"How do you it?"

If I got a dollar for every time I got asked this question, I'd be wandering through the world nonstop right now. I've gotten a lot of emails asking how can one just leave their regular job, pack their entire life into a suitcase and explore the world. 

It's not as easy as it seems, and it's not as hard as it seems either. Because it all depends on how you make it. The point of travel is to embrace the ambiguity. To lunge into uncertainty and find comfort in teetering the unknown.

Lao Tzu said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I say here, take five.

1. Save

Save as much as you possibly can. Stop consuming. Stop eating out at restaurants. Stop going to the movies, stop going to clubs every weekend, stop smoking, stop constantly spending money on alcohol, stop shopping, stop wasting your money on things you don't need and save it to buy experiences that will benefit you and your growth. Travel.

If you set a budget for yourself every month and stick to it, you will be able to save up enough money for travel. Think of all the things you mindlessly spend on a daily basis. That five dollar coffee at Starbucks. That pack of cigarettes from the gas station. The top from Anthropologie that you just "had to have". If you take a look at your bank account and calculate all of the things that you have spent, you will see that it does make a dent. Weigh your priorities out, would you rather spend your money on instant gratifications or incredible experiences all over the world? If you choose the latter, set a bar before you decide to splurge on something lesser than that. Once you get into this habit, it's much easier to say no to random purchases.

Next thing you know, you'll be on a plane, on your way to your dream destination feeling proud of yourself for making it happen.

2. Buy a Ticket

"There's a story that comes from the tradition of the Desert Father, an order of Christian monks who lived in the wastelands of the Egypt about seventeen hundred years ago. In the tale, a couple of monks named Theodore and Lucius shared the acute desire to go out and see the world. Since they'd made vows of contemplation, however, this was not something they were allowed to do. So, to satiate their wanderlust, Theodore and Lucius learned to "mock their temptations" by relegating their travels to the future. When the summertime came, they said to each, "We will leave in the winter." When the winter came, they said, "We will leave in the summer." They went on like this over fifty years, never once leaving the monastery or breaking their vows. Most of us, of course, have never taken such vows but we choose to live like monks anyway, rooting ourselves to a home or career and using the future as a kind of phony ritual that justifies the present. In this way, we end up spending 'the best part of one's life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it. '" 
- Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
Doesn't that story sound familiar? Perhaps a bit too familiar? If you keep delaying your dream travels, you will only waste more of your precious life.

Pick a place. If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be? Dream about it, think about it, delve into it.

Set a date. Give yourself a goal. A time that fuels you, a time that you can dream about, think about while you are working hard to get there. This will motivate you, it is your impetus, that thing that fuels you until you are up in the air and on your way to your dream destination.

Buy the ticket. Work. Save. Go.

3. Live Simply

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

-Henry David Thoreau

Minimalism. Embrace it. If you wear a lot of makeup, have a closet of heels or sneakers, if you're into labels and brands, and can't go a week without buying things you don't need, then my dear, you are in for it. When you start packing your life into a backpack and start selecting the very few things you will gradually strip away all old and unnecessary materialistic things and habits.

We have been wired to consume and spend since the cradle. We don't need to buy new clothes and accessories all the time. We don't need to wear that much makeup. We don't need expensive sneaker collections that costs a couple hundred a pair. We don't need to live in a big house with nice expensive furniture, we don't need to drop thousands of dollars for a shiny 5-inch emblem on a car. It's all just stuff. Material stuff that we think we need, to impress people we think we like, to live a life we think we want.

Travel will strip you down to your very core. To the real you.

It will wake you up. Then you won't feel the need to go back to that materialistic lifestyle again. The more you travel, the more you will learn how to live with very little. It will humble you. You will learn that the simpler you live, the happier you will be. When you are out there on the road, you will be content with your belongings in your backpack, the world in front of you, and the enlightening realization that there is nothing else you really need.

4. Follow your fears

"What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our own country we are seized by a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. This is why we should not say that we travel for pleasure. There is no pleasure in traveling, I look upon it more as an occasion for spiritual testing. This is the most obvious benefit of travel. At that moment we are feverish but also porous, so that the slightest touch makes us quiver to the depths of our being. We come across a cascade of light, and there is eternity. Travel, which is like a greater and graver science, brings us back to ourselves."
-Albert Camus

Diving into the unknown is scary at first, especially when you're used to being in your comfort zone. It's like adjusting your eyesight to darkness. It all seems dark and scary in the beginning, but once your eyes have adjusted it will pick up light from somewhere and it gets easier to see. It's not as frightening as you think it is. People will spill their fears, doubts, and opinions about the world and why you shouldn't even try to get yourself out there. But 99% of the time these are people who have never truly traveled outside of their homeland. So don't listen to them, listen to what your insides are telling you. And if it's telling you to go travel the world, even if it terrifies you, do it.

