I’m Gina – the founder of Wanderlust Solo Tours who is passionate about ensuring our tours are a wealth of information, assistance and a good laugh whilst on your tour!
How it all began:
I was nearly 40. Yes, 40 years old. Where did the time go?! Wasn’t I supposed to have figured it all out by now?
I had a house, I had a job, I had my own business, yet I wasn’t happy or fulfilled. I felt the lack of what I “should” have in my life.
A bad relationship breakdown left me reassessing everything, wondering why I had all the material things yet felt so empty. The quaint small town I was living in felt stifling and its rustic country charm grated on me.
A whirlwind romance saw me visit Thailand for the first time where I fell in love – with travel. This trip was a catalyst for me – travel was what made my heart beat faster, travel inspired me, travel made me feel alive!
I sold up, downsized and booked a one-way trip to Paris with barely any money, plenty of nerves, and loads of determination.
That dreaded 40th birthday was amazing! I celebrated in France with newfound friends and lots of wine. My fortieth year was spent wandering through bazaars in Turkey, sampling tagines in Morocco, cathedral-gazing across Europe, and wandering quaint cobbled English lanes. It wasn’t all holidays – I worked and volunteered my way around Europe – but this enabled me to really get beyond just the tourist attractions, form lasting friendships, and truly absorb the atmosphere and culture of these new locations.
Not only did I experience a plethora of scents, textures and tastes, see wonders of the world and nature, and meet amazing people, but I also learnt so much more about myself, and my approach to life. I learnt that improving my life wasn’t only about changing my location, but also how I approached things. As I discovered my own happiness and the world, I appreciated where I came from and what I had at home.
I learnt that my life wasn’t stagnant, or over at 40 just because I hadn’t followed the same path as others. I didn’t need to settle for something I didn’t want – I could change it, any time I felt like it!
It’s been a few years since that first trip to Thailand, and since then I’ve explored, holidayed, worked and volunteered in more than 23 countries, and have no intention of stopping. I realized how to turn my passion into a living – by founding Wanderlust Solo Women’s Tours, with the aim of encouraging any and all women to find confidence, adventure, friendships and happiness through travel and experiences. I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I had, and my goal was to empower women to live their lives to the fullest.
The last thing I learnt? Nothing is certain. We don’t know what will happen next week, or next year. So with that philosophy in mind, I try to live in the moment, whilst keeping my eye on long-term goals, making sure I have someone to love – and yes, sometimes that is myself! – something to do, and something to aim for.
“You can never cross an ocean until you have the courage to lose site of the shore” – Christopher Columbus