To celebrate this year’s #BalanceforBetter theme for International Women’s Day (March 8th), we wanted to share some inspiring travel stories to empower more women to travel, as well as share a little more about the women at Trtl HQ, based in Glasgow (UK)!
We love to challenge the norm and we’re proud to say that our team is made up of 58% women, and 80% of our Team Leads are women too. At Trtl we’re driven by the mindset that everyone is in it together and we’re keen to promote equality and equal opportunity in the workplace, offering unlimited opportunities and support, regardless of gender. We’re an innovative team and creative processes play a huge part of our day-to-day life across Trtl, whichever career path we’re on and everyone is there to support each other.
The driving force underpinning it all is our enthusiasm for travel and adventure, so we’ve gathered together our best travel stories and top travel tips from the women at Trtl for a little travel inspiration this International Women’s Day!
Trtl Support Team
My most memorable travel experience was moving to Oklahoma from the UK to complete my 3rd year at OSU State College. I travelled there solo, without a clue what to expect for the year ahead. It ended up being the best year of my life! I joined the lacrosse team (something which was very out of my comfort zone), made some amazing friends for life and learned that I could achieve so much on my own. I would urge anyone that has the opportunity to travel or study abroad to seize the opportunity with both hands as it will end up being one of the most empowering experiences for you. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Top Tip: My top tip for travelling would be to do your research beforehand as you will save money, be more aware of the area, feel safer and overall enjoy yourself more! You could do this by reading online articles, joining online travel groups and even asking people that have been to your destination before.
Trtl Support Team Lead
My most memorable travel experience was floating around the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. I visited in January so it was freezing cold and snowy outside of the water! The sun went down whilst we were swimming and it felt like we were on an alien planet.
I've never traveled solo, but I was able to go Interrailing for 3 weeks with two friends after finishing our A-levels. We're still friends to this day, and that trip always reminds me of the sense of freedom and adventure we had after leaving school for the last time!
My top tip for traveling is bring a fanny pack! I hate having to keep an eye on shoulder bags, pockets and backpacks and a fanny pack keeps everything secure and easy to reach, plus they’re super cool and retro.
Brand Relations Lead
I have so many fond memories while travelling so it’s really hard to choose one but probably my most memorable travel experience has to be when I travelled to Shanghai for a Summer University Placement. I think it was one of the most emotional rollercoaster journeys that I’ve been on. When I arrived I felt an instant culture shock which made me quite uncomfortable to be honest, but the transformation from how I felt at the start compared to the end of the trip was crazy, as I learned to adapt to the culture I fell in love with the place. By the end of the 3 weeks I didn’t want to leave! I travelled by myself last year to New York, this was one of my favourite trips. I must admit I felt uneasy at some points but I loved the freedom of exploring (I also spent a lot more time in the markets and shops than my boyfriend can usually stand…!).
As a security measure I took a super secure backpack with a double lock and always made sure I had 4G and used apps such as Google Maps and a Subway App to get around safely.
My top travel tip would be to always be prepared for a full day out, you never know where your day may take you! My emergency day pack would include a refillable water bottle, credit card, loose change, makeup essentials, deodorant, umbrella, mini sunscreen and hand sanitiser.
Visual Style Lead
One of my favourite places I’ve been to is Peru. I loved the culture, the music, the food, and meeting the Alpacas. It was such an amazing time travelling around South America, I would definitely go back again and do the Patagonia tour.
A travel experience that I will never forget was my first solo trip to New Orleans. It was my very first long haul flight and being away from my family and friends was nerve-wracking! I knew I could only rely on myself so I always made sure I had data on my phone and my google maps were saved offline for emergencies. Walking down colourful and musical streets of the French Quarter of NOLA I wanted to experience and get to know the history of the place. Signing up for free walking tours is the best way to meet new people, exploring the city whilst staying safe.
My top tip is: always, always, always make sure you’re safe. Traveling solo is the most empowering and soul soothing experience of my life and as long as you prepare yourself well, and stay safe it can transform your life!
Trtl Support Team
Seeing the sunrise over the Chott el Djerid salt lakes in Tunisia is something I’ll never forget and it was one of the most stunning things I think I’ll ever see in my life. It’s a huge expanse of red-tinged salt lakes and the rising sun illuminated them up as far as the eye could see; we were the only people around at the time and it was such an incredible moment.
I haven’t travelled solo before; most of my travels have been in larger groups and I love sharing my travel experiences with friends and family. I would love to travel independently for the sense of freedom and am keen to explore more European cities by myself.
My top travel tip would be to not keep all of your cash and cards in the same place - split them up (just don’t forget where you’ve put them), so that if your purse gets stolen you don’t lose everything in one go. If you’re constantly on the go I’d recommend getting a slim-line money belt to slip under your clothes so you’ve got cash/ personal documents to hand at all times!