The other end of every fear is freedom. This is the truth. 

Fear paralyzes us, hinders us from doing what we want to do, from become who we're meant to become. It is an emotion that feels very real, but it is an illusion. That doesn't mean that to become brave & courageous we don't have fear, it means having fears and following them anyway. That is what true courage is. Because deep down we know that we would much rather be free than be paralyzed by the confines of fear. Would you rather stay in your space of comfort and live the rest of your life that way, wondering how it would have been to trek the Himalayas, swim with the elephants in the Andaman islands, or watch the sunrise over Myanmar? In order to life a life of travel we must pursue wherever our feet and hearts takes us, despite the fears. Once you follow and face them, you're free.

5. Let Go

"Travel can be a kind of monasticism on the move: On the road, we often live more simply, with no more possessions than we can carry, and surrendering ourselves to chance. This is what Camus meant when he said that "what gives value to travel is fear" -- disruption, in other words (or emancipation) from circumstance, and all the habits behind which we hide."
-Pico Tyler

You will learn how to detach. You will learn how to let things flow as opposed to constantly needing to have everything planned and control. You will find the true meaning of serendipity and the law of attraction. Let go and let you days flow. Go with the currents of the universe and the paths it opens up to you.

We come from all walks of life. People have priorities that could hold them back from traveling, may it be a relationship, family, job, car, etc. But think about this:

What do you desire the most?

Traveling the world doesn't mean riding through a rainbow on a unicorn with a pot of gold at the end, although a lot of times you'll love it so much it will feel that way. Living a life of travel is about courage, sacrifices, and priorities. People have kids but they sacrifice houses with white picket fences so they can be a vagabonding family, with the world as the school for their children. People have boyfriends/girlfriends but they travel together anyway. Traveling with someone you love is one of the greatest tests that can truly show how strong a relationship really is. If you make it, wonderful. If you don't, at least you know that you're not meant for each other, life goes on. People have jobs but they quit it to find one more suitable for the nomadic life that enables them to be location independent. People have cars but they either sell it to travel, or live in it to travel. Easier said than done, but it's most definitely doable. It's up to you to make travel your life. You choose.

What will you give up for it? What will you risk? What will you let go?

Whatever it is. For the sake of travel, for the sake of truly living and experiencing this unfathomably beautiful world, it's worth it. Always.

To travel-filled lives,
Sole Sister Stephanie

All images by Stephanie Dandan

Stephanie is a nomadic photographer, wanderer, adventurer, dreamer. She lives for capturing moments of bliss, wanderlust, inspiring hearts, reigniting spirits, and infinite moments of Satori. Follow her journey at Infinite Satori.

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Melbourne is fast becoming the most populated urban destination in Australia. This is a good thing, for it means that visitors to Oz see more of the country than surfboards and Sydney. With its underground art scene and understated bars, the Melbourne mentality is drawing hipsters and holiday-makers from around the world in droves.

In this post, we wonder what other Australian cities have been underrated and ignored in the past, and take a look at Adelaide. With good drink, exotic food and plenty of activities, will this city be the next to experience the boom that has grown up in Melbourne?

mains at The Art Gallery Restaurant (SA)
Photo Credit: Stephanie

Eating, Drinking and Getting About

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and is nestled in between the coast and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. The ‘60s and ‘70s saw a revival of the arts in the city, which brought with it a renaissance of restaurants, bars and evening amusements, which are now principally centered around Hindley Street. Along this road and branching off from it, intrepid visitors with varying palates can choose from a range of grungy garage clubs to sophisticated cigar and cocktail lounges. For those visiting the higher-class joints, Blacklane provides a limousine chauffeur service to whip you straight from Adelaide airport into the heart of the city, wasting no time in getting on your swag for the City of Churches (a slightly outdated nickname, and one that is unlikely to dampen the fun to be had at night.)

The city offers more diversity each year in the way of culinary delights. If you're walking down Leigh Street, look carefully and you should be able to find a hole in the wall, Udaberri, a small pocket of the Mediterranean in the Pacific. This is where you can sample the finest Spanish rioja, as well as a great selection of beer on tap. Even better, Udaberri have an exciting menu of pintxos (Basque tapas) with accoutrements such as oysters, tortillas and jamon.

Adelaide Central Market
Photo Caption: Philip Bouchard

Market Finds

Beyond such little wonders however, if you ask any Adelaidean where to find the best food in the city, they are likely to point you in the direction of the mammoth Central Market. With over 250 stalls, you will be able to try a smorgasbord of cuisines both indigenous to Australia and that from the far-flung corners of the Earth. Stilton from Great Britain can be sampled in the aptly titled ‘Smelly Cheese Shop’ and German sausage and salami is on offer at the ‘Mettwurst Shop’. If on the hunt for something with a bit more spice, then the ever bustling and vibrant China Town is just around the corner, complete with street performers and billowing lanterns.

