Details on the 3 HUGE trips I am taking in the last half of 2019! How I’m preparing, how I’ve budgeted, and why I’m choosing to travel solo. Follow me on my adventures around the world!
Alternate title: Kaila’s Solo Adventures in 2019
After my travel mishap in February*, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can to ensure the 3 other trips I have planned for this year go off without a hitch.
*Long story short: I was supposed to go on a 5-day mountain climbing trip in Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), but due to the cancellation of my FIRST flight out of Buffalo, I missed all connecting flights and the earliest I would have been able to get to my final destination would have been 2 days AFTER my group had already started their ascent up the mountain.
Needless to say, that travel SNAFU was incredibly frustrating in terms of the amount of time, money, and energy that went into preparing for the trip. But I am hoping that everything else I have planned this year will redeem my traveling record. I will say that I do have a bit of a Murphy’s Law curse on me when it comes to travel. Anything that can go wrong usually does. We’re talking: flight delays, flights cancellations, waiting on tarmac for hours, sleeping in airports, being rerouted, etc.
Fingers crossed that the rest of my travel for 2019 is issue free! Here’s what I have on deck….
Spain | Trekking on the Camino from Leon to Santiago | 18 days
In less than a week I will be driving to Toronto, flying to Madrid, and then starting my 200+ mile trek from Leon to Santiago on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Camino here’s a little background…
The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago in north-west Spain. On a yearly basis, hundreds of thousands of people of walk the Camino de Santiago either by themselves or with groups….each for their own personal reasons. There are more than 8 different “ways” or routes, but the most popular is Camino Frances or The French Way.
I would LOVE to do the full Camino at some point, but since I can’t take that much time off work, I will be completing the last 200 miles from Leon to Santiago.
I’ll be walking by myself with a pack and staying in hostels at night. Then at the end of the trip, I will take a train back from Santiago to Madrid and fly home!
I am SO excited to unplug and having no other responsibilities except being with and enjoying nature. This will be my longest “break” from work EVER.
I booked my trip through Follow the Camino if you’re interested. They’ve been super helpful and responsive the entire planning process!
Yosemite | Backpacking | 5 days
Since I wasn’t able to do a proper backpacking trip in February I wanted to make sure I got one in at some point this year and I figured it would be better to stay stateside than to chance my luck going a long ways away again.
In my research, I decided that I’ve always wanted to visit Yosemite and Lasting Adventures Guide Service had a myriad trips for me to choose from to fit my wants and needs!
I am really hoping to go on the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne trip. Here’s what it entails…
The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is a true gem in a less-visited area of Yosemite. The pure waters of the Tuolumne River, fed by Sierra snow melt, run wild and scenic through the Muir Gorge in the central region of Yosemite National Park. In this 3,000 foot deep canyon you are treated to everything from rushing cascades to deep tranquil pools that are perfect for a refreshing and invigorating soak. This is truly a trip for water lovers as you are never far from the river. You end this trip by departing the Tuolumne River and climbing to May Lake with an option to summit Mount Hoffman at 10,850’.
This trip is a “guide’s TOP PICK” and I think you can see why. But the only issue is that, I am the only one signed up for this trip right now. So if no one signs up in the next 2 weeks or so I’ll be going on my back up trip which already has some backpackers confirmed. Sign up if you’re interested!! Would love to meet a Healthy Helper reader in such an awesome way.
My number 2 choice is just as awesome though….Yosemite Icons. Basically all the best sights and scenes Yosemite has to offer condensed into a 5-day trip! Here are the details…
For the hiker wanting to see it all, the Yosemite Icons trip offers stunning views of Yosemite’s most famous landmarks from rarely seen perspectives. Experience the adrenaline rush of peering over the sheer 3,000 foot face of El Capitan –the mecca of rock climbers around the world. Feel the mist of the roaring Yosemite Falls as you stand over the water plunging nearly 1500 feet to the pool below making it one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls in the world. Have lunch while gazing down on the granite bubble North Dome and relax while watching the sunset on the valley from Eagle Peak. This is a bucket list backpacking trip that lets you get up close and personal with scenes most people only see on postcards in the gift shop.
I’ll be super happy either way and am SO excited to finally cross Yosemite off my travel bucket list!
Kauai, Hawaii | Hiking, Sightseeing, Skydiving, Exploring | 14 days
I’ve been wanting to get to Hawaii for years and after seeing some friends visit in the past year or so, I was experiencing some MAJOR FOMO. There is just something so magical about the lush scenery and landscape.
I don’t have anything set in stone for this trip. Just my flights booked and the AirBnB I’ll be staying in! Other than that I am thinking….lots of hiking, exploring, picture-taking, nature walks, and maybe even a surfing lesson. If any of you are local to Kauai, I would LOVE to meet up!
A few questions I usually get asked…
How do I budget/pay for these trips?
A few notes about my lifestyle…
-I have always been a saver and I’ve been working since I was 7 years old (acting professionally) so I’ve been able to build up quite the savings over the years,
-I sold my car. So that is a major expense I don’t have to worry about.
-I live below my means and don’t make extravagant purchases.
-Travel is a priority of mine, so I make sure to budget for it. Some people like cars, some people like jewelry, some people like designer clothes….I like experiences.
-I work hard. Travel is not cheap, no matter how many deals you get. You have to work hard and make enough of a living to pay for essentials and extras (if you want them!) like travel.
-I have no debt. I got a full ride to college and not having any student loan debt had definitely helped me remain financially stable.
-I look for deals CONSTANTLY, plan trips during unpopular times of the year, use price scanner sites for flights, and stay in AirBnBs as opposed to fancy hotels.
Why do I travel alone?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE going on vacation with friends and family. But I also love being by myself and getting to decide every aspect of my trip. I am the type of traveler that likes to GO GO GO. I want to see as much as I can and do as much as I can with the time I have. Sitting on a beach or laying by a pool is of NO interest to me. And if that’s your thing, that’s totally fine! But traveling by myself allows me to be on no one else’s schedule and makes it so I don’t feel like I am forcing people to do things they don’t want to do.
Plus, traveling on my own has afforded me the opportunity to learn so much about myself, be comfortable being on my own, grow as a person, and have some AMAZING experiences. Plus, it forces you to get out of your comfort zone, ask other people for help, and meet other solo travelers!
Why is traveling important to me?
This quote pretty much sums it up…
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo
I’ll be using the hashtag #HealthyHelperTravels on Instagram (pretty much the only place I’ll be posting while on these trips since I am really looking forward to DISCONNECTING) to share my travels, so definitely follow me there and check the hashtag for updates!
I can’t wait to share my adventures with you in real-time and in recaps here on the blog when I return home.
Have you been to any of the places I am traveling to?
What are your travel plans for the rest of the year?
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