn around and go back.  The nice young man just smiled and shook his head.  It seems nobody was allowed to go back the opposite direction until later in the day when the race was over.  This is when I followed my own advice.  I parked the car, took a few deep breaths, accepted the fact that I was going to spend this day in the unbelievably beautiful German mountains, and that I had no food or water with me.  Not long after parking, the family next to me had set up their little area with chairs, coolers, and flags.  We struck up a conversation and although they only had a little English and I now knew about 3 words of German, we spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and getting to know each other.  I cheered for the same rider they did, although I still have no idea what their relationship to him was, and had one of the most delightful days of companionship that I’ve ever had.  I laugh every time I think of that day.  I spent a day in a place I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know, eating and drinking things that were unfamiliar, while cheering for a guy I would never know.  It sounds odd but, to this day it is one of my very favorite travel days in my life.

8. Call to action – what do you want people to do? 

             Hahaha!  The honest answer is I want them to buy my book, but the deeper and truer answer is that I want them to gain the courage and skills they need to be happy solo travelers.  Whether they learn that from me or from someone else is unimportant.  We didn’t learn to ride a bicycle or cook or drive in one attempt.  It took a few tries.  We made mistakes, fell down, got back up again, and kept trying.  We had to stick with it long enough to learn from our mistakes, have success, and do it enough times that we found out we loved it.  Traveling solo is the greatest gift I ever gave myself and my hope is that I can share that incredible gift with others so that they, too, can love it as much as I do.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my passion and tell my stories.  Enjoy your journeys.

Travelita Interview Questions

From:  Jodie HopkinsWorld Traveler and Author of Journey for One:  A Guide to Gaining the Courage and Skills to Travel Solo


1. Okay, Miss Jodie, what was the specific incident that got you to this interview?

            I have just recently released my new book, Journey for One: A Guide to Gaining the Courage and Skills to Travel Solo.  The book is a heartfelt opportunity to share what I have learned over my 47 years of solo travel.  I was a teacher for 40 years and felt like I had the essential understanding of the challenges and concerns faced by those thinking of traveling alone and the teaching skills to be able to present it in a way that I knew would lead to new skills and increased self-confidence for others.  As I was researching my book, I began to look for every possible channel for reaching out to the solo traveler community, especially those travelers who had not yet taken that big step of their first solo journey.  One day, while running through Facebook, I ran across the Travelita group posting and thought we were a perfect match.  I contacted Tina and we quickly connected and I agreed to this interview.

2. What has earned you the right to be an authority on this topic?

            I jokingly say that my first solo journey was when I was 5 years old and I ran away from home with nothing more than a hobo stick.  It was a stick with a red bandana at the end that was filled with cookies, an apple, and a few other tidbits for survival.  That journey lasted as long as the snacks held out.  

            In truth, I started traveling solo, meaning without my family, at the age of 15.  I was a Spanish student who went on school study trips to Mexico for many summers.  What other people might call solo travel, I was 32 years old and my boss sent me on a business trip to St. Louis, Missouri.  I was terrified.  In order to try and overcome my fears, I spent 3 weeks trying out the skills I knew I would need to know in order to be comfortable traveling alone.  I took myself out to dinner alone. I visited places in my own city that I had not seen before on my own.  I then took a big leap to spend the night in a hotel alone by going to a lakeside resort about an hour from my home.  By the time I left for St. Louis, I felt much better prepared, still a bit scared, but a lot more confident that I could, indeed, do this.

            After a successful trip to St. Louis, I graduated to trips to Europe, Latin America, and Japan.  After many years of teaching, I decided it was time for an adventure and ended up teaching English and Special Needs at a private international school in Vienna, Austria. I moved 7 thousand miles away from home, on my own, knowing no one, and not speaking a word of German.  My intention was to stay for 2 years just for fun. In 2018, I left Austria after 11 beautiful years, to return to my home in the United States. 

            My years in Europe allowed me to travel to many countries, explore unfamiliar places and people, and get to know people who were kind enough to share themselves, their time, and their culture with me as I visited their homeland.  I have now visited 34 countries on 6 continents and I have no intention of stopping.  I am now focusing my time and travels on promoting and supporting the idea of solo travel as a wonderful and fulfilling option for travelers.

My great-grandmother once said that she was the richest woman in town.  This was, in fact, far from the truth.  Great Grandma said, “Oh, I know that others have more money in the bank than me, but my scrapbooks are thicker than theirs.”  This notion has become my motto.  I now have a sign in my living room that says, “She with the thickest scrapbook wins”. 

3. What is your brand, your topic exactly about?

            In my travels, I have had many, many people say to me that they could never travel alone.  It’s just too scary and that they wouldn’t know what to do.  I would give them tips and tricks about how to safely and enjoyably journey on their own.  My book, my mission, and my travels are all about encouragement, empowerment, and excitement.  I want to continue to grow as a traveler and to provide anything I can to those who want to go alone but just don’t know where to begin.  The title of my book, Journey for One, is a declaration.  Just as someone would confidently enter a restaurant and request a table for one, I encourage others to do the same with their travels.  I advocate for walking confidently and happily through their lives with a sense of self-empowerment and be quite comfortable going on a journey for one.