Close to the Coast

It may not be the Great Barrier Reef, but like most Australian cities, Adelaide’s coast can boast some beautiful beaches, the best to be found on Kangaroo Island. Unfortunately, the surf isn’t fantastic in Adelaide, so those keen for the waves are recommended to head up to Mid Coast or South Coast, 50 and 90 minutes’ drive away respectively. Visitors can wander along the banks of the River Torrens which runs down from the Adelaide Hills to Henley Beach and pause at Lake Torrens for a particularly tranquil picnic made up of the goods purchased from Central Market.

Art Exhibition
Photo Credit: Theen Moy

Art in Adelaide

Although Adelaide cannot yet compete with Melbourne’s status as Australia’s Capital of Culture, there is still plenty in the city for art lovers to sink their teeth into. The Art Gallery of South Australia in particular has a great selection of pictures ranging from modern Aboriginal art to centuries-old Islamic and European paintings and sculptures. Ayers House Museum, also located on North Terrace, is just around the corner and boasts the sublime Lyon and Cottier ceiling in the dining room, considered one of the best painted ceilings in the world. For local Adelaide art, visitors can pop along to Tarts in Gays Arcade for some refreshing homegrown and not-for-profit work.

All in all, Adelaide is blooming with activities and sights. If not today, one day this city will surely see the same celebration and influx of visitors that Melbourne is currently experiencing.

Ella is a freelance travel writer who has written several articles on the art and culture scene in Australia. She dabbles in photography and art. 

Main photo credit: Matthew Jones

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Have you ever been in a place where you've left part of your heart in? And you have no choice but to keep coming back every now and then?

The first time I set my eyes on Pai in 2011, I was smitten. I was welcomed by ferris wheels, vintage bikes, colorful street art and cozy cafes. It's as though an entire town just came together to create a place just to make you smile.

I almost never wanted to leave.

3 years later, I came back and was pleasantly surprised to see that very little has changed. It was still the same adorable town that I first fell in love with. And if you're ever lucky enough to come here, these are a few things that should be on your itinerary:

Pai Thailand6

1 Explore on motorbike

I have to be honest, I just learned how to ride a motorbike last year. But I won't recommend going around Pai as a biker newbie. It's best to be safe and leave all the driving to your more experienced friends.

After getting the biker friend and bike rental all sorted out, grab a map from the Aya service shop (where you can also rent bikes and scooters) and start exploring! Go through some rice fields, rolling hills and if you're feeling brave, drive to the next town of Mae Hong Son and have the ride of your life through over a hundred hairpin curves!

Pai Thailand13
Photo Credit: Stephanie Dandan

2 Spice up your stay at Spicy Pai

Sole Sister Stephanie stayed at this hostel that consists of bamboo huts sitting in the middle of a rice field. You may or may not be welcomed by a group of happily intoxicated wanderers chilling on mats and hammocks, welcoming you and handing you drinks in the middle of the day.

It's the most hippie hostel there is, a beautifully simple place you can call your home. 

Pai Thailand12
Photo Credit: Stephanie Dandan

You may hate it, you may love it, depending on your perception. But it's very very easy to love. The people who work there sometimes host BBQs or lead motorbike trips through the valleys. They might take you to the land crack where kind-hearted people will feed you delicious potatoes, plantains, tamarind, banana chips and sorrel wine in exchange for a donation or maybe a jungle bar party in the middle of a cornfield somewhere.

Stephanie warns us: "Be careful but be daring. You'll leave a piece of your heart there. Right there with other pieces of everyone else."

Pai Thailand15

3 Climb a Treehouse

Release your inner kid and stay at the Pai Treehouse. But this place is not just for kids, it has a restaurant, garden and even a spa. This is certainly one of the most luxurious places I've been to in Pai, but if you want to treat yourself, go splurge here.

Pai Thailand2

4 Ride a Manual Ferris Wheel

Still in the mood to channel your inner child? Hop on to a manual ferris wheel! What's that, you say? Well, it's a ferris wheel that you have to uhmmm turn manually. You can either do that yourself or have a mate push you. There's a few around town, but I've tried the one at the Chinese Village and had a blast "trying" to go around.

Pai Thailand11
Photo Credit: Stephanie Dandan

5 Dip in the hot springs

If you look at a map of Pai, it boasts of a number of waterfalls and hot springs best explored on motorbike. If you're there around October until February, the weather can get very cold. So melting yourself into the scenic hot springs that flows through the park gives you a delightful bathing experience. Admission is 200 THB for adults 100 THB for children.

