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So you want to strike out as a solo traveler, but you’re still a little apprehensive. Maybe you haven’t traveled much before, or you usually go away with friends. Perhaps this trip is just more daunting, for whatever reason. Nerves are a natural part of solo travel, particularly if you’re a woman – we’ve all had the experience of feeling less confident or safe than our male counterparts in certain situations. But how can you equip yourself to master solo travel and become a fearless female explorer? There’s no perfect recipe for easy solo travel, but these skills will certainly help.

Packing Light

When there’s no one else to carry your baggage for you, the weight really starts to matter (there’s a life lesson in there somewhere…!). Be realistic about what you’ll wear, read, and use, and leave the rest behind.

Acting Confident

Chances are, you’ll encounter some questionable situations when traveling. If you’re out there alone, you need to give off the impression that you are strong, determined, and not to be messed with. And guess what? Once you’ve started acting that way, it’s basically true.

Planning Ahead

You can’t rely on anyone else to make the plans for you, so you need to spend some time figuring out transportation and directions when you’re on the move. This is the perfect excuse to flex your planning skills, or to finally develop some!

Trusting Your Instincts

This bar feels dodgy? You don’t like the guy who’s sat next to you on the train? Trust your instincts; find a safe crowd, or get out of there. Politeness doesn’t matter when you’re traveling solo, so learn to trust your instincts.

Adapting To New Situations

Here are things you will find when you’re traveling: Food that seems weird. Bathrooms that seem weird. Customs that seem weird. Adapting and making the best of odd situations is part of solo travel, and it really will make you richer.

Talking To Strangers

If you’ve always been shy about talking to strangers, or prefer to let others handle it, solo travel will really flex your social muscles. Checking in, ordering at restaurants, and asking for directions, often in another language…this is your chance to learn to socialize and negotiate for yourself.

Saying No

As a single female traveler, you’re an easy target for salespeople, hopeful men, and other travelers who want to socialize. That can be great, but it can also lead to a lot of uncomfortable situations if you don’t learn how to firmly and clearly say no when you don’t want to do something.

Saying Yes

On the flipside, when you’re traveling alone, people want to get to know you. On top of that, every day can be spent exactly how you want to spend it, so learn to say yes to new things! Take that tour, hang out with the locals, and accept me-time when you need it.

Solo travel can be eye-opening, energizing, terrifying, and hilarious, often all at the same time. Once you’re in the swing of it, you’ll forget that you ever even worried, but getting to grips with these skills will help you take the first few steps.

by Erin Weaver

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How to harvest honey

Bees are a worthwhile investment for any homesteader. Although it comes with great payoff, beekeeping has a learning curve. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect when harvesting honey from your bees.

Step 1: Access the hive

Most beekeepers use a smoker to safely access the hive to harvest honey. Smoke the entrance of the hive and remove the lid, smoking the top. This pushes bees away from the area you’ll be working in. Gently remove the cover; you may need to use a special tool to pry it off if it’s covered in beeswax.

Step 2: Remove bees

To harvest honey from a frame, you’ll need to remove bees from the area. There are multiple methods for this, but the simplest is a DIY bee vacuum. Place the honeycomb frames in an empty frame holder as you collect more honeycomb. Once you’ve removed the frames you want, reseal the hive and replace the bees. Remember to always wear protective beekeeping gear!

Step 3: Remove wax

The precious honey is sealed up inside the protective beeswax. You can remove these beeswax caps with a butter knife, or you can also purchase a specialized capping knife. Tip: Save this beeswax to make homemade candles; it smells amazing.

Step 4: Extract and store honey

For this step, you’ll need a tool called a honey extractor. This gadget spins the honeycomb and collects it at the bottom of a drum. Open the spigot on the drum and filter the honey through a sieve and cheesecloth. Filtering prevents wax and other debris from finding its way into your honey.

Once filtered, the honey is ready to be bottled and enjoyed. It can be stored in Mason jars, where it can be safely kept on a shelf for up to two years. But we have a feeling that it won’t last that long!


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