What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from travel that you’d like to pass on?
Not everyday will be a good day. Be patient with yourself and the places you visit! Travel is a process and a journey and will have its up and downs. It’s very easy to get caught in the world of Instagram when everything looks perfect-it’s not! Travel is hard and that’s the highlight reel-allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with travel deeply, even sadness frustration or anxiety. These things partnered with the happy times that come with travel will leave you feeling fulfilled, and going into travels with this outlook will help you avoid disappointment.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve ever traveled to? Why?
Cape Town, South Africa. I lived there for three months working for an environmental social enterprise that does tree planting and environmental education. Everything about the city, the people, the outdoors, the food-completely blew me away. I have never felt more at home in the world than when I was in Cape Town. No matter what kind of traveler you are, you can find beauty in this city and country. You can go from the wineries of Stellenbosch to diving the wrecks of the ocean in almost no time. Food is inexpensive and the social scene for live music and drinks seems unlimited. Cape Town should be on your list.
What’s your dream? What does your end game look like?
My dream is to encourage and engage friends family and strangers to travel ethically and sustainably, to give back to the world when able, and to open their heart and minds to the diversity of the world. I want to connect local people with travelers to foster positive interactions for everyone. I would like to make places that seem intimidating or unsafe accessible and of interest to people who may not have previously had interest in. I hope to create a collaborative platform that allows travelers to become interested in corners of the world they did not even know existed!
Was there a time you ever wanted to quit? How did you deal with that situation, or overcome it?
Yes, it is intimidating and scary to throw yourself into your work with no idea whether the world will be receptive in it. I pushed on because I realized the resource I was creating is something I would LOVE to use, then I realized if I want to use it, maybe others will too. This pushed me to connect with other travelers, to be open and understanding that growth takes time, and to never scoff at an opportunity no matter how big or small. By also realized that there will be ups and downs with entrepreneurship, I was able to accept it as a learning process.
How does traveling affect your friendships in general?
I have been fortunate to form some wonderful friendships while traveling-best part about meeting friends traveling is you already know they love to travel! Through my travels I have deepened many friendships. One thing I have noticed, is you often cannot get others to commit to general ideas for travel. I have found most success planning the trips I have interest in and then putting feelers out to others to see if they would like to join. The last two years I have been lucky enough to have 7 friends join me on a ski trip to Chile and 9 friends join me on a trip to Greece with The Yacht Week.
What do you credit most to your success?
I credit most of my success to being open to connecting with others and listening to both my own and friends needs for resources when traveling. By paring down much of the information I researched to basic tips to help me decide where to go, I realized I could create these snippets myself for an easy to follow and easy to plan with guide to the over 40 countries I have already visited. I also give credit to my parents, who have constantly instilled a curiosity for the world and cultures in me since childhood.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Ruthie! You are truly an inspiration and we are so thankful for all the wonderful advice you shared. Join Ruthie and over 34,000 other amazing women in our Girls Who Travel Facebook community