Emma grew up in Donegal in northwest Ireland. Her earliest holiday memories flash to staycations with her family in Cork and Kerry; ferry rides to France for countryside camping retreats; finding shade under the orange trees of Seville; making promises to stay friends forever with new pals in the Algarve; sheltering under a tree in Central Park from a New York downpour; and the one that will always sit fondly on her map of epic trips – Disneyland in Orlando.
At 22 she graduated to her first solo adventure; booking a one-way ticket to Thailand after four years at university in Galway and Dublin. It didn’t take long for the self-doubt to materialise though, after a cancelled flight at Heathrow and subsequent struggle to navigate to a hotel for the night proved overwhelming. Over a decade later, one of her proudest achievements is resisting the urge to turn around.
The following year in Asia was life changing. From her days spent teaching English to a class of 4-year-olds in Bangkok, to dodging traffic on the streets of Hanoi and catching the morning sunrise illuminating the temples at Angkor − every moment, the good and the bad, proved that travel (especially when you’re by yourself) can be one of life’s most enriching of experiences.
Since settling as a proper working adult in England (first in Oxford and then London), her desire to explore the world has only grown. Her travels, from time spent in Africa working with a charity to a 30th birthday trip along the Californian coastline to a current obsession with city breaks, have often been by herself.
The Art of Travelling Solo was born after she discovered very little written about the joys, and the challenges, of travelling by oneself. Solo travel can, of course, be daunting, especially for those used to having someone else with them or being in a group. But Emma believes that no matter what the reason for finding yourself in need of an escape, being solo should never be a barrier to fulfilling your travel dreams.
She hopes that The Art of Travelling Solo will provide every single traveller with the inspiration they need to explore the world. Whether it’s a staycation or traversing continents, nowhere should be off limits − so start making a dent in that travel wish list and master the art of travelling solo.