The Vacation is Over

Friday, June 01, 2012

Getting back to work

About a year and a half ago, I quit my job as a financial services trainer for a multinational. It was tough to let go of the hefty paycheck, health benefits and stilettos. But I sold most of my stuff, put the rest in storage, and put everything I needed on my back. I set off on a journey that would take 6 months through 9 countries. I had saved 100,000 pesos before the start of the trip and have not been formally employed since.

Over 10 months has passed since I came home. And I can sense family and friends wondering “When are you going to find a job?” I guess in their heads, they wonder: "When are you going to stop escaping the reality?"

I'm making a confession.

This is my reality now. I don't think I'm ever going back there. To the desk, the meaningless job, okay- the heels can stay.

In a recent television interview I was asked this question: If you were to be given a salary of 100,000 PHP to go back to a corporate job, would you take it? My outright answer was NO. I wouldn't want to exchange the freedom I have and go back to working for money again.

You see, what people miss out on is that I may not have a job- but I do have WORK. I'm doing meaningful work everyday! You're looking at it actually. My work is to write about the places I've seen, the people I've met and the things I've learned.


I'm no longer on vacation.

I had long decided that the world will be my cubicle and every traveler I meet, my colleague. A lot of you may think, "How hard can it get?" This has been the hardest I've worked in my entire life! I've never worked longer hours, sent so many emails in a single day and had as many face to face meetings with so many strangers on a regular basis! I’m forced to take on a dozen job titles that include (but are not limited to) being an editor-in-chief, writer, social media consultant, speaker, photographer, travel agent and so much more. It's tougher than you thought, isn't it?

But there was never a day that I complained about the long hours, nonexistent salary and slave driver boss. 

And it's because of YOU.

Goa, India

The people who come to this site every day even if there's no new content. The ones who backread posts and revisit Why Travel Wednesdays. The loyal readers who have sent countless emails to tell us about your trips, your own discoveries or simply to tell us how a blog post has helped you on your journey. I kick my own bum and get myself out of a writing rut because I know there are travelers out there who seek a little guidance, inspiration or even just that space to dream.

I have fun every day but I’m not messing around. I’m slowly building a life that's focused on my passions. I love what I do and I don’t plan on stopping.

Thank you to every single one of you who has supported Sole Sisters along the way. You know who you are!

XOXO,
Sole Sister Lois

Main Photo Credit: By Mathias*
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69 sole trails

  1. that's awesome!! once you start, you can never TRULY go back!! I'm in a day job AGAIN but only for 4 months and I sense my time is coming to an end.. and my entrepreneurial wings will finally start to fly!! Love that you can make a living around your blog! And love how its such a mystery how you do so.. even to me, who should "know" how people do it.. I still wonder, how DO other people do it?? Make a living through.. well, your lifestyle?? That's all I ever want! A sustainable lifestyle. I no longer want a career!

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  2. "The people who come to this site every day even if there's no new content."
     I am definitely one of them. I love reading your articles especially those under 'Getting ready to hit the road.' I hope I can bump into you in one of your travels.

    God bless and may you continue to be an inspiration :)

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  3. Good luck, Lois. Continue to be an inspiration to us who are yet coward in leaping into the uncertainties out there! :) I wish you all the best. 

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  4. Congrats Lois for finding the work you want! Inspiring! :)

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  5. And you're doing a good job of it Lois! :)

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  6. This is indeed living your passions. I am envious and inspired at the same time. Looking forward to joining your next "Discover Your Passion Workshop". I should have but couldn't last time.

    Loving your inspiring words,
    Angela

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  7. Will you be finishing off your posts about the end of your 6 month journey soon? I've been waiting patiently for it but you never mention it anymore! :-( Also what's happened to ChiChi? Is she going to update us readers on her life in Singapore soon? I'm really interested to know what's she got up to after your travels!

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  8. WOW! you never fail to WOW me =) You are actually living my dream...I want to do this also...vacation's over coz it's going to be a lifestyle =)

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  9.  bagay ba bagay sa inyo yung song na Good Life by One Republic:)

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  10. cheers Lois! people who love what they are doing are living the life.
    bottom line is, all the money, material things we have won't go with us in the after life.

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  11. As long as you are happy with what you're doing and not being a burden to anyone else, the heck with what other people will say. I'm also a consultant (Special Education) and I love how flexible my schedule is. I may not have the job my parents wanted me to have but I'm happy with where I am right now. Maybe someday things will change but I will not regret the decisions I've made with my career. :)

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  12. you're having a great life Lois ^_^... many of us aspire to be free and while I'm halfway there, you are already living the dream ^_^.. hats off dear girl

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  13. I also want the world to be my cubiclle. You are such an inspiration.

