This Battered Suitcase is, as Brenna says, “not only about the where and the how of travel, it’s about the who and the why”. Ten years and 90 countries later, this solo traveler has developed strong views of life, relationships, and travel. In this interview, Brenna Holeman shares her personal perspective of travel and the importance of living your own dream.
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire!
How has living a life of travel been possible for you?
To travel as much as possible is a dream that I continually try to fulfill. I’ve done so by constantly making travel a priority, saving every penny I can, and working hard to create a blog and business that allows me to travel. I’ve been working on this dream for more than half of my life and I continue to work on it every day, but it’s so worth it!
What sacrifices have you made in your life (personal possessions, security, comfort, relationships, etc.) to make your dream a reality?
It has been difficult to constantly say goodbye to family and friends. I’ve struggled in the past with not having a home of my own. Thankfully, there are now so many ways to keep in touch with people around the world, so I definitely find it easier to maintain relationships than I did before.
What would your personal definition of travel be, as it relates to your life?
Traveling is a way to experience the new: new cultures, new perspectives, new foods, new music, new landscapes, etc. I travel to learn and to broaden my way of thinking.
From your first journey and up to this point, how have you been changed by your experiences?
I’ve changed in so many ways! But, the biggest way is probably that I’ve become more open-minded and confident. I’ve learned so much over the past ten years of solo travel – but mostly that I don’t know anything about the world at all. That’s why I keep traveling – To keep learning.
Is there anything that you would not give up or compromise for travel?
I would never give up my values, nor would I put any of my personal relationships at risk. While I really love traveling, I love my family and friends even more.
What is your belief on the importance of living your own dream and staying true to your own personal path?
I think it’s absolutely necessary. Comparison is the thief of joy, so don’t look at what makes other people happy, think about what makes you happy! If it’s traveling, then start to work toward a life that can incorporate as much travel as possible.
How can travel be an attainable dream for anyone?
To be honest, the harsh reality is that travel isn’t an attainable dream for everyone. As much as I would like for every single person on the planet to be able to fulfill his or her dreams, sadly there are a lot of limitations on people around the world. When discussing what I’ve done in order to personally attain my dream of travelling, I have to acknowledge my privilege – that I was raised in a middle-class, Canadian household that encouraged travel. I think that we really can’t take our privilege for granted, and that if we are able to travel, we really need to appreciate just how beautiful and fortunate our lives are.
What advice or support would you give to other aspiring travelers who want to take their first step?
I think the best plan is to take a few short holidays or trips and see how you feel. If you realize that your wanderlust is going to be insatiable, start to plan for a change.
What is one quote that you feel would describe how you travel and live your life?
My mum always liked to say, “Be Present”. I think that can apply to many things in life, including travel. I always try to be present, to really be in the moment and to really appreciate how lucky I am to live a life of travel.