You all know the Sole Sister story by now.

It started with 2 girls who were pretty content in the high tower of their corporate jobs. But something was still missing. They both felt that there was more to life so they hatched a plan.

They saved money, quit their cushy jobs and planned to explore as much of the world as they could. They sold most of their possessions, stuffed the little they owned into a backpack and went away for 6 months across India and Southeast Asia until their escape fund ran out.

And so the story continues and the sisterhood grows.

Today, Sole Sisters is a community of women travelers who are passionate about making travel possible for themselves and for others. We are from all walks of life who defy the challenges and accept the uncertainties of life on the road. Our aim is to connect with like minded people who continue to travel, share their stories and empower others to find their own adventures.

Sole Sister Adi

Sole Sister Adi of Love the Search escaped from the corporate world so her life now happily revolves around yoga and travel. She lives a simple, eco-friendly lifestyle and inspires those around her to do the same. She shares her AntiGravity and yoga practice everywhere she goes and dreams of building rustic Secret Spot hostels in beautiful tropical destinations. She just ended her Southeast Asian adventure and is currently exploring South America.

Sole Sister Lauren

Sole Sister Lauren of The Wandering Orange grew up in rural Oregon, where she spent most of her time swimming in local rivers and waterfalls, hiking nearby forest trails and searching for hidden faerie homes in fallen tree trunks. For over three years, she has been traveling and drawing comic books about her adventures all over the world. She is currently based in Australia and is planning a round the world trip.

Sole Sister Stephanie

Sole Sister Stephanie of Satori grew up in Manila, then moved to California at the age of 14. But her home is on the road. She's a nomadic photographer, wanderer, adventurer, and dreamer who lives for capturing moments of bliss, the infinite beauty of life, inspiring hearts, reigniting spirits, wanderlust and moments of Satori. She just came from Southeast Asia and is seeking new adventures in Australia.

Rica has asked to leave Sole Sisters because she is in a different life stage now. She has other priorities and wants to start other projects.

I myself have seen my journey with Sole Sisters evolve and thought that it's time for me to take a backseat and perhaps start working on new endeavours. But I see how this community has grown so much in the recent years and I want to continue making travel happen for you.

It's time we welcome more women into the sisterhood.

This opportunity is for you if:

-you are crazy about travel and documenting your adventures through a blog
-you want to inspire others to travel
-you are passionate about sharing your experiences and empowering others
-you already know your unique gift to the world (be it your writing, videography skills or others talents) and want to find a platform to share it

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We require that you:

-have a passport 
-have traveled overseas
-already have a travel blog
-have basic writing and photography skills
-have social media know how
-are organized and can stick to an editorial schedule
-can travel at a moment's notice with just a toothbrush and a pair of undies
-have a sunny attitude

It would be great if you:

-have basic Photoshop video editing and graphic design skills
-have business savvy
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Your role as a Sole Sister:

-write blog articles on your travels on a regular basis
-share about your travels online
-co-create guides and ebooks to empower others to travel
-create unique ideas and solutions to help travelers
-occasionally help organize events and workshops

Lets Go SEA

The perks of being part of the Sole Sisterhood:

-promotion of your blog, brand and social media networks
-mentorship on travel, growing your blog and community, becoming a digital nomad, and building your online empire
-occasional assignments and sponsorships from our partners
-assistance in getting sponsorships (flights, accommodations, gear, etc. )

If you want to part of the sisterhood, send an email to solesisters.weare(at)gmail.com with the Subject: I want to be a Sole Sister and the following information:

-Blog URL
-A few paragraphs about you and your past travels
-Your travel plans for the next 6 months
-Why you want to be a Sole Sister
-How you make travel possible for yourself and others
-How you can contribute to the sisterhood

Here's our search schedule:

May 30- Last day for application
May 31- Shortlist candidates and schedule Skype interviews
June 15- Announcement of next Sole Sisters

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Sign up for the sisterhood and share this will all your friends who fit the Sole Sister profile!