Pai Thailand14

6 Bathe in the Waterfalls

If you go during the height of summer starting from March until June, you would find the waterfalls refreshing especially after a day of exploring Pai. Climb up some jagged rocks at the Mor Paeng waterfalls and find a few places to soak, sit work on your tan. You could easily spend an hour here and there's no admission fee.

Pai Thailand4

7 Have a cuppa at Coffee in Love

If you want a break from all the action, drop by Coffee in Love by the road and enjoy a scenic view of the mountainside and nearby rice paddies. Order a coffee and a creamy slice of cake.

Pai Thailand5

You may not be able to sit still because you would want to take photos of the cute little corners in this cafe.

Pai Canyon Thailand

8 Watch the sun set from the Pai Canyon

Rush to nearby Pai Canyon as the lights slowly turns from orange to red. This is the perfect spot to watch the sun set as you explore the jagged edges and cliffs of the canyon.

Pai Thailand3

Check out this drone video of Pai Canyon by Ben4uav.com:

Wear comfy shoes and make sure you share this moment with people you love or some new found friends.

Hanging Bridge - Pai Thailand

9 Stroll down the river

Another highlight of your stay here is a walk by the Pai river. There are several huts, resorts and even a reggae bar in this area. You can cross a few hanging bridges and also go on a rafting tour if the water level is high enough.

Pai Thailand8

10 Send postcards back home

After an adventure-filled day, you wouldn't resist sharing the experiences with the folks back home. Step into one of the souvenir shops at the Pai Walking Street and get some postcards. They even have colored markers you could use. And as soon as you're done writing, buy some stamps and drop them off at the mailbox right outside. 

Living Room - Pai Thailand

11 Chill out by a bonfire at the Living Room

You deserve to relax after a long day of exploring. There's no better place to do that than the aptly named bar: The Living Room. Take off your shoes and lie on some mats and pillows while enjoying a beer or bucket of rum. This place is also perfect for meeting friendly strangers and share your travel stories.

Pai Thailand7

12 Sample street food at Pai Walking Street

Talk a walk and grab a bite at the same time. There's nearly a hundred of stalls selling food and souvenirs on this street. You can take your pick from traditional Thai food, a mix of western fusion, some roti (Thai pancakes), grilled corn, baked potatoes and so much more! Our favorites were the Indian and Mexican food stalls. Sellers start setting up shop from 6pm to around 10pm.

Pai Thailand9

13 Have a taste of Edible Jazz

I've saved the best for last. Your time in Pai will not be complete without listening to some talented musicians at this jazz bar/cafe. This place is usually packed on Sundays and they don't just play jazz, there's a great mix of of reggae, acoustic and pop depending on the visiting artists. Order a beer, sit on the floor and sway with the sound of soulful music til the wee hours of the morning. 

How to Make This Trip Happen:

-The fastest and easiest way to get to Pai is to fly in to Chiang Mai (CNX airport code) then either take a bus, van or motorbike ride to Pai which takes 3-5 hours.

- There are several accommodations options around town depending on your budget. You can get a cheap river bungalow at Golden Hut for around 15 USD. A dorm stay at Spicy Pai Hostel will cost you about the same. If you have a higher budget, book your stay at Pai Treehouse or Baan Pai Riverside.

-You can easily rent scooters or motorbikes around town starting for about 6 USD/day. You're not required to have an international driver's license to ride bikes but it's best to have it available. And don't forget to wear your helmet!

-This itinerary can be easily done in 2-3 days but you may want to spend at least 5 days to fully enjoy this romantic little town!

Pai Thailand1

Have you been to Pai yet? Care to add to this list by commenting below?

Pining for Pai,
Sole Sister Lois

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Digital Nomad in NYC

I've always believed that whoever tells you to quit your job to travel the world should also throw you a life raft.

I feel that it's not enough to inspire people to get out of their comfort zone. It's not enough to tell them to just book that ticket and follow their passion. I feel accountable for sharing what I have learned and help them achieve their freedom. That's why I'm one of the speakers for an event that will help you build online businesses and create passion projects that can allow you to continue traveling and making a living.

The Create Freedom Online workshop is full day event allows you to create projects, businesses or websites to help you design a lifestyle focused on what you love, believe in and stand for.

The workshop will be led by three speakers who will help you find your passions and build a sustainable lifestyle around it, start a travel blog and find ways to make a living from it, and understand the why of your business venture, its genuine reason for existence, and the larger purpose it may ultimately serve.

