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About Steph

Hi, my name is Stephanie Huff (but you can call me Steph). Welcome to my little corner of the web! I’m a 30 year old PhD student and solo female traveller with a knack for misadventure.

the pink backpack travel blog about steph

I‘ve been attacked by a chimpanzee in Tanzania, drove a 35,000£ car rental into a ditch in Scotland, got food poisoning 10,000 ft up a mountain in Colombia and nitrogen narcosis 120 ft below the ocean in Belize.

I’m basically the modern-day hybrid of Bridget Jones and Indiana Jones - my life is full of super awkward moments and crazy adventures. For your entertainment, I write about them here on my blog.

At my personal expense, you might enjoy reading about the time I tried to be a fashion blogger or when I attempted to eat like a local in India.

Why start a travel blog?

I’m originally from a town in Ontario, Canada called London (yes, there is a London outside of England). In September of 2015, I left my cushy lifestyle in Western Canada to go back to school for my PhD in global health — it was one of the best decisions of my life!

I started this blog and my instagram account around the same time, as an outlet to still feel connected with travel and the version of myself I found while on the road. I never imagined that these platforms would actually open doors for me to travel more, meet people from all around the world, get my writing published and help pay my way through school!

about the pink backpack travel blog

Fun Fact: The name 'The Pink Backpack' started as a metaphor for female travel, but now I actually do own a pink backpack!

I believe everyone who loves writing should start a blog -- you (yes, you) have a unique story to tell! That's why I wrote a simplified guide on how to start a blog in 5 easy steps.

Register now for as low as $1.75/ month

How can I afford to travel SO much?

It might surprise you that I've travelled the most while in University. I took advantage of every single funded academic opportunity to travel that I could: I did a semester abroad in Australia, a clinical placement in England, an internship in Tanzania, and fieldwork in Kenya. Earlier this year I moved to Tanzania to conduct my doctoral research project!

As for my other adventures? I pay for my travels, just like anyone else…I work hard and save up money (TBH: I've done some pretty crazy things to afford travel).

I wrote an entire post about how I afford to travel as a PhD student, which details the specific combination of strategies that have worked for me to travel to nearly 50 countries and 6 continents. I also wrote a post on how you can travel for FREE as a student.

Why solo travel?

I took my first solo trip in 2012 at the age of 24. A lot of my friends had just started their post-college jobs and were paying down student loans, so travel wasn't their priority. Flash forward 6 years and now my friends are buying houses, getting married and starting families of their own. If I waited around for someone to travel with, I would have never travelled at all!

Truthfully, after my first solo trip, I’ve never looked back; I love the freedom it offers. Solo female travel can definitely be challenging (read my rant in “Yes, I’m single. No, I won’t marry you”), but I also find it to be liberating, empowering and transformative.

In total, I've explored nearly 50 countries (49 to be exact...but who's counting) and 6 continents (you may want to check out my 2016 and 2017 travel round-ups). 

I've travelled solo through most of Europe, India, Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia. Most recently I backpacked 3500 miles overland from South Africa to Tanzania and then overland around Lake Victoria...and guess what? I was completely safe and I've never been happier!

My goal through blogging is to provide accurate information and authentic representations of destinations, so you have access to the information you need to travel safely. My goal through solo female travel is to challenge the discourse around what women can and can't do on their own, hopefully inspiring other women (and men) to live their travel dreams too!

New to travel?

Travel (especially to somewhere different from home), can be overwhelming. It's always scary to step outside your comfort zone, but I can assure you that it is so worth it -- it will change you and the way you view the world.

If you're not sure where to start, I recommend trying the following resources:

How to pack lighter in 5 steps

The ultimate women's backpacking list 

The best women's daypack for travel

10 ways to Avoid Culture Shock

Thank you for reading!

For business inquiries, please contact me at [email protected] or see my work with me page.