Speaking with Haley Woods – GLT

Since it’s girls’ month, I decided to just take the leap and message the founder of Girls LOVE travel, a group I found on Facebook a while ago and that has managed me to show me and reinforce that in the task of empowering women there is no location wise limitation. She actually answered my message and agreed to be interviewed by a complete random – hence my nickname – blogger from the other side of the planet.

At first I started the whole idea of GLT just because I was lonely

I started my blog because I was feeling all lonely on my recovery after an ankle surgery, while Haley started GLT because she could no longer talk as much as she wanted about her travels on her facebook – not so much to family – they have always been supportive.

Haley never thought this group would go as far as it’s grown in such a short amount of time, she never expected to be able to gather so many women and feel all of their power in one virtual place, but it wasn’t a first shot achievement.

Around 5 years ago she started her own blog, then she opened a Facebook group called: Haley crazy’s adventures, and even now this group barely has 1000 members. So when she decided to start a new group, she never really thought it would get much bigger than her previous attempts. Now I wonder, we as women, how many things have we stopped ourselves from doing because we didn’t  think we would succeed at it?

The mission of the group is to support the female traveller with safety.

One of the main tasks of the group is to empower the active and the aspiring female travellers so not just the one that is out there traveling, because how can you be a supporter of this community by putting others down? And like in any group sometimes someone makes a comment out of place, and the other person gets offended, but that’s why Haley has moderators, to keep things cool.

According to Haley, GLT is 60% American on average, the next countries of origin would be Australia and New Zealand, obviously we all identify as female, the primary age range is 25 to 34, and then the next one after that is 24 and under. And it is because they are a really social media niche market that GLT has been such a success.

Politics, religions, topics that can be polarizing enough are normally kept out of the group. In order for everyone to have a voice in the group, Haley and the moderators have got specific threats during the week where people can post things to self promote. Given the current political climate in the USA, there has been the necessity for more political talks in the group, since it’s overlaping with the travellings of many members.

I didn’t expect it to be this big so I’m trying to take things as they come.

Merchandising is one of the things Haley is really working hard on, she wants girls to be able to spot each other while travelling. She is having struggles with the international shipping but she’s getting close to a solution – Can’t wait to order my stuff – on the other hand she is also planning more trips to see how we can all meet and encourage more travelling and meet-ups around the world.

And just like Haley, I think we often forget that our own neighbourhood is a travel destination as well, we have to change our view on that. “ Just because you can’t travel right now, doesn’t mean that your travel past experiences are less inclusive and supportive than anybody else”. 

haley signo
Haley is so so cute and friendly

I’ve coined a term called a procrastapacker

Many travelers have special tricks for packing, Haley has her own word, procrastapacker, due to her procrastination with the packing process.

GLT has changed her mind a little bit, she still has places she wants to visit, but now she also wants to go and meet up with people she talks with in the group. She has been recently talking with a girl from India and now wants to be able to reach out to her while visiting and get the local perspective the normal tourism can’t give you.

Haley has already mapped out her 2017. Thailand, England, Iceland, Alaska and India can be all anxious because Woods is coming after them. She still has some months off, so who knows which country will pop out and she will end up visiting there too, or she might as well come back to the States for a bit of a “home” feeling even though she has been fully nomadic for almost the past six years.

When I asked her a place that she would like to go back, or that has gone back already, she went directly to Australia and New Zealand. It was actually thanks to the group that she is empowering that she was able to find good deals for a round trip – do you really need more reasons to realize how awesome this group is? – the first time she went there it was after she finished university, first idea was to go for about 3 months and she ended up staying almost a year. A YEAR.

I think  that North Carolina is under rated

Truth be told, and by truth I mean Haley’s words when I asked her where should I go around the world, and where in the USA as well –  It is about time to use my unwanted US tourist visa – there are so many spectrums on where to travel, are you wanting to do adventure? Are you wanting to be on a budget? Do you not have a budget? Do you wanna be in a cruise? Or do you wanna fly somewhere? Do you wanna drive somewhere? There are so many different ways to look at it.

For Haley around in the world it would be Ireland, “it was stunning, people was nice, and it was really cold but I felt really comfortable”. It is easy and nice to travel. When it comes to her home country, she grew up in Tennessee but she thinks North Carolina is the place to go to, lot of people miss out going to NC, to all of the Carolinas in general.

On my personal opinion, I can’t wait for her to step a foot in Peru and fall in love with the beautiful country I was blessed to be born at.

 

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