The more women I meet, the more impressed I am by this unique sense of self and sense of empowerment that they shine outwardly, without even being in the spotlight or making a fuss. I’m talking about just regular females who might not have the followers, but yet have travelled to so many amazing places and have wisdom to impart that so many younger girls would find inspirational. It seems like such a shame that I should have these encounters and not share them in some way, so this series hopes to make a big fuss about these incredible mujers, so that they can have a space to be celebrated.I first met Lindsey when I briefly lived in Melbourne in 2017. With her sharp blue eyes, laid back ease and willingness to always make a good time out of anything, the girl was just a lot of fun. But beyond that, I admired her a lot for the courage it took to just say ‘fuck it’ to the expectations that women have placed on them in their 30s, and just go for it anyway. As you’ll find out below, this is why..
First off, it goes without saying that you like to travel! Tell us a bit about where you have been so far
I traveled a lot with my family when I was a kid (Jamaica, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Mexico, Italy). When I graduated college my mom bought me a round trip ticket to London, where I met some friends in Spain and followed this dream I had since I was 19 to party in Ibiza. I have also done the Paris trip with that special someone who you think is going to be your forever, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I traveled as far away from home as I possibly could and really knew what it mean to travel solo.
I quit my career in HR, packed up my things and moved to Australia. I had no idea what to expect, where I was going to live, what I was going to do for money, I just went. After 5 months in North Queensland, I backpacked through Bali and Vietnam. I spent 2 months cruising around each before I moved to Melbourne, when again, I had no idea what to expect or how I was going to make money. Never before had life seemed so easy though. With no plan comes no expectations. It’s almost as if the universe is your guide and allowing you to fall into your ideal place.
What did you do there?
Living in North Queensland and Melbourne I worked as a bartender. A skill I did not acquire fully until I arrived in Australia. I had a mentor who taught me everything he knew and I was able to adapt quickly. I became good and knew that I could take this skill with me on my travels. However, when I was in Bali, I was on vacation. I white water rafted, played with monkeys, visited temples and rice terraces. It wasn’t until Vietnam that I feel that I fully fell into who I was supposed to become.
When traveling, you intend to escape a reality of your own creation which allows you to see the world through a new lens. Being in a country so different than your own, that is not tailored to tourists, opens your eyes to the possibilities of the world. It shows you that you are stronger than you think you are. That you can figure out what you thought would have never been impossible before you left.
Motorbiking through North Vietnam by myself for 4 days, straddling the Vietnamese and Chinese border, driving through tiny mountain villages where people live such primitive lives, getting lost and being so scared because you haven’t seen another person for miles, but still manage to somehow make it to your hostel by nightfall, it was all so surreal.
What it is about traveling that draws you to have those kinds of experiences?
I mentioned that traveling allows me to escape my own reality, giving me time to look
inward. When I am on my own in the world I become more mindful and present. I don’t have distractions from others, from outside forces. Before I left on my travels I watched a video where the commentator said, “you will never know you have a parachute until you jump.” And that’s what drew me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to see what I would do and I impressed myself. It allowed me to show myself how truly bad ass I was.
Your life might seem unconventional to some, as it is for a lot of people that choose to travel instead of ‘settle down’, have you always done things a bit differently?
It’s hard for me to know if I’ve always been “different”, because I’ve only been me and I surround myself with people like me. I know that I want to be free and freedom is hard once you’ve settled down. Traveling helps you run away from your problems. My mother once told me that your problems will be right here waiting for you when you get back. However, sometimes they can follow you. When you travel you can’t run away from yourself. You are the only one you have. And those problems are the ones that are rooted in to your psyche. You have to face them everyday because you are alone and far from home. You can’t escape them by confiding in someone else or pretending they aren’t there because they are apparent in your conversations with new people, they are with you when you try to make plans to leave your living quarters, to venture out to start something you have never experienced, they are with you when you go to sleep at night.
It’s up to you how you want to deal with them. And I found that without travel, I would have just sat there oblivious and lived with them day in and day out without consciously being aware that they were something I could fix. Something that I could figure out and face head on.
How do you then feel as a woman, who might be pressured to have a plan in life and how do you fight against that as you get older?
I have such a fear of not being free and as a woman it almost feels like getting married and having a family restricts you from your freedom. I fight against it, but unfortunately, as I get older I realize that more and more I want love. I want that knock your socks off kind of love that hits you like a ton of bricks, but I also need it to be reciprocated. And as I get older, I fear that it might not happen because I don’t know if I will allow myself to feel it. I keep running and escaping.
Tell me something you’re proud of?
I am proud of my ability to know I can accomplish something if I really want it. I’m proud that I can adapt to any environment and that my friends know they can take me anywhere and I will have a good time and make sure everyone around me has a good time. I am proud of myself for having fears and pushing forward anyway.
What or who inspires you?
My Mother inspires me as I get older and realise what she sacrificed to make sure her two daughters had the best life they could have. She faced her fears and encourages me to do the same.
My sister because of her strength and intelligence. She fiercely loves those she chooses to love and isn’t afraid of what others around her might think. She is her own person and that is inspiring because it helps me realise that I need to spend less time worrying about what others think of me and more of what I think of myself.
What drives you?
Fear of wasting my life. I am afraid I will waste what I have been given if I don’t succeed and/or at least try to follow my dreams.
How do you compare who you were when you were younger to now?
I can still very much feel my same habits as I had when I was younger. Concerns for things, such as boys, what other people think of me, making other people happy. But I do notice that I can talk myself down now,. I can talk to myself and release that pressure that used to build up so intensely that I could scream. I have figured out how to be happy. It doesn’t mean I am happy all the time, but I can talk to myself in my head and remind myself all of the tools I have learned to make myself happy. I would never trade youth over wisdom.
Is there something you wish you would have done differently?
I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I can see points in my life that I maybe should have regretted, but I know that it would have taken me down a completely different path and I’m pretty happy where I am. I have definitely done things I am not proud of, but would I have been able to share those things with others and learned how to forgive myself? No.
You said recently that returning home it was an opportunity to start fresh..what does this mean for you?
It was like I hit a reset button on my life. Moving home allowed me say, “Ok, here’s my next chapter…” and actually be able to write it. I felt like I was going through the motions before I left for Australia. I felt like I was just existing and doing what others wanted me to do because that’s what people are supposed to do – wake up, go to work, go to bed, hope for the weekend, hate that it’s Monday. Now, I am doing what I want to do. I am still learning, still making mistakes, but I am not living my life for anyone, but me.
What is defining you at this point in your life?
In one word? Freedom. In multiple words? Being free and available to help those I love. When you’re away from everyone, you start to realise what is important in your life. And the people in it are what makes it important. Granted, I love going for walks and being with nature and enjoying what Earth provides for us, but it also provides us with other humans to love. And if I wouldn’t have traveled I wouldn’t have realised how important those people are to me.
Thank you Lindsey for sharing your story and experiences not only with me, but for anyone else that might be reading! Instead of linking to her socials I will say go follow her mantra, and just jump into something that scares you even if you have no idea where the hell it will lead xo