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On June 3, 2015, Viajera Filipina, in partnership with We Are Sole Sisters and Our Awesome Planet, will present Travel+Fashion Takeover: Manila- A Workshop on Travel Planning, Fashion and Inspiration.

This event aims to provide strategies, advice and inspiration on the topics of travel planning, travel fashion and packing. It will be held at the Gallery of A_Space Manila in Greenbelt, Makati from six to eight in the evening.

Why You Should Attend

We welcome female travelers who are seeking ways to maintain their distinct style while traveling without having to lug around their entire wardrobe. Attendees can expect to learn about building a capsule wardrobe, packing light and right, choosing the right gear and accessories, and other practical information for efficient travel planning. An onsite mini-bazaar will feature products and services of the event sponsors, who are also providing exciting raffle prizes.

Topics and Speakers

Alex of Travel Fashion Girl

The main speaker is Alexandra Jimenez, owner and editor of TravelFashionGirl.com. Originally from Los Angeles, Alexandra has been traveling around the world since 2008. After working in the fashion industry for seven years, a life-changing experience in India inspired her to drop out of life and explore the world permanently. She’s been to 40 countries on six continents and now bases the majority of her travels around her love for scuba diving. Living out of a single carry-on suitcase, Alexandra’s nomadic lifestyle combined with her business background gives her a unique packing perspective which has propelled Travel Fashion Girl’s popularity, enabling her to live as a digital nomad blogging on the road.

Aleah of Solitary Wanderer

Sitting with Alexandra on the Travel Q&A Panel of the workshop is Aleah Tabaclaon, owner and editor of Solitary Wanderer. A solo traveling expert, Aleah has been taking to the open road on her own since the age of 11. She is known for several viral posts, most notably Date a Girl Who Travels, which has been translated into Mandarin, Portuguese, French Spanish, and Polish. She is currently preparing for latest adventure: a two year-long backpacking trip to South America.

TFTM Poster Latest May 22

Event Details

What: TRAVEL+FASHION TAKEOVER: MANILA

Where: A Space Manila, 110 Legaspi Street, Makati City

When: June 3, 6-8 PM

Event is free but limited to only 100 participants. Please pre-register.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:

A Space Manila
Wanderskye
Sewn Sandals
Retablo Manila
Brown Belly
Anma Lifestyle
Agoda
Tala Luna
Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences
Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok
Second Wind Bed, Bunk and Breakfast Boracay

You can also purchase our latest e-book "Where Should I Go in Southeast Asia?" over the counter (instead of via credit card) when you attend the event! 

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0 sole trails


I was in denial for a while. I'm still using a toiletry case- in a bathroom we've been using for months! I still have a backpack filled with necessities just in case a last minute travel opportunity comes up. I still feel a rush every time I see PROMO FARES in my inbox. But the reality has started to sink in.

We're not traveling anymore. 

We're finally home, or at least we're no longer living out of a suitcase. I even have an actual desk where I get to park my laptop- no more internet cafés or co-working spaces. We now have a garden to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs that go straight to our kitchen. There's even been talks of getting pets- something you would not even consider as a long term traveler.

It took us a while to find a place that we really felt comfortable in. A place where we could relax and feel safe. Somewhere close to the sea so we could surf and swim every day if we wanted. We've searched everywhere. From Baler, Siargao, Penang, Chiang Mai, Manila, Versailles. And now, we're finally in a little village in northern Portugal.

Why Portugal? 

For the waves and the weather mostly. We thought we would give it a try and see how we liked it. The longer we stayed, the better we felt. Every day we spend here just feels so damn wonderful! Why?

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The waves are fantastic. When people think of Portugal, they envision the monstrous waves that Peniche is known for. We live close to 4 different surf spots and we get to surf almost every day! And there are no crowds. I have to admit, it took some time for me to get used to cold water surfing. The hardest part is getting out of my wet suit! But living so close to the sea, watching the sun set over the horizon, breathing in that fresh salty air- it just makes me feel so damn lucky.

