How to Travel Solo and Help Save the World: Tam Warner Minton’s Story
Tam Warner Minton loves to travel solo. She scuba dives, volunteers with groups such as Citizen Science, and writes an adventure blog called Travels With Tam. She’s also a wife and mom to two grown children. To say she’s busy would be an understatement! But she never pretends it’s easy. Tam is open and honest about her life — a life that threw her a giant curveball in 2013 that forced her to become more independent when it comes to traveling alone.
Tam and her husband Randy love to travel. They’ve had many adventures together. But no adventure was quite as scary as 2013, when his sarcoidosis took a turn for the worse and he needed a double lung transplant. He was in critical condition for three months and on life support for 12 days. Since his transplant, his recovery has been tough but miraculous, but because of his health, Randy can’t go to remote locations with Tam anymore. He doesn’t want that to stop her, though.
“When Randy realized I didn’t want to leave him, he told me his limitations did not have to be mine,” Tam said. “He has continued to encourage and support my solo travel and my Citizen Science travel. He knows how much these activities mean to me, and he doesn’t want me to miss out. After all, how many years do I have left to do challenging traveling and diving? I don’t know, but it’s not long enough!”
Tam loves to travel solo. She passionately cares about the oceans and conservation, so many of her trips have an environmental focus. On her very first Citizen Science trip with All Out Africa, she had a lot planned: scuba diving to complete fish surveys and whale shark identifications. When she arrived alone in Tofo, Mozambique, though, she was pretty nervous, especially when she realized she was the oldest in the group.
“I wanted to make a good impression and be ‘cool.’ That lasted about a day,” she recalls. “I tend to fall a lot! I fell into the boat … I flew out of the boat when they beached it … I landed on the scuba tanks. One of the volunteers said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ I just laughed and said, ‘I’m a klutz.’ It became an affectionate joke … That trip was a life changer for me, realizing that I was strong, capable, and able to travel by myself. Me!”
But traveling alone certainly isn’t easy. In one blog, Tam talks about how she struggles with anxiety and not wanting to leave her husband. But she believes strongly in not letting fear stop her from doing what she wants to do.
“Women are never safe,” she says. “Women are more likely to be hurt in their homes than in any other location. But why allow yourself to be dictated by fear? It can paralyze you. If you fear traveling by yourself, choose a ‘safe’ destination for a long weekend, book it, and go. The way you feel when you’ve done something in spite of fear is amazing: It feels like you can conquer the world!”
Image source: Tam Warner Minton