Kristin Addis, an experienced blogger from Southern California, is the brain behind 'Be My Travel Muse', a popular adventure and travel website. Launched in 2012, it focuses upon off-the-beaten path adventures and escapades of the authoress. Her posts have received positive response on a global level - especially from travel enthusiasts.
Kristin is a solo traveller who has a passion for exploring different corners of the world. She has visited Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas. Over the past three years, she has done several thrilling activities like sand-boarding, skydiving, skiing, paragliding and bungee jumping to name a few. Already an inspiration for many travellers, Kristin has authored 'Conquering Mountains: How to Solo Travel the World Fearlessly' - a guidebook for solo female travellers. She was chosen by USA Today as a top vagabonding blogger and has been featured in Huffington Post, Trip Advisor for Business, Lonely Planet and Wise Bread to name a few.
How have you evolved as a traveller over the years?
At first it was all about traveling on a shoestring budget and going as far as I could on very little. In time I've been able to increase that budget but my travel goals remain the same - to see amazing places, to delve deeper into the culture, and to find spots that not as many people know about.
In your blog you have mentioned that you became a Buddhist nun for 10 days. Why did you choose to explore this kind of lifestyle? Also, please tell us about your overall experience of the same.
I wanted to explore my mind and how it works more. I think it's important to grow in all aspects of life, including on a personal and deeper level. It was tough, for sure. We couldnt talk, read, write, or even exercise apart from morning yoga. We just meditated, ate a couple of meals per day, then slept on concrete. It's a tough lifestyle and I respect the nuns and monks who do this full-time. It does, however, take away all distractions which is precisely the point.
You have willingly immersed yourself in the traditions and customs of locals while exploring the different corners of the world. Which has been your favourite till date and why?
Absolutely. I do it all the time. A favorite of mine was when, while in Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, I was invited to a karaoke night and sang on stage for the first time. It was hilarious.
You have termed Sak Yant Tattoos as the ultimate travel memento. You have been to countless international destinations. What are the other prominent souvenirs you have collected over the years?
Well actually, a few more tattoos. I have mandalas and sacred lines all up the side of my body from artists in Berlin and Edinburgh, as well as an Om symbol near my ankle which I got in Kathmandu.
What are 5 essential gadgets or accessories you always carry in your travel bag?
Camera, extra charger, iPhone, PacSafe wire mesh bag protector, and a rainbow unicorn hat.
You have already done sand-boarding, skydiving, skiing, paragliding and bungee jumping in some of the most thrilling and stunning spots. Which have you liked the most amongst them and why?
I like skydiving the most because you get the most time in the air and I find it to be peaceful. The jump is fun and I don't find it scary. Bungee jumping, on the other hand, is a lot scarier because you have to hurl yourself off the cliff or bridge. I've done it four times and it never gets easier!
It's apparent through your blog that you have really loved the 'silly silly animals of Sri Lanka'. Can you tell us about your safari experience in Sri Lanka?
It was my first safari ever and I thought the variety of animals was amazing. I have since done several safaris in Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia, but Sri Lanka is still impressive in comparison with all of the elephants, leopards, and beautiful birds.
While you have been to Asia, Oceania, Africa and Americas. In which part of the world would you like to settle down later in life?
I have to settle down? I don't really have any plans to do that. Apart from making sure my retirement and finances are in order for the future, I don't plan. Whatever will be will be.
You have written a book solely for women who wish to explore the world as a solo traveller.Can you share with us few details about it?
It's a solo female travel guide book, and it's the exact book I had wished existed when I was starting out with my solo travels. It handles how to confront and get over the fear, deal with naysayers, earn and work on the road, how to save up in a smart and sustainable way, and how to prepare. It takes the guesswork and time investment out of planning and it also includes case studies from 8 other solo female travelers of all ages and backgrounds as well as advice from 15 solo female travel experts.
Which are the international destinations you plan to cover this year? If you can also elaborate on the breathtaking activities you wish to experience in 2016 or 2017.
I just finished up two months in Patagonia, hitchhiking and hiking in some of the most remote parts of South America, then went up to the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest desert in the world, followed by a week in Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the most remote island in the world. Next up is the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia, Germany, and back home to California and Burning Man!
This interview with Kristin Addis is a part of Travel Trolley's ongoing 'Best of the Travel Bloggers' series. We are interviewing popular travel bloggers who encourage and inspire people to travel. Check out all the bloggers we have interviewed and learn about their interesting experiences, adventures, travel stories as well as useful holiday tips.