Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on our contributor Joanna’s personal website. Click here to see the original post.

Be a girl who travels for herself, both for the memories and the self improvement it brings.

Be a girl who’s learnt just how self-reliant she can be through a host of tricky situations.

Be a girl who smiles at strangers, as she’s experienced that you get the greatest rewards by showing unexpected kindness.

Be a girl who knows how to say hello in 5 different languages. Be a girl who can overcome language barriers through signs and smiles even when she doesn’t speak the language.

Be a girl who knows how to pick a lock (when the keys get lost), secure a door (when the lock’s broken), mend a busted backpack, tie multiple types of knots, steer a boat, drive a scooter in a skirt, and ride a donkey.

Be a girl who knows what a truly filthy public bathroom looks like, and what to do as an emergency substitution.

Be a girl who’s smart with her money, because she knows possessions aren’t half as valuable as adventures and memories, and she knows that stupid purchases mean a shorter adventure.

Be a girl who gets excited about a 10 hour bus ride and looks forward to the scenery and the people watching, versus cries about not being able to travel quickly or in first class.

Be a girl that sleeps on airport floors or metal picnic tables, because she knows a little discomfort is worth it for the adventure ahead.

Be a girl who is happy in her own company, because it’s been her only constant companion for months on end.

Be a girl who knows how to entertain herself – with a good book, her thoughts, or even just an amazing or changing view outside the bus window.

Be a girl who’s proud of her body, because it’s carried her up the side of mountains, scaled down cliffs to a hidden beach, climbed 5,000 steps to the top of a monument, and carried a 40 pound backpack on the two mile walk to the hostel.

Be a girl who has a best up-all-night sunrise story, one that doesn’t involve a hangover.

Be a girl who makes the most of every opportunity, because she knows some things happen only once in a lifetime, or that she may never be able to go back.

Be a girl who travels because she knows she’ll have an amazing life, regardless of whether or not the love of her life ever shows up.

This was written after reading the Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels and Date a Man Who Travels blog posts that have gone viral. I wanted to write a response reinforcing the fact that, while it’s great to be a girl (or a guy) who dates someone who travels, it’s amazing to travel independently because of the things you’ll learn about the world and yourself when you travel alone.