HR & Operations Manager
My most memorable travel experience was when I travelled to San Francisco! I was just in awe of the cosmopolitan culture and travelled around on the cool cable cars and by car around the city. I really enjoyed driving down Lombard Street, which is the crookedest street the world, an experience not to be missed. I also enjoyed driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and absorbing the amazing views across the city. I was also fascinated by my midnight visit to Alcatraz - scary but exhilarating...did you know that this was home to over 1500 of America’s most dangerous criminals?
With regard to travelling myself, I have done this so many times, especially when I was working in Hamburg, Germany for 6 months over the autumn and winter. I thought that I would feel lonely but quite the opposite! I took the opportunity to get to know myself better and to be the best version of me! I realised during these trips back and forth that I loved spending time by myself, especially wrapped up, reading a book through the cold winter months when the temperate was up -10C...so chilly! I also enjoyed meeting new people and skating with my ear muffs on the icy lakes and drinking Gluhwein to keep us warm….ahh bliss!
My top travel tip would be to do lots of research before you travel. Look for the interesting sightseeing activities that you can do during the day. Look at the lovely eating places that you will feel comfortable sitting in and will allow you to blend in if you are on your own. Also be open to meeting new people, strike up conversations and listen to what they have to say as you can learn from everyone new that you meet. Always have an interesting fact that you can share about yourself that will help you strike up these conversations...it is fun...try it!
Living in Greece for a Summer is definitely one of my top travel experiences! :) I travelled there by myself and met up with a friend from home over there to share the experience together. During my time living there, I learnt so much about myself as I had never lived away from home before. I made plenty of friends for life during my time spent in Greece and I am still in daily contact with them - making friends from all over the world is definitely one of the best things that happens when you travel!
My top travel tip would be to ensure you take out appropriate travel insurance which covers you for the full duration of your travels!
Project & Product Design Coordinator
It is so difficult to pick my most memorable travel experience because for me all travel is incredibly exciting, memorable and important for building your self-confidence. I travel to Canada a lot to see my close family which has given me great memories since I was a young girl. In fact, when I was surfing on a beach in Tofino on Vancouver Island, I met a guy on the beach playing the guitar. It turned out he was so a Product designer who designed prosthetic Limbs for third world countries, long story short 6 months later I moved out to Canada to help 3D print and design upper body prosthesis for counties like Nepal, Cambodia, Hatti, that was an INCREDIBLE and life-changing travel experience.
I have traveled alone a couple of times now, I don't really enjoy it that much as I am a people person and love to be surrounded in conversation. However more recently I traveled to Paris to attend Premiere Vision, a fashion trade show at the very heart of worldwide fashion. The journey out there was lonely but my goodness did I meet incredibly creative and inspiring people at the show. Attending the event alone and traveling alone really help me to gain more confidence but also believe in myself. I definitely feel more comfortable with traveling alone after this experience.
My top tip for traveling….. business cards! People tell me business card are a dying trend but they are SO handy to have in your purse when traveling. I carry a few with me at all times because you never know when you are going to meet someone interesting who you may want to contact at a later date. If I hadn't had my business card on that beach in Tofino I might never have been contacted for that job. Oh and also google translate, its a LIFESAVER!
I haven’t travelled as much as I’d like to, and I’ve also never travelled alone - but I’d say the most memorable experience I have is travelling to Malta for my honeymoon (my first proper non-family holiday!). We got a free room upgrade to a beautiful sea view. My favourite memory is snorkelling off a boat in Malta’s blue lagoon at Comino watching all the little fish go by – although I would say the sea is equally blue at all the beaches we visited in Malta (famous for its wonderfully clean blue flag beaches!) I would love to travel and see more of the world - my in-laws emigrated to New Zealand 9 years ago so it would be great to see New Zealand or maybe fit in a mini round the world trip.
My top tip for travel would be: remember your scalp can get sunburnt too, so protect it…speaking from experience as I learnt this the hard way… leading to sun stroke and a few wasted days of holiday (and a ridiculously red peely scalp!)
My most memorable travel experience has to be getting to fulfill a lifelong dream of meeting some lovely elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand. They have always been my favourite animal and it was amazing to get to see them so up close. Turns out they really are massive, I was a little scared at first but with a bit of encouragement was happily feeding them bananas!
I travelled on my own to Berlin for 3 months for a summer placement during uni. I was pretty nervous on my way out there and spent the weekend before I started working on my own. I did a free walking tour which was a brilliant way to orientate myself about the city and get some tips from the guide on where else to explore. Once I started working I met lots of other interns and had an amazing summer exploring all the culture, history and beer gardens Berlin has to offer!
My top tip for travelling is to always ask for advice! If your on your own it might be better to ask people you know who have been to the same place before or maybe a tour guide or someone working wherever you are staying! If you feel comfortable though it’s always good to ask a local. That way you're much more likely to see the ‘real’ place and find the best spots to eat or see the sights without having to pay big tourist prices.