So what is my story? First, let me say “thank you” for stopping by to check out my blog. I hope you enjoy your visit here, become inspired to take your first solo trip, and share my story with a friend or two that might benefit from it. My purpose in sharing my story with you is to inspire you to travel the world, solo that is.
Many years ago, I met a guy that was everything I had dreamed of in a man. He was intelligent, charming, and smooth. The relationship was perfect in the beginning. Long talks late into the night, trips to the lake, and endless romantic dinners that always ended with the perfect kiss. Over time we fell deeply in love – we were inseparable. Years passed on and the love began to fade. He changed and NOT for the good. I soon noticed how unhappy I was being with him. I felt unappreciated and taken advantage of. I began to feel like I was wasting my time with him. And I know that time wasted is time lost you can never get it back.
Before I knew it, arguing had become our way of communicating with each other. Kisses were a thing of the past and spending time together was nonexistent. With other things going on in my life at the same time I felt a strong need for change. I started evaluating the relationships in my life and realize I was not only feeling unappreciated by him but by other relationships in my life. Every day was about someone else. I never had time for myself. The New Year was approaching and I was ready for change. I needed to do something differently, so I started detaching myself from unhealthy people, you know, those people that only come around when they want something. I call them NEEDY people. They can drain you mentally, physically, and financially with THEIR needs. I was determined not to bring them into my new year. And I didn’t, well except one…
I stepped into the New Year feeling more alive. With only a handful of people left in my life, I was able to continue to love and nurture those relationships. My new mindset was determined to find happiness – something that I had been chasing for years. But, there was one person that I was still holding on to, my ex. It was hard to let him go. Looking back now, I honestly can’t give myself one good reason why I held on for so long. I do know that things that are familiar to you can be hard to walk away from. For me, that holds some truth. I am a person that loves security and I’m not one for a lot of change. And his mess came like clockwork… which I got a little too comfortable with.
Change was coming – not in any way that I could have ever imagined. When I was younger, I was taught that everything in your life happens for a reason, the good and the bad. That you should never lose faith when you do not see any good coming out of your bad situation. In due time it shall reveal itself if you faint not.
I decided to take an all-girls trip to take my mind off the familiar for a while. The trip turned out to be perfect but I could not say that in the beginning. This trip turned into a week of wild partying, for them that is. While they slept the morning away and most of the afternoon I was up and exploring at the crack of dawn. I began to notice how much I enjoyed my own company and how much I was able to see and do before they rolled out of bed in the late afternoon. Ha! I was a bit frustrated at first because the trip had not gone according to plan. I quickly got over it once I realized how much-uninterrupted fun I was having. The time alone was amazing. It boosted my confidence and showed me how independent I was. And I craved more of it! It was not until almost a year later that I looked back at that trip to draw encouragement to take my very first solo trip. It’s funny how uneventful situations like that can be the catalyst to get you on the path to where you are now.
I returned home, back to an unhappy relationship. Thinking to myself “what’s next”. I decided to plan a nice birthday getaway for two! Yes, I convinced myself that we just needed some time away from the familiar – to go have some fun! I later questioned my judgment. On the plane, off we go! The first couple of days on the trip was perfect… laughing, having fun, and enjoying each other’s company once again. A gal could not be happier. And then came days three and four. It was a nightmare! Finally, we made it home and what I thought was a nightmare before was hardly that. Here I stood in the garage at midnight, tired, exhausted, and dying to get into the bed. But that did not happen until hours later. He began on one of his temper tantrums that lasted well into the morning. Cursing and calling me every name that he thought would hurt me. I never had to say a word to keep the fuel going to his fire. He kept it going all by himself until nothing was left but ashes.
As I pulled my luggage out of the car, tears rolling down my face, I watched him dance in them as if they were a puddle of rain. I remember my body shaking and trembling, barely able to walk to the door. I remember thinking to myself I can’t do this anymore! When I closed the garage door, as I watched him standing there looking senseless, I knew it was over. I knew that I would never allow him to waste any more of my time. I cried for a short while as I tried to figure out what in the hell just happened! Soon my tears of unhappiness turned into a plead to God asking him not to allow my heart to become hardened towards him. Telling myself that my heart has no vacancies for bitterness, hatred, or unforgiveness. Asking God to dry my tears away and make me whole again. I made a vow to God and myself that night that gave me the strength to remain single and celibate until this day. I remembered from past hurt and pain that if you have God’s peace you can endure any adversity that beset you!