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The food is so delicious. There's fresh seafood everywhere. I can eat grilled octopus, sardines, cod- you name it! And meat with beans is another one of their specialties like feijoada and picanha. Plus all sorts of sausages (chorizo) and cheeses (queijo). They also eat a lot of rice (arroz) that I sometimes think I'm still in the Philippines.

The people are friendly. Everywhere I go, people say hello or greet me. Even as a foreigner, people are curious and often smile at ne. It's wonderful to live in a new country and easily feel like a local.

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Hello Mr. Sun! Portugal is certainly one of the warmest places in Europe especially in spring and summer. It also has more sunny days and the sun sets around 9 PM starting in springtime. I'm the type of person who needs a lot of sunshine to feel good. And Portugal makes me smile when I wake up in the morning.

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We're so close to nature. We live so close to forests, rivers, beaches, and mountains that we can go to all those different landscapes within minutes! After many years of travel, I've accepted that I'm never going to be a city person again. Here in Portugal, we just breathe easy, enjoy the open road and play a bit of Bob Marley on the background.

But more than all those reason thrown in together, we just feel good here. 

There's no rush, no pressure. I've even gotten used to a daily routine. I usually wake up early, go for a walk by the river or the garden with Sinaya. Then I make a hearty breakfast with a lot of fruits in season. I work online on the days that I can't surf.

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We usually grill our food and eat outside in the sun. Then we either go on top of a mountain or in front of the sea to watch the sunset. And that's just on weekdays.

A vida é bela!

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Even though we haven't exactly been traveling, we see something new every day. We often cross over to Spain along the coast to try new food. It's only 10 minutes away after all, just across the bridge. We go to many towns and cities in Portugal and see different landscapes and cultures.

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As we transition in our new environment, I also see many changes taking place inside me. I don't feel that incessant rush to be everywhere anymore. I feel content to stay where I am. I even have the desire to take roots which is something I'm still getting used to. I've always been in my element being a foreigner. I've felt at home even without a home. I never wanted to be attached to any place, thing or person.

But in the last few months that we've spent in Europe, I've felt that tugging need to belong. 

When I go into a crowded restaurant where everyone knows everyone else, I wish there was a familiar face who would call me by name. Whenever I would surf in a lineup where people are laughing, cursing at each other or simply sharing the joys of their rides, I wish I could high five them and share that moment.

When I was traveling aimlessly around Southeast Asia, I used to feel like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love when she said:

"I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby - I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me.”

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And now that I actually have that restless baby in my arms, I know that travel will never again take that center stage in my life.

I've also discovered new passions like growing and making food. My grandparents on my maternal side were farmers and I've grown pineapples and sweet potatoes on their farm when I was a kid. I've picked it up again here in Portugal. We're slowly growing an herb and kitchen garden. We enjoy fruits like lemons, oranges, cherries and soon some apples and peaches.

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Then, there are the small, seemingly unnoticed changes. Like not wanting to share so much about my personal life anymore. It's not a conscious effort but I feel more content somehow. More in the moment. I want to savor my daughter's smile, my husband's laugh,  the sound of the rain, the changing scenery without the need to document the experience. To pay attention to everything that's around me.

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I want to just be there.

Not taking any photos, not thinking of an article to write, or a status message to post. I'm simply there and I am happy.

I have learned to make peace with these changes. I have learned to accept that I will never be the same, and that's okay. I don't exactly believe in reincarnation. But I do believe in the possibility of living many different lives in one lifetime.

To reinvent yourself and evolve are all part of the beauty of the human condition.

And today I felt the need to share all these thoughts with you. 

Because you've been with me on this journey for so long. And I know that a lot of these changes might be lost on you. I don't know if you still want to be on this journey with me. Through motherhood, blending in, settling down, but never settling, building this new life and reinventing myself.

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I've been thinking lately that this blog doesn't feel like home anymore. 

That perhaps it won't be the house where my new ideas should live. That maybe it's time to build a new house. I've gone through numerous solutions in my head. I've even considered giving it all up.

