Who am I?
My name is Zoe Byrne.
I’m a solo traveler, off the beaten track explorer, determined fear beater, 20 something real life escapee from New Zealand
At the end of my University degree in Genetics, when all my friends and classmates were going on to postgraduate research degrees, medical degrees, dental degrees and starting work in offices and laboratories, I escaped overseas. I’m still out here.
In my escape of the impending 9 to 5 grey box syndrome, I’ve so far worked as an English teacher, experienced -30 Celsius temperatures, stood on the Great Wall, walked my feet off in Beijing’s Hutongs, gone swimming with whales, danced with local people in a park in North Korea, gaped at the Arirang Mass Games, stood in awe of the Ice sculptures in the Harbin Ice Festival, fought Jellyfish, watched light shows in Hong Kong, seen Cranes fly 5 feet above my head, been in awe of the Taj Mahal, hiked over a 5416 meter pass, hitchhiked in India, and tried more types of food than I can recount.
I have wanted to travel since I was a very small child. I think I was 9, but my mother debates this and thinks I was smaller; my parents bought a world map. It was like true love at first sight, or like super catnip for cats, or like … some other earth-shattering simile. I could be found glued to the map at any and all times of the day, and most especially when I was supposed to be doing my maths work.
Since then, I have visited 20 countries and 2 semi-independent places in four different continents, and don’t plan to stop any time soon. The more I travel, the more I want to do and see.
Why this Blog?
I want inspire and encourage you to face your fears, overcome obstacles and travel. So many people won’t because they feel they can’t.
They think you need to be rich. You don’t.
Some people think that one day, when I’m ready, or when I know enough, I’ll do it. That day never comes! It’s just an excuse.
Some won’t travel to try new things simply because they are afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of failure, afraid of looking like a fool, anything. I get scared too. Half the fun is beating that fear and doing it anyway.
Some people don’t travel because they simply don’t know where to get started.
My general life philosophy is some murky combination of,
”Try everything at least once”
“Life starts outside your comfort zone”
“Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now!”
I am up for anything. I want to do as much as possible, see as much as possible and experience as much as possible.
And I want to encourage other people to do the same. You don’t have to do it the same way, but STOP waiting. Whatever you want to do, whatever makes you happy I want you to work towards it.
- I want show you that it is possible to travel through this blog. I want to inspire you the way that map inspired me, or the way two serial expat English Teachers I met in Luxor inspired me (Living in a different continent every year – seriously cool).
- I want to prove that you can travel solo; to well trod or off the beaten track countries, without the world eating you up somehow.
- I want to show you that a perfectly ordinary girl can live outside society’s general mold of – go to school/get a job/marry/have a couple of sprogs/spend your life paying your mortgage/die.
- So if I can do this – you can too.
- I want to share practical experience tested information that I have used to travel, (or that REALLY I wished I’d known during my trip), that I know will be useful; to help you sort out your trip, so that you have the tools to get started.
- Because lets face it, all this inspirational stuff is awesome, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of actually getting out of your comfort zone; nothing beats practical tools.
- Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Stumbleupon or LinkedIn.
More about me?
I grew up outside a tiny place called Waimauku.
I like to challenge myself.
If something scares me, all the more reason to do it and confront my fear.
I love to be adventurous and try as many things as I can.
I like to cross off lists, such as my Bucket list (it is a monster).
When I was four I wanted to be a paleontologist.
Scuba Diving when I was in Egypt got me hooked.
I absolutely hate cockroaches.
I love chocolate (
My biggest travel mistake was when I left my passport in my top drawer in my locked bedroom after pulling an all-nighter to finish a uni paper. I flew on a national flight before realizing it. My flatmate had to get the spare key from our landlord so that she could rescue it. I then had to get it sent up with ultra-fast post before I left on an international flight the next day.
I can’t pick a favourite animal, whales, Kiwis, Kakapo, dolphins and cats are all good contenders.
During my high school years I wanted to be (at various times) a doctor, a writer, a conservation officer and a scientist. They all seemed to get too much in the way of travel though. 🙂
My favourite colour is Burgundy.
My second biggest travel mistake was not picking the right temperatures to see the Iced Trees of Jilin city. It needs to be -20 Celsius!
Want to contact me? Click here.