S5E8: The Ya Fish – Kristin Addis: Dreamer | Hitchhicker | Traveler

Kristin Addis trusts the world, and she trusts her truest self, the one who hides inside and waits until she is alone to reveal herself. She knows a great deal about solo female travel, having adventured around the world since 2012, and she believes wholeheartedly in talking to strangers and in taking leaps. She offers support to anyone who will listen: if you don’t feel as though you’re understood, or if you don’t know where to look, there are people all around the world who will offer you opportunities to learn who you really are. Solo travel is the purest opportunity to discover yourself.

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The Ya Fish

In March 2014, Kristin Addis found herself in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The snow was blasting her, filling up the grounds surrounding her with white, and Kristin herself was low on money. She had to hitchhike her way eight or nine hours back to her site, and she was in a small town, so not a lot of people were presenting her with travel opportunities. Being a foreign girl in China, though, does have its advantages, and one particular group pulled over their nice car and buckled her in for a white-knuckled ride. An hour outside the city, they stopped to eat with her, which is typically a normal experience, but this was not the case on that day. Instead, she selected a large, living fish to eat, and experienced an incredibly uncommon waitress. Her dinner was ridiculous, and her leftovers were maybe even a little dangerous. In the end, she was just this random girl from California, hitchhiking in a remote part of the world, who ended up with an unexpected gift or two at the end of the day.

Kristin Addis Advises: How Do I Know If I’m Ready to Travel?

Kristin Addis is currently staying in Berlin before she goes to Africa, as she knew upon setting foot in Berlin that it would be the perfect environment for her new home base. She utilized a freelance visa, one of the many ways that a lot of the world is opening up when it comes to things like travel. The world, Kristin believes, is opening up travel and accessibility and opportunities to a large chunk of the world, which is better than the past circumstances. Kristin’s grandmother, like her, was a traveler, who shared her photo albums with Kristin. She was Kristin’s only traveling family member, and, in being so, she unconsciously inspired Kristin. After she passed away, Kristin and her mother found her journal and embraced her legacy, exploring the world as she saw it, and imparting their own experiences, as well. Any place exists how you experience it, how you document it, and what you get out of it. Kristin firmly embraced her travel bug, spending summers abroad, saving her money, burning her bridges and returning to Asia where she felt she belonged. She wanted to learn about different cultures in depth; she moved without support and immersed herself. She stuck it out, and was amazing by her own ability to embrace different experiences and a new way of life. It wasn’t an easy decision; she was terrified, she agonized over it, but she didn’t want to wonder anymore. She found the right community to explore her options, realized her dreams were possible, and set out to find her true self.

Making Connections While Solo Traveling

Kristin Addis has been solo traveling for four-and-a-half years, but she doesn’t feel alone. She meets people locally, new friends that she makes when she immerses herself in a culture. She has been finding her real self; other people impact how you act, what you feel, but when you’re alone, nobody stops you from making decisions or having ideas. It’s freeing, incredibly powering, and a magnificent opportunity to discover your true self. You’re never alone, not really. Sometimes people approach Kristin, wanting to help her, to take care of her. She is never short of options for people to spend time with anywhere in the world. It’s easy to put up walls with people you don’t know, but making connections with those around you is easy once you let yourself understand that you are all traveling just the same. It’s pretty surprising how many opportunities can come up if you make seeking them out your priority. Kristin tends towards solo travel and a less touristy type of journey half-from necessity, and half-from distraction, as her experiences were so amazing that she felt comfort didn’t really need too large of a space in her life. Penny-pinching Kristin also learned how to trust those around her. She trusted in the pure, honest experience of trusting another person and, once she did, she let herself fully experience the world and immerse herself in the cultures surrounding her. She started Be My Travel Muse so that she could encourage other women to experience the world just as she did, so they won’t be afraid of the amazing experiences they can give themselves to learn about their real selves. The real you is waiting; will you travel to find them?

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