When I woke up I felt different. I felt lighter as if dead weight had been lifted off me and it had. You don’t realize how much baggage you’re carrying until you let it go. I went to one of the mirrors in my hallway and I wrote “You will come out on top” – those words still remain there today. Those words encourage me through some pretty hard situations because I knew, no matter how bad the situation was I will always come out on top. Over the last few years, I have added over 50 quotes to several mirrors throughout my home as simple words of encouragement. I believe that the best encouragement that you can receive are the ones that you give yourself! Those quotes that I read every day quickly became part of my daily life. I drew a lot of strength and wisdom from the breakup which helped me to overcome many obstacles in my life, one being the fear of traveling solo. The breakup put into perspective how important life is and living a happy life. That relationship transformed me in how who and where I invest my time. Time wasted is time lost; you can never get it back! Over the last four years, that has been my driving force to get out and explore the world. I do not want to look back another decade and feel like my time had been wasted in an unhealthy relationship or not living at all.
As time went on, I started contemplating on taking a trip that would be so amazing that it would erase the bad memories of the last one. One that was uninterrupted by foolishness and sure to end on a pleasant note. I began seeking places that I had always dreamed of visiting and the Grand Canyon came to mind. Its spectacular views that I had always heard about were sure to erase any bad memories from my thoughts. So off I went, solo. Well, not completely solo – I did join a tour company to get me there. Ha! But this was my very first solo trip, unaccompanied by anyone I knew. I remember the moment and the feeling of pure excitement when I uttered those joyful words “this is the best trip ever”! I was sitting on the side of a cliff after a long hike up the Bright Angel Trail, looking out at a picturesque view, eating a fresh deli sandwich and purple grapes. Listening to the beautiful sound of nature and the faint sound of the water running along the Colorado River below us. The trip was perfect and I craved more of it.
The next year rolled around and off I went on another trip, solo. My newfound confidence in being single and traveling solo was my driving force. I had one solo trip under my belt and plenty of room for another. But this trip did hit me with a bit of anxiety. I was leaving U.S. soil. I had never traveled internationally in my life and now I’m doing it solo? I didn’t know anything about foreign currency or how to read a Canadian street sign. And I have to cross the border? So does that mean I can’t bring my pet chicken, iguanas, or goats with me? Joking. I don’t own any chickens… I had a lot to teach myself before this trip so my research began! Now I’m all fired up and ready to go enrich myself into new experiences, diverse culture, and some serious me time.
Getting my first passport stamp, while crossing the border SOLO, is an experience I will never forget. I felt so many happy emotions run through my body as the border patrol guy said “enjoy your visit.” Well, that was after he searched my car for who knows what. Guess he thought I had been drinking because I was so fired up. I incorrectly answered all of his questions. Ha! I was just excited about the whole experience of getting my first stamp, crossing a border, and doing it solo. Every time I think about that experience I get chills down my spine. It was life-changing. Empowerment hit me like an atomic bomb, it sealed the deal. I knew right then that solo traveling was for me. I needed to travel solo. I had to travel solo. I love the feeling of traveling alone, having uninterrupted fun, and feeling independent. Not relying on anyone else’s mandate. And that I was confident enough to get myself somewhere unfamiliar to me and have a good time. It was the best feeling ever and in my opinion the best way for ME to travel the world. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling with my family and the memories that we make but my desire to travel solo has brought life back to me.
This trip taught me a lot about myself and how I enjoy seeing the world. I spent three 12-hour days exploring beautiful Canada, uninterrupted and on my own terms. Everything that I learned on that trip was self-taught. I didn’t have a tour guide to take me places, explain things to me or prevent me from getting lost. It taught me how to follow my own intuition and judgment. I quickly learned to read Canadian street signs, maps, and guide books. And sometimes just wander around for a few minutes until I found my way. No one to lead me down the wrong path…. Don’t know how many times that has happened when I traveled with others. I was able to spend as many hours as I desired listening to the beautiful sounds of the rushing water coming off Niagara Falls. After doing quite a bit of driving on this trip it boosted my confidence to try a short road trip next. I had always heard that the California coastline offered some of the most beautiful drives in the world and I had to see it for myself.
The next year rolled around and off I went. Sunny California here I come! This trip was very significant to me. It was the celebration of my 3-year single/celibate-anniversary. I had made a vow to myself that I would remain single for at least 3 years and I did. Wow, I’m celebrating three years of being single and being happy the whole time. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would find so much happiness while being single. Or after a nightmare of a breakup 3 years prior. It is possible and I am living proof. Even though I’ve been single for a little over three years now, I never felt alone or lonely. I know it had a lot to do with the promise I made myself and the newfound happiness of traveling. And planning. Planning a trip is just as exciting as actually taking the trip.
