Welcome to Solo Travelz

Why Travel Solo?

Travelling solo allows a person to discover their strengths and to challenge themselves.  Solo travel is a special opportunity to demonstrate that you are capable of making decisions for yourself, able to keep yourself safe and can find joy in this time alone.  

Travelling on your own is empowering and demonstrates that you are capable of much more than you could ever imagine.

What is my Vision for Solo Travelz? 

Our vision is to inspire and support travellers who want to discover the experience of travelling solo Building confidence through identifying your solo travel intention, purpose, planning with safety in mind and of course, discovering incredible destinations along the way.

The foundation of Solo Travelz is based on three pillars:  

  1. Your travel intention and objectives
  2. Travel planning with your safety in mind
  3. Personal choices made by you

These pillars don’t sound like the glamourous world of travel that you see in social media but they are the foundations of a unique and special solo travel journey that is based on your ideas, thoughts and dreams.

Who am I? 

I’m a traveller, a photographer, a mom, on my own and an accountant.  

I’m a curious solo traveller, a collector of experiences and photographer. I’m most alive when I’m exploring, taking memorable photos, discovering new experiences and meeting people along the way. I have travelled to almost 30 countries and to many of them more than once. My preferred way to travel is solo.   

My Story – The Long Version

My first trip outside Canada was with my mom when I was twelve and my first solo trip was to Norway when I was sixteen. I spent the summer learning all things Norwegian at a summer camp and then I spent four weeks with my grandfather in Oslo.  I was so lucky to have this time with him because he passed away six months later

I believe that my Norwegian heritage aka, Viking spirit has given me a strong sense of adventure and longing for travel. Travel is something that I’ve always dreamed of and has been a huge part of my life especially over the past 20 years.  I was divorced and raising my daughter, I worked hard and spent my money on travel.  Travelling became an escape for me during the transitional times of my life.   

Travelling solo has become a part of who I am – Nora

2015 was the year that my life fell apart, professionally and personally and I turned to travel to bring my life back together.  Someone once said to me that I should be travelling to something rather than travelling to get away.  Those words stuck with me and as 2015 continued, I knew I needed to find that “something” to travel towards.  The decision was made and I was going to London to attend the London School of Photography for seven weeks.  I registered and paid for the program, booked an Airbnb for nine weeks and I was set to go.

The London School of Photography didn’t happen but something better did.  I was introduced to an old school master photographer, David Montgomery and I spent time every week with David, learning the art of photography and to basically, “just take the picture and get the image”.  I used London as my home base and travelled to Venice for Carnival, to Switzerland to visit a dear friend, to Norway to visit family and to take an 11 day sea voyage on the Hurtigruten along the coast of Norway.

Eventually, I returned home and the challenges of my life still existed but I had a new dream. I was going to be a photographer.  That’s an amazing dream and one that I will work towards for many years to come.

In 2016, I continued to be unemployed and the economy and job market here in Calgary was impossible.  For the first time in my life, I was dealing with ageism in my career and I was dealing with financial issues.  Now what?  I went back to school, I finished my university degree, took classes in Photoshop from a graphic arts perspective, photography and started on my social media certificate. 

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.Tip toe if you must but take the step – Naeem Callaway

At the end of 2016, I hired a social media coach to support me while I worked towards becoming a “Solo Travel Influencer” through Instagram and developing my new career.  I was writing posts, sharing some amazing photos of incredible destinations (check out @solotravelz on Instagram to see my work), I was following and being followed and have maintained high engagement rates.  Believe it or not, I have met an incredible number of amazing people through Instagram both in person and through engaging on each other’s posts.

My coach and I planned a great Instagram campaign for spring 2017.  I was going to travel Europe for two months, the plan was to travel to at least 10 countries, 20+ cities and I would post and engage along the way and build my Instagram to 10,000 followers.  At 10,000 followers, you start to be recognized as an Influencer. The social media plan didn’t quite go as planned, shortly before I left, I was shadow banned by Instagram which meant that no one new would actually see my posts.  That was somewhat frustrating and disappointing but I went on an amazing two month solo journey across Europe and lived the travel dream that I had dreamed of for decades.

In June, I returned home and reality was waiting for me.  My finances, separation and job prospects were all looking dismal.  I needed to get back to earning an income and set aside the travel influencer dream.  I am happy to be working but honestly, the dream has not gone away.

Solo Travelz – Bringing the dream into reality

Recently, I discovered the book, “Side Hustle, From Idea to Income in 27 days” by Chris Guillebeau.    After being unemployed for 2 ½ years, I knew that I needed to do something to plan for my financial future better than I have in the past and I want freedom from working a 50+ work week working for someone else.  

The Side Hustle book arrived in my life at just the right time.  I am ready to take a chance and build a “side hustle” with hopes that it will grow into a sustainable business and release me from spending the next 10 years in a day to day corporate job.

My plan is to share my experience and create a product/service that will focus on safety for solo travellers.  My first step is to create this website and I’m preparing a free email series called, “Are you Solo Travelz ready?”  If you are reading this post, then I have achieved my first step in creating Solo Travelz.

I hope you will join me as Solo Travelz develops into a place of inspiration and support for women like you and me.

Warmest regards from this solo traveller,

Nora

Author

4 Comments

  1. Many kudos to you for creating this wonderful website, Nora! Your passion and honesty will inspire solo travels all around the globe. I’m sure you have had that influence on many people already. Keep travelin’ (solo)!

    – David @annonehmus

    • Hi David,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I have always appreciated your support. I look forward to supporting new and experienced solo travellers by sharing my experience and focussing on safety. Travelling solo is a fantastic way to learn about yourself and to learn that people and places in this world are amazing. Take care!

  2. Nora, what a fabulous website you’ve created. I am impressed with your professionalism and your candid honesty. Both are attributes (along with many more!) you exude. Lucky me to be one of your friends introduced through Instagram! You’ve paved the path for Solo travelers who can have confidence in your lead!
    Betty

    • Oh Betty,
      Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and kind words. I truly believe in taking care of the key elements of travel before spending any money or time, purpose and safety will help a solo traveller have an incredible adventure and memorable moments of discovery about themselves.

      I am very thankful to have met you and to become friends, surprisingly through IG. Next adventure is France and I started packing last week after you shared that you were already packed for your January adventure 🙂

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