What would you do if you could have summer vacation as a grown up? Kindergarten teacher Tabitha went backpacking in the Sierras five times this summer! On solo trips, she brings along her adventure dog Marley, enjoying the freedom of nature on her own terms. In November, Tabitha is going on a solo trip to Iceland, feeling equal parts nervous and excited.
If there is a place you want to go, don’t let fear keep you from going. Get out there and do it!
Learn more about Tabitha below, including her advice for women who want to travel solo, and follow her adventures on Instagram!
Shoestring Warrior: Tabitha
Ortega Highway, Lake Elsinore, California
What are your passions outside of work?
Being outside as much as possible, hiking, backpacking, camping, snowboarding, exploring new places and photography
How would you describe your level of camping experience?
Advanced – I have been doing it for a very long time now.
Tell us about yourself!
I am a down to earth person who loves to experience new places and things.
When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?
My first experiences in the outdoors were in elementary school. I was in Girl Scouts, we did a lot of hiking and camping in the local mountains. I fell in love with the outdoors while attending college at Humboldt State. I became hooked after my first backpacking trip in the Trinity Alps wilderness.
What is it like to have summer vacation as an adult?
Having 8 weeks off every summer is AWESOME!!! Definitely a huge perk to my job. This summer has been one of the best yet. I was able to do five backpacking trips in the Eastern Sierra.
What do you find challenging about solo travel? What do you find rewarding?
I don’t completely travel alone. I have my best adventure dog Marley with me on my solo trips, although he isn’t the best conversationalist. Experiencing these amazing places and not having someone there to share it with and talk to can be challenging at times. I find the freedom of being able to do what I want, go where I want, spend as much time as I want taking pictures of places to be very rewarding. It also makes you feel like you are kind of a badass.
Do you have advice for other women who want to travel?
If there is a place you want to go, don’t let fear keep you from going. Get out there and do it! Society makes many women feel like they can’t and shouldn’t do certain things by themselves. I feel safer in the outdoors than anywhere else! I always let a couple people know my plans when I travel alone, what wilderness area I will be in, what trail, where I plan to camp, when I will be back out, and which forest service station to contact if they don’t hear from me by a certain time. If I am on the road, I check in with family and friends regularly to let them know I am a-okay!
Now that you have been on two Shoestring Adventures, can you tell us your favorite memory from one of those trips?
Can I tell a couple? Haha! On my first trip to Kings Canyon, my favorite memory was photographing the Milky Way. It was something I had wanted to learn how to do. During this summer’s trip to Yosemite I loved our campsite overlooking that immense canyon — sipping wine with old and new friends, eating stuffed olives and sun dried tomatoes around a fire.
Where to next?
Iceland in November. I am super excited and nervous at the same time, as I am going by myself. Before I go to Iceland, I will be earning my Wilderness First Aid certification with Shoestring Adventures!
The perfect s’more:
A perfectly toasted brown marshmallow on top of caramel filled chocolate
Follow Tabitha’s adventures on Instagram!