Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of @voyajkreyol
'From A Solo Traveler To Meeting My Closest Girlfriends In Colombia'
For Boston resident, Stephanie Voltaire, experiencing things solo has never been an issue. As an only child, she learned early on how to enjoy certain activities on her own.
As an adult, she enjoys traveling alone. She aims to take one trip on her own each year and uses it as her time to reflect on her life, goals, and dreams without any distractions.
“Solo trips allow me to put a pause on everything and reconnect with myself and God without any interruptions,” Stephanie told Travel Noire. “I always feel more connected to God and have better vision and ideas for my businesses on my solo trips. After all, as a woman taking a solo trip can be very empowering.”
Taking a trip by herself also allows her to slow down from her busy life and simply move at her own pace for a few days.
Her first official international solo trip was to Cartagena, Colombia. Prior to going she mapped out her itinerary and locked down a few pre-booked tours.
While on one of the tours she met two other women who traveled together, Lakeisha and Sharon. The trio instantly clicked and hung out for the rest of that day. After exchanging numbers they went their separate ways.
Stephanie didn’t think she would see or hear from them again. But, she was wrong!
“The next day around 11:30 AM, they texted me asking what I was doing and if I wanted to meet up,” she said. “We met, hung out the remainder of the trip, went on a beach tour together, went to my hotel got my clothes and hung out at their hotel’s infinity pool the remainder of the day. That was the start of our friendship and our never-ending always popping group chat.”
Fast forward a year and a half later and this group is as close as ever.
They talk almost every day and are truly each other’s support system. In the short span of their friendship, they have supported each other through the loss of a loved one, through a first-time home purchase, the loss of a job, and in growing their faith.
“We pray together, we do devotions together and share empowering words, videos, prayers, and sermons. If one person sends a text sharing a struggle or a challenge that they’re facing, it follows with numerous non-stop messages of prayers and encouragements.”
The ladies aim to travel at least once a year together. On their one-year friendship anniversary, they met up in Bali. The plan for 2020 is to meet up at Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic in NYC, although that’s not set in stone just yet. The crew is always coming across flight deals so they may use one of those as their annual meetup.
We asked Stephanie to give her top three tips to those wanting to give solo travel a try:
“GO FOR IT! Do your research and go. Have pre-scheduled tours and an itinerary. If you are not comfortable with spending time alone you can still take a solo trip. Just make sure you have a plan. Tours are a great way to meet other people and connect. Download the Life 360 App, which allows your friends and family to know where you are at all times. I make sure a friend or family member at home is following me on Life 360 and has a full detailed copy of my itinerary.”
To catch more of Stephanie and her travel adventures with her crew or on her own, you can find her on Instagram: @voyajkreyol.
Related: Traveler Story: ‘I Quit My Job, Cashed In My Stock, And Set Out To See The World’