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Latina Mom solo travels. She is sitting on a camel in Egypt.

Reader’s Spotlight: Elisabeth Montes

Welcome to The Queen of Trips – Reader’s Spotlight where I highlight your stories.

What types of stories will I be sharing? 

Stories of Latina female travelers that are in committed relationships, are married and/or have children and give themselves the space to travel solo.

With these stories I want to dispel the idea that solo travel is only for single women. I know so many amazing women who are moms and/or in committed relationships that enjoy solo travel.  I hope that these stories help more Latinas overcome their limiting beliefs and help them enjoy the gift to solo travel if they wish to do so. 

If you would like to share your travel story with me and my readers, please fill out this form. I will be sharing it on my newsletter and blog.

Today’s spotlight shines on Elisabeth Montes Hayden!

What inspired you to want to try solo travel, despite the cultural norms against it?

In 2017, I got a debilitating sickness and two years later I decided to take my first ever solo trip on my birthday to Sedona, Arizona. My idea to solo travel started at a young age. My dad solo traveled long before he met my mother and would tell us about his adventures often. As I got older, my health also impacted my decision to go for it.

Latina Mom is smiling while taking a selfie with Macchu Picchu in the background.

As a first generation Latina mother, I was aware that this wasn’t socially normalized or accepted. I did it anyway because although I am happily married I needed to do something for myself. I had a void to fill within myself, called self-discovery.

When I first told my husband my idea to take this solo trip, he supported it. He’s a Navy Veteran and he experienced solo travel for many years. He understood that I hadn’t had the opportunities to travel in my young adulthood. It helped that he wasn’t raised with a patriarchal mindset. 

On the other hand, I’m sure that my family had their reservations but they didn’t voice them to me. It might be because I’m the eldest daughter. My mom is an immigrant from Mexico, so I had expected some kickback from her. I was 39 when I made this decision, so she knew that I always lived life to the beat of my own drum.

Once I knew I’d be going somewhere on my own, I decided on Sedona, Arizona. I was recuperating from an autoimmune issue so I wanted somewhere peaceful and healing. I learned that Sedona was full of vortexes and that’s how I knew it was the right place for me. I found an Airbnb that was a haven for women solo travelers. 

Compared to trips that I’ve done with others, this solo experience was amazing. I got to go and do whatever I wanted without engaging my kids and family, it was lovely. I had a few activities planned, but I did not want to overbook my first solo trip. The stillness of hiking in nature and absorbing the scenes of Sedona was healing.

This experience let me overcome the fear of going to places alone or trying new things. There were times it felt seamless and others where I felt fearful, but I got through it. The biggest challenge for me was sleeping in my Airbnb alone. I found a way to manage. The highlight was meeting like-minded people, taking a horseback ride, hiking alone, and trying new restaurants. 

The best advice I could give other women in relationships and moms within the Latino community who might want to travel but are feeling hesitant is to not let fear stop you. Feeling guilt and fear is normal, but if you push through you will experience bliss.


It’s a tie between Peru and Egypt! Peru because as a Spanish-speaking Latina, it was an easy transition to travel abroad, to see ruins like Machu Picchu, and to communicate easily in English or Spanish. Visiting Peru let me know the world was bigger and knowledge was vast and I yearned for more. My trip to Peru prepared me for my trip to Egypt.

Latina Mom Solo Travels. She is standing at an outdoor market in Peru wearing black and smiling.

Visiting Aswan, Egypt. Many people visit the pyramids and temples in Egypt as I did but Aswan has an unmatched energy. We sailed on the Nile River on a boat in Aswan.  The energy that enveloped Aswan was nothing short of extraordinary. Aswan offered a serene haven, a sanctuary where time seemed to slow down, and the beauty of humanity and love embraced all. The place exuded a magical ambiance that felt like stepping into a realm where the ordinary and the divine seamlessly coexisted.


Yes, language barriers and going to the open market were a concern for me when traveling to Egypt. But I didn’t let that stop me from traveling. I researched and I knew the tour company I had booked had English speakers and translators. I hired a guide whom I voiced my concerns with and she helped me tremendously.

Self-reliance, communication, and confidence boosted my immune system. The absolute best part is meeting your tribe of people, strangers who understand you and make you feel seen.

Elisabeth’s journey into solo travel speaks volumes about her resilience and quest for self-discovery. As a first-generation Latina mother navigating the complexities of family life, Elisabeth’s decision to solo travel could have been met with skepticism or resistance from her spouse and family. This is the societal norm for many Latinas. However, her partner’s open mindset, has made their marriage supportive, allowing her the space to follow her passions. Elisabeth’s story is not just about normalizing moms as individuals first; it’s about authenticity and finding empowerment in pursuing what truly lights up her soul. Her experiences serve as an inspiration for others to step boldly into new adventures and seek the transformative magic of solo travel.

As a Survivor Empowerment coach, Elisabeth Montes specializes in guiding women through personal development, focusing on mindset shadow work and overall wellness. Drawing from her own experiences as a survivor of childhood molestation and other traumas, Elisabeth is deeply committed to empowering women, especially those who have faced similar challenges. Together with Elisabeth, you can explore the impact of past trauma on their lives, relationships, and self-worth, working towards fostering a life of abundance and well-being. You can check out her website, Women Want Wellnes. To find Elisabeth on IG, click here.

By sharing these stories here on The Queen of Trips, I am committed to showcasing diverse experiences, and if you have your own story to share, I invite you to fill out the form and become part of our empowering community. Let’s continue to shatter stereotypes and celebrate the richness of women’s travel experiences. Stay tuned for more readers’ stories.

If this is your first time on my blog, make sure to read Why Latinas Should Never Solo Travel. If this you would like to read about my reader’s stories, you can also read Elena’s travel story.

If you want to solo travel but don’t know where to start, I have an entire Guide to help you Solo Travel.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog and newsletter to stay up to date!

Meet Maribel, The Queen of Trips, a survivor who turned her cancer journey into a source of inspiration for fellow travelers. Join her as she fearlessly explores the world, showing that life after cancer is a testament to resilience and the power of living fully.

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