About Vivian

Since my first trip abroad in kindergarten, I’ve developed an oversized appetite for adventure, collecting stories, and a lot of fruit.

 

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My hunger has since turned into an addiction. At any given moment, I need to be exploring the corners of the world. I crave to try new things. I see it as the best way to use my limited time and energy in this one life I have. It is extremely stressful to consider list of destinations is forever growing, not shrinking.

 

 

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How can I keep living my life when I haven’t finished seeing how others live theirs?

 

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I was lucky enough to have parents that cared. It was important to them that my sister and I were exposed to travel from a young age. Still, you grow up.

 

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It was time to go solo. No more waiting for someone to help me plan and keep me safe. I can watch out for myself. Because staying put would be the biggest harm inflicted on my well-being anyway.

In 2015, I booked a flight to Nairobi, Kenya. After a great month of pushing my comfort zone and learning about myself, I started taking cheap flights to Central and South America on any holiday I could get my hands on. Two days in El Salvador. Four days in Nicaragua. Guatemala. Three days hitchhiking Costa Rica.

I had become well aware that serious backpacking wasn’t a hobby, it was a lifestyle. I tried this out for 108 days the summer after my sophomore year, taking myself from coast to coast on the South American continent. After my junior year I spent 111 days eating my way through Southeast Asia. I was hooked.

Today, I am 22 years old. I am a full-time university student finishing my last semester of nutritional sciences. But on the inside, I’m still the little girl who cares too much about her daily scoop of ice cream. That shit is sacred. I work hard during the school term and hold on tight to my merit scholarships, even if it means the place I rent from has rats and roaches.

 

 

I want nothing more than to stay true to myself and my dreams. I want to walk the earth.

So I left. I saw the opportunity in February 2018, strapped on my 36L Osprey, and threw myself into the unknown. I have no itinerary or commitments, just my scholarship savings. I am aiming for six years, but the time frame of my nomadism is truly open-ended.

Welcome to my personal experiment to discover how my dream trip will impact who I am and what I do with my life. Around the world. No pauses to catch my breath at home. With no more time constraints and just a few assignments left in my undergraduate classes, I finally feel free.

 

 

I figured I should start with trekking Patagonia before it gets too cold this season. My career plans will simply have to be patient—glaciers are melting, Spanish needs practicing. When my wallet is empty and my heart is full, I will return to the United States, complete my medical education, and work with Doctors Without Borders.

My travels are far from glamorous. They are raw and real. I live on a shoestring budget. Day or night, I am constantly orienting myself to some foreign transportation system. I must always watch for scams. There is nothing to envy about hand washing the same three shirts for months on end, or forever itching fresh bug bites as I melt into my own sweat.

 

 

And with the challenges and uncertainties all solo female travelers face, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is me throwing away my fears so that I may see for myself. Think for myself. This is me searching for the immense amounts of love that exist in all eight billion of us. This is me learning as much about Vivian as I do about what it means to be alive.

 

2 comments on “About

  • Hello Vivian! I find your story very inspiring. How did you get the funds to afford to travel like this? As a student myself, I am interested in getting back into traveling but I constantly find a lack of money to be my drawback. Thank you Vivian!

    • Kathryn,

      Thanks for your kind words! I travel on savings from my financial aid, but as I would say to anyone, start with Workaway or HelpX. Depending on where you are, flights to Central America can be very cheap, and taking a couple weeks abroad will actually save you money because you have to spend money to live at home anyway. Most of my travel friends are broke or close to broke. Remember, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way 🙂

      Vivian

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