Co-Founder of Solo Female Travelers, and your co-host for Empowerful, Mar is an ex- strategy consultant and Googler turned online entrepreneur.
She is the founder and editor of Once in a Lifetime Journey, a luxury and out of the ordinary travel blog that specialises in exclusive hotels, unique destinations and the least visited countries. She also founded a boutique digital consulting practice where she consults and advises travel businesses on social, influencer and digital marketing practices.
Mar has visited over 115 countries and is on a quest to visit them all. She often travels on her own to unknown destinations that are hard to find on a map.
Co-Founder of Solo Female Travelers, and your co-host for Empowerful, Meg is an Australian Journalist and founder and editor of Mapping Megan, a niche adventure travel blog with a focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys.
Meg started traveling solo at 18, and has now visited 100+ countries across all seven continents. She continues to take solo trips, despite being married, having met her husband on Mt Kilimanjaro.
With 10 years experience working in hotels, and now as a travel photographer, Meg's two masterclasses will be on hotel / hostel safety, and on taking photographs safely and respectfully of local cultures.
Jennifer Cassetta is a self defense expert, speaker, author and consultant who works with audiences around the world to help empower them through success coaching and self defense.
Equipped with her 3rd degree black belt in HapKiDo, Master’s degree in Nutrition, health coaching and NLP certification, Jennifer helps women release their inner badass and feel strong, safe and confident from the streets to the boardroom.
Jenn's love of travel has taken her around the world as a traveling health coach to VIP clientele and later as a speaker. Her popular self defense program, She Warrior Self Defense has been featured on The Today Show, The Doctors, The Real, Rachael Ray and many more!
Jennifer published her first book, Hear Me Roar: how to defend your mind, body and heart against people who suck and she was a featured wellness expert on ABC TV's, My Diet is Better Than Yours. She's based in Los Angeles and is looking forward to her next flight!
Qin Yunquan is a social activist, national wrestler and CEO of Kapap Academy Singapore, a social enterprise committed to teaching women and the most vulnerable practical and easy self-defense techniques using their proprietary system, Modern Street Combatives.
Yunquan’s work has been recognized with many awards, among which, Her Majesty The Queen of England Young Leaders Award in 2017 for her work teaching women and children self-defence. She was also included in the 2018 Forbes Asia 30 under 30 to watch.
Yunquan leads Kapap Academy Singapore, a social enterprise that has trained over 60,000 women, children and others in vulnerable groups.
Nicole Snell is a dynamic international speaker, workshop facilitator and self-defense expert specializing in sexual assault & violence prevention education and personal empowerment.
She is the CEO of Girls Fight Back, the world-renowned personal safety and self-defense seminar for women and girls that has reached over 1 Million people worldwide. She is a Lead Instructor for IMPACT Personal Safety that teaches full force self-defense techniques using realistic scenarios. Nicole is the creator/producer of Outdoor Defense, an online series that teaches simple self-defense skills to help women manage their safety while hiking/running/traveling solo.
Nicole is an experienced solo traveler, outdoor enthusiast and adventurer. She is a hike leader for Black Girls Trekkin and actively advocates for diversity and representation in the outdoors. She is a NOVA Certified Victim Advocate and sits on the board of directors for IMPACT Personal Safety. She was featured in the Tastemade Travel instructional video, Self Defense For Female Travelers that won a Webby Award in 2020. She has traveled the world speaking and educating people at colleges, high schools, corporations, and private groups and has trained service members at over 89 military installations globally.
Nicole believes that everyone has the right to walk through the world feeling safe, powerful and confident! You are your own best protector, and you are worth fighting for!
Davina is a certified yoga and meditation teacher and she teaches her stressed-out clients tools for mental and emotional resilience no matter the challenges they are facing. Co-Founder of HASIKO, She uses various tools from the iRest® meditation protocol a highly accessible and restorative meditation practice for everyone that has been proven helpful in alleviating the symptoms of sleep disorders, PTSD, chemical dependency, chronic pain and stress.
Davina is a passionate advocate for sustainability and mindful leadership within organisations as well as elevating the consciousness of humanity using the power of self-awareness techniques such as meditation in healing the systemic issues plaguing our society and planet today. She is a seasoned solo traveller and has lived overseas in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and has been in Singapore now for 8 years.
Her favourite places to visit are Brazil, Bali and Australia. Her bucket list trip is to see polar bears somewhere in the wild - in 2016 she climbed Kilimanjaro to support Polar Bears International.