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  14. i know how you feel Lois :) you go girl! c",)

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  15. I visit your website everyday. As in seryoso. Can you believe that? You are one of the reasons why I am leaving the house next month to relocate to a nearby city and start living an independent life. A new life where I can travel all I want without any hindrances. You inspired me, really.

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  16. Beautifully written and so true Lois, I am glad that you keep on writing about your experiences and inspire other people, I am sure that at some point this is also going to generate a comfortable (which is very subjective) income!

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  17. some say that when we follow our passion, the money comes after... sometimes though the money comes late and sometimes very late LOL but nevertheless, this is a great journey that we will forever remember... keep on doing meaningful work Lois and wishing you more success and more adventures... 

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  18. I hear ya lady! Even on my toughest day spending 12-16 hours in front of my laptop I still think back to the 8 hours at my desk job and would rather be my own boss - with less pay :)

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  19. Soon...we'll follow your footstep, dear. We misha! Mwah!

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  20. Iliketheconfessionspart! Very nicely done and narrated. Wanna know about ur errands. Sana may guts din ako tulad niyo..so much PASSION! Keep it up.. traveling, bloggin, sharing ur bloglovin to US GIRLS! 

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  21. I hope that one of these days, it's not too late for me yet to follow my passion. Yours is such an inspiring story. I wanna take that leap of faith and see where it takes me. And yes, I'm just bitter because I never get to travel a lot because of a desk job. :) Keep writing about your adventures and I will never get tired of reading them.

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  22. ah... totally amazing!!! and I admire you so much embracing your freedom.. keep on travelling... I'll be following this blog and sooner, I will also travel more places like you...


    ---> blogwalking here ;)

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  23. I love this!! I feel the same way about my current lifestyle being my true reality, and it's nice to hear I'm not alone...

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  24. this is so passionate and heartfelt, Lois! you're doing just great and many of us love you for that. Keep it going!

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  25. one of my favorite blogs! i even added you so i can see your new posts! such an inspiration! :)

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  26. very inspiring. :)) no wonder i got caught by you gals. :)) 

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  27. "I have fun every day but I’m not messing around. I’m slowly building a life that's focused on my passions. I love what I do and I don’t plan on stopping."

    ...and i envy you for that.  :)

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  28. this is such an inspiring post :) Because of you guys, I started a travel blog :) 

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  29. Thanks for this heartfelt first comment Janet! I wish I could grow some entrepreneurial wings very soon too. I know, how DO we do it? Maybe I can write about that extensively as soon as some "experiements"take off. I completely agree with you, I want a sustainable, travel-filled, passionate lifestyle too!

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  30. Then this post was written with you in mind Gladys! Thanks so much for following our adventures!

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  31. Thanks so much Kijar!

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  32. Thanks aiza, it won't be the easiest path. I myself don't know if its possible to live off your passion. But I will try. Thanks for the boost and wishing you a life filled with meaning!

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  33. Thanks so much Josiah! You inspire me too!

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  34. Thanks Christian, that means a lot to me!

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  35. Thanks for that beautiful comment Angela. Yes please join our next Passion Play session. You can get updates here: 
    http://www.facebook.com/PinoyPassionistas I look forward to meeting you! 

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  36. Sorry about that Ruth. A bit of a backlog. Will definitely write some more stories from Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia. As for Chichi, the last post tells you the end of our trip. But I hope she will write some more here in the future. Glad to know you are interested and thanks for constantly following!

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  37. Thanks Mary! So happy to know that there are others who share my views! I wish you the life of your dreams and more adventure!

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  38. Absolutely agree James! I'm living life with arms wide open :-)

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  39. Love this song! Thanks for sharing killer! And for all the comments you have shared the blog. I think I need to meet you and see a face behind all these thoughtful comments :)

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  40. Another reader I want to meet! Thanks for that very heartfelt comment Morena. It was a process for me to stop needing other people's approval and live life on my own terms. Thanks for sharing your story too :)

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  41. I'm also just starting Grace, carefully crafting a life that I can enjoy waking up to everyday. I'm glad you're in the same journey!

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  42. Thanks Gracey! I'm happy you were inspired by this post.

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  43. Salamat yeye! I feel happy knowing that we share something!