California yielded some amazing experiences that I will never forget. From my first whale watching tour, off the gorgeous Southern California coastline, to hiking the famous Tuolumne Grove Trailhead in Yosemite National Park to walking on some of the most pristine beaches my eyes had ever seen. And not to mention the opportunity to swim with harbor seals and sea lions as they bask in the beautiful waters of La Jolla Beach. To driving down one of the most iconic highways in the world, Highway 1. As I set out on my 3-hour drive from San Francisco, Ca to Big Sur, there was nothing that could have prepared me for the first glimpse of the rocky, unspoiled coastline of Big Sur. From the twisting, cliff-hugging routes to towering mountains on both sides of the narrow, isolated strip of paradise, my eyes were in a spell not knowing which way to look. I was surrounded by miles of beautiful, untainted, and unspoiled land. Nature at its finest. I remember gasping as my eyes sparkled with anticipation of what I would see next. Mountains so tall they looked as if they were touching the sky. The roar of the ocean as it came crashing against the side of the rocky cliff. The Big Sur was a wonderful experience to have had. You can never go wrong when you commune with nature. California coastline is nothing short of wondrous!
My life is far from perfect. I am no stranger to pain, disappointment, or adversity, but I can honestly say that I am happy! After many years of being in unhealthy relationships, I could not honestly say that to myself. I now do more of what makes Tiffany happy. Tiffany first – after God that is.
I walk my own path and live on my own terms. Why shouldn’t I? It’s my life, right? I’m responsible for my own happiness, not anyone else. If what you are doing does not bring any harm to you or anyone else, I say do it! We have one life to live and it’s up to us on how we live our lives. Please do not live another year in regret, wishing you had taken a solo trip. Don’t miss the opportunity, out of fear of being free, happy, and independent. Make up your mind, write out your plan and start saving. Know that I’m here to inspire and encourage you through sharing my solo travel experiences. You can also reach me on Instagram, link below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Again, thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit here and that you have decided to stick around for a while. I have tons more to share. I truly hope my life experiences have inspired you to travel and live a life of happiness.
When life throws me lemons, I eat them!
June 22, 2016
25 thoughts on “My Story”
Once I started reading I could not stop! You are an amazing, beautiful woman with an insight of yourself that most people wish they had. I so related to much of what you said, Life is what we make it and it is only our life, not someone else’s. Can’t wait for your next Blog – let me know when you post.
Excellent story well received, Keep sharing your journey. Stay encouraged.
Tiffany: Sorry to hear of all the challenges you have had in your life. But I am so glad to hear that everything seems to be better for you now. Sorry I wasn’t around more for you!!!
Wow, what a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us, and reminding us that we too can face our fears and become stronger, little by little, small steps at a time! You are a wonderful example of someone who has taken adversity and setbacks and turned your life around, secure in the knowledge that it is you, and only you, who can truly make you happy! Best wishes to you on the rest of your adventures! xx
Thank you, Anne, I’m glad you enjoyed reading my story. It blows my mind when I look at my life today – a life that I love and so happy to have but I first had to walk away from someone that I thought at one time in my life I couldn’t live without even though I knew the relationship wasn’t fulfilling, healthy or happy. All I wanted was to be happy and I didn’t know I would find happiness while being single. Nor did I think I would be traveling to so many great places and having epic adventures! You are so right, all we have to do sometimes is face fear head on and take that first step to see our blessing that’s been waiting for us around the corner. I haven’t had one regret about walking away from that relationship! Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me. If you like to follow my journey please feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss my epic adventures. I’m traveling now so I will share this adventure in a couple of weeks. Blessings to you Anne.
OMG ?, Tiffany, that was so inspiring.
I really enjoyed reading your story.
It hit home for me, as well. As far as
the “no win relationship” I could really
relate to that. I’m so happy for you. You
have always been a very good friend and you deserve only the best. I miss you friend, but you do you and enjoy every minute of it…?
Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s amazing how much better my life is now that I’ve put Tiffany first. I look forward to many more years of happiness and epic adventures. I miss you too! We have to hang out soon. I need to see your sweet face. Thank you again for the kind words. I do hope you decide to subscribe to my blog so you can stay up to date on my travels. Love you!
It was a pleasure to meet you i really enjoyed your story and it does really inspire me to want to plan and take my own SOLO trip! Good luck on your journey and safe travels!
