In Conversation with Gutsy Traveler Marybeth Bond

July 9, 2015
A Conversation with the Gutsy Traveler, Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is a woman of many successes. After traveling around the world for the first time at age 29, Bond became a world-renowned travel writer. Her most recent book, Gutsy Women: Advice, Inspiration, Stories, is for well-seasoned travelers, first-time travelers, and every woman in between. Whether you’ve never left your hometown, or have adventured around the world, every woman can find answers to their travel questions in Gutsy Women.

In the very first pages of her book, Bond defines a gutsy woman as a woman who is courageous in a “twenty-first century way.” Whether they are buying their own cars and homes, biking across the USA, or planning their next solo backpacking trips across Europe, women today are gutsy and bold, just like Bond. Read on and you’ll find a ton of travel advice as Bond addresses your hopes, dreams and fears, all while gearing you up for your next adventure and sharing her personal stories with you.

If you’re anything like me, a beginner traveler with big dreams to see the world but also carrying around fears and doubts over building a career and a savings and a retirement fund, you will definitely find solace in Bond’s book. Personally, Bond helped me to realize that it’s never too late to travel.

In Conversation with Gutsy Traveler Marybeth Bond

What inspires you to travel?

Life at home can get kind of boring, and travel is always exciting.

Of everywhere you’ve traveled, where is the one place you could see yourself settling down?

Paris or San Francisco, (and I settled in San Francisco at age 23).

San Fransisco view

What is your favorite part about traveling?

No one knows who you are when you travel. You can be whoever you want; someone new every day. I love the freedom.

When was your Aha! Moment? When did you realize that a life full of travel was meant for you?

I spent one summer in college working as a waitress in the Grand Teton Mountains. When I went back to college in Ohio, everything felt so bland and so dull. That’s when I knew that travel would always have to be a part of my life.

What is the scariest thing that happened to you while on the road?

When I was traveling around the world alone, I was in a hotel room in Goa one night when a drunken man broke into my room. I screamed and yelled and made a big ruckus. People appeared from all hotel rooms to help and thankfully he disappeared and nothing happened. That’s when I realized that even when you’re traveling alone, you’re never really alone.

You offer a lot of advice on bargaining and tipping, and even share a personal story about falling in love with a jade disk necklace in Hanoi, also known as your “Lady You Cheap,” necklace. You refused to stop negotiating with the Vietnamese saleswoman, which resulted in her barking “Lady you cheap!” Could you share with our readers a little more about this necklace? Also, are there any other keepsakes you look to purchase on your travels?

I’m not a big shopper, but when traveling in Asia, I like to pick up a tiny Buddha to add to my collection of small, 1-inch tall Buddhas. To this day, I feel bad about the “lady you cheap” incident in Vietnam, but it taught me an important lesson which I’ll never forget: if you can afford to travel, you can afford to pay a little more for trinkets. The price difference, which is almost always negligible to you, could make a huge difference for the vendor and their family.

You mention being away from your family a lot because of travel. Can you offer some advice to women on how to fill the distance when away from a loved one?

Nothing can make the pain of separation any easier, but nowadays one can almost always find Wi-Fi at a café to access Skype, FaceTime, or other methods of making cheap phone calls to communicate with loved ones at home.

You have hiked, biked, dived, danced, and repelled across the world. Would you share with us one or two travel experiences that have most impacted you?

Well of course, meeting my future husband in KathmanduNepal was quite an influential experience in my life. I didn’t travel around the world to meet a man, and I didn’t expect to meet a man. But when you follow your passions, great things happen.

Another great experience was riding my bicycle across the United States with my 22-year-old daughter. We rode 3,000 miles from San Francisco to Yorktown, Virginia over three months and I got to know the back roads of America.

A Conversation with Gutsy Traveler Marybeth Bond

What’s your next travel destination?

I’m heading to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta in a couple of weeks to go hiking with my daughter. I plan to write about great backcountry lodges and hikes.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d like to share with aspiring travel writers and journalists?

Unfortunately my advice would be “keep your day job.” I would also advise you to keep on trying but to grow a thick skin. It took me years to have my first story accepted by a publisher. I received countless rejection letters. It took me 10 years to get my first book published.

Even with 12 books I still don’t make much money, but I have a life that I want, and that’s more important than anything in my opinion.

Learn more about Marybeth Bond on her website, The Gutsy Traveler.

A Conversation with the Gutsy Traveler, Marybeth Bond

In Conversation with Gutsy Traveler Marybeth Bond

Related Reading

Beginners’ Tips for Solo Travel
Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway: Traveling Solo
4 Empowering Tips for First-Time Solo Travelers
Why I Love Traveling Solo In Vietnam
Why Solo Women Should Travel to Norway

Have you traveled solo? How was your trip? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Photo credits from in Conversation with Gutsy Traveler Marybeth Bond by Marybeth Bond and Unsplash.

About Caitlin Basilio

Caitlin Basilio is Pink Pangea’s Italy Corespondent. She is a writer by trade, traveler at heart, eater of all foods and avid wine-drinker by choice. She is a Seattle-based creative slowly making her way around the world.

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