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  44. Wow! I'm amazed at this comment Maria. Thank you so much for always reading our stuff and for following our adventures. I'm happy to know you've grown your own wings! I wish you a life filled with many beautiful adventures!

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  45. I am beginning to look forward to your comments! I hope so too, I wish a comfortable life in the future where I get to travel and meet people and create beautiful things as much as I want. Thanks for always stopping by!

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  46. It's always the journey that counts, thanks for the reminder Flip! And thank you for the well wishes, I wish the same for you and hope our paths meet in the future. Naiinggit na ako sa mga tao na nagsabi nameet ka na nila :-)

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  47. Absolutely! You are proof that it CAN be done Ayngelina. You inspire me BIG time. How I wish I could meet you in the future and ask you how YOU do it..

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  48. Thanks Carl! So proud of you and Leah! Miss you!

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  49. Haha my errands are very interesting sometimes. You'll be surprised to know that I hate being a travel agent (even for my own trips) but I love being a PR person. Thanks so much Mitch, appreciate you for following!

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  50. It's never too late to follow your passions. And passions can change over time rose. Don't let your job make you bitter. Maybe it can be a vehicle for you to do meaningful stuff in the future. I worked hard at my job as trainer for so many years. I'm glad it gave me skills as a public speaker. Thanks for reading and hope you can share your adventures here in the future.

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  51. Yes I bet you will be traveling more and more Hana! Don't forget to share your adventures with us too so we can follow you!

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  52. Thanks so much for dropping by Brenna! You have inspired us so much even when we were just starting out! I just dropped by your blog and I am blown away again by the places you've seen!

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  53. Thanks for always following and leaving a thoughtful comment Alexa, this made me smile today :)

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  54. Thank you for making Sole Sisters your fave Aileen! Keep on traveling!

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  55. Thanks so much gwenzy! 

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  56. I know you will build a life that's focused on YOUR passions soon apol. And when you do, don't forget to share :-)

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  57. I couldn't agree with you more Joann!

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  58. i always love to read your blog. to tell you the truth, your blog is one of the things that inspired me to pursue my traveling dreams. it may not be as fun and as grand as your travels but it's what my work can allow. i want to quit my job and just travel and meet people but i'm not as brave as you guys. haha.

    i'm still exploring the country and asia. and whoever thought that i could? i surely didn't. i didn't think i could afford going to korea but i just got back from there! haha. it was only a 5 day trip though. =(

    my dream is to also have a blog or have an article featured at a magazine or cebu pax "smile" mag but writing for myself and my friends can suffice atm. you also inspired that.

    so thank you and keep inspiring!

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  59. Thank you for this very heartfelt note Kat! So happy you are inspired to travel more and follow your heart! I'm sure you can start your own blog and get published! Everything is possible :) I wish you many beautiful adventures!

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  60. Ephraim ArriesgadoJune 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM

     Lois, i love what you wrote, "You see, what people miss out on is that I may not have a job- but I do
    have WORK. I'm doing meaningful work everyday! You're looking at it
    actually. My work is to write about the places I've seen, the people
    I've met and the things I've learned."

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  61. Hey Ephraim! It's people like you who also inspire me on a daily basis! Thanks for being you!

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  62. Hi Lois! Very inspiring. Im turning a year on my current job on September (my birth month!) and the question of leaving it never stop running in my mind. Im still earning and and still not halfway on my thou$and-pesoses goal! Lol. But reading your article, made me become more stronger to pursue my dreams, what I really want to be, what I really want to do and what life is all about. Maraming Salamat! :) Hope to read more from you! <3 Godbless to youa nd to Chi-chi! =)

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  63. My work! Its hell. Its makes me miss alot of fun from the outside world, its has been outcasting myself from all the family-events and friend reunions. 

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  64. Thanks for this heartfelt comment Isaab! Yes we should not settle for less than the life of our dreams. I won't tell you to quit. But to surround yourself with the things and the people you love. Wish you a life of adventure!

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  65. I know how this feels Jillian. One day, maybe we can stop working for money and just do the things we love.

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  66. This is very inspiring. I hope I can do that as well.

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  67. hi lois! that's me... the backreading person! and i totally totally admire you. i have to set up that blog (and i need some advice on this). and i am working for this start-up tech company as an intern, and now i feel like i've been missing out. hope to catch up with you soon though!

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  68. Hey Chiara! Glad to know you've gone digital na rin! Sure I'll be happy to help you with blog and social media stuff. Message me on fb! Don't know where you are na :)

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