Topics and Speakers

Create Freedom Online Manila4

Your Dream Job Doesn’t Exist, Go Create It

Lois Yasay will help you get clear on your passions and ask yourself the ultimate question: “What do I really want to do for a living?”. She will help you identify your core strengths, skills, and resources, and teach you how to use them to design your ideal career. This workshop is all about finding that sweet spot between the things you love doing, your unique gifts, and what value you can provide that people will gladly pay for.

Lois worked for multinationals in training and development for more than five years before she decided to follow her number one passion: travel. She has traveled extensively and has lived in Manila, New York, Wurzburg, Zurich, and most recently, Chiang Mai. She documents her travels on her award-winning travel blog wearesolesisters.com. She continues to escape the corporate world by freelancing as a writer, social media manager, and motivational speaker. She is also a certified passion coach and has been organizing workshops and retreats all over Asia.

Create Freedom Online Manila2

How to Make a Living from Travel Blogging

Sabrina Iovino, the blogger behind JustOneWayTicket.com will explain how she started to make an income from her travel blog, only 6 months after she went online. She's not selling any products of herself, all her income comes from her travel blog in form of advertising, affiliates and sponsorships. After 1 year of blogging Sabrina earns over 2000 USD a month and has successfully turned her biggest hobby into a full time job. Learn how she did it!

Sabrina is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's been traveling and living abroad since 2008 and has been to more than 50 countries. Sabrina is half German, half Italian and has lived in Turkey in the last 2 years. She’s been back in the Philippines since January and says it’s her favorite country. She has been here 6 times and is thinking of settling down.

Create Freedom Online Manila3

Entrepreneurial Enlightenment through the Art of Mindset Design

Whether your goal is to secure a steady stream of clients to enable your desire for travel and adventure, or to create dominant global brands to one day procure your own island, you ARE an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, one cannot thrive until the art and skill of selling an idea is mastered. Through his offbeat, yet inventive rhetoric, Gov Daswani’s free-spirited discourse will provide you with a clear basis for understanding the core nature of your venture, its genuine reason for existence, and the larger purpose it may ultimately serve. This journey towards 'knowing thyself and thy start-up' will set you on the exciting path towards Entrepreneurial Enlightenment.

Gov teaches a unique course in Business Communication at the University at the Asia Pacific while also providing Mindset Design to students of entrepreneurship through a rigorous mentoring program. Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of leading newborn apparel brand, Beginnings Baby, Gov was also a partner and Brand Communications Director at Antidote Brand Divergence, creators of Lagu Beach-friendly Beach Blankets. He is also a fervent believer in a universal truth that existed before existence, once had abs, and watches a film a day.

Create Freedom Online Manila1

Event Details

What: Create Freedom Online Workshop

Where: Co.lab (Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig)

When: April 5 (9am-5pm)

Rates: 1,800 whole day, 800 for individual talks, 1,300 Early Bird Rate until March 24

Contact # +6326617616 or email: freedomworkshops@gmail.com.

I hope to see you there!

Sole Sister Lois

Main photo credit: Dot San

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Got a few weeks of vacation coming up and still haven't decided where to spend it yet? Allow us to help you plan your trip. Whether you're craving to see sandy shores, temple ruins or exotic markets, here are 5 places that should be on this year's itinerary:

1 Maldives

We've all had that luxury Maldives holiday on our bucket list since forever. But we've been putting it off and compromising with more mainstream and less expensive vacation spots. Why? Because we think a trip to the Maldives is costly and it's just a honeymooner's paradise.

Well, if you've been paying attention to your facebook feed lately, more and more of your friends are realizing their Maldivian dreams! And not all of them are couples. Most of them come with friends and family. And Sole Sister Adi even traveled solo to the Maldives last year!
Why go now:

Angaga Island Resort & Spa, Maldives
Photo Credit: Mohamed Iujaz Zuhair

Just the mere mention of "Maldives" can get any sea or nature lover excited! Even while wading in knee high water, you can already see so much variety of marine life. This is where people go to experience world class diving with rays, dolphins, sea turtles, whales and even sharks! You start your day with breakfast on the beach in what feels like your own private island, and you end it by sleeping under a blanket of stars.

More airlines like Tiger airways and Malaysian airlines are offering flights to Male via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. If you're lucky and get tickets through seat sales, it can go as low as 1,000 USD. Most people choose to stay at resorts in the Maldives' 1,192 islands. If you're going with a group, you can also choose to live aboard a sea vessel and incorporate dive trips into your vacation.

Indonesia Guide Kuta Beach

2 Lombok, Indonesia

I first came to this place in 2011 and people gave me a wondering look after I'd told them I just spent a week in Lombok. It's a lesser known destination as more people visit the island of Bali. But if you are tired of the party crowd and sellers shoving a sarong in your face every 5 minutes, it's time to book a ferry or a flight to Lombok.