4. Why is it important?

            Society, historically, has put great importance on pairs, partners, groups, and the more the merrier.  We have somehow lost the reality that solo, alone, single, solitary, and independent are acceptable and valuable concepts as well.  I am strong in my desire to help society see solo travel as a gift.  It is valuable, exciting, self-reflective, empowering, and unbelievably meaningful.  If you can learn to live with those goals in mind and do it while traveling, I say that is incredibly important.

5. Now that I know what it is, now that I know why it’s important and relevant, how are you implementing this on your travels? I mean like, is there a process, that you follow when traveling? 

            I absolutely follow my own advice.  Since the book is written from my own experience, it would be dishonest to do otherwise.  I am a planner by nature.  I like to feel successful in my efforts to do anything.  Therefore, I really do practice what I preach.  The book lays out the processes of envisioning your journey, determining desires and things to leave out, setting travel goals, researching, dealing with fear, planning, and safety. I have gone on over 100 solo trips and can honestly say that by following my own advice, I have only met with misfortune once. I had my glasses stolen at a busy Guatemalan market. That’s an incredibly good record for that many trips. Have I had difficulties, mishaps, and frustrations? Absolutely yes.  Have they ruined my vacation? Absolutely no. Each and every one of those journeys was far more fun and memorable than the moment of challenge. I would be a terrible hypocrite were I to travel but ignore my own advice.

6. What if people took advantage of your tips and steps you are providing? What will happen, how will their travels change? 

            It is my sincere belief that pre-planning and being flexible are the two greatest tools that any traveler, especially a solo traveler, can use.  A good deal of my book deals with those exact topics.  It is my belief that a great deal of what happens on a journey has to do with your level of both preparedness and flexibility.  I suggest being as well prepared and as knowledgeable about your destination and activities as you can be, while at the same time, knowing that life can throw us a curve once in a while and our greatest hope is to be flexible and open to new opportunities. I tell people all the time that when we return from a trip and tell people about our journey, we never say “Oh, the plane landed on time, the hotel shower was functioning well, and the museum floors were particularly clean.” No. We excitedly and proudly announce that “The plane was 30 minutes late leaving the gate. The tour bus driver fell asleep and forgot to pick us up on time. We couldn’t find the concert that we wanted to attend, but we did spend the evening in a great little pub that had live music and we clapped and sang all night.” Let the mishaps happen. Plan for a good outcome but be flexible and open to the possibility of an even better one. This is the message I hope will stay with the people who will read my advice.

7. Now we would like to get just some general information about you and your travels: 

            I am currently a happily retired and single woman living in Denver, Colorado in the United States. I grew up in a family that traveled as often as possible. I was exposed to different people, cultures, beliefs, and locations by my very insightful parents. I have an extended family that understands, celebrates, and encourages my traveling and my tendency to be away for birthdays and other family functions.  I discovered in my early 20’s that many of my friends either could not afford, didn’t have the time, or had family obligations that would not allow them to travel with me.  If I was going to live out this wanderlust that my parents had encouraged, I was going to have to go on my own.  I admit it was a bit scary the first few times that it was a vacation rather than business travel, but each time I gathered my courage and made the trip, it made me more confident and in love with traveling on my own.  I still have a long list of travel destinations that I want to experience.  I want to visit Antarctica, my only continent left to visit. I have a wish to visit Mauritius, and a safari in Africa is on the agenda for this year.  Having said all that, I consider every day an adventure.  My mom taught me when I was young, that even trips to the laundromat can be an adventure. It all depends on how you look at it.

(if not answered before) – When did you start traveling? (Answered above)

– Do you remember how you felt when you traveled alone for the first time?

            I remember being very, very scared.  I sat on the airplane running through every possible disaster or trauma that I could think of. If some terrible event didn’t occur then I was sure that I would be stuck in a country where I didn’t speak the language so I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere or do anything because I wouldn’t be able to make myself understood well enough to get my needs met. In any case, my long-range vision for my chances of having a good time was pretty bleak.  Luckily, in the time since then, I have been able to change my outlook, improve my skills, and develop a much more positive long-range vision.

– How did you, or do you deal with fears?

            I don’t believe you get over the fear of doing something by not doing it. That only prolongs the agony.  There is a saying that says something like “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in spite of the fear.”  When I first started traveling alone my go-to strategy was hiding in my room and crying when I was afraid.  After going on a few solo trips and learning that my “self-talk” was much more powerful than any other strategy I had, I now use it to my advantage. I have outlined, in my book, a strategy to deal with the fear that includes deep breaths, identifying the real problem, figuring out options, and making the best choices.  The secret to getting over fear is not giving in to it.

– Is there a place where you have been and you would definitely not recommend it for women on their own and why?

