A Solo Female Traveller's Quest for Self-Discovery and Growth

Meet Wing, a beautiful, free-spirited solo female traveller from Hong Kong who has been exploring the world through Workaway for just over 2 years and a half now!

From a 3-month beach cleaning stint along the Northern Norway coastline, to 2.5 months of exploring, filming and creating inspiring content  Greenland, completing a divemaster internship in Thailand, to finally, helping at a guesthouse in Turkey - Wing has truly experienced it all and more; embracing slow travel and earning her title as a true Workawayer!

If you're feeling a bit hesitant about travelling because you worry your English isn't perfect, or you're a solo traveller feeling those first-time jitters, or maybe you're just itching to break free from your routine and see what the world has in store for you - Wing will provide you with some serious inspiration in this blog to put aside those doubts and dive into your adventures!

Affordable Travel Options for Thrifty Explorers

Just like many other travellers, Wing was motivated after COVID to escape her routine and explore the world outside of Hong Kong because she felt stuck for too long in one place.

When Wing set her sights on exploring Europe, she was on the hunt for cheap, budget-friendly options. That's when she stumbled upon the idea of travelling and volunteering in exchange for free food and accommodation - a concept that immediately caught her attention. After a bit of Googling, Wing discovered Workaway and thought it was a “cool way to travel”.

Before I used to think, I must spend so much money to visit places like Iceland or Scandinavia, but now I know how to save money and travelling in this budget-friendly way actually makes it easier.

workawayer wing drone picture in snowy mountains

Breaking the Bubble and Seeing the World

My favourite Workaway project was the one in Norway helping at a husky kennel. This is a very cool thing for me because I never heard about that when I was living in Asia. I was just so happy being around the huskies, and the family was very nice to me. I had dinner with them every day and they also showed me around the area. I really enjoyed my time over there. It showed me a totally different lifestyle, completely different from what I’m used to.

Stepping out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in new cultures is like opening a treasure chest of experiences! It's not just about sightseeing; it's about diving headfirst into different ways of life and gaining first hand insights into how people around the world live. Breaking out of your daily norm and routine can also help you appreciate the little things in life and recognise the beauty and kindness the world has to offer!

Seeing the Northern Lights was something really impressive and incredible. It made me feel really alive and lucky to be in this world! I’ve seen such beautiful things. It reminds me the world is not that bad, and encourages me to find more good in the world.

workawayer wing watching the northern lights in the arctic circle

Mastering English Through Cultural Integration 

At the start of her travels, Wing wasn't very confident in her English speaking skills. She felt shy, but necessity pushed her out of her comfort zone to communicate with hosts and fellow travellers while on the road, since English was the shared language. Now, thanks to those experiences, Wing's English language fluency has improved, and she feels a lot more self-assured!

Before I travelled, my English wasn't so good. I think in Hong Kong most of us are quite shy to speak in English because we are afraid to make mistakes. When travelling it is really important because it is the way we communicate; so I become more willing to express my personal feelings and talk with people.

One of the most rewarding aspects of Wing's travels has been the opportunity to share cultures, cuisines, and traditions with others. Through these exchanges, she not only gained a deeper appreciation for her own culture but also found joy in sharing it with people from diverse backgrounds. 

I also learned to understand different cultures and share my culture with others. In the beginning I was so worried about cooking something from my country because I feel I’m not very good at cooking and I don't know if they will or be used to that taste. But I think it's a really good way to share culture!

workawayers and hosts lunch in the coast

Developing Transferable Skills for Work

The variety of projects available on Workaway allows travellers the chance to dip their toes into various fields of work, explore their passions and build their CV and/or portfolio. It's an amazing opportunity to become a more well-rounded individual and learn new skills you never even knew you had!

I’m interested in photography and making videos, but it's just an interest - and I saw this Workaway in Greenland and I really wanted to go. I had never done social media before, it was my first time. Because of Workaway, I can do things even if I dont have the degree or experience!

Through her varying projects, Wing “can see the possibility” of discovering her lifelong passion as she explores a new way of life through her experiences… “I can spend a half year in Norway doing something with huskies or a Northern Light guide, and the other half scuba diving or something like that. I’m still exploring and finding the best way for myself.”

The most important thing is the experience because it isn’t something I can just buy with money. It's very special and you really get very deep in the culture in that country, and feel like a member of the family and get very well known about the country. I can see so many opportunities in the world that I wouldn’t know about if I was just stuck in Hong Kong ...Workaway shows me that there's so many possibilities!

workawayer wing scuba diving in the ocean

Exploring New Opportunities 

Even though Wing's still on the hunt for her dream full-time gig, she's making the most of her projects. Along her adventurous journey, she's discovering unexpected paths beyond the conventional 9-5 routine, all while broadening her skill set and knowledge. 

Workaway is what keeps me travelling. It was my first time travelling alone. I went to Iceland at first and everything was so amazing and it opened my mind. I thought I should keep going because I kept seeing so many interesting Workaways and I wanted to try everything! I thought ‘why not?’...So, I kept going!

Once you start one project, you can’t stop… with over 50,000 opportunities in over 180 countries worldwide, there are endless possibilities and so many unique experiences to dive into! 

workawayer wing in norway with huskies

Taking the Leap to Travel Alone as a Solo Female Traveller

Deciding to step out of your comfort zone and embark on a solo journey requires a great deal of courage! When asked about her decision to take this leap to travel solo, Wing explained:

Most of my friends from Hong Kong are very busy with working or studying so they don't have  time to travel, also my family doesn’t really enjoy travelling… But I really enjoy solo travelling because it’s much more flexible, I can just decide what I want to do and change my plan at any time. I don’t need to ask for other people's opinions, and I feel more freedom by doing solo travel.

When asked if Wing has experienced any negatives from travelling solo as a woman and if she has any advice for other women or solo travellers who may feel scared, she says:

I personally don't have any bad experiences, I’ve been really lucky I guess, most of the time I meet really amazing people on the way.”.... ‘I'm not saying I’m 100% safe all the time but I would know how to protect myself. When travelling you have to use common sense and trust your instinct to be cautious with the people and places you are not familiar with. But also try to stay open minded and be aware of any cultural differences. If you are scared of everything you are not familiar with, you will never be able to learn new things and fully enjoy your trip!

Safety is key, especially when you're off on your solo Workaway adventures. Wing provides some trusty safety tips for other fellow Workawayers based on her personal experience:

Choose a profile with some nice references and before you go there, have contact with hosts and ask for more detail. See the way they respond, if possible make a video call so it's easier to know how people are. If you feel uncomfortable, leave, you don't have to stay at the place.

Just because you're travelling alone doesn't mean you're lonely. You'll encounter plenty of warm-hearted locals eager to welcome you into their homes through Workaway. Plus, there are countless other like-minded solo travellers out there just waiting to make meaningful friendships and become your next travel buddy - or maybe even soul sister!
workawayer wing hikinh in the mountains

Wing’s story of bravery, cultural integration and immersing herself in new opportunities as a solo female traveller is undeniably inspiring! You too can embrace the unknown, and embark on a journey filled with unforgettable experiences and invaluable lessons along the way! All made easier for solo and budget travellers with the help of Workaway ;)

travel inspirationsolo female

About Stephanie

Stephanie was born on an island and raised in a British/Portuguese multicultural background. From a young age, she learned how to embrace different languages, traditions and cultures. This upbringing ... show more...

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