How I ran away to travel the world – solo

 How to run away from home & reinvent yourself by travelling: a personal recipe

  • Start as a child with a love of reading. For me, this involved hiding under the blankets reading of far-away places that created a desire for travel: I was Anne Frank in her Amsterdam attic; and, I was Heidi on the mountains of Switzerland: I was the hero between the covers of every book!
  • Add listening to far away, static-crackling voices in languages I didn’t understand on my brother’s crystal radio, and dream of exploring those lives! An idea, the yeast of a dream, began bubbling below the surface of my conciseness. The first, most basic ingredients for my developing recipe were lined up on the kitchen bench of my mind.
  • Cover and leave that bowl of imagination to infiltrate through life’s ups and downs, keep reading, keep dreaming until life and circumstances add more ingredients. These extra components are where your individuality, situation, and conditions, add to the recipe and finally, the end result! (NOTE: Unlike many recipes, this one is totally tailored to your individual circumstances.)

My extra ingredients included: the deaths of my 20-year old son and my 35yr old husband, recovery from alcoholism, and, after too many birthdays, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up!

Perhaps I could play catch-up with the traditional Kiwi penchant for travel. That germ of an idea, like all living things, divides and multiplies as it sits on the sometimes-messy kitchen bench of my mind.

Now, add more ingredients so you too can reinvent yourself – mine were:

  • Travel solo
  • Travel for a year
  • Make no plans or bookings, just travel

On returning, after a year, I added:

  • Two years of work & saving
  • A short writing course
  • Have an article about canoeing down the Zambesi published
  • Sell more travel stories; add those dollars to my travel fund
  • Buy another international airline ticket
  • Travel for another year in different countries
  • Publish a book about your travels

    The print version was published in 2007 – avail as an e-book on  Amazon

This recipe is never finished yet you can cook it, eat it, and share it daily. The flavours and textures change frequently – depending on if you have used the high heat of Thailand or the coolness of a northern hemisphere winter, and, of course, your choice of spices.

So, if you too want to run away from home or reinvent yourself, pick your ingredients from the lists above, add your own, use your imagination, mix well, and as ‘they’ whoever they are, say, “the world’s your oyster.”












Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)

3 thoughts on “How I ran away to travel the world – solo”

  1. Compelling read Heather. Apart from your two uncalled-for tragic events. Admire your courage. Can relate to your reading when young. When I fly a page-turner is essential. More enjoyable than airline so-called entertainment. I thought my last year’s trip to Iceland and Europe would be my final “big one.” But I was told by wise people “Never say that.” I recently became owner of a new 10-year passport. Wish we had more opportunities to meet and chat. In meantime, travel well Heather.

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