At Wanderful we’re all about the sisterhood, and we love hearing from our community! That’s why our global membership is so cool: Wanderful women from all over the world get to access the all the benefits of being Wanderful in awesome ways.
In addition to exclusive, members-only access to resources and content on sheswanderful.com, global members get access to our monthly webinars featuring inspiring women travelers, $20 off their tickets to the Women in Travel Summit, and so much more.
To say thank you to our global members and celebrate what an awesome community of women we have, we feature one global member a month.
Say hello to Sarah Dittmore!
Sarah has been traveling solo since she was 18. Since the moment she arrived in South Africa with a map in one hand and a passport in the other, she knew this is what she was made for.
Sarah now blogs about her travels at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.
Where are you from?
Social media handles:
Facebook: Autobiography of an Adventurer
Pinterest: Autobiography of an Adventurer
What makes you Wanderful?
I truly believe human beings are naturally wanderful. It is just a matter of whether we embrace or run from that part of ourselves.
I first realized I was a born wanderer when my family and I went on an African safari. At the end of my trip, I told my family, “I am going to come back here. Soon.”
Of course, my family agreed. “We would love to come back!” they cried.
But they didn’t get it. I didn’t just want to come back. I was going to spend every minute of every day thinking about it until I found a way to get back.
And I did. Two years later I came back to South Africa, only this time alone and as part of a five-month solo travel journey I took between high school and college.
People always tell me they wish they could live like I do. I tell them they can. It is just a matter of embracing your desire to explore rather than running from your fear of the unknown. Because travel is always a little bit scary, but that’s what makes it so powerful.
I think what makes me wanderful is that I saw two paths in my childhood: One was comfortable and easy; the other was terrifying and hard. I chose the latter, or rather, the latter chose me, and I have been a wanderer ever since. And it turned out that it wasn’t only terrifying and hard, it was also beautiful and full of rewards that no other lifestyle could provide.
Tell us about your most impactful travel experience.
When I was 18, I spent 2 months teaching English in Ethiopia. I lived alone the entire time, working with the five-year-olds during the day and reflecting in my tiny bedroom above the school at night. It wasn’t easy for me to get into town, so I only left on weekends, and even then it was rare for me to find other travelers looking to explore.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I constantly felt lonely and afraid. I had only been traveling solo for a month prior to arriving in Ethiopia, and everything felt foreign and uncertain.
But when it was time to go, I sobbed. The children I had worked with, the locals I had met, the friends I had made…I couldn’t imagine leaving them all behind.
Of course, I left and soon learned this is a common feeling for travelers. We leave pieces of our hearts all over the world.
For a while I thought Ethiopia had a small impact on me, but as the days passed, I realized it had changed my very foundation. Living without running water, hot water, and company for two months changes you, especially when it is one of your first experiences after leaving home.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#36adaf”]I became fiercely independent and learned that I am stronger and more adaptable than I ever knew.[/mks_pullquote] I also learned to live with less and value the little things more. I haven’t been back in years, and I don’t know if or when I will return, but Ethiopia will be with me for the rest of my life. It turned me into the traveler I am today.
Which destination have you always wanted to visit?
All of them! Seriously, I have a list in my purse, and I am slowly making my way through the globe.
That being said, I have a distinct desire to visit Iceland, Peru, and Madagascar. I’m not sure why, they just sort of call to me.
What’s your travel mantra?
Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. – Ray Bradbury
Share your best tip for female travelers.
I actually wrote a whole article about this! My number one tip is to ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT, but you can read all of my tips here.
What do you like most about being a Wanderful global member?
Get more involved with Wanderful: Be a global member!
For $7/month or $69/year, you get all the perks of free membership, plus:
- Special perks at select events & admission to members-only events in a chapter near you
- Access to our monthly members-only webinars featuring inspiring women travelers around the world
- $20 off your ticket to the Women in Travel Summit
- Opportunity to be a featured member on sheswanderful.com
- Exclusive members-only access to resources and content on sheswanderful.com
- Member badge for your blog or website
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What do you love about the Wanderful community? Share with us in the comments!
Featured image courtesy of Sarah Dittmore.