Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet
 I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately;
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
To put to root all that was not life and not when I had come
to die, discover that I had not lived.

 – Henry David Thoreau

The words of Thoreau still reverberate almost 200 years after he wrote it. This was a man who lived in the 1800's yet inspired most of history's greatest men. Mahatma Ghandi with the revolution in India, JFK. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and Russian author Leo Tolstoy, just to name a few.

Thoreau perfectly understood what each of these amazing people, and ultimately both of us, are trying to do with our lives:
To suck the marrow out of life, grab it by its horns and feel ALIVE!
Most importantly, to live your dreams today. Right here, right now. Not waiting until you finally realized that you have not lived the life you want. Or that you have not lived at all.

As Lois once wrote:
"I'm more afraid of a life where nothing extraordinary ever happens. I am more afraid of putting my dreams on a shelf and later realizing that I am too jaded or too tired to live them." - Dear Dad, I've Quit my Job to Travel the World

These amazing individuals are currently living their dreams, digging their own path, making their own rules - all the while, writing epic stories about their adventure, letting us follow their trail and be inspired. They are the modern-day Thoreau's.

1 Chris Guillebeau

If you google anything remotely related to backpacking and long-term travel, chances are you came across Chris Guillebeau's virtual world: The Art of Non-Conformity. When Chichi first learned about the wonderful world of the backpacking life, she stumbled upon Chris' site, immediately downloaded his Unconventional Guide to World Domination e-book and was hooked.

Chris has been on a 5-year quest to travel to EVERY country in the world. At the same time, his other mission is to help people live unconventional lives, make their own choices and change the world. Pretty tough mission, wouldn't you say? Yet he's on his way to achieving both.

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: 279 Days to Overnight Success

2 Ayngelina Brogan

With a website name like, Bacon is Magic, who would think that this girl is as serious about following her dreams of travel as her addiction to that bacon goodness? The Sole Sisters recently asked Ayngelina why she travels and her answers disproved whatever misconceptions you might have that this is a food blog.

Ayngelina had a cushy job in Toronta, Canada, where she managed a successful career with lots of travel in between. Eventually, she wanted more. She yearned to pursue her life-long dream of backpacking through South America, her boyfriend at that time, unfortunately, didn't share this dream. She had to choose between abandoning her dream or doing it solo. Her witty and downright hilarious blog chronicles her solo journey in following her dreams.

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: The Secret I'm Most Afraid to Tell You

3 Dave
 
The author of The Longest Way Home just goes by the name, Dave. Just Dave. He's as mysterious as Bruce Wayne with his Batman alter-ego. Though not mysterious about answering our question why he's been traveling for 6 years, 1 month and 21 days.

Dave lived in the Philippines for 2 years and shares a lot of his insights on our country. He's currently in Sabah, Malaysia. Will this be the final pitstop in his quest to find a home?

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: What is it like to live without food or water? Chronicles of Life in Africa

4 Got Passport

Meet J, A and M or JAM! A young family of 3 who have left the rat race in America to live in and explore Asia on their own terms. They are an inspiration for those who want to travel with purpose. JAM have made us rethink our travel goals and sincerely ask ourselves the question: WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? Why are we traveling and blogging? Which is of course something we're drafting at the moment and are gonna reveal soon.
And we share their sentiments through their byline: 
We Say NO to Status Quo.
Live Green.  Live Small.  Give Large.  Take Little.
Inspiration for a Sole Sister: Declaration of Independence from Material and Social Trappings
flipnomad
5 Flip Nomad

It seems like the Sole Sisters like men with mystery. Yet it's more than just the mystery that got us hooked on Flip's yabang-Pinoy world.  His passion for the Philippines and backpacking are clearly evident in his articles. He's also mastered the art of cheap backpacking by traveling through 6 months around Asia with only $600 in his pocket. Flip proves that everyone can travel if they want it bad enough.

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: How Cheap is Cheap Backpacking?


