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When is one ready for badass solo travel?

27 July 2016
27 Jul 2016 -
Paula Froelich

When is one ready for what Paula Froelich, Founder of A Broad Abroad and closing keynote speaker at this year’s World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC), likes to call ‘badass solo travel’?

“You just need to believe in yourself and your badassness!” exclaims Paula.

She then insists that I will have to buy her a beer in order to hear her most memorable travel experiences.

To get at those stories, you’ll have to come to WYSTC in Belgrade to meet Paula and buy her a beer yourself. In the meantime, we asked her some boring questions and here’s what she said:

Do you think travel gets easier with age?

“Yes and no. It depends on where you are and what frame of mind you’re in. Travel is oftentimes about where you’re at mentally.”

So why is it that we want to travel to discover and at the same time constantly connect back to the people and things that we already know via our smartphones and social media?

“Safety and peace of mind. Our phones have become our safety net.

Do your family members worry about your travels abroad?

“HAHAHA! Oh, yes. Especially when I tell them I’m off to ski Afghanistan, take a bus tour of Iraq or ride a boat up the Niger River.

What have been some of the biggest frustrations that you’ve faced as a traveller?

“Sometimes in can be frustrating travelling as a woman alone – different societies treat women very, very differently.”

How have you dealt with that?

“I’ve held my ground and followed basic travel safety rules.”

With more people travelling at younger ages and building up their travel résumés, how do you think the future of tourism will look?

“Honestly, I think it will look similar, but more people in their 20s and 30s will start to work out of a ‘mobile’ office.

What’s your take on Snapchat? Do you use it? Does its appeal to younger people say anything about the future of digital communication?

“Heck yes I do (@karlfro). I love it. Considering I’m not all that young and I love it…honestly, it’s about checking in, connecting and storytelling. With a soupçon of braggery.”

You’ve been named one of the ’40 women to watch over 40’…are you really over 40?

“SHHHH! Ha.Yes. I’m 42.”

Do you think opportunities for cultural exchange are at risk if Trump gets elected?


Since Donald Trump has said, “Paula Froelich knows what she is talking about,” do you think that Americans will travel less if a Trumpocalypse sets in?

“Ha. I bet they will travel more. Permanently. To Canada.”


Join Paula Froelich at WYSTC 2016 in Belgrade for more on badass solo travel, women in travel and travel media.