Why go now: Lombok is starting to get more and more popular as a lot of luxury resorts are being built on the island. More surfers who get jaded in Bali's overcrowded breaks have also started to come here. If you want to get on a motorbike with your surfboard in hand, and experience the paradise that Bali was decades ago, I suggest you come visit this place.

Kid monk in red robes  Myanmar

3 Bagan, Myanmar

Myanmar was one of the highlights of the 6 month backpacking trip I did 3 years ago. At that time, it was not yet open to a lot of tourists because it was still under the rule of a military junta. But with a bit of luck and a lot of determination, we were able to join a motley crew of couchsurfers on a serendipitous journey through Myanmar. We visited temples and monks, hiked through villages and rode a public boat othe Irrawaddy river. We met locals who have never even met anyone from another country before!

Why go now: In 2011, the military junta officially dissolved itself, opening the way for a democratic transition under the government of President Thein Sein, a former general. This once closed off country has now opened its gates for tourism. And pretty soon, tourism will change the face of Myanmar. It's best to see it now while its people are still able to maintain their authentic way of life.

Photo Credit: Miguel Navaza

4 Siargao Island, Philippines

I've visited a lot of surf spots in the Philippines last year and Siargao left the most lasting impression. I surfed Cloud 9 and a handful of lesser known breaks, island hopped through some little known white sand beaches and experienced the island life through its friendly locals. Surfer or not, this place has lots to offer in terms of food, culture and chill vibe.

Why go now: While living in the island for about a month, I realized that a lot of the land were being bought by foreigners who are building resorts in the area. As a Filipino, I also felt outnumbered by the foreigners surfing in Cloud 9. I'm pretty sure that with the influx of low cost flights, more and more people will want to visit, surf and even live here. 

DGJ_3952 - Start Walking - 309 stairs
Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

5 Chiang Mai, Thailand

After living in this city for 4 months recently, I got to explore so much of it that I almost didn't leave. Most people come here for a vacation to see temples, visit the markets and experience an elephant camp. And because this place has all the comforts of home- malls, assortment of cuisine, fast internet- some of us choose to just camp out here for years even!

Why go now: For those who want the combination of being close to nature as well as living the city life, Chiang Mai is the best option there is in Southeast Asia! It's also a great launch pad to meet digital nomads and start your own location independent lifestyle. April is a great time experience the songkran water festival within the walls of this city.

Main photo credit: Tommy Schultz Photography

Lois is the Editor-in-Chief of the female travel blog wearesolesisters.com. When she's not having adventures around the globe, she can be found surfing, surfing someone's couch or giving motivational workshops and retreats.

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It's rare to find bloggers who bare their soul in their writing. That's why it felt like a fresh sip of coconut juice when I stumbled on this article: You Are Where You Need to Be. Camille's poetry inspired style of writing, complemented with her vivid photography, can really make you close all those other windows and just give her your full attention. And you will soon realize that her every word speaks to you.

What's surprising is that it's not a travel blog. Well, not exactly. Here's my quick chat with her: 

When did you start a travel lifestyle?

Before I left to go traveling I worked in Marketing, a career I had no passion for, was in a very tumultuous relationship, and had completely lost touch with who I was and what I wanted. I lived in a gorgeous apartment that I obsessively decorated and organized, worked in an office, wore high heels daily, got around town in a BMW, and ate out at restaurants at least once a day. I felt totally disconnected from my body and from the earth and derived most of my pleasure from shopping and eating.

When I was laid off from my job, like so many people in the world right now, I finally realized it was time to make a big change. A dear friend of mine, food blogger Andie Mitchell, had decided to spend three months in Costa Rica and I asked to tag along. February 2nd, 2012 we made the journey to Costa Rica's South Caribbean and my life has never been the same since.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille3

Do you miss your old life? What do you miss most?

Honestly I don't miss my old life at all. Except when I'm sick. Then I miss sleeping in my big white bed and having my kitchen with everything I need and my mom close by to take care of me.

There are moments when I miss drinking a fancy cocktail, wearing real clothes, and styling my hair, but after about a day I'm over it. I know now what makes me happy and it has nothing to do with material things.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille9

How do manage to keep traveling? Is there any special work that allows you to fund your trips?

I fund my travels by writing articles for various websites and publications. Just a couple of months ago I was featured in Marie Claire magazine and that gig funded nearly a month of travel in Southeast Asia. However, at this stage, most of my articles are much lower on the pay scale. Occasionally my readers donate to my travel fund through my Buy Me a Coconut page which is always a nice bonus.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille3

What are some major risks or sacrifices you've had to undergo in order to keep moving?