When part of what you do doesn't feel like you anymore, do you choose to remove it? 

Every day, when I wake up I ask myself this question:

"Are you still in love?"

And when the answer is yes, I continue to do my little work. And so far, in the last 4 years and 9 months, the answer has been yes.

This blog has been my career for that long. It's a career that I love. And it's been my longest running one yet. Yes, having a career you love is important. But you know what's more important?

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A life you love filled with people you love.

I want to know what you think. Should I continue blogging here, or maybe it's time to start over with something else? If you've been following this blog and haven't spoken up yet, now is the time. 

Settling Down Portugal10

It's still me, 
Lois

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People who decide to travel around the world aren’t any more special or richer than those who just daydream about it. They simply made the decision to allocate some time to travel and take calculated risks.

Some are on a gap year, some are in between jobs, while some have just made the choice to quit their careers entirely without having a plan. The only thing that really sets them apart from everyone else is the fact that they booked a ticket, packed their bags and are living one day at a time.

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No one’s really got it all figured out from Day 1.

How to pack your backpack

The only investment you’ll ever need is a good backpack. I can’t believe I would ever say this, but you don’t really need to buy anything before your big trip especially if you are on a tight budget. You should already have most of the things you need! I used old resealable plastic bags to organize my stuff and refilled travel size 100 ml toiletry bottles. The only thing I bought for this trip was a bulky Lonely Planet SEA on a Shoestring Budget guidebook and found it completely useless so I left it within 2 weeks of backpacking around Vietnam. Surprisingly, I found it at every other place I stayed at.

Limit your load to 20% of your bodyweight to avoid back problems and extra luggage costs when flying. I am 36 kilos and only brought 7 kilos on my 6 month Southeast Asia trip and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t find it a hassle to move around every few days, or to simply find little things in my backpack. If you are tired of wearing the same clothes or don’t need certain things any longer, consider donating them to the local community, exchanging with fellow travelers or sending them back home.

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Anything you’ll ever need will be available at your destination, maybe except for prescription meds and oral contraceptives. For instance, when I traveled to Myanmar, I didn’t expect that it was gonna be cold, so I bargained for long sleeved tops and printed drawstring pants for only 3 USD each at the Yangon market. In Koh Tao, Thailand I rented snorkeling masks and fins for 2 USD per day as well. I never needed them anywhere else, so it would’ve been totally useless to carry them around. The rock climbing lessons I took in each country was inclusive of all the required equipment. 

Most importantly, learn to wash your own clothes, it will save you some money that you can use to splurge on the occasional beer or massage.

Backpacking Southeast Asia1

Get the right travel advice

I found myself relying on word of mouth advice from fellow backpackers and updated travel blogs. Websites such as TripAdvisor, SkyScanner and Hostelworld also helped tremendously. Everyone is trying to save on costs, so don’t be embarrassed to offer to share tuk-tuk rides, meals and accommodation. It’s more fun that way anyway!

You don’t need to buy a sim card at every country you visit as well. Wi-fi is available at most places, and it’s quite healthy to get off the grid occasionally. Keep a journal of your most private thoughts, stick some maps, beer labels and bus tickets on it to make it more memorable.

Backpacking Southeast Asia7

To book or not to book?

You really don’t need to book your accommodation ahead of time, except - when you’re arriving late at night and the reception desks are closed and when it it’s super peak season like Songkran in Chiang Mai. Some of the better places to stay at cannot be found on the internet.

A friend Jay and I braved the dizzying eight hour bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng without any reservations so we had to settle for a cheap guesthouse in the busy town central for a night. The next morning we decided to cross the bridge and walk to the other side of the river and found a lovely hut on the rice fields for 8 USD. We shared the cost and ended up staying for almost two weeks at Otherside Bungalows and it was one of the highlights of our trip!

Golden tip: Everything is negotiable if you learn to bargain in a friendly but firm manner.


