Barca by Savannah Benefield - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler - by Anika Mikkelson -

Featured Female Traveler: Savannah – Seattle, USA

Savannah is a Gypsy at heart. Growing up in Seattle, she attended university in San Diego, and spent a semester studying abroad in Barcelona.
As for “Home?” This 23 year old TEFL teacher says that nowadays, whenever she returns to any one of those cities she thinks to herself, “It feels good to be home.
After her first trip abroad to Costa Rica, she has continued to travel to countries such as New Zealand and Germany, and hopes to soon travel to Asia – Thailand perhaps – to check off her sixth continent!

Like several past Featured Female Travelers, says Savannah of her favorite travel companion, “Myself! I’ve pretty much only done solo travel and I have to say I am pretty great company.”
Here’s what she’s got to say about solo travel, finding friends, maintaining relationships and more.

Neuschwanstein Castle by Savannah Benefield - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler - by Anika Mikkelson -
Neuschwanstein Castle by Savannah Benefield – Featured Female Traveler

MM: Have you travelled alone? If so, how did you find the experience? What were the highs or the lows? Anything you would recommend for others looking to travel alone for the first time?
SB: For the most part I’ve only traveled on my own. My first few trips abroad I went on my own but either with a volunteer program or study abroad program, so it was pretty easy to make friends. While studying Abroad in Barcelona I took my first mini solo trip to Portugal for a long weekend and absolutely loved it! Since then I have done other mini solo trips abroad, road trips in the states, a three month backpacking trip through Europe and my most recent move to Peru!
At first I was definitely apprehensive, mainly about meeting other travelers, but I’ve found it’s actually a lot easier to meet others when you’re alone. That’s actually one of my favorite things, meeting other solo travelers and hearing their stories. I also love the flexibility, I can go where ever, when ever I want and don’t have to wait for anyone. The few low moments were when I was in a small town and the only one in my hostel, but I never felt lonely. I got use to it and would use the time to catch up on blogging, editing photos, catching up with friends back home, or reading a book. But 90% of the time I always found people to hang out with.
My advice would be to just go! If I had waited around for someone to come with my I never would have left the states. I’ve also never felt unsafe while traveling alone. As long as you use your common sense and don’t walk down the dark alley at 2am drunk on your own, you’ll be fine.

Barca by Savannah Benefield - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler - by Anika Mikkelson -
Barca by Savannah Benefield – Featured Female Traveler

MM: What type of traveler are you? Budget? Luxury? Adventurous?
SB: I am definitely a budget traveler. I would also say I’m an adventurous traveler, if it fits within my budget. I fund my own trips so save up as much as possible before traveling or work abroad. When saving I really try to prioritize my spending. Do I want to spend my money on new shoes or save it for my next trip? I definitely go out and enjoy the new city and country I’m in but I’ll take a long bus ride over an expensive flight any day and try to cook as many meals as possible. I also really enjoy couch surfing because then I can meet locals and really learn about the country.

MM: Any thoughts about relationships and travel? Relationships can mean with friends, family, romantic – anything!
SB: Maintaining relationships on the road is hard but easy at the same time. I’ve lost a few friendships to my traveling lifestyle and ended a couple romantic relationships but that’s just me. Other friendships have grown stronger as it’s so easy to keep in contact with everyone via social media these days. I’ve also met several other travelers who make romantic relationships work with long distant or even get their partners to travel with them! I also talk to my family a lot more then I use to so that’s been really nice. I find it amazing the fact that you can be in a random hostel, in the middle of the jungle, or tiny village, and find someone you just connect with and spend all night talking. I have several new friendships I’ve made on the road and those always seem to be a bit stronger.


San Sebastian by Savannah Benefield - Featured Female Traveler
San Sebastian by Savannah Benefield – Featured Female Traveler

MM: Savannah, I swear we are sisters at heart – your answers speak volumes to me, and I’m happy to know you through this series and introduce you to so many other travelers ready to be inspired by your tales . I hope one day we meet – until then, safe travels!

Follow along with Savannah on both her blog: RunAwaySav and check out her photos on Instagram.

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