The biggest sacrifice I have made by choosing this lifestyle is being away from my family. I have a two year old nephew and not being there to watch him grow up is pretty heartbreaking. However I do my best to keep in touch through skype and I typically fly home for a visit every six months. More than anything my family wants me to be happy and they know that this lifestyle does.

Another serious sacrifice most travelers make when they live on the road is their health. Travel is unbelievably hard on your body and I've endured many bouts of food poisoning over the last two years. My legs have become roadmaps with scars telling stories of the places I've been. My health is very important to me and when I feel ill, I lose my fire to keep going. It's been a project and passion of mine for the last nine months to find a way to stay healthy while living as a nomad and share it with my readers. I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm dedicated to getting there eventually.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille8

Have you ever been in a sticky situation when it comes to unwanted male attention?

Yes, often. This is one of the unfortunate challenges traveling in certain countries as a woman. For the most part it's "just" catcalling, which as bad as this sounds, you get used to. The most important thing to remember is to never put yourself in a position where you're alone with someone you don't know. I often cross the street, change directions, or step into a cafe if I get a weird vibe off someone regardless of the time of day.

What's craziest travel tale you'll ever tell your grand kids decades from now?

When I hiked through the Corcovado National Park with a 71 year old tour guide and waded across a river that was full of crocodiles and bull sharks. Read the full story here.

Do you think you'll ever put down that backpack and settle down somewhere?

I don't think I'll ever lose my passion for travel or adventure, but one day I would like to have a place to call home and a partner to share my life with. Maybe even kids. At this point I can imagine having a few home bases around the world and the freedom and flexibility to travel when I wish.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille7

Are there any women (bloggers, travelers or otherwise) who inspire you?

There are so many women, and people for that matter, who inspire me that I could never talk about all of them here. My mother and my sister are my biggest sources of inspiration with their incredible capacity to love and their constant support. I think my sister might be the most patient person on the planet and I have so much to learn in that regard. 

As far as bloggers go, my dear friend Andie Mitchell of Can You Stay for Dinner is a rockstar blogger, an incredible woman, and the reason I started traveling in the first place. Marthe Hagen from The Freedom Experiment is another role model for me with a huge global following and an even bigger heart. A blogger who I don't know personally, but who I have a huge girl crush on is cancer survivor and natural health advocate Jess Ainscough aka The Wellness Warrior.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille5

Have you found love on the road?

I find love on the road constantly. It's there every time I look out the window of an airplane, when I run recklessly into the ocean, when I taste something I can't pronounce the name of, when I sit in silence while the sun sets, and whenever I exchange a smile with someone new.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille10

What kind of skills or know how would you consider necessary for someone who is thinking of long term travel?

Good problem solving skills, a strong immune system, a great deal of flexibility, an outgoing personality, and an adventurous spirit will certainly make life on the road easier. But all you really need is the passion to see the world and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

What motivates you to keep traveling?

On the road, even in the hard times, I feel so unbelievably alive. That is my biggest motivation in continuing this journey. When I witness my tremendous growth as a result of these experiences and my readers tell me that I inspire them, I know that I'm on the right path.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille2

Camille is a coconut-loving, barefoot, beach bum who finds bliss exploring the endless possibilities of the Earth. She aims to inspire people to release their fears, chase their dreams, and live life on purpose. Follow her journey on her blog: This American Girl.

Want more? Read other features on Sole Sister Spotlight.

Do you know of travelers who conquer the world one country at a time? We would love to interview them for Sole Sister Spotlight. Please send us an email at solesisters (dot) weare(at)gmail(dot)com. We look forward to your suggestions!

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Sole Sister Lois

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Rice field

Back in 2011, Ubud was the last stop of our 6-month journey across Southeast Asia. While there, I had a vision of bringing together passionate people from all over the world to share ideas and strategies on how we can all live authentic lives and get closer to our ultimate purpose.

3 years later, I'm finally making that vision a reality. I've found an accomplice in Purposeful Career Coach Lydia of Screw The Cubicle. Together, we are hosting the Live Your Passion Workshop in Ubud, Bali. It's a two-day event that teaches you how to discern and focus on your why, fuse your passions, and design a road map to jumpstart your ideal lifestyle. This workshop will not just inspire you to make a living doing what you love, it will equip you with the essential tools to start moving closer to your ultimate purpose.


Day One is focused on Breathwork™ and fun activities that allow you to go back to a childlike state. You will look into yourself to define your authentic core values and find out what matters most to you. Finally, you will learn to find that sweet spot between the things you love doing, your unique gifts, and what value you can give to the world that people will gladly pay for.

Day Two starts with understanding how your inventory of talents and skills relate to your purpose and passion. Learn strategies to transition properly from the safety net of a 9-5 job to a business or lifestyle of freedom, without landing on your face. You’ll be able to find out how to start a virtual and mobile business idea to give you freedom to explore. There will be small group mastermind sessions and you will be able to have a roadmap strategy plan of what actionable steps to do next.


