About Vivian Since my first trip abroad in kindergarten, I’ve developed an oversized appetite for adventure, collecting stories, and a lot of fruit. This 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. How can I keep living my life when I haven’t finished seeing how others live theirs? I was lucky enough to have parents that cared. It was important to them that my sister and I were exposed from a young age. Still, you grow up. 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. 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. I was hooked. Today I am 21 years old. I am a full-time university student studying nutrition and pre-medicine. 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 occasionally has rats. I want nothing more than to stay true to myself and my dreams. I want to walk the earth. When I see an opportunity, I strap on my backpack and throw myself into the unknown. Yet contrary to popular belief, my way is far from glamorous. I keep 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 smelly shirts all month, 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 I can see for myself. This is me learning as much about me as I do about my surroundings. This is Vivian, doing what she needs to do, in order to consider herself alive.