It was a pleasure meeting you as well, Kendra. I will be your biggest cheerleader when you decide to take your first solo trip. You got this girl! My first solo trip was to the Grand Canyon/Las Vegas. I flew into Vegas and stayed a few days before hopping on a tour bus to the Grand Canyon. I remember that day just like it was yesterday. My heart was overflowing with joy and excitement. I walked away with a big boost of confidence. The freedom and confidence I feel after each trip has lead me to continue on this solo travel journey for 5 years now. Wow! If you need tips on where to go for your first solo trip or how to plan or save for it let me know. I’d love to help out in anyway that I can. I might see you again on my way to Moab this spring! Thank you for letting me share my story with you and for following my blog. Please feel free to share “my story” with anyone you think might need a little encouragement to take their first solo trip! I share my solo adventures to inspire, encourage and give hope!
Hi Tiffany! I am so glad you shared your blog on the Thor Gemini/Compass Facebook page. I just read your story and could relate to much of what you experience. Nearly thirty years ago…I packed up three daughters and our dog and moved everything we owned from Indianapolis Indiana to Central Florida…a place I had never seen before. Everyone thought I was crazy, but my decision came after much prayer and surrendering it all to our Lord and Savior. I confessed I had been making bad choices for many years and ask HIM to direct my steps. I grew up with an abusive Mother that didn’t like me very well and tried every way possible to leave home. At 16 I was on my own…and even more disfunction began. I married at 17 and had my first child 9 months later. It just increased the number of unhealthy relationships in my life. At 35 years old I decided the only way to break the cycle was to move 1,000 miles away…..I felt a sense of PEACE beyond anything I had ever known as I drove south! Eleven weeks later I bought a house and never looked back. I still made some mistakes along the way, but met my now husband 1 1/2 years after arriving and married a year after. We just celebrated 25 years and he has been a great blessing in my life and the lives of our children! I am most thankful for FAITH that has carried me out of that pit and allowed me to be filled with peace and joy! I feel like you are my new friend….that I just haven’t had the chance to meet face to face yet! God Bless you as you travel and we WILL see you down the road!!
Hi Karen –
Thank you so much for sharing your story and leaving a very thoughtful and encouraging message.
People thought I was crazy too for traveling solo, living a single lifestyle and the changes I’ve made in the last two years to put myself in a position to travel more freely. Deciding to walk away from my ex and to travel has transformed my life tremendously. I can relate to your story in so many ways. I have lived in the same state my whole life and have often wondered what it would be like to live somewhere else. I had a fear of living in another state because I never traveled before the breakup but when I did my eyes became wide open. I no longer have to wonder what it will feel like living in another state because I will get to experience that soon. I pray about everything and will not move without the peace of God. I learned the hard way of doing things out of his will. Lol Now that I have his peace I am starting the next chapter of my life. I am so grateful to have his guidance over my life. He has held my hand through it all… I can’t imagine life without him. You are a courageous woman, and I admire you! Wow! If you can move 1000s of miles away with three kids and a dog, I know I can do it solo! I do hope we get a chance to meet on the road so we can share more stories and laugh until the sun comes up!
Thank you again, my friend, for the inspirational message.
I loved it! Well not the painful part I love your strength in keep moving forward. Stay Safe!
WOW, what a great story. I am so glad that you are happy and did not continue that life. I knew you were a good person and deserve all the happiness in the world from your first video and the beautiful smile. I am so glad I found your channel, it has been a highlight for me during the pandemic. You are a great inspiration in more ways than one. Keep making videos and inspiring all. Thanks for the LOL, about the lemons. Be safe and continue to enjoy life.
Wow Ms Tiffany my heart goes out to you 😢how much I know about bad relationships and been mistreated and beated down verbally physically and mentally emotionally drained from it years I suffer by hands of man list go on to been tease in school pick on I go on about my hurt but it’s about you I’m glad you got out I’m so proud of you you remind me of my Mother your smile your beauty and your cooking one while it was hard to watch you without bringing a tear of joy causecit was like I were looking at the younger her oh I love your home if ever I had to life Vanlife i hope and pray I could have one of those Van you gave they very nice and cozy I love your cooking video I be laughing at you enjoying yourself I’m glad you got a chance to see the Beautiful land God gave us your so brave to adventure out your doing something that I be afraid to do but willing if I had too
Good luck on your journey may you find true love when it comes you’ll know everything you cook i be like give
me a bite Ms Tiffany 😋 be safe take care we love you were watching over you your fans your guarding Angel
Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful message of encouragement it contains! I recently came across your videos on YouTube and was immediately drawn to your smile and spirit because you remind me of my little sister. I lost her on May 1st, 2019 (she was only 30 years old). Her passing was unexpected and in so many ways I am still grieving. I struggle with the unfairness of it but your wise words have truly helped me to find faith again, when I had turned my back on it. May all your travels be safe and happy.