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Eat like a local

Being highly adaptive to the local food and products will save you loads of money. I realized that one of my biggest expenses was comfort food. I’d pay 1 USD for one sad little piece of extra bacon. I craved for good red wine and pasta every week too! With the exception of Papa Pippo’s at Otres beach in Cambodia, it’s just not the same.

I’ve had discussions with local cooks everywhere complaining that their carbonara wasn’t the same carbonara that my Italian teacher taught me at culinary school. Of course not, silly me! One meal at a western restaurant for instance could be equivalent to three local meals which is just as good or even better! To truly experience a country means enjoying the local food too. Don’t worry you’ll get used to how spicy everything is!

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Presence vs. Planning

Your presence is more valuable than planning too far ahead. I found that the people who enjoyed their travels the most are the ones who do not follow strict itineraries. Don’t aim to visit 6 countries in 3 months. Don’t stress about timing all your activities perfectly, unless you are just checking off a bucket list. That is not the essence of travel anyway. You might find more satisfaction in completely engaging and losing yourself in these rare experiences.

By slowing down, you are able to be more present in every moment. You will have time to bond with the locals and maybe even forge lifelong friendships with your fellow travelers as well. Why rush to the next town or country if you are having the time of your life and learning new things where you are? Leave some time be be completely spontaneous! Visa extensions and visa runs are always possible for a small fee, no matter what kind of passport you hold.

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Conserve your energy 

Reserve your limited energy for what really matters to you. The party scene is indeed a huge part of the backpacking culture in Southeast Asia. However, if it’s not your thing, if you’re completely over it, don’t force yourself to go out every night to drink. You’ll only be wasting precious money that can be spent on other things you’ll enjoy more. I met lots of people who felt exactly the same way as I did. We woke up earlier than everybody else, had more energy for physical activities and explored further destinations beyond the tourist trail.

Who needs a hangover when you’re trekking to the most beautiful waterfall in the middle of the jungle the next day anyway? Meet people whom you can bond with even when you’re completely sober and you might just have more meaningful memories to look back on.

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Additional Safety Measures:

-Wear your money belt under your clothes

-Have another small wallet in your pocket or purse for easier access

-Always bring some crisp US Dollars just in case the ATMs are out of service

-You have more bargaining power when you have smaller denominations of the local currency

-Upload scanned copies of your passport, visas, tickets and other important documents on Google Drive or Dropbox just in case you lose them

-Explore unfamiliar towns and cities with people from your hostel and look out for each other

-Be aware of each country’s culture so you can dress and act appropriately

-Make sure you always stay sober enough to find your own way home or bed

Have you traveled on a budget? Did it limit or enhance your experience? Please share in the comments!

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Same same but different,
Sole Sis Adi


Adi escaped from the corporate world so her life now happily revolves around yoga and travel. She lives a simple, eco-friendly lifestyle and inspires those around her to do the same. She shares her AntiGravity and yoga practice everywhere she goes and dreams of building rustic Secret Spot hostels in beautiful tropical destinations. She's currently on a Southeast Asian adventure with no end in sight. Follow Adi's adventures on Love the Search and on Facebook and Instagram.

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1 sole trails


When I first travelled around Southeast Asia a few years ago, I was excited about everything- except trip planning. I simply wanted to go everywhere with no clear plan, route or itinerary. I was not the type of person to spend hours doing research on the countries we were planning to visit. I didn't want to check on cheap flights.

I didn't even want to look at a map.

All I wanted to every single day before our trip was to look at stunning images that other people took of their travels around Southeast Asia and dream that I was there instead. I was drugged.

I had to make decisions on where to go. It was hard. But eventually, I put together an itinerary with the help of others.

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If you're planning a trip to Southeast Asia and aren't too excited about the planning experience just like me, that's okay too. You can simply stumble your way from one country to the next. Not having an itinerary can be a very liberating experience for sure.

But what are the reasons why you should have at least a route in mind before you start your journey?

You save time. Not having a plan means having to arrange visas and flights last minute. You may not be granted permission to visit certain places unless you booked your trip in advance.

