Read Latina #Travel Series Part I about Alexandra Tracy of Travel Latina here
HipLatin: Please provide a brief summary of yourself and Nomadic Chica.
Gloria Apara: I’m Gloria, the Nomadic Chica, a native of Santiago Chile. I grew up dreaming of travel and international exploration, and eventually set out to make my dreams come true. Having traveled through Asia, Europe, and South America, I have a wealth of travel knowledge and experience to share. NomadicChica.com was created to inspire others to travel and empower solo female travelers through my collective knowledge.
HL: How did you start traveling? And why did you continue?
GA: I started traveling as a baby with my family but never got the travel bug until I was 18, when I traveled throughout South America on an epic backpacker journey. I’m still surprised how my travel style has changed within the years but nonetheless, I love traveling.
When I first began traveling, I carefully planned every detail of my trips but now, if I’m not on an assignment, I do what I call ‘organic travel’—where I follow what I want to do and enjoy local life as much as I can.
Throughout the years my wanderlust has only grown, and I continue traveling because it feeds my soul. Travel is part of who I am and what I need—to be constantly moving and discovering new places to be at peace.
HL: Being that you are a solo woman traveler, what would you say to fellow female travelers who are scared to travel alone?
GA: I think we are all scared at different levels because of our experiences. Even if I’m used to travel, I’m always a bit scared when going to a new destination. Fear can be a challenge, but it feels good when you realize you are beyond your comfort zone and you can do pretty much everything you want.
Travel will take you out of your daily life you are used to and in turn will show you the world is a beautiful place where people are generally friendly and helpful. Before going to India for my first time, the media was constantly talking about prevalent rapes. If I had listened to the media, I probably would have never gone. However, I was glad I didn’t listen because I had a wonderful time there with nothing but great experiences!
HL: What would you say is the biggest misconception about traveling as a woman?
GA: I think there are two big ones. One stereotype is saying, “Women can’t travel solo because we are weaker or less independent than men,” which is a very old-fashioned mentality. Nowadays there are thousands of women traveling solo around the world. I don’t think the ability of traveling solo is due to gender but rather personality.
The other big stereotype is “Women traveling solo are only looking for fun and hooking up with every guy in the hostel or that we crave company.” Hey! We can actually be alone and have fun!