Dr. Deborah Bateson is the Medical Director of Family Planning NSW and Clinical Associate Professor, Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology at The University of Sydney. She has worked as a clinician, researcher, educator and advocate in reproductive and sexual health for 20 years, and will speak about sexual wellbeing on the road: what you need to know about protection and contraception, what to do in case of an emergency while traveling, how to protect yourself against STIs, and period related issues while abroad.
A fellow solo female traveler, Dr. Bateson has worked in India, led an expedition to Borneo, traveled through Kenya and southern Sudan, and worked as a nutritionist in a hospital in southwest Tanzania.
Dr Elaine C. L. Yang is an award-winning tourism researcher at Griffith University. Her PhD explored the risk perception of Asian solo female travellers.
Elaine is currently working on multiple projects on gender-based violence in tourism, transformative travel experience, migrant female hospitality workers, and diversity management. She has recently completed a research and training project funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to empower women entrepreneurs in Latin America to succeed in their tourism businesses by cultivating their digital entrepreneurial competency.
Elaine is interested in any project, collaboration and speaking engagement that empowers women in tourism. Connect with Elaine via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelcie Miller-Anderson is an acclaimed innovator and social entrepreneur, and a disability advocate who continues to travel solo despite having struggled with chronic illness her entire life. Despite having to sleep up to 20 hours in a 24 hour period, and recently transitioning to a wheelchair, Kelcie has never let her illnesses deter her from anything.
At 15 she traveled through the northwest passage of Canada’s icebreaker as part of her environmental research. At 17 she was teaching English in Spain. At 20 she spent a month as a research assistant on a coral reef monitoring project in Cuba, and at 21 she founded an environmental startup, MycoRemedy, and is now working on her second startup BumbleChain.
Kelcie doesn’t let her sickness dictate her life, and doesn’t view her disability as a limiting factor. Connect with Kelcie @thechronic_entrepreneur.
Nisha is a management consultant, corporate trainer and academic with more than 25 years of extensive management experience in the Tourism, Hospitality and Events industry. As the Founder of Elevated Consultancy and Training, Nisha provides regional and international consultancy work in the area of tourism and hospitality development in destinations. She extends marketing and management consul to destination marketing teams to develop long term strategic plans and capacity planning and development.
Nisha is a co-founder of World Women Tourism, a network intelligence platform that provides opportunities to women in tourism to connect, grow and flourish. The organization visions to impact the trajectory of women in the tourism industry through promoting diversity, knowledge sharing, building networks, capacity building and opening up business opportunities. She has also initiated SheInTourism, a collaborative platform that paves the pathways for Asian women in tourism to flourish and realize their potentials.
Nisha is an experienced keynote speaker, thought leader and panelist for conferences and seminars in internationally. She is also a passionate academic and lecturer as well as a curriculum developer for academic and professional skills-based programs. She has completed her Ph.D. in the area of tourism education and her research interests are in the areas of women in tourism, tourism branding and marketing, tourism education, halal tourism and sustainable tourism.
LoAnn Halden is Vice President-Communications for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact.
In her role, LoAnn frequently speaks to global media outlets about LGBTQ+ tourism trends and has participated in travel sessions for consumers and trade on five continents, including WTM Africa, Barcelona LGBTI Tourism Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, GNetwork360 in Buenos Aires and the LGBT+ Travel Symposium Thailand.
Prior to IGLTA, she spent 14 years working for LGBTQ+ publications, including two years as Associate Editor of Out Traveler, and has contributed to many outlets as a freelance writer. She is based in Fort Lauderdale and London and cannot wait to start traveling again.
Susan took her first flight in 1978 and hasn’t stopped since. She has devoted her entire career to airports and the aviation industry, starting as a security guard at SeaTac Airport and graduating with a Bachelor degree of Science, Atmospheric Sciences in 1983.
She has been a flight instructor and a pilot for the last 3 decades flying with a major airline until her retirement in 2020, and has many videos on her YouTube channel of her time in the sky and her travels. Despite all her travels, Susan’s favorite place is her home in Manchester, Washington.
Josefina is an internationally published photographer and retoucher who, at just shy of eighteen, successfully launched her brand, Josefina Photography.
Since then, she has had the opportunity to collaborate with agency-represented models Kate Compton, Codi Babcock and Theresa Manchester; well-known models Roarie Yum, Miss Mischief, and Alysha Nett; celebrities including Canadian Opera Star Dr. Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber, Actors/Activists Nina Hartley & Buck Angel, MTV Reality Star Tila Tequila, and most recently The Honorable Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who made worldwide headlines due to her extraordinary handling of a complex and vile #MeToo case.