            I live in a big city.  There are nice parts of town, not-so-nice parts of town, and really bad parts of town.  I would definitely not recommend the really bad parts of town for women because despite whatever you may do to keep safe, there are too many factors that are out of your control.  You are at a disadvantage because you don’t know the culture, layout, or players in that part of town, The same goes for countries, continents, states, or regions.  Let’s take the middle east for example.  There are beautiful, friendly, and safe places in the middle east to go and be pretty safe.  Depending on your nationality, this may be a different place than it might be for someone else.  But, as an American right now, there are parts of the middle east that I know because of political, cultural, and economic reasons, are not safe for me.  Going on what I said before about being prepared and flexible, I advise everyone to do their homework.  Use websites like the U.S. Department of State and their Travel Advisories as a place to start.  Check with organizations like travel clubs, travel agents, embassies and other organizations that deal specifically with foreign travel to that country.  Your neighbor down the street who heard from somebody that their nephew went there and said it was okay is not a reliable source of information.  Another factor that many women don’t think to check is the cultural norms about women that exist in a country.  What may be acceptable on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, will definitely not be acceptable in Abu Dhabi.   Do your homework.  Be informed and be prepared.

– Do you still have this excitement, when you go for a trip?

            I certainly do.  A big part of the excitement of traveling for me is the research I do in making the decision about where to go and what to do.  The more I read and the more I hear or see about a place, the more excited I get.  Because I have been able to do some pretty incredible things after doing research, I am always eager to look for festivals, performances, holidays, events, and communities that are out of the scope of what a typical tourist would see.  I have been fortunate to be in India for Gandhi’s birthday, on a ship in the harbor on the night of the World Fireworks Competition in Montreal, and in Mexico for the celebration of el Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  The possibility of participating in a special event in the place I visit is what drives me and excites me about traveling.

– what are your top 5 destinations and why?

            1. Antarctica – It’s the only continent I haven’t seen yet. Now that I’m retired I can go since there are only limited times of the year that you can travel there.

            2. Russia – It has always been somewhere I have wanted to visit and after having so many Russian students in Vienna I am eager to go there and see and do all of the things they told me about.

            3. Israel – The history, culture, and people interest me.  To see those places and talk with the people who have spent their lives there is an opportunity I really want.

            4. Mauritius – During my teaching career, I taught about Mauritius and the intermingling of cultures there. I am fascinated to go and see those cultures and the lifestyle in action.

            5. The Maritime (Eastern) Provinces of Canada – This part of Canada is the only part I have not visited.  There are so many stories that come from that region and the movies and photos I have seen of that area are breathtaking. As a kid, I was a fan of Anne of Green Gables so it would be fun to go and see where that story took place.  I also love anywhere that has an ocean.

– The funniest story that happened to you when traveling?

            The first time I went to Europe, I took advantage of being there, and at the end of my organized tour, I rented a car and took a road trip to visit the hometown of my favorite Grandfather in Germany.  I didn’t speak any German so I relied heavily on “Follow the Leader” and gut instinct for knowing what to do in traffic situations.  One particular day in the beautiful German countryside, I found myself in an unexpected and fairly long line of cars going slowly. Not knowing what was going on or having any alternatives in mind, I just smiled and followed the cars.  The next thing I knew I was following the line into a huge, open field on a dirt path.  About then I was stopped by a young man who appeared to be taking tickets.  Tickets to what, I wondered. Well, it turns out that this was the weekend for some famous world championship bike race.  I got the message across that I wasn’t there for that and that I would just turn around and go back.  The nice young man just smiled and shook his head.  It seems nobody was allowed to go back the opposite direction until later in the day when the race was over.  This is when I followed my own advice.  I parked the car, took a few deep breaths, accepted the fact that I was going to spend this day in the unbelievably beautiful German mountains, and that I had no food or water with me.  Not long after parking, the family next to me had set up their little area with chairs, coolers, and flags.  We struck up a conversation and although they only had a little English and I now knew about 3 words of German, we spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and getting to know each other.  I cheered for the same rider they did, although I still have no idea what their relationship to him was, and had one of the most delightful days of companionship that I’ve ever had.  I laugh every time I think of that day.  I spent a day in a place I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know, eating and drinking things that were unfamiliar, while cheering for a guy I would never know.  It sounds odd but, to this day it is one of my very favorite travel days in my life.

8. Call to action – what do you want people to do? 

             Hahaha!  The honest answer is I want them to buy my book, but the deeper and truer answer is that I want them to gain the courage and skills they need to be happy solo travelers.  Whether they learn that from me or from someone else is unimportant.  We didn’t learn to ride a bicycle or cook or drive in one attempt.  It took a few tries.  We made mistakes, fell down, got back up again, and kept trying.  We had to stick with it long enough to learn from our mistakes, have success, and do it enough times that we found out we loved it.  Traveling solo is the greatest gift I ever gave myself and my hope is that I can share that incredible gift with others so that they, too, can love it as much as I do.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my passion and tell my stories.  Enjoy your journeys.

Jodie HopkinsWorld Traveler and Author of Journey for One:  A Guide to Gaining the Courage and Skills to Travel Solo

Free your travels, be a Travelita! #travelita #iamatravelita

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