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Inspired by Tania Aebi’s “Maiden Voyage”

Hi, my name is (not really) Deidre and I blog over at decoybetty where I write about being an American expat in Australia. I am about to get married to Inspector Climate (spoiler, not his real name), so I blog a bit about that too. And of course, I talk about our lemon tree.

Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi.I grew up on boats. Every summer we’d sail around Maine or Cape Cod, and for several months when I was 3 we sailed around the Florida Keys. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember that very well – except visiting Mickey Mouse at Disney world. I remember that clearly. He blew me a kiss, and I hid behind my mom. So I think it suffices to say, that I am not a very adventurous person.

But when I was in high school and my dad gave me Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, well nothing really changed. Except that I wanted to be more adventurous. Tania Aebi was an 18 year girl who didn’t really want to go to college, so instead her dad bought her a sail boat and with limited experience she circumnavigated the world SOLO. At 18. I know. It was just her and her cat as she sailed from port to port on a nearly three year journey, learning as she went. She, naturally, met the love her life while on this journey (as if she would embark on such a trip and not fall in love PLEASE), survived some incredibly rough weather, and several broken mechanical parts. And it’s TRUE.

Of course we can’t all take small little sailboats around the world.

I read the book often in high school hoping that some of her bravery would rub off on me. And maybe it did? I wonder how someone so young and so inexperienced could be brave enough to say “yeah, ok, I’ll sail around the world by myself.”

I laugh when people tell me I’m brave for moving around the world by myself without really knowing anyone here in Australia. Brave? I did NOT have to navigate my boat with a broken sexton. And moving to Australia was the easiest decision I ever made.

But it’s all about decisions isn’t it? Every moment on that boat, Tania had to make some decisions. Sometimes the outcomes didn’t matter, but often, they really did. And she had to make them alone. Now that’s brave. But it’s also travel. You can’t travel by yourself without having to make on-the-spot decisions. Sometimes they’re as simple “I have too many touristy items on my to-do list, which one can I miss” and others are more risky “do I eat this street vendor food in India…?” (The answer is always no!).

So while traveling solo might have some of its scary moments, here are two tips that might help you along the way. One read this book (Amazon has several copies, but otherwise it looks like it might be out of print). And two, chances are someone thinks your incredibly brave for going on your own adventures (even if they seem pretty average to you), so take a minute to congratulate yourself for being courageous. We deserve it.

Read more about Deidre and her journey over at decoybetty.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Heather says

    I don’t think me quitting a job and moving to Oz for a year was brave but plenty of my friends and family do. Bless their hearts, I always say!

    I’m glad Kyle introduced us on a #ff and am very happy for you and IC 🙂 Looking forward to more food, job, wedding, and other stories on your blog.


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