Hi Tiffany, love your channel. Always brightens my day watching your videos. I hope all is well. Haven’t seen a post in a couple of weeks so thought I’d drop you a note to check on you.
Blessings, Debbie Ray
I love your story and your channel, Tiffany. You have inspired me to take solo tent camping trips- some day I’ll be able to afford an RV, and maybe then I can see the country like you do. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your happiness with us!
Tiffany. I came across your videos in the most deepest darkest time in my life. I lost my father to suicide, lost my lover of over 30 years to being prescribed a pain killer that was on record as being highly allergic too, lost my brother to an aneurism and then my world really caved when I lost my mother, my best friend my shoulder my World!
I was getting close to retirement and we always talked about hitting the round , like you are doing. But after 5 years of grieving I can at least speak of her without a total meltdown. 😢
I have no children and no husband and feel like my mother would want me to live on. So after all that my question is the reliability and service availability to your home on wheels.
If out on highway away from the city how do you handle any mechanical issues, is there a national roadside assistance that you use?
Also how do you even begin to budget for this lifestyle?
Thank you Tiffany for all your sharing and pray one day I will be blessed with meeting you.
Hi Tiffany, wow you’re an amazing writer. While reading your story it definitely felt as if I was reading a good book. Thank you for sharing your life experience’s with us. I really enjoy your YouTube channel as well. And you’re absolutely right you only have one life to live you might as well enjoy it. The world God created is beautiful and glorious to view! You keep on keeping on! God Bless you on your journey in life!
Thank you for sharing! I needed to hear (read) this! I have allowed fear and traditions to keep me from fulfilling my dreams. I have traveled alone but not outside of my state 😳. I have a vision board with all of these places I want to visit, but have not fulfilled one of them. Thank you for the encouragement to do just that. I ran across your YouTube channel as I have been researching tiny homes. I am so glad I did! I hope to meet you on one of your meet up (hopefully you are able to come to Houston). Safe travels 🙏🏾
Hi Tiffany pray all is well I found you on YouTube and I make it my business every day to check to see if you posted a new video I love watching you you so inspiring and you look like you just have so much fun in your life and the things that you’re doing I read your blog and I can very well relate to it haven’t had the guts to actually go out and travel because I am nobody’s driver I would love to do that that is one of my dreams but like I said I don’t drive like that I am very local as far as driving but other than that my life has been I’m going to say change because I changed it someone once told me change is not change until it is changed to keep up the good work I look forward to spending long hours of videos and blogging with you and God bless
Hi Tiffany! I feel like I know you personally though we never met. I love your travel videos and tips on how to keep basic maintenance up on your vehicle. Glad you shared your past experience and even happier that you decided to be a little selfish at just the right time and never looked back! God has blessed you and it shows! Take care!
I am so proud of you and grateful for your honesty, bravery, and sense of adventure. I totally enjoy your posts. I am a recent widow trying to figure out my next Chapter. You inspire me. Be blessed and safe on your journey.
Loved your story and glad you found your happiness. I’m getting ready to start my traveling adventure. I’m a teacher and this is my last year. It has been rough. I took a trip to Florida by myself to see my son. It was a 13 hour drive there and back, but I loved it. Just the freedom I feel when driving, especially on a beautiful day. Although, it wasn’t without a little drama of course. There are some very adventurous drivers out there, but thank God for his traveling mercy. I would say most of the drivers were caution and courteous. I want to quick work now and hit the road, but I must be patient, June is coming. Hope to see you on the road.
God Bless you.
P.S. Love your spirit. Your kindness and positivity comes through your videos.
I am so grateful to find your YouTube channel a few days ago. Seeing a beautiful, plus size woman living in a can and just experiencing life SOLO is soooooo motivating and inspiring! I came across many YouTube channels on Vanlife and SchoolieLife… but yours just sang to me! I love nature, but can’t stand bugs and critters LOL, and I love to glamp…but not camp LOL! I am going to be renting an RV Van for a month to finally experience what it’s like to travel and live in a van, to actually see if this life will be a fit for me. THANK YOU for being an I inspiration for us plus size, girls of color!! I love your items in your shop and I can’t wait to get them! Many blessings and prayers on your continued travels!