From being caught in a sand storm outside a small mountain village in Jordan, to politely declining a marriage proposal offer of 200 camels in Egypt, solo female backpacker Kallie experienced adventures that are more than mundane.
Kallie P. from the United States graduated high school and has been working since she was fifteen. After quitting her job in HR a few months ago, Kallie has been travelling in order to pursue her love for nature and being outside since September 2021.
She has been to three countries so far – Greece, Egypt and Jordan – since she left the States to travel and is set to continue travelling spontaneously without much planning, in an affordable way.
We found out more about backpacker Kallie’s four months living on the road, backpacking through these three countries.
What is your first travel memory?
I guess the first that I can really remember is going to New Orleans every year to visit my grandma. My grandparents lived there and we would go visit them and wander around the city.
What inspires you to travel now?
I think what really inspired me to travel is just my love for nature. When I was in high school, anytime I would be going through rough times, I would go outside and really try to focus on nature and how amazing it is. So I started seeing pictures on Instagram of all these cool places and mountain ranges and rivers and beaches. That inspired me to see more of the world.
You are a solo female traveller – how does this affect the way you travel? Does it ever make travel more of a challenge?
I think it’s definitely different travelling by myself, especially as a female. When you’re by yourself, you have to be much more aware of your surroundings, where everybody is, if there’s anyone following you. It gets to the point where you have to be a little bit paranoid, but there’s a fine line between being paranoid and naïve. It is definitely different and it is more intimidating, but the more you do it and the longer you do it, the more you get the hang of it and the more confidence you get.
How do you manage the cost side of travel? Do you have any advice for hopeful travellers?
Well, there are several different apps where you can find plane tickets that are much cheaper. I go between Hopper, Skyscanner and Google Flights for plane tickets. There are public transportation apps as well, so that way you don’t have to worry about renting a car and getting insurance for that. I use Rome2Rio and Moovit for public transportation between cities. Staying in youth hostels and dorm rooms is definitely a good way to go too, especially if you’re travelling by yourself. It is so easy to meet people there and cooking in the hostel also saves a lot of money, instead of eating out for every meal.
What effect has the pandemic had on your travels? Has it taught you anything?
Pandemic makes it more difficult and costly because almost every country requires an RT-PCR test.
I actually had a bit of an issue in Greece for a couple of days. They started refusing my American immunisation card since it didn’t have a QR code.
I was not allowed into any stores restaurants or bars. I’m actually home now since countries are going back under lockdown.
I was getting nervous that the youth hostels might close down. So I decided to come home until things calm down a little bit.
Your most recent country is Jordan – what was it like travelling here?
Oh, it was amazing, there was so much to see and the people there were by far the kindest and most welcoming and just generous people I have ever met. I loved the food there, they had a variety – a lot of Asian, Middle Eastern, of course, Yemenis food which was my favourite, and they had Saudi Arabian and Egyptian dishes. A little bit of everything in the area.
What areas of Jordan did you travel to?
Well, I’ve always wanted to go see Petra and then Wadi Rum desert. I honestly did not do any research before going because I like to be surprised. I like to go to a place without any expectations. Petra was amazing, I definitely recommend going there and Wadi Rum was like going to a different planet. There were so many cool rock formations and the sand was a gorgeous pink colour.
How did Jordan compare to the other countries you’ve visited?
I’ve actually only been to three countries so far. The first time I ever left the States was in September and then I stayed out for four months. My favourite is a really close tie between Jordan and Greece. The people in Jordan were wonderful, and seeing these historical cities was amazing. But island hopping around Greece was pretty epic too.
Do you have any upcoming plans? What countries are next on your list?
Now that I’m back on this side of the planet, I’m thinking of going through Mexico, Central and South America next in early April. In order to keep my bucket list fresh, I use a notes app on my phone. My goal is to travel to every nation and spend a month or more there. I want to fully immerse myself in the culture of the place I’m visiting. So I plan to travel slow and enjoy the experience.
Any last piece of advice for fellow travellers?
If you’re thinking about travelling, especially travelling solo, just go for it. You won’t regret it!
Catch up and follow Kallie’s journey on Instagram.