Josefina's work has also been published by The Huffington Post, The Elephant Journal, New York City’s Playbill, Tattoo’d Lifestyle Magazine, The Atlas Magazine, Tinsel Tokyo Magazine, Saskatchewan Songs Book, Endless Pools (yes, the company), Ingham County Bar Association’s Magazine - Briefs, and has most recently been seen with Voyage Houston LA and on the television network, WBTVN’s Sulavon’s SheShed.
Growing up shy, adopted & "different" from those around her, she found her voice through music as a small child. Using her extraordinary talent of memorizing melodies in minutes, she has also found herself absorbed in the music realm for the past 25 years. From various choirs & more, she has immersed herself in her craft with serious passion & determination. Most recently, she was a part of Penn State Altoona's Ivyside Pride Choir which took her overseas to perform in Vienna & to Avery Fisher Hall - Lincoln Center. When she is not taking photos, singing or writing, she enjoys tea, chocolate, good books and lives happily among six pets.
Cora Oo is an Operations Analyst from Mapfre Assistance Insurance Services. She has joined Mapfre initially as a claims assessor for InsureandGo travel insurance product and has two years of travel claims experience.
Cora knows the PDS of insurance policies like the back of her hand, and loves to help customers and other claims assessors understand the policy wordings. During Covid19 she led a team of 5 to handle difficult travel cases. She is currently working with senior management on improving claims and assistance experiences of vulnerable customers.
Cora is originally from Myanmar. At the age of 18, she left the country with a scholarship to study abroad in the US for four years. Having enjoyed the taste of independence, she has decided to move to another new country (Australia) and pursue a postgraduate degree. When she is not working on shattering the corporate glass ceiling, she is drawing up plans to go backpacking in Europe and making a list of food to try.
Molly DeMellier is a New York City podcaster, writer and communications expert with experience spanning a variety of industries including entertainment, comedy, travel, sports, tech, and enterprise software. She founded and hosts the "Shooters Gotta Shoot" podcast with Erica Spera where they discuss modern dating, societal stigmas surrounding relationships, female empowerment, and more.
With a Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from New York University’s School of Professional Studies, DeMellier is an expert in media relations, crisis management and is well-seasoned in communication strategy development and execution. DeMellier has worked with major brands including Netflix, Getty Images, and iHeartMedia. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @theguaca_molly.
Erica Spera is a New York City comedian originally from Binghamton, NY. Spera was named one of Conan's 2017 TBS Comics to Watch and since then has opened for Patton Oswalt, Bert Kreischer, Judah Friedlander, and more!
Spera co-hosts the podcast "Shooters Gotta Shoot" with Molly DeMellier. She came out about having herpes on the podcast this fall, and shares her successes, rejections, fears and frustrations with disclosing to potential partners in an attempt to decrease the stigma around the subject. You can follow her @spericaa.
Gabriela Sirbu is a therapist, speaker, and writer at migrationofemotion.com. She has a Master Degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation from UiT The Arctic University of Norway and a specialization within practical psychology from the Norwegian Gestalt Institute in Oslo.
A Romanian expat studying, living and working in Norway for the past 16 years, it was Norwegian culture which inspired her pursue a specialization in practical psychology. She realized that “war” and “conflicts” are not carried with guns, but with an invisible boomerang of words and feelings. And this boomerang travels with us everywhere we go, no matter how far we travel, or how often, or how much we hope to leave it behind.
Now she works as a therapist and holds seminars and workshops on multicultural communications where the main goal is to help people become aware of how their invisible luggage is influencing their communication patterns, their behavior, and their life.
Originally from Vancouver, Joss has been traveling, living, working, and dating her way around the world since 2003, seeing 40+ countries and living in 8 of them.
She writes a dating blog called areyoumymrright.com where she shares stories about her elusive search for Mr. Right. She is self-described as the dating queen of Siem Reap, Cambodia, where she has lived for almost 5 years, having gone on over 100 dates in the last couple years alone. She plans to eventually turn this blog into a podcast, hoping to entertain more people with her relatable, and often funny stories.
When Joss is not traveling, going on dates looking for Mr. Right, or writing about them, you can find her dancing badly to Hip Hop with her girlfriends at the local nightclub, poolside with a book and cocktail, or attempting to teach English to 3 year olds, who at least are not smarter than her, yet!During some down-time with work last year, Joss also produced a video series highlighting open businesses in Siem Reap. Keep an eye out for more creative work from Joss coming out this year!
Jude is living and travelling around in a purpose built tiny house on a truck. She wanders around New Zealand, discovering amazing places and meeting people.
Jude takes photos and videos of her life and where she’s been and puts them together in videos on her YouTube Channel. A teacher by trade, she is currently having some time off, and has invited us inside for a tour of her tiny home on wheels!
