The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

My Travel Era: Self-Discovery As A 20-Something Solo Traveling Woman

August 20, 2022

POSTED IN: Lifestyle, Travel

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Hello!

I'm Karen,

I'm a luxury travel blogger, educator, and marketing consultant. I am a citizen of the world and have been traveling since 2016. 

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The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

It’s been a while since I wrote an article, showed up as an influencer, and talked to an audience. Over a year and a half since I sold my previous travel blog, and 10 months since I deleted my old Instagram account, to be exact. You know, the one that had about 30,000 followers and where I had spent most of my 20s cultivating a community. Call it a quarter-life crisis, a realization that I would be turning 30 soon, or simply a shedding of my old identity. Whatever the label led to the same outcome – no longer a travel blogger, and an end to my travel era as I knew it.

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial
The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

After almost a year influence-free, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, repent, and restructure the haps and mishaps of my travel era. Not to be mistaken for the villain era or hot-girls summer(s); my travel era was very much a cliché time a la Eat, Pray, Love of losing myself to find myself. I even got the words “lose yourself” tattooed across my left side ribs to create some form of permanence for this beautifully tumultuous chapter of life. I later found out that this is also the name of an Eminem song, so there’s that. Channeling the same energy as Eminem is not far from accurate. Of course, the formative years of my adulthood needed a grand, dramatic finale to match the passionate energy and escapism that led me to travel the world solo for 5 years. 

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial
The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

I used to use the phrase “escaped my marriage and traditional life in California to travel the world solo” to describe the onset of my travel journey. Or shall we call it the “self-discovery journey?” Too cliché, I’ll stick to “travel.” Those 7 years married followed by a divorce at 25 really shaped me. Or at least, my subconscious was so f’d that it led me to seek escape literally everywhere, but we won’t get too psychological here. I still remember working at a subway-esque (but more boujee because I don’t do mediocre) shop in high school. One of my male coworkers, perplexed by the news, sermonizes to me, “But how are you going to get married at 18, you’ll be divorced by 22!” Add three years and I would call him “Nostradamus.”  

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

Fast forward to today, 30-and-thriving, sitting inside a Starbucks (gotta keep it a little cliché, for dramatic effect), tiny dog in lap, sipping on hot green tea while it’s over 100 degrees outside, typing away and laughing at my own jokes. My travel era feels like a far-removed dream; something I experienced, but that I no longer feel in my body. It’s a strange feeling knowing it was me who lived this – the escaping, the one-way flights. The random road trips in the South of Spain with people I just met. The Tinder dates in Lisbon with a guy I (very briefly) thought was my soulmate. The last minute train ride to Paris for a good croissant. The getting robbed and ending up in Vienna. The crying, the laughing, the dancing, the eating-my-way-through-every-city. The losing myself in the moment, the finding myself right back where it all began – the place I swore never to come back to.   

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial
The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

So who am I now that I no longer hold my identity to a world traveler, travel blogger, or nomad? Well, I guess I’m still figuring that out. It’s as if I lost myself (again) in recent months, and I’m now emerging, feeling more like myself than ever. Only this time it’s a whole new version, the beginning of a beautiful new era. An era where I don’t escape; I move with purpose. Where I explore to meet people and share experiences; to add to my life rather than remove painful experiences from it. An era where I have a home and feel at home. An era where I walk confidently and put my needs and wants first. An era where I say no more than I say yes because boundaries are beautiful. An era where I return to my roots of dreaming and creating, and where I am my most supportive partner. 

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

We all deserve an era of passionate self-discovery, and I’m beyond grateful to have experienced this in my travel era. I’m so grateful and hold loving space for the Karen of the past decade. The confused inner-child who was brave enough to walk away from a life that didn’t serve her, and who gifted herself the life of her dreams. I only hope to retain that loving enthusiasm, adventurous soul, and zest for life and bring it into my new chapter, only this time with a little more stability, money (not into couchsurfing my way through Europe anymore), and self-love. 

To a happy new era! Will you help me name her? 

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

Lifestyle

My Travel Era: Self-Discovery As A 20-Something Solo Traveling Woman

The Era of Self-Discovery, An Ode to My Travel Era | www.aestheticstraveler.com design & luxury travel editorial

Lifestyle

My Travel Era: Self-Discovery As A 20-Something Solo Traveling Woman

Trip Details:
  • The Cusco & Sacred Valley Tours were booked with Cusi Travels.
  • Train rides to and from Machu Picchu were booked with Peru Rail.
  • All international flights need to go through Lima.
  • This itinerary DOES NOT include any hikes to Machu Picchu. 
  • I recommend you add at least 2 days before or after Cusco to explore Lima. 

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