I met Francesca in Bangkok through a Facebook group called Backpacking South East Asia Solo. We happened to be in Bangkok at the same where she was also travelling solo and so we spent a few days together. After 2 days I swear it felt like I knew Fran for much, much longer! Fran was my first travel buddy and I was hers, that’s already something special. <3
Lets see what she has to say….

1. Introduce your self.. what’s your story?

My name is Francesca. I have always wanted to travel, however, I couldn’t. I was dealt with some bad cards in life which has led to be struggling internally. The last 10 years has been a momentous time in my life as I built my foundation values, wants, needs, goals, which I can now start building my house. This trip is a start of a new chapter in life, I will come out of my shell, in which I will show and exercise the potential I always had within.

2. Where have you travelled to alone?
I have only travelled alone in the states, NYC, Boston, Washington D.C , Colorado, New Orleans and Austin. This my first time traveling internationally.

3. Where’s your favourite place so far and why?
My favourite place was Montreal. It felt like New York City but better. It had a European atmosphere, which I loved. The metro was easy, amazing food and great neighbourhoods. Internationally diverse. My other two favourites was Paris and New Orleans.

4. What are your top 5 must have items for travelling?
5 things I cant live without whole traveling
Good pair of walking shoes, earplugs, hand sanitizer, cell phone, external battery charger

5. What does travelling mean to you??
Traveling to means leaving your concert zone. Testing unfamiliar waters. Being ok with the unknown and the unfamiliar. Not doing just the touristy stuff. But connecting with local and customs. Also keeping what you have learned during the travels and take the lesson’s with you.

6. Have you had any bad experiences on the road? Tell me what happened.
Got sick on my first day in New Orleans was in bed for three days, however I rallied in the second half of my trip and it became one of my favourite places to visit

7. What’s the craziest or funniest thing that’s ever happened on your travels?
So my Harry potter i.d tag saved me from losing my luggage.  I was in Japan, about to go to my next connection, when they couldnt find my luggage. They asked for any identifiers,  I said Harry potter. They all got excited. The women was on the phone with luggage the handler and her convo, was ” Japanese Japanese Harry potter Japanese  Japanese “. They found it right away.  See it pays to be a nerd.

8. What are the downsides to you for travelling alone?
So far. It is expensive to travel alone, to not have someone to share the costs. It does get lonely once in awhile, as sometimes sharing experiences with someone is more enriching. Also navigating a new country by yourself.

9. Favourite travel apps and blogs that you use or follow?
Skyscanner- for cheap flights. maps. Google translator,  travelfish- blog about backpacking all over Southeast Asia.

10. What message or advice would u like to share to the peeps out there thinking about travelling solo?
The message that I have for future solo travellers is that it is an adventure and enriching experience. It will be hard and lonely at first. But traveling solo shows how much you can accomplish on your own. It pushes the boundaries that you normally live in. You meet people from all over the world and this experience will never be forgotten.

11. What are your 3 favourite pictures you’ve taken on your travels so far. Explain why they are and where they were taken.
These are the pics so far that value the most on my trip.
The first one- is climbing a mountain  to a temple. This means a lot because  when I was young I was told by doctors that I might not walk properly.

Number 2- I’m relaxing in a floating market an hour out Bangkok as that was one of my goals in for this trip was to reflect and relax and go on my own pace.

The third pic was my first friend and traveller that I met. One of my fears was that I was not going to meet anyone. But I have already met so many people from everywhere.

12. Can we follow your adventure on social media? Where can we find you?
I don’t have any blogs but I have Facebook- Francesca Jenkins and Instagram- cateyeze_9

Thanks Fran for being the first traveller for my project and I just want to say that you have done amazing to do all you have done on your own! I hope our paths will cross again… who knows BUT if you ever in London next year I’ll be more than happy to meet up 🙂