Live Your Passion Workshop Speaker Lois Yasay

Lois Yasay worked for multinationals in training and development for more than five years before she decided to follow her number one passion: travel. She has traveled extensively and has lived in Manila, New York, Wurzburg, Zurich, and most recently, Chiang Mai. She documents her travels on her award-winning travel blog wearesolesisters.com. She continues to escape the corporate world as a blogger, online entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She is also a certified Passion Test facilitator and has been organizing workshops and retreats all over Asia.

Live Your Passion Workshop Speaker Lydia Lee

Lydia Lee is affectionately known as the Cubicle Crasher. Her life and work has brought her exciting places like Switzerland, Germany, France, Lithuania, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and the list keeps growing! After turning down a 6 figure salary in hot pursuit of more fulfilling work, she now helps people identify their authentic calling, utilize their current talents, and align that with their big mission to the world. Combining intuitive guidance and practical strategies from her business background, she coaches and inspires others to live an unconventional life at Screw The Cubicle.

Live Your Passion Workshop Poster

Why You Should Attend

If you're currently in a career or life transition, or simply looking to get clarity in what calling you should pursue- this workshop is for you. It will help you:

-Get clarity on your passions, skills and purpose
-Design a roadmap to jumpstart your ideal lifestyle
-Get equipped with tools to move closer to your ultimate purpose
-Network with like-minded people and help each other succeed


“Lydia really gave it to me straight on the truth about living abroad and worked with me to be able to travel, be inspired…”

Coaching with Lydia has helped me recognize who I really was, and not be afraid to admit what I really secretly wanted to do with my life. I was too caught up for years just doing the type of work I received a degree on. I just couldn’t see that it was possible to even go after what I really wanted to do, let alone travel while doing it. I am so glad I chose to work with Lydia, she really gave it to me straight on the truth about living abroad and worked with me to be able to travel, be inspired, and do all that while working on my small business idea. What a change, but definitely exciting! 
~ Janet.L, Toronto, Canada

“I no longer have any excuses to keep playing it small!”
Lydia strikes the right balance of compassion and non-nonsense ‘reality-check’ advice that has gently supported me in taking back my own power in my life. She has guided me to look more honestly at myself and how I react to challenging situations that crop up in my life, helping me to identify the lessons that are blocking me from moving forward and creating my dream life. Lydia’s coaching came along at the right time when I was ready to go beyond ‘sugar-coated’ support and suggestions from friends and step up into taking full responsibility for what I was experiencing in my life. She is committed to helping me know my own value and her coaching facilitates me in a step-by-step process of moving into a new line of work that expresses my full potential and gifts. I no longer have any excuses to keep playing it small! 
 ~ Diane. H, Perth, Australia

"But it is possible to take your life and move it to places you’ve never imagined you could reach."

So I went out and made a list of 25 things to do before I turn 25, and in my pursuit of things on that list, I somehow ended up on a beach surfing, doing yoga, and eventually discovering shared passions with complete strangers. Equipped with an extra dose of passion and some much needed planning and goal-setting from Lois, I left the weekend recognizing that it may not be possible to be doctor/lawyer/actress/teacher/librarian/princess(!) anymore. But it is possible to take your life and move it to places you’ve never imagined you could reach.
~Raina R., Vietnam

"But in less than an hour, with the guidance of Lois, I had consciously drawn everything in my brain and how they all intertwined."

I have always considered myself a jack of all trades. Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut, then a nun, a CEO, a lawyer, a chef, a photographer, a make-up artist. Burnt out, I quit my glamorous Marketing & PR Director position in 2008 not knowing what my next step was. I was confused and just overwhelmed by the things I wanted to accomplish. But in less than an hour, with the guidance of Lois, I had consciously drawn everything in my brain and how they all intertwined. I found out that my top 3 passions were yoga, surfing and traveling. And discovered that my other interests like food and love (family, friends, people) actually supported my passions. Because of this, I was able to redirect my energy and focus on them.
~Adi Z., Indonesia

Event Details

What: Live Your Passion Workshop
Address: Jl. Penestanan Ubud 80571, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
When: March 28-29, 2014 (Fri-Sat)
Donation Fee: 1.800.000 RP or 150 USD (workshop only)
If you want your meals and accommodations, please specify it on your email inquiry so we can give you a package rate
Contact: freedomworkshops@gmail.com or +62-821-4744-9706 for reservations and inquiries

Participants: Limited to 14

We hope you can make it there! Please share this with your friends as well!

Main Photo Credit: Le Batteur De Lune

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