Becky Wood aka "Bonjour Becky" is a freelance writer and blogger on a permanent road trip through the U.S.A.
Since quitting her full-time job at age 25, she's traveled to 30+ countries, solo backpacked 220 miles on the John Muir Trail in California, and road tripped to 48 U.S. states and 43 National Parks with her dog, Juno while living out of her car.
When she's not on the road, she makes base camp outside Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA.
Breanna Wilson is a freelance travel writer and adventurer based between Tbilisi, Georgia and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She is a contributor to Forbes, where she covers the best of outdoor travel and gear, as well as the best road trip adventures around the world.
Breanna is also the mastermind behind the websites MeanwhileinGeorgia.com and MeanwhileinMongolia.com , where she shares information on how to safely travel and plan a trip through both destinations, especially for female travelers. If you love adventure, Breanna also organises sidecar motorbike tours in Mongolia.
Soumya Nambiar is an entrepreneur/travel blogger based in Bangalore, India, who runs travelbooksfood.com. In addition to her travel blog, she also manages and runs a successful family business in the education industry.
Since her parents are also avid travellers, she has been travelling ever since she was a baby. She is an opportunistic traveller which means that she travels solo, with her partner, with her family and even friends.Growing up in Tanzania meant that she was accustomed to road trips around Africa from a very young age. She has been to around 45 countries, driven in about 15 of them, been solo to 25+ countries and been on solo road trips in around 8 countries. She writes extensively on Indian travel, traveling in Europe/Mexico and about finding vegetarian food on the road.
Paula is a former International Marketing Manager, professional athlete, and founder and content creator of the Adventure Travel & Healthy Lifestyle blog, Paula Pins the Planet.
Travel & be healthy is her philosophy for a happy life balance, and for this purpose, she embarked on a journey to inspire and empower others to seek new adventures and live an active and healthy lifestyle.Paula’s background includes experience finding a balance between career, travel, and a healthy lifestyle. For over 20 years, she worked in corporate business, lived on 3 continents, and traveled to over 40 countries for business and leisure. Paula has enjoyed many road trips around the world and active adventure trips in a variety of countries. She promotes authentic travel experiences interacting with local communities and empowering local businesses for sustainable tourism.
Prachi is a researcher and diversity trainer in tourism and hospitality. To change solo female travellers' travel experience, she has been working actively for inclusion, and her research includes the discussion and effectiveness of diversity training in the tourism industry.
With her involvement in World Women Tourism as a Diversity Strategist, Prachi aims to change how the tourism industry has been marginalising women and to be more equitable and just.
Ale is a creative who can’t get enough of adventure, nature, good vibes, design and social work. She has worked in the Design industry for the last 9 years as a Graphic Designer, Creative Director, University Lecturer and Social Entrepreneur behind The Travel and Adventure Life.
Born in Colombia, Ale moved to Australia she was 17 to study and create a career. She has recently built her own van and lives, works and studies her PhD on the road as a solo digital nomad researcher.
Ale has been to 51 countries and 50% of her travels involve social, sustainable and/or volunteer work. Published author of “Travel with a purpose – your guide to a meaningful journey”, the book targets travellers wanting to contribute to a sustainable journey focusing on economic growth, socio-cultural understanding and positive environmental contribution when travelling.
For her Doctorates research, Ale's aim is to expand on her honours research of sustainability and responsible behaviour while travelling and additionally focus on digital nomads as a new career pathway for designers and creatives.
Connect with Ale @alejandra.travels.
Lauren is the creator of Misadventures of an Outdoorsy Diva Blog, host/producer of the Outdoorsy Diva Podcast, published photographer, speaker, consultant for new content creators, and adventure coach.
She is a travel writer and social media influencer who is passionate about inspiring and empowering black women to step out of their comfort zones for new experiences in travel and adventure and embracing nature as therapy. Lauren is also an empty-nest mom and a dedicated long-time advocate for racial diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and adventure travel and a founding member of the Black Travel Alliance.
Lauren has been featured as a 2020 USA Today Readers Choice Top 10 Adventure Travel Expert, on ABC News national syndicate, Huffington Post Travel, Conde Nast, Outdoor Families Online, BBC Earth, Tampa Bay Parenting, Daytime TV Show, Great Day Live, and Morning Blend.
Johnnel Smith is a Jamaican Tourism Scholar, Academic, Industry Practitioner and avid solo female traveler. Having traveled to over 40 destinations around the world, she is passionate about improving equity, diversity and authentic cultural exchange in travel.
