We had the chance to talk to a wonderful traveller, Chelsey – The Ninja Gypsy, who not only loves to wander around beautiful places but also believes that everybody deserves to feel safe wherever they travel to.
We would love to know more about you: My passion and aim are to make travel safety more accessible so that all travellers can feel confident and safe when they travel. On my blog, The Ninja Gypsy, I strive to teach people how to be safe, what situations to plan for, and how to create solutions. With that in mind, I also created a Facebook group called Safe Travel for Women, which now has over 1000 members! In addition, I published a book called Inspired: The Stories of Nine Solo Female Travelers to hopefully inspire more women to travel solo. The stories from these women are truly inspiring, and one of them is even from India! Next year, I am hoping to release another book on my ABCs of Self-Defense so keep an eye out for it!
What do you love most about travel: There are so many parts of travelling that I love and that pushes me to travel more. The people, the food, the landmarks, the culture, and more are all integrated into my love of travel. The most powerful motivator for me to travel is to experience adventure in nature. I love kayaking, zip-lining, white water rafting, and anything else that gets me out into nature and to witness all of those differences in the wild around the world.
The Ninja Gypsy is a great way to raise awareness and educate people about safety. What inspired you to use travel as a medium: I don’t know if I chose to travel so much as travel chose me. My love of travel is what came first, and while I was traveling did the inspiration for The Ninja Gypsy come to be. When I went backpacking through Southeast Asia, I encountered two things that baffled me. The first one was how surprised some women were to see me travelling solo. They were shocked that I was alone and that I was confident to be that way. I didn’t fear the world the way they did. The second was how much people took their safety for granted. I watched tourists leave themselves vulnerable in situations that were easy to prevent with some simple safety knowledge. It was then that I realized that my confidence in traveling solo came from my safety knowledge and that I could share that with other travellers; this way they can learn, become confident, and not be victims to preventable crime.
Your best and the worst travel experiences : Travelling is like life, it has its ups and downs, and you hope that there are going to be more ups than downs. I can say that most of my travelling has been successful, but there have been a few “whoops” moments along the way. One of my most unsuccessful moments was when I went to Okinawa, and my debit card didn’t work . The best experiences I have had while traveling are the friends that I have made. The relationships that you create while travelling are impactful and change you in a way that you never expect. I am still friends with many of the people that I have met while travelling, and I hope to continue to be for many years to come.
One place that made you wish that you could live there and why: That is a tough question! Many places hold a special place in my heart. If I had to pick just one, I would say on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa was always a dream destination of mine because it is where my style of karate originated from. When I finally got to visit there, it was extraordinary. The vibe of the island was relaxed, the people were friendly, and there were many outstanding destinations and activities to do. I would go back in a heartbeat! I also want to give a shout out to southern Spain, it is definitely my second choice.
Please share a few travel safety hacks for travellers: On my blog, The Ninja Gypsy, I talk about the ABC’s of Self-Defense. In “H – Have a Plan” of the ABCs of Self-Defense, I talk about how important it is to play the ‘What If’ game. In the ‘What If’ game you try to come up with all the things that could go wrong during your trip. What do you do if your credit card gets stolen, your flight gets delayed, or you get lost? How are you going to respond? In each situation that you produce, you also create a solution. Research and creative thinking will lead you to have a solid plan in case that emergency arises; as well, you will not be panicked if it does. It is highly important to play this game before you travel; you can even brainstorm with family and friends! Remember, this is not to scare you but to make you prepared and confident!
What do you love to do the most when you are not travelling: I am very rarely in one place for long, but when I am, I love to pursue martial arts. I am a 3rd-degree black belt in Uechi-Ryu Karate, and it brings me endless joy. I even participate in martial arts when I travel like doing Taekwondo in South Korea and Muay Thai in Thailand. I also enjoy reading, dancing, hiking, and eating chocolate!
Thank you so much to Travel Secrets and all of its wonderful readers for having me; it was amazing to get to share my story with you. I encourage you all to learn about travel safety and to get out there to see the world! Be bold, be brave, and be wise!
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Chelsey- The Ninja Gypsy spoke to Gautami Jadhav of Travel Secrets magazine