Why I Chose Nomad Living and Became A Solo Woman Traveler
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Why I Chose Nomad Living and Became A Solo Woman Traveler in Oaxaca

Even though I was born in the United States, I never felt like I belonged there. Deep down I knew I was destined for nomad living. Partially because of my dominant identities and partially because I spent a part of child and early adulthood in Europe and Egypt. To this day I feel the most different and otherized when I am in the U.S. Following the fourth season of the pandemic, I decided to choose me and a life that made me feel good. As an experienced solo woman traveler, I was still to become a nomad. However, I took a leap, surrendered, and chose nomad living. Not to be dramatic, but that decision saved my life.

During my first week in Oaxaca, Mexico, a friendly snake crossed my path. By that point, it was November 2021 and I had been out of the United States living as a nomad for two months. I had spent time in Belize, the Yucatan, and Chiapas as a solo woman traveler. The reality of being a nomad did not register until I was greeted by the snake in the Oaxacan mountains. Oaxaca has that effect on people. It is truly a magical place that makes me feel like I belong…somewhere. In that brief moment of watching the snake cross in front of me, I recognized myself. I, too, was just passing through, crossing paths with many individuals, and going about my business. 

At that moment, I felt relieved and seen. I could finally put the weight of the United States down. I could let it go because I was not going back.

Choosing nomad living was an organic decision.

Prior to being a nomad, I had been based in Baltimore for ten years. That was long enough. My soul would continue to leave my body the longer I stayed there. I felt stuck, anxious, and invisible. I felt unsafe and afraid to go outside. In fact, by 2021, I would only leave my apartment when it was absolutely necessary because of many traumatic events. We will save those stories for another day. I decided to finally leave Baltimore in May 2021. My lease would be up on my downtown Baltimore apartment by the Fall, and then I could finally move to the city that held my heart with care, my beloved New Orleans, Louisiana.

That all changed in the months following my first plant medicine experience. I don’t know why but my life began to shift drastically after that. I was completely cracked open,

In June 2021, I had my first experience with Kambo, Rapéh, and Sananga. You can read more about my personal journey with plant medicine here. In July I was accepted into my first creative residency. I spent most of July and August looking for housing in New Orleans without success. I was discouraged but then my mindset shifted. Instead of trying to stay in the U.S., what if I tried something I have wanted to do since I was in my 20s? What if I just left for a few months? What if?

In September, I packed up my apartment, put my stuff in storage, and bought a one-way ticket to Belize for $68. My thought was that I would just do some traveling for three months and then look for a place to live in New Orleans after this. I was going to find freedom. Come October 1st, I packed my carry-on and Lo & Sons Weekender and took off for the jungles of San Ignacio alone. By mid-November, I had met my snake friend in Oaxaca and decided I wasn’t going back to the U.S. permanently. I would visit to support my doula clients, and see friends and family, but my home would be abroad.

My love for Oaxaca runs deep. Even though I continued exploring the world after my six weeks there, it has left a lasting impression on my spirit. I love that city. I will be returning soon to finally set up one of my home bases there. You can read more about recommendations in my travel guide. It is perfect for the solo wanderer wanting to experience why Oaxaca is considered a spiritual portal.

What’s it like seeing the world as a woman traveling solo

The decision to leave my country of origin comes with a lot of privilege. After being in a country that strips human rights away from people who look like me, it felt strange having privilege because of my U.S. passport. People showing me respect, being generous, or accommodating was new. My life experiences made me normalize fighting for visibility. The defensiveness slowly left my body once I was outside of the U.S. Sometimes that is not always a good thing (I’m looking at you Guatemala and Egypt). With that said, I acknowledge my privilege as a U.S. passport holder. I make it a point to travel with intention and challenge the entitlement I see from other U.S. ex-pats immigrants.

The longer I stayed abroad, the easier it became to do so. I found myself smiling every morning for no reason. I finally completed my 200-hour yoga training after putting it off for five years. Frolicking through organic food markets with my reusable tote bag, ready to converse with the women who sold my favorite vegetables, bread, fresh juices, and homemade salsas were my new normal. My skin cleared up and my hair grew stronger. My digestion issues subsided. I was healthy. Making genuine and intimate friendships with other solo travelers became a delight. I was sleeping better, no longer anxious or afraid. The city let me wander. I was safe. The creativity I thought I lost as a child began to come back. I was writing every day. I was happy and alive!

Writer in the Tub was birthed while traveling as a nomad. My bath rituals were now weekly practices of release and self-worth. I found joy and rest.

Beginning my nomad journey in Oaxaca, Mexico gave me my light back

Since that day in the mountains, I have been a woman traveling solo ever since. Truly living as a nomad. This was the best decision for me to discover the depths of my existence beyond identity and scarcity. I finally met the part of me that always wanted to show up. Now I was in a mental and physical space that could give her permission to live freely.

When I lived in Baltimore, I convinced myself I was an introvert who did not like people. After traveling 10 countries in 8 months, I still do not like people (just kidding!) and I realized that I am more of an extrovert. I love that I get to know this extroverted human being the more I let her take us to new countries and adventures.

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