Interview with Kerri Welsh

Meeting Kerri Welsh, a passionate solo traveller

Another solo travel junkie, another great story. Today Kerri Welsh, American, who started travelling on her own as a young woman, is telling us a bit more about herself and how her love for travelling started.

Here below my interview.

Kerri on her solo trips

1) Tell us a bit about yourself. What you do in life and how has your passion for travel started ?

Unlike many solo travelers (who I follow religiously), I work a full-time job in my city! I am a clinical coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital.  I grew up south of the City, where most of my family still resides.

I would say the ‘Travel Bug’ first began when I was 18. I was dating a guy in a touring band and would always fly out to see him (by myself) and travel in the tour bus with the band and crew. This went on for years, to the point where I had my ‘routine’ in place for flights, trains, buses and planes. Once I started, I never really stopped…..

Kerri in Paris

2) When did you make your first solo trip and what did you do on your own ?

I studied abroad in Australia without knowing anyone else in the program, but I don’t think that would qualify as my “first solo trip.” My first actual solo trip was probably my trip to South Africa. I volunteered in a Children’s Convalescent home with infants with HIV, TB and a number of different ailments. Although I volunteered 5 days a week, I was able to immerse myself in the culture and take part in endless exploration.

3) What was the motivation for you to go solo ?

I find that when I travel alone I meet the most fascinating people. I love learning everyone/everyone’s stories and giving them my undivided attention. Traveling with friends or family provides security and that’s great, but the experience is entirely different when you’re alone. I truly believe you have to travel alone to find yourself.

4) The biggest challenge, fear or weird situation you had to overcome in your solo travel trips ?

I made my way to Romania to volunteer in a Children’s Hospital last Spring. I was thrilled about the prospect to give back to a country that I had been so drawn to help when I was young. When I arrived, I found myself in a housing situation that was extremely unsafe. I knew that my safety was more important than my mission within Romania and I ended up leaving shortly after arriving. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, because on one end, I felt that I was abandoning the mission I had come to complete, on the other end, I had never been more scared for my safety. This is no reflection of Romania as a country. It was my own fault for not doing enough research about the group I had come to volunteer with. I learned a huge lesson on that trip.

Chainyourloveinvenice

5) When you choose your solo travel destinations what are your priorities?

My priorities always go – People, places (culture), adventure, FOOD! If I can check all of these off in one trip, I’ve done a great job.

6) Is there a place you would never go back alone ?

No, not necessarily. It’s all about doing your research and using your head.

7) The best memory or encounter you made in your solo travels ?

My best memory was cooking at an agriturismo in Tuscany. I met 2 girls who are still some of my closest friends to date. We dedicated one of our days to an “Italian spa” and the experience was something straight out of a comedy. I will never forget that day.

 

Kerri in Toscana

8) Any plans  for your next solo trip, what will be the purpose ?

I’ve been having a pretty tough year. I was diagnosed with a (benign) aggressive bone tumor in my femur right before Christmas, so I’ve been in and out of doctors for months. I’m having a major surgery in 2 weeks and it will take me a few months to fully heal. After an experience like THAT? My  next trip is going to be huge! South America? Asia? Back to Africa? The sky is truly the limit. Life’s too short…..

9)  What are the pros and cons of travelling solo as a woman ?

The pro’s? Meeting people, experiencing cultures, and most importantly gaining CONFIDENCE like you never thought imaginable! The cons? Err on the side of caution, always. I’ve found that I’m a bit secretive about traveling alone in many circumstances because I don’t want to put myself in an unsafe situation.

Kerri_Venice

10) What have you learn from from travelling alone over the years ?

I know myself better than I ever would have if I had never traveled alone. I can’t promote solo travel enough.

11) Do you have any tips that you would give to a woman who is willing to start travelling alone ?
1.) Do your research
2.) Use your common sense
3.) HAVE A BLAST

Thank you for your contribute, Kerri. I wish you a full recovery and all the best for your future travel plans!

KerriKerri is the Program Coordinator for a Speciality Clinic in a Pediatric Hospital in Boston.

You can follow her on her website: http://thekuriouskerri.com/ and on Twitter and Pinterest

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About the Author: A female solo traveller through her bizarre travel plans.... .

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  1. Ryan says:

    Great interview. Wishing you the best of luck with the surgery Kerri! I hope that once you get everything sorted and you’re back on your feet you’ll put work on hold and start traveling and living your life to the fullest! Life is short and travel is the best medicine. At least, in my eyes. If you ever need anything or have any travel questions, feel free to shoot me a message!

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