Johnnel is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Griffith University in QLD, Australia and has been a Lecturer in Tourism, Management and Marketing with Universities in the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific regions for over 13 years. She holds a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management and a Bachelors (Honors) in Tourism Management from the University of the West Indies.
Her expertise includes: Tourism and COVID-19, Gender Management, AirBnBs, the Cruise Industry, Attractions and Luxury Management. In addition to her achievements in academia she remains a sought after international speaker and industry consultant.
Brittany Lewis is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University with a B.S. in Biology. She joined the AIG Travel security team in 2014 as an Intelligence Analyst with a focus on Africa before assuming the role of Security Intelligence Supervisor and subsequently Security Operations Supervisor.
She has more than ten years of experience in the corporate security and risk mitigation industry and is a Certified Protection Professional with ASIS International and a Member of The Security Institute.
Phil Sylvester is an independent travel safety advisor and expert commentator on travel insurance, having previously worked at global travel lifestyle brand WorldNomads.com. Prior to that he was a broadcast news journalist for over 20 years.
Phil has written hundreds of travel safety articles and was the editor who created the World Nomads travel safety hub - a collection of safety articles and guides for every sovereign nation on earth. This collection has never been surpassed in its detail and scope and continues to hold top ranking in search results for popular travel safety questions.
He has also spoken about travel safety and travel insurance on numerous radio programs in the US, UK and Australia, and is a regular contributor on TV in Australia. He has been a guest on popular travel podcasts such as Extra Pack of Peanuts, and is the co-host of The World Nomads Travel Podcast.
His knowledge of the detail of travel insurance, and ability to explain them in plain English, makes him a sought-after guest.
Jessica Foster is the Founder and lead SEO content strategist at Keys&Copy - a content agency that serves B2B tech and SaaS companies.
She is a full-time digital nomad and helps aspiring writers go remote and start lucrative online writing businesses. She shares content tips as well as travel vlogs on her YouTube channel.
Amanda Mouttaki is an American writer, blogger, and entrepreneur based in Marrakech. She is the voice behind the popular website MarocMama which inspires readers from all over the world to visit Morocco and broaden their horizons on the country, it’s traditions, and its cuisine.
Amanda also owns Marrakech Food Tours, a company that helps English speaking guests discover what and where Moroccans really eat.
Amanda's masterclass on travel through conservative countries will empower you with the cultural knowledge and understanding, tools and resources they can use for knowing what to expect, knowing how to respect more conservative cultures, and what common mistakes are that could cause friction or offend the locals.
Jennifer grew up in the outdoors, and is the founder of National Park Obsessed, an online resource that helps you plan the most amazing National Park adventures. She is a National Parks expert who has spent an extensive amount of time in the US National Parks, having been to over 250 of the US National Park Units and 54 of the National Parks (on a mission to visit all 62).
Jennifer will be sharing her years worth of knowledge and experience for how you as a solo female traveler can stay safe when spending time in the wild, and exploring the outdoors.
Janice Holly Booth is an expert on beating your fear. She has spent more than a decade traveling solo, and has had to overcome many fears in her quest for adventure.
After a botched surgery that bought her close to death she began her 15-year journey to understand the nature of fear, and to figure out how to conquer it, ultimately realizing that her comfort zone up until that point had been her cage.
As well as being the adventurista behind adventurista.us Janice is a best selling author, with a National Geographic book called 'Only Pack What You Can Carry’, which is a guide to personal growth through solo travel adventure.
We chat to her about adventure, risk, facing down fear, and how to get rid of your excess baggage to figure out how you really want to live your life.
Meg runs the number one lesbian travel site, EveryQueer and is on the board of Belmond as a member of the LGBT advisory. In 2019, she was selected as the International Woman of the Year for Facebook’s initiative with Girl Gone International for her work in LGBT inclusive travel.
Yes, Meg is an influencer but her scope of work goes beyond content marketing. She also conducts professional development training for brands working with the LGBT community and serves as a consultant for best practices in LGBT marketing campaigns. She has been cited in two consecutive UNWTO Reports on LGBT Tourism as a leading expert and in the ETC's Report on LGBT Tourism. She is also regularly a featured speaker and subject matter expert at travel conferences worldwide.
Since beginning her site in 2012, she has visited 57 countries, spoken at LGBT conferences on four continents, published her first book, appeared on red carpets, and had her blog read by more than a million people.
Carolin Pilligrath has been travelling the world as a digital nomad for years until she set up a home base in her soul home Australia. She currently works as a Partnerships Consultant for SafetyWing and shares her industry knowledge and expertise on the basics of travel insurance.She is also the founder of Breathing Travel where she creates stories & gear for adventurous souls, beach bums and travel addicts.