In honour of my book available as an eBook (Woman Enough, paperbacks soon!), I decided to interview some women who I believe are some of the most courageous, and who deserve to have their stories shared. I want to celebrate women. Nothing more, nothing less. Here they are in their own words. I am humbled and grateful to have a snapshot into their worlds.
I don’t know Alice personally. A fellow writer friend introduced us online and I’m so glad he did! Alice lives outside of her comfort zone. She tests the limits of adventure and doesn’t look back. She is the definition of badassery. I’m smitten… and you will be, too! -Lissa
Passionate about women empowerment, drinking tea and hiking mountains, Alice’s key question on Teacake Travels is, ‘It’s not can you do it, it’s will you do it?’
Name: Alice Teacake
Please share whatever you would like us to know about yourself:
I’m on a mission to empower women to face their fears and push their boundaries to reach their full potential through solo female adventure travel! I’ve been travelling solo for the last 8 years and running my girl power blog Teacake Travels for the last 3! It’s been an amazing journey so far, learning about who I am and what I’m fully capable of. You can find out more about my journey and adventures on my about me page!
When did you get hit by the travel bug?
It has always been in my blood but it took me quite a while to know this and say ‘yes’ to what my soul really needed. I was a hard-working student who always listened to what was expected of me, so I didn’t end up going travelling until I was 25. I followed the expectations of working hard and studying hard so that I could get a good job, the perfect boyfriend and the right house. But once I got to this point, I wasn’t happy. I kept saying to myself, ‘Is this it? Is this really it?’. As fate would have it, I came across a solo female traveller on a train – and was so overcome by her story, that as soon as I got off that train, I decided to change my life. I quit my job, my house and my boyfriend and within 3 months, I was in South Korea teaching English. I was the happiest I had been in a long time!
What’s the biggest surprise/challenge you’ve encountered travelling alone?
I travel to be challenged. When I set off, I didn’t want to be comfortable. I wanted to truly learn what I liked, loved and needed – and this meant also learning what I didn’t like, love and need in my life. It has been quite an experience, with many an up and down!
The biggest challenges I have faced on the road are accidentally falling pregnant and undergoing an abortion whilst on the road and being sexually assaulted in India. These times were incredibly tough but I learnt a lot from both of these incidents.
Personal favourite moments which I am very proud of are driving from the UK to Mongolia (and back) with an all-female team on the Mongol Rally, being a burlesque dancer in Shanghai and becoming involved in Women Empowerment projects in India.
I am very grateful for all of the lessons travel has given me about who I am. I have learnt that I am a strong, capable women who can do so much more than my 25-year-old self could have ever envisioned.
How do you keep yourself safe while travelling?
I have a ton of different travel tips and tricks in this area. I highly recommend before you even leave the house that you get travel insurance! Once that is done and dusted, investing in some simple products can really make your travel life easier.
I like to carry a door alarm with me, and a whistle for emergencies when I am out and about. I always make sure I have the name and address of my accommodation with me – in a safe place. If I was to get robbed, at least I would have this information with me to get home. There are some great travel clothes out there that you can wear to keep your valuables safe.
I spent 3 months in China learning Jiu Jitsu for self defence, and this has certainly saved my life in India. I cannot stress how important knowing self defense is for your mental and physical health.
For a complete breakdown of what I do to travel safely, check out my ultimate solo female safety travel guide.
What countries haven’t you been to that are still on your list?
It’s a good thing that I believe in living multiple lives because I certainly am not going to get to all my dream destinations in this lifetime! I travel slowly to soak up a culture as best I can. This means after 8 years of travelling, I still haven’t made it to the States, South America or Africa yet! I’ve been incredibly obsessed with Asia (as I see it as the complete opposite to British culture) so I’ve been putting a lot of my efforts there.
However, travel plans for this year include Quebec in Canada and New York in the States (finally!). And if all goes well with the companies I am currently in talks with, I’ll be back in India in September and going onwards to Pakistan in October!
How do you deal with homesickness/have you ever bailed on a trip because of it?
I couldn’t wait to leave home for University. I was desperate to experience new horizons and have honestly never felt particularly homesick: I have definitely never bailed on a trip because of it. However, I am certainly in an interesting phase of my life right now. I have been on the road for quite some time now and I am starting to seek things which did not bother me before. I am tired physically and mentally and I am now seeking certain things in my life. I want a homebase, I want routine in my life and I want an actual community in my life aside from an online one.
Have you travelled with your mom/would you like to/what’s a trait you admire(d)?
I have to be completely honest here and say that me and my Mum are completely different people. Both of my parents are anxious people who do not like to venture far. My Mum is very set in her ways – and can take hours to even get out of the door. I wish I could travel with her – but we wouldn’t get anywhere quickly to achieve much at all. What I am grateful from learning from my parents – is that you must make the most of your life and push yourself to succeed.
When you think of your grandmother(s), what comes to mind & would they be fearless travellers, too?
My Mum’s Mum was quite an adventurer! She didn’t have much money, but she certainly took as many holidays as she could and lived life to the full. She was the kind of woman who went on package holidays, played a lot of Bingo, and had that ‘blue eyeshadow, red lipstick’ look. People thought she was crazy – but I can see now, that she was one hell of a kick ass woman who embraced life to the fullest. My Mum says I got my guts and extravagance from her Mum for sure. Rumour has it that one of my great great (great?) Grandfathers was a travelling magician with one of the largest collections of exotic birds in the world too. I’d like to think I’m traversing the globe with his blood in me.
Last but not least, how do you see yourself, & how do you want others to see you?
On my deathbed, I’ll be lying there and thinking, ‘You gave it your best shot girl’. We overcome our fears by moving rather than sitting – and I’d like to say that I’ve done a hell of a lot of moving. I’m very excited about my future from this point forward. I want to get married, and in order to do that, I need to find a boyfriend – so that’s on the agenda. Some lifestyle choices might be needed in order to make that happen!
I’m ready to share my love and strength with someone else now, so fingers crossed for an abundance of love this year!
I’d like people to see me as honest, straight-talking and a genuine source of empowerment for women around the world. Feedback from my readers is proving that to be right so far! Here’s to many more years of Teacake Travels!
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