You save money. Most accommodations, transportation, flights and tours are less expensive when you book them months in advance or when they're on promotion.

You save effort. If you want to visit nearly all countries in Southeast Asia on a limited time and budget, you should consider planning a route so you don't need to backtrack.

You protect yourself. Before your trip, it's a good safety measure to give a copy of your route and itinerary to a trusted friend or family member especially if you're traveling alone. It's meant for emergency purposes but it also gives the people you love peace of mind. Especially at times when they can't reach you.

It's more convenient. Imagine yourself taking a 10 hour bus ride and arriving in a new city at midnight and having to walk around looking for a hotel. Not so fun, right? It had happened to me several times but I always wished it didn't happen too often.

I can't plan your trip for you and you can't bribe me to draft your itinerary. But I did create something you will find useful: I've packed an ebook that contains all this:

► Reasons why you should go to Southeast Asia

► Top countries in Southeast Asia with ranking, description, curated experiences and budget

► Personal recommendations of where to STAY, what to EAT and what to DO

► Suggested timeline, route, itinerary, budget and advice to help plan your trip

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But where's the fun in that, right? It would be just like any other insider guide. So I asked for the help of Marie Pottiez of Miles of Happiness to add her magic sauce in the form of:

► Travel sketches and images for each country that will make you pack your bags

► First of its kind, printable map of the Southeast Asia Loop to show insider routes, activities, detours and secret destinations

This is NOT the Ultimate Guide to Southeast Asia. It's a box filled with cherished memories, unexpected detours, and secret destinations. Every page is thoughtfully written and designed to induce wanderlust!

Are you ready to take a peek?


Southeast Asia Ebook Preview

If you're off to Southeast Asia soon and don't know where to start, then this ebook is for you. It answers many of your questions such as:

► Which countries should I include in my Southeast Asian adventure?

► What can I expect in each country in Southeast Asia?

► How much time and money should I spend in each country?

► What's the best route to take if I want to see each country on a budget without having to backtrack?

► Can I go overland or should I take flights?

► What experiences and activities can I do in the region?

► Can I really do this on my own?

YES YOU CAN!

Stop dreaming and start planning. Let's Go SEA! Get your own copy of the ebook by clicking on the image below!

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Lois has traveled extensively and have lived in Asia, the United States, and Europe. She is currently based in Portugal with her husband and baby girl. She is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of We Are Sole Sisters.


Our ebook "Where Should I Go in Southeast Asia?" is now available! Never miss a travel update by subscribing to our newsletter. Connect via TwitterFacebook & Instagram.
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The first time I left the country in 2008, I felt as if my eyes were opened for the first time. As full and vibrant as my life was in the United States, there were thousands of other full and vibrant lifestyles out there to learn about– and I made it my mission to learn about as many as I could during my lifetime.

When I got back to the US after spending a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia, I knew that I had to get out and explore as many different cultures as possible. The only problem was that I was still in university, and after living in Sydney for 4 months, I was flat broke. The remedy?

Teaching English in Asia.

After teaching in South Korea for a year and a half, I went on a backpacking trip around South America for 5 months before returning to the US to begin a “normal life.” I thought for sure that after taking 2 gap years (it was originally only supposed to be one) that the travel bug would finally be “out of my system.”

But just like so many of us, I never lost the urge to travel. Just because many people eventually feel the need to “settle down” after a year or two of traveling doesn’t mean that is what was right for me. After being in the US for just a few months, I already couldn’t wait to put on my backpack and hit the road yet again. My solution was starting a marketing business that I could operate from anywhere in the world.

It’s now been only 6 months since I felt strong enough in my business to hit the road and explore Asia. After 5 months in the Philippines, I am now settled here in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. There are lots of digital nomads here in Vietnam, but one thing is obvious: most of them are men.

As a female entrepreneur, I feel that my journey has its own unique set of challenges. There is a growing number of us women living and working on the road, and having their support and friendship means a lot to me. But the fact is that, at least for the time being, it’s a male-dominated field. Here’s what I’ve learned along my journey so far.

