Name & Age? Arielle, 20
Where's home? Nanakuli, Hawaii.
What was/is your last/current trip? Oahu, Hawaii. (I'm currently located in San Diego)
What got you started? I started traveling with my family to see my grandparents in California, then took a leap to study abroad in Europe. Although that fueled my passion for destinations, my actual start in the act of traveling came the summer after my freshman year, when I vagabonded up the West Coast of America and Canada and have travelled on my downtime ever since.
How do you pay the way? I freelance in writing and photography, with sponsorships and part-time work when I live in an area for more than a few months.
What's always on your packing list? My camera and travel journal, hiking shoes and swimsuits!
What’s the last thing that blew your mind? After living in San Diego by the Mexican border for almost a year, when I traveled up the coast to the Canadian border I was able to hike up a mountain and walk along and across the border with ease. The views were so spectacular and awe-inspiring that I stood for almost an hour admiring the skies, mountains and freedom of walking between the two countries when going to Mexico required several forms of documentation and even more hours waiting in a car!
By land, by sea, or by air? First by sea, then by land, then return by air.
Hotel or hostel? Camp or Couchsurf? Hostel and couch surfing.
What's your travel pet peeve? Forgetting to pack something important or running out of money.
How do people react to you as a solo female traveler? People always treat me as though I'm brave for traveling the world without someone else to protect me, not knowing that not only can I take care of myself, but I can also learn so much more about myself when I'm not worrying about someone else with me.
What scares you? Remaining dormant
How do you overcome fear / anxiety / doubt? I push myself to do something scary or unexpected. I can't doubt myself after I try at least once.
Worst memory: Finding out my then-boyfriend cheated on me while I was away for college.
One unforgettable memory: Driving up an empty and winding road in Yosemite, literally chasing the sun through the trees and watching it set as we got higher in the mountains and out of the trees.
Bravest memory: Going against the concerns and wishes of my family and buying a one-way ticket to Washington before hitching a ride to Canada.
Culture shock moment: Moving from Hawaii to San Diego. It may not sound like much, but the climate is colder, the homes are richer, and the people aren't as friendly. I had to adjust to living in a culture where people spend money for sport and show after growing up in a community that couldn't afford television.
Best reason to talk to strangers: To find new places and make new friends that will enable you to revisit the area.
How are you different while traveling? I'm more adventurous: I try new foods, I hike longer, walk further, observe deeper, reflect more, and engage more in the community I'm in.
Is it harder to leave or to stay put? When I first visit an area, it's hard to stay put. But once I stay long enough to love the people and/or area, it truly does get hard to leave.
Three things you've learned on the road:
1: Trust yourself. Believe in your abilities while staying true to your gut.
2: Make friends and connections. People are more open than the world will have you believe, and making friends will make more than just your own day.
3. It's okay to do things just for yourself. Not for the insta, not because someone told you to do it, but because it's better to try things and learn what makes you happy
What keeps you going? Freedom. So many people will say "I wish I could do what you do," while never taking any steps. Whether it's because of family, circumstances or plain fear of stepping out of a comfort zone, most people are trapped. I take the time to travel for the freedom of being able to do it, because there is so much more to learn when I'm out of my own comfort zone.
What's next? I'm traveling abroad via boat from Hamberg, Germany, back to San Diego. My stops will include: Spain, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius, Myanmar, India, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Hawaii.
What would you be doing if you’d never left home? I'd be surfing, and when I'm not surfing I'd be working some 9 to 5 of no-idea-what. I can't imagine what I'd do if I couldn't or didn't leave.
What advice do you have for wanna-be Wild Hearts? Same as my 3: Trust yourself, make friends, and make yourself happy.
Last question: What would make you stop traveling? Old age.