Why These Widowed Women Embraced Solo Travel: Episode 6 of Travel + Leisure’s New Podcast

Char Simpson and Janice Waugh share their experiences as solo female travelers, the power they’ve found in their journeys, and practical tips for fellow solo travelers.

Char Simpson and Janice Waugh
Photo: Courtesy of Char Simpson (Left) and Janice Waugh (Right)

This week's episode of Let's Go Together, the new podcast from Travel + Leisure, is a deep dive into the world of solo female travel — something that host Kellee Edwards knows all too well. In this episode, Edwards, who has traveled the world near and far, oftentimes by herself, is accompanied by two inspirational women who have also garnered plenty of frequent flier miles on solo trips.

For Char Simpson, a retired guidance counselor and special education teacher from Indiana who has over 12,000 followers on Instagram, losing her husband and travel partner of 31 years was a catalyst to keep exploring the world — even if it meant on her own. "After he died, I still had that travel bug," she told Edwards. "There's nothing that can take it away. I just feel like there's nothing that can happen that I can't figure out."

Toronto-based Janice Waugh began traveling young, starting with a biking trip around England and Wales at the age of 15. She continued traveling, sharing adventures with friends and family until 2006 when, like Simpson, she lost her husband. "It was a couple of years later that I thought, well, I guess I'm traveling solo," Waugh told Edwards.

Over the course of the episode, the trio of solo travelers share the power they've found in themselves while exploring the world on their own. "The number one thing that comes back is the strength and confidence that comes from traveling solo," said Waugh, who runs Solo Traveler. "That people learn how capable they truly are by being themselves."

They also discuss the freedom that solo travel offers. Simpson says one of the perks is "not having to negotiate or not having to miss something that I think would have really been a cool thing to do."

They talk about matters of safety, bucket list destinations, how being alone often creates the best opportunity to make new connections — and, of course, the healing power of travel.

Hear more from Char Simpson and Janice Waugh about the beauty in solo travel on Let's Go Together, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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