Wanderful Global Member of the Month: Brianne Miers
At Wanderful we’re all about the sisterhood, and we love hearing from our community! That’s why our global membership is so cool: Wanderful women from all over the world get to access the all the benefits of being Wanderful in awesome ways.
In addition to exclusive, members-only access to resources and content on sheswanderful.com, global members get access to our monthly webinars featuring inspiring women travelers, $20 off their tickets to the Women in Travel Summit, and so much more.
To say thank you to our global members and celebrate what an awesome community of women we have, we feature one global member a month.
Say hello to Brianne Miers!
Brianne has traveled extensively since her first trip overseas at the age of 13. Her blog, A Traveling Life, focuses on how to balance a career with a life of travel. She is the principal at Kind Communications, providing communications consulting to non-profits and start-ups, and is the Boston coordinator of Meet, Plan, Go!
I think being “Wanderful” means having a strong sense of who you are and the courage to pursue the life that you want – whatever that looks like.
Solo travel has reinforced that I’m much braver than I often give myself credit for. I know that I can handle almost any situation life throws at me. It’s also given me the courage to defend myself against well-meaning friends, family, and colleagues who question whether I’m being irresponsible with finances, I’m jeopardizing my professional relationships, or I’m taking risks with my safety.
I decided relatively recently that I needed to tune out what others have to say and stay committed to living life on my own terms. I think this is such an important lesson for women to learn, regardless of whether they are more comfortable on their couch or on an airplane.
Tell us about your most impactful travel experience.
I’ve had a lot of memorable and authentic travel experiences. I make an effort to stay, eat, and shop in locally owned businesses whenever possible, and, as a result, I’ve been able to see what day-to-day life is like in many other parts of the world.
Without a doubt, though, my most impactful travel experience was the summer I spent volunteering in Pokhara, Nepal during graduate school. I stayed with a very warm and generous family and taught English at an all-girls public school.
I still keep in touch with the organization – Hands for Help Nepal – and some of the teachers at the school. I think about them all the time, especially since the earthquake hit last year, and I hope to return to volunteer again someday.
Which destination have you always wanted to visit?
Like most travelers, my “bucket list” is long and seems to grow by the day.
I’ve never been to Africa, so that seems like the natural top choice for continent.
To narrow it down to a specific country, I would have to say South Africa. I really would like to learn more about apartheid and its aftermath, as well as experience all of the natural beauty the country has to offer (and visit a vineyard or two!).
What’s your travel mantra?
The mantra that really sums up my life is:
Collect experiences, not things.
My parents are retired teachers, so some of my earliest and most cherished memories are of taking trips together to local museums and historical sights (OK, and the Jersey Shore!), and that’s how I continue to live my life today – and why I drive a 2003 Honda Civic.
Even though I sometimes get a pang of jealousy over a friend’s new pair of shoes, I know that what I am learning, seeing, and doing while traveling will benefit me for the rest of my life.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#36adaf”]I would say my travel-specific mantra is, “Go with the flow!” [/mks_pullquote]
Share your best tip for female travelers.
Ask the locals for recommendations. Staff at your hostel/hotel should be able to provide you with the details on where – and where not – to venture if you’re looking to find authentic experiences. They can also write down names of restaurants and other destinations in the local language, which you can show to someone if you get lost, instead of butchering the pronunciation.
Side note: Since I’m a vegetarian, I often have someone write a note for me in the local language that says, “I don’t eat meat,” along with the name of a dish or two that is vegetarian-friendly.
What do you like most about being a global member?
I attended my first WITS conference here in Boston last year, and I had such a wonderful time that I wanted to support Wanderful’s mission by becoming a pro [global] member. I’m proud to be part of an organization that provides such meaningful connections and resources for women of all ages and backgrounds, and is always evolving to meet the needs of its members, wherever they are in the world!
And I’m looking forward to the VIP room at WITS in Irvine next month!