Solo Travel Spotlight: Meet Lisa

Lisa Exploring Catalina Island

Chicago Native & Fearless Baby Boomer 

Lisa is proof that even with retirement on the horizon it’s never too late to get out of your comfort-zone and try something new, including solo travel!  And that’s exactly what she did, on her 60th birthday at that!  Since I’ve known Lisa she’s always been a fearless go-getter who’s always down for an adventure. This hardworking baby boomer is no stranger to life changing experiences, including, a move from Chicago to L.A and being a part of a missions team to Haiti.  Now, in a new season of life –newly single with adult children– Lisa’s sense of adventure is only getting stronger and solo travel was her next big challenge! Fully committed, Lisa prepared herself for this new and uncomfortable experience by doing some research and gathering advice from seasoned travelers; we can all learn a little something from this wise woman.


Tell us about yourself.  Where do you live, work, and play?

My name is Lisa Cathran, I am a Baby Boomer and a mother of two adult children (who still live at home).  I live in Downey, California and work at Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union as an Assistant Vice President of Operations. I’ve been on my job for 18 years and looking forward to retirement in another 5 years. Play time for me is relaxing in front of my fireplace with a glass of wine, or taking in dinner and a movie.

What quote inspires you to be adventurous?

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ” – Maya Angelou

When did you decide to take your FIRST solo trip and what prompted you to take the leap?

After attending a travel mixer hosted by Fidel (Globe Beyond Yourself) which focused on solo travel, I was encouraged and felt empowered to do my very first solo trip this year, at age 60, since becoming a widow three and a half years ago. Fidel inspired me with her bravery in traveling the world solo and as a result, I took the trip as a celebration of my 60 year milestone birthday this past January 2019.

How did you go about choosing the location for your first solo adventure?  What resources helped you make your decision?

I decided to do what I term a “local cruise” where I went on a 4 day cruise to Catalina Island, CA, Ensenada, Mexico and on the open sea for a day.   A number of people I know had already taken this cruise and they told me what to expect and what the experience was like for them. Fidel also helped me plan some of my activities.

Lisa touring Ensenada, Mexico

What was your overall experience with solo travel: was it scary, amazing, or everything in between?

It was great! I really enjoyed being among the people in the different communities we visited and it was amazing to be a part of something that really had an impact on people, physically and emotionally.

What fears or concerns did you have about traveling solo and how did you to overcome them?

I was concerned that I would feel awkward being alone, however, those concerns soon passed once I got out there and just relaxed and was comfortable with myself and being alone.

What did you learn about yourself on your first solo trip? Have you taken any other solo trips since then?

I’ve learned that I CAN travel solo and just be natural when speaking with people and accept the conversation for the moment, without expecting anything more than at that moment. I have not taken any other solo trips since then but I have one planned for March of this year.

Any tips you’d like to share with readers that gave you comfort in taking the leap into Solo Travel?

Just do it; plan your activities and enjoy yourself!

Generally speaking, do you recommend others to travel solo? Why or why not?

I do recommend that others travel solo. It gives you confidence to do other things that you may have felt timid about doing once you accomplish this goal. Little by little I believe you will become more confident.

What was the hardest part about your solo trip?

It was not hard at all to do this solo trip. I did my research, planned each day, had support from those that had traveled solo before and then I just did it. It felt great to have accomplished this.

Now that you’ve got some experience with solo travel under your belt, what’s one thing you wish someone would have shared with you before you embarked on this journey?

I can’t think of anything I wish I had known before I took my trip. I did my research beforehand and talked to a number of people who had previously taken the cruise I went on.

What are your top 3 reasons why everyone should travel?

  1. It’s fun.
  2. It broadens your exposure to new places, people, and experiences.
  3. It’s fun!

Where is the next place on your travel list?

A San Francisco trip is planned for March of this year. I plan to go with some friends but if they don’t go, I plan to go on my own.




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