Erin Faherty, this week’s Featured Female Traveler on MissMaps.com, is a 30 year old American working in finance and keeping the world up-to-date on her own adventures through her blog “10 Miles Behind Me.”
She has lived in New York City for the past seven years, but “home home” is the Jersey Shore, where she grew up. Her favorite travel companion is her sister, Katie. “She’s a good planner and we have so much fun together.”
Family seems to be a centralized theme in Erin’s adventures, as she fondly reflects on a trip to Ireland the summer before 8th grade.
E: “My most memorable travel moment was one of my first. When I went to Ireland with my family in middle school, we hunted down the stone house that my great grandfather grew up in – in a valley, on a farm, in the pouring rain. We made friends with the farmer who owned the land and he gave us all rain boots and we hiked up and down hills which felt like mountains and across puddles which felt like rivers. It was a journey, but to be able to see where my ancestors lived and what they looked out upon each day is something I’ll never forget.”
Step by step, Erin is beginning to venture into traveling solo, and with it she brings some great insights.
E: “I’ve only traveled alone in Europe so far, but there is more in my future. On two separate trips, I visited my friends who lived in London and Amsterdam, and I’d be alone during the day while each was working. I loved my solo time and realized I wanted to build more of that into my travels. When I was in Switzerland last year, I had a few days completely to myself (without the option to meet up with my friends after work) and it was a little harder in the evenings than during the day, but I made it work. For dinner I would go to a nearby restaurant and eat at the bar. One night, by the time I turned in, I felt like I was old friends with the bartender and his friends. They were asking me for deep life advice even though we’d just met and even took care of the check for me (bonus!). So my advice would be to sit at a bar to dine if you’re traveling solo. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with the bartender and people around you. If they are rude to you, you’ll never see them again. If they’re amazing, you might even make plans with them later and become great friends.”
From one woman to another, it’s important we stick together.
E: “When I was at the NY Times Travel Festival in January, there was a panel on solo travel. The advice that most stuck with me was if, as a woman, you start to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, look to the nearest woman for help or companionship.”
With destinations like Portugal, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa on her radar, Erin’s got many miles behind her and even more ahead. Make sure to connect with her on any of various outlets.