Even though this blog began with stories about our travel adventures as a couple, more often than not, I’ve traveled to dozens of destinations as a solo woman.
I have written about the subject of solo travel quite often on this blog — with posts like Top 10 Destinations for Solo Female Travelers, Travel Tips for the Solo Adventurer, and Things I’ve Learned from Traveling Solo — but as a photographer at heart, I wanted to show the beauty of solo travel with a fun series of artistic images.
The inspiration behind this photo series began with a Disney-themed party hosted by a friend of ours. At her request, I would be Cinderella for the evening. I found a gorgeous costume online at a huge discount.
For anybody who knows me, I am not the type to spend extravagant amounts of money on costumes — I rarely even dress up for Halloween — but this dress was too inexpensive to pass up.
I wore the costume to the party and felt like a princess the entire night. I’m not kidding; I wish every woman could wear a Cinderella costume once in her life.
As someone who refuses to spend money on something I’m only going to use once, I started fantasizing about wearing this costume again. That’s when the idea for this series of photos was brought to light.
Every time I cram this gigantic dress into my suitcase or drag it along on a long hike, I tell myself I’m crazy. In fact, I’m sure my fellow travelers who have witnessed my self portraits in this dress (often in the snow) have wondered about my sanity. But once I see the resulting photos from each location, those hours of lugging around my heavy suitcase are easily forgotten.
I often receive emails from both women and men about traveling solo and whether or not it’s scary. Friends and strangers have thrown around the word fearless simply because I choose to hop on a plane alone. However, I am far from fearless.
There are plenty of times I feel a twinge of anxiety as I pack for a solo trip — even after countless times of doing so. What keeps me from canceling my flights are the memories of all of the special moments I’ve spent alone in a foreign country (like the week I spent in Wales) and the infinite kindness of strangers I’ve met along the way.
Pushing past those initial fears can lead to incredible things. There is a beauty in facing your fears and that is what I hope to convey with these images.
I hope this series of photographs will somehow encourage women (and men!) to embrace their confidence, go explore, and view the world as a magical place.
Encouraging people to travel is important to me because I think it teaches us that we are all the same. People around the world may have different life experiences, speak another language, or practice a different religion, but the ways in which we similar are far greater than the ways in which we are diverse.
Traveling teaches us to appreciate other cultures and it shows us that the world is not as scary as we have been lead to believe.
I’ll be adding photos to this series throughout the year and sharing them here and on Instagram – so make sure to follow along. I have some exciting travel plans coming up and I’m definitely taking Cinderella along for the ride!