Happy #FeatureFriday! 🎉 This week Backpacker College interviewed Kaya (the great!). We’ve been following her journey and she has and continues to grow to be more and more of an outstanding example of a solo traveller doing it all! All you need is passion, and Kaya has plenty to share – Continue to read along and start planning your next adventure.
What made you start this journey and where have you been?
It was the ending of a serious relationship in 2014 is what made me realize how much I truly wanted and needed to travel the world. Up until then, I’d centred so much of my young adult life around other people, especially my romantic partners. I needed to finally take the leap and start living my life solely for me. And I’ve been doing it ever since!
You have a video of you in front of crashing waves on a beach somewhere- On your arm is written – “Be here now”. Where are you and what does that statement mean to you?
I had my “be here now” tattoo done in Santorini, Greece. I could write an essay about what it means to me, but the bottom line is, I needed a permanent reminder to remain present. As a traveller, it’s so easy to dream of the next destination, or wish you were still somewhere else that you might’ve loved, and forget to fully enjoy being exactly where you are at that moment. Staying present is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life!
Where have you felt the freest? Were you alone/with someone and what we’re the sights, sounds and smells that filled you with this feeling?
I’d say the place I felt the freest was just recently in Costa Rica at a festival called Envision. I’ve been going to festivals my entire life, but this magical gathering in the middle of a jungle in Costa Rica opened me up to a whole new part of myself. I’ve never felt more free to express myself the way I did at Envision. From the healing workshops during the day, to the music and dancing at night; I am so grateful that I made the trip out to Costa Rica to go to that festival.
While travelling, have you ever been afraid? Do you think others could relate or have moments like this…How did you overcome this fear?
The most I’ve ever felt afraid while travelling, was on my flight to Thailand. It was my first solo trip out of the US. The first moment of panic hit when I sat down in my window seat on the massive China Airlines plane and realized that I was surrounded by people who weren’t American. I was really doing this…and I was doing it completely alone! “Omg, it’s an 11-hour flight. Does anyone around me speak English? What if I have a panic attack and need help? Will anyone understand me?”
Those were the thoughts running through my head before I was able to calm myself down by realizing that other people have travelled abroad alone many times before me. And then the flight announcements came on, both in English as well as what I believe was Mandarin, and I relaxed even more. I realized how lucky I am to be a native English speaker. There are people who travel to other countries where no one knows their language and they just have to figure out a way to communicate their needs.
So if they could do it, then my privileged American self could do it! But, needless to say, I’m positive I’m not the only one who has had this fear before. I just hope that anyone else who ever feels this way can manage to overcome it, because the light at the end of the tunnel is the most beautiful and rewarding experience!
Where to next? Why?
I’m travelling back to Guatemala in one week! I fell in love with it when I was there a couple months ago, so I will return to spend an indefinite amount of time there. I will be studying Spanish, living with a host family, and then hopefully find a job and apartment of my own to plant some Roots down there! It has been my dream to be fluent in Spanish, so what better way than to go live in a beautiful and inexpensive Spanish speaking country with the sweetest people and delicious food!
Thank you Kaya, we’re excited to follow along as your journey continues…
Be sure to check out Kaya’s instagram 💕✌
The ocean and I have a very special relationship. She’s the only one who can style my hair for me exactly how I like it. We talk, laugh and play together. She dishes out that tough love sometimes, but whenever I need to cry to her, she holds me and rocks me gently. The life lessons she gave on this day were so powerful. Thank you mama, I love you! 💙🌊💙 • • • pc📸: @ichangedmynametokori #Montezuma #ocean #intimatemoments #pachamama #nofilter #puravida #CostaRica #CentralAmerica #travel #backpacking #solotravel #journey #adventure #explore #igtravel #instatravel #travelgram #girlslovetravel #photography #iphone7plus #wanderlust #travelbug #budgettravel #worldtravel #nomad #freespirit #wanderess #traveler #cruisingwithkaya #tbtcollective