Go Travel and Talk
Go Travel and Talk's mission is to create a travel platform that empowers solo travellers to explore, share and make a positive impact in the world.
Psychology of Exploration
Psychological research shows that solo travel and experiencing life outside of our comfort zone can be great for our well-being in terms of helping us deal with change, being more adaptable, more open, more conscientious and promoting overall personal growth. Solo travel also gives us the opportunity to learn about history, different cultures and languages, geography, and so much more. However, we at Go Travel and Talk understand that it can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable to explore outside of our normal routines! With the help of Go Travel and Talk and our worldwide community, we hope that our tiny little space on the internet will provide the encouragement and empowerment that we sometimes need to take that leap of faith.
Community & Sharing
Human connection and a sense of belonging is one of our basic human needs and what better way to meet that need than being part of a worldwide community who empower each other to explore, share and impact! Community gives us the opportunity to share our experiences and knowledge, build valuable relationships and create a deeper sense of belonging. Go Travel and Talk is a supportive community that is rich in resources, skills and expertise. We are all working together to achieve our common goal of creating a platform to encourage and inspire one another to travel solo and make a positive impact when we do.
Whilst travel and community are awesome, we’ve learned that tourism can have many socially and environmentally harmful effects. Tourism can often lead to the exploitation of people, communities, and cultures. The volunteer-tourism industry can also do more harm than good if they are not in line with what communities actually need. Additionally, tourism contributes to increased carbon footprints, plastic waste, deforestation, pollution, and animal endangerment. For these reasons, Go Travel and Talk seeks to do its part in shaping the future of travel by being a platform that connects solo travellers with opportunities to work with well-researched organisations and local projects to make a positive impact through their travels. Go Travel and Talk also seeks to be a forum for discussion through our community blog so we can learn together on how we can make a positive impact through our travels.
Welcome friends! I’m Cj – the ‘initial’ founder of Go Travel and Talk. I say initial, because since I first came up with the idea, the platform has evolved and grown into something so much more and that is because of the love and involvement of friends, family and strangers from all over the world.
But the first idea of Go Travel and Talk came to me on a bus journey in South America…
It was July 2018 and I was coming to the end of my 6-month solo trip across South America. I was on a (painful) 24-hour bus journey between Bolivia and Peru, reflecting on all that I had experienced and how this trip had been so different to the ones I had taken previously.
You see this time, I had immersed myself in the culture and the lives of the local people. I volunteered, stayed in homestays and enjoyed off the beaten path adventures (with some precarious moments, sorry mum and dad). I hung out on my own A LOT and I spent more time with the locals than I did with other travellers – even with my broken Spanish. My heart was full and at every opportunity I was bursting to share what I had experienced.
But the date of returning back to London and back to my old life was looming. I had this sick feeling in my stomach like a child not wanting to go back to school. I was confused and conflicted, but the one thing I did know was that I was coming home a different person.
When I got back to London, nose ring and bracelets in tow, I sat down at my familiar desk, in my familiar office. I turned on my computer, I opened up my emails and a colleague turned to me and said….
“So good to have you back… It’s like you’ve never been away”.
My heart sank. My fingers paused. My eyes began to water.
People say that we only jump into the unknown and take a leap of faith when the pain of the current situation outweighs the fear of the unknown. Well, in that moment, the pain of being back was unbearable.
I immediately called a meeting with my boss and handed in my notice.
Within 1 week I had found someone to take over my rented room, I had packed up my stuff, said goodbye to my friends and the life I had so carefully curated over the last 8 years, and I moved back in with my parents… at the age of 30.
I was terrified, but I knew I wanted to create something from all that I had learnt over the last 6 months, and so Go Travel and Talk was born.
But let’s rewind a little…
When I was first planning my solo trip to South America in 2018, I really struggled to find information on local volunteering opportunities that didn’t cost £1000’s, or ask me to go through a third party provider where I had no idea where my money was going.
So, when I got to Colombia I started talking to the locals and other travellers and actively seeking out opportunities where I could learn about the community and get involved in any projects that were going on. Turns out that there are A LOT of grassroots organisations out there that desperately need help but often have no means of getting it - no website, no funding and no access to volunteers.
Throughout my trip, I shared what I had learnt with other travellers and found that there were so many like-minded people who wanted something more from their travels, but they didn’t know how to go about it.
A seed was planted.
Since returning from South America, I have put everything into creating Go Travel and Talk as a way to connect local businesses, impact organisations and travellers. I want our little space on the internet to inspire people to explore outside of their comfort zones and to make a positive impact when they do.
And that was why and how Go Travel and Talk came into existence.
To empower solo travellers to explore, share and make a positive impact in the world.
To achieve this mission, Go Travel and Talk provides detailed travel guides & itineraries to worldwide destinations written by solo travellers just like you and me.
We break down how to navigate transportation, how to find the best budget accommodation options and homestays, great local places to eat and what to see and do with a focus on cultural experiences rather than mainstream tourist attractions. As much as we can (through personal experiences and knowledge), we offer volunteering opportunities in our travel guides so our community have the chance to make a positive impact whilst traveling and grassroots organisations get access to volunteers.
We offer a community blog space where solo travellers, non-profit organisations and game-changers within the travel industry can share their insights, knowledge and expertise. With this, we hope to connect, inspire and educate each other and really help shape the future of travel, TOGETHER.