6 This Battered Suitcase

Brenna's honesty and simplicity echoes through her blog. She's a girl who's also fallen hard for the life of travel. In fact, she's spent the last five years traveling the globe, finding new adventures and taking photographs along the way. She makes us drool with the gazillion countries she's visited and the variety of food she's tasted. Most recently, she's in India where Sole Sister Lois has been and has fallen in love with the place herself.
7 Unbrave Girl
Inspiration for a Sole Sister: Advice on Traveling Solo 

Who knew travel, wit and humor would go so well together? Lois is  constantly inspired by the way this girl writes! And don't judge the blog by the domain name. Sally is very brave. Just like the Sole Sisters, she quit her job in New York to follow her passion for travel. She's traveled to many countries doing one odd job at a time. And when we say odd, we mean that she was once a cat sitter, a rice paddy weeder and a sailboat builder.

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8 The Lost Girls

3 fabulous women in the most exciting city in the world, New York, living the Sex and the City lifestyle. So what made them leave their empire state of minds, their lifestyle and not to forget their boyfriends? The Lost Girls went around the world to pursue their mutual dreams of travel and passion. They all eventually found their way back home. Follow the trail of these kick-ass Sole Sisters at The Lost Girls.

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: Why I Lost Myself on the Road


9 Legal Nomads

Who says lawyers can't be fun? Jodi proves us wrong by quitting her job (a common theme by now) as a corporate lawyer and traipsing around the world. She's even lived in the Philippines for a few months and here's what she learned. Jodi has inspired the Sole Sisters to follow their itchy soles to new life experiences and unexpected places.

Inspiration for a Sole Sister: Why I Quit My Job To Travel Around The World


10 Nina Fuentes

Recently, Nina included the Sole Sisters as one of her Favorite Pinay Travel Bloggers. Yet we're far more inspired by her passion for travel and dedication to her blog. She's been blogging since 2006 and it seems like there's no stopping her. Like most people, we came across her site because Just Wandering provides a ton of helpful information and spreadsheets (which Chichi loves!) to help plan a trip.

Nina has made her passion into a 24-hour life. If she has a secret formula, then we definitely want in on that.

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As we start our 5-month Southeast Asia trip, we look back and reread their stories, adventures, fears and philosophy. We linger around their virtual worlds and reminisce. Then, it starts to sink in...

We're on our way to follow their soles and walk in their trail. We're taking the first steps into this amazing journey of following our own dreams. 

We're finally doing our own version of sucking the marrow out of our own lives. 

Hoping to squeeze every drop out of life,
Sole Sisters Chichi and Lois

8 Responses so far.

  1. This Battered Suitcase says:

    Wow, thank you so much for including me on this list! It's been quite difficult to keep up with blogging (both writing and reading) while I am on the road so I apologise for only getting to this now. You know I always love reading about your adventures and I can't wait to read more! Thanks again, Brenna xo

  2. We totally understand Brenna. I was recently in India too and I could hardly get any internet access over there. Looking forward to more of your India adventures and thanks again for inspiring us even when we were just starting with the blog.

  3. alexplorer says:

    Awesome!  I hope your adventure is amazing I too spent 6 months in Asia and it was one of the best times of my life!  This is an awesome inspiring article thanks!  I wish more people would take the time to just quit their job, pack up their things and go traveling!  Anyone can do this, check it out http://ilikegoingplaces.com/2011/05/19/quit-your-job-and-go-traveling-is-this-really-possible/

  4. Chichi says:

     It has been one hell of an amazing trip so far Alex! All the reasons you've pointed out in your article to NOT go travelling are all true. We've been saying countless times over the past months that this has been the best decision we've made!

  5. Johnny says:

    awesome list, thanks girls :) (maybe one day u can include me too :P)

    http://onestep4ward.com

  6. Galwin | Intrepid Wanderer says:

    Apparently, you now inspire others. :)

  7. Awesome choices, all of them are so inspiring in so many ways!

  8. Jodi E. says:

    Thanks for including me ladies! Some great people on this list, many of who I now call friends. Safe travels to you :)

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