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1. It can be lonely on the road.

Saigon is considered one of the top destinations in the world for entrepreneurs. People come from all over the world to stay here networking with other business owners and grinding on their projects.

But even in bustling Saigon, a city of more than 7 million people, it can sometimes still feel like you’re all alone. Some days, you feel like the luckiest person on earth. Other days, you feel intense loneliness. It’s as if there is no one else in the world who knows quite how you feel.

During the first real rough period in my business, I didn’t have any coworkers or peers in the same situation. It was I alone who had to make it through, making those important decisions that are directly consequential to my livelihood.

Overall, I feel incredibly lucky to have the lifestyle that I enjoy. I find it helps to take it one day at a time, settle for Skype dates with your besties back home, and treat yourself with a massage when you’re having a bad day.

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2. You have to hold your own as a female traveler.

You and I both know that we are just as capable as the men we meet out there on the road. But when it comes to travel, women undeniably have more safety risks than men. Regardless, traveling is something that I feel compelled to do no matter what risks, dangers, or challenges come my way. The other independent female travelers I meet abroad feel the same way.

But with greater risk comes an even greater reward. I’m in awe of the opportunities I’ve had during my travels, and as a woman I gain insight into areas of cultures that men sometimes don’t have access to. Perhaps most rewarding are the messages and emails I get from others who have said that my journey has inspired them to begin their own.

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3. You’re not doing what you’re “supposed” to do.

In almost every conversation I have with people who are not familiar with the digital nomad lifestyle, I have to answer the same elephant-in-the-room question: “So when do you plan on settling down and having kids?”

While I have many male friends who are entrepreneurs, I’d venture to guess that none of them are asked this question as often as I am. After all, men are “supposed” to explore and succeed in their careers, while women are “supposed” to get married and start a family. I’ve developed a plethora of methods to diffuse that conversation when it inevitably happens.

Anytime you are breaking the mold, you will meet resistance. All that matters is that you are doing what makes you feel like the luckiest person on the planet. And considering that’s how I feel 95% of the time, it’s safe to say I’m on the right track.

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4. You have to learn to blaze your own trail.

Ho Chi Minh City is packed with entrepreneurs. Ask them where to have pages added to your passport? Got it. Ask the best place to find a replacement charger for your Mac? No problem. But if you need to know where to find a good replacement for your beat-up clothes that you’ve been wearing every day for a year, or help on how to deal with different cultures’ perceptions of gender roles, the answer is a little less clear.

When I first arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, I needed a haircut, and STAT. But previous communication problems in other country had resulted in too many hair disasters. This time around, I was determined not to lose more inches than I intended. The male entrepreneurs I know could give me answers to just about every question I had about living in this city. But when finding an English-speaking salon, I was on my own.

Sometimes, solutions are simple. Other times, it’s a big game of trial and error. But no matter where you are or what you’re doing, no one has it all figured out. We’re all living and learning together. Do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Female Digital Nomad2

5. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Despite the ups and downs, the challenges traveling sometimes presents, and the occasional bad day, I wouldn’t trade my life as a digital nomad for anything. I recall the sinking feeling that I had when I got back to the United States after two years of traveling. I had to tell myself, “it’s time to grow up and settle down.” But all the while, I was heartbroken that my adventure had come to an end. Now, my whole life is one adventure after another. I couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dreams.

No matter where you choose to travel, there are always interesting people to meet, friends to make, crazy stories to hear, amazing places to visit, and unusual situations to navigate. Sure, I’m always in a new destination, but I’m always exactly where I want to be.

What do you find most difficult about being a female living on the road? On the other hand, what’s the best part?

Female Digital Nomad8

Anna Wickham is a digital nomad running a location independent business from her laptop while she travels the world. After spending the last 5 months in the Philippines, she’s settled in Saigon, at least for the time being. She blogs about travel, running a business, and the location independent lifestyle at The Worldly Blend.



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