I'm not being overly-dramatic when I tell people that it feels surreal to be here. My journey to Sole Sisterhood is a story of faith and hopefully it would be an inspiration. 

Once upon a time, I could only dream of being able to do the things I love doing most and Sole Sisters showed (with pizzaz) that it could be done. An opportunity came, the search happened, I tried my luck, got short-listed, almost backed out when I found out that the winner would be chosen merely by means of vote. I mean, I was just a regular person who ached to explore places. I was up against established travel bloggers who had huge following. But despite the odds seemingly stacked against me, I hung on and kept my faith. Surprised and grateful for the love and support of friends and even people I don't know.

I am now here.

When I finally got the chance to meet Sole Sister Lois in person, she asked me to answer a few questions to get to know me better (or maybe just to check if I fit the bill, haha!).

What inspires you to travel?

I call myself a beauty-spotter . I'm always drawn to scenic places, interested to meet beautifully-spirited people, and keen on getting a taste of rich food, art and culture. I love to bask in earth's splendor.

I get a natural high from communing with nature, especially when I am lazing around the beach while reading or jamming with friends or simply having a quiet moment. 

I am fascinated by the colorful stories of people and I have realized I'm most interested in the battles they fight and the kind of character they take on in order to triumph.

Going to places indulges me to the beauty that the world is abundant of. But I guess, I haven't really answered what inspires me to travel. Well, I have itchy soles so everything makes me want to travel - from music to books to food to films, music and music.

I know you haven't traveled out of the country, what's your ultimate destination of choice?

Yeah, I haven't gone out of the country because I had limited time but more than that, honestly, every time I planned on it, I would be more attracted to a beach destination here in the Philippines. There are too many amazing places to explore in our country, don't you think? And it's my goal to cover as many as possible!

Outside the country, some of the places I'd love to go to are Italy, Greece, Spain mainly for food and culture; the United Kingdom for the Glastonbury Festival; and the Caribbean Islands - I adore the beach if you still haven't noticed!

Madz Travel Collage

I can't pick an ultimate destination, as long as there's magnificent waterscape, landscape and skyscape; some outdoor recreation and adventure I can try; and gastronomical and cultural delight, I am in! The world is vast and teeming with wonders, I wish I had started traveling way earlier in my life.

What's your favorite travel moment?

There's not a single moment. But top of mind would be: stargazing on the sands of Calaguas Island. I have never seen so many stars, a blanket of constellations so close, it was like I could touch them.

Two, non-stop-happy-drinking-session-all-trip-long-til-we-got-mega-sun burnt with my crazy girl friends. We drank on the road, on the sand bar, in the water, every place we could be still and we're having too much fun we didn't realize we got super toasted so I looked even more like a timber! Gaaah! Really fun time, though!

Have you ever fallen in love while traveling?

With places? All the time! Haha! Kidding aside, nope. I don't easily fall but I was once a sucker for summer flings and that's the closest kilig story I have to falling in love while traveling. Met a guy in summer, he was quite a hunk and fun. We dated until we were back in Manila. And then let's just say, summer ended.

What are the best lessons you've learned from your travels?

Here's a couple... When traveling, come as a blank page and be open but at the same time it's important to have a sense of yourself - allow yourself to be who you are so you won’t judge others if they do the same. It's good to appreciate similarities but remember to respect differences.

Also, I've learned that sometimes, even the best photos, videos or words can not capture or describe the most memorable, awesome, sensational sights, events and moments. You must go out there and experience exploring these for yourself.

You have shared your story on becoming a Sole Sister and I want to know, what do you want to get out of this experience?

I think a lot of us will agree that We Are Sole Sisters has been a source not only of fun, exciting travel stories but also of encouragement and empowerment for Filipina travelers - especially at the time when not a lot of us knew where to begin or how to do it. I think that's the core of this sisterhood - inspiration and empowerment.

So apart from chasing new travel adventures with you (Lois) and learning from you (to readers: I'm telling you that she is really an awesome person), what I would like to get out of this experience or maybe it's better to say, what I would like to impart is this - pursue your passion. You love to explore the world? Just go out there and do it - whenever you can and while you still can. And as Sole Sisters, we are here to help make your travel possible!

Check out other SSS features:

Do you know of female travelers who conquer the world one country at a time? Sole Sisters are fearless women travelers who find ways to travel within their means and have a lot of fun along the way! 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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11 Responses so far.

  1. Aiza says:

    Welcome on board, Madz. I'm excited to see how your teaming up with Lois will drive us crazier to pull our butts off the chairs and go places! :D

  2. Joann says:

    You really deserve being a sole sister ;)
    I can sense the passion that you have in traveling while reading this post.
    And I super love this:
    "You love to explore the world? Just go out there and do it - whenever you can and while you still can." =)

  3. madzrausa says:

    Thanks Aiza. Talking about our travel plans with Lois alone makes me want to pack my bag and head out to our destinations!
    Exciting times are coming for We Are Sole Sisters. :)

  4. madzrausa says:

    Thank you Joann! Your kind words mean a lot. Happy to know that my passion for travel emanates through my writing.

    I know, the line couldn't be any more true diba? If you love something, do it. There's always a way to make it happen.

  5. Carl Custodio says:

    Congratulations Madz! You're a true sole sister!!!

    I love it when you said: "When traveling, come as a blank page and be open but at the same time it's important to have a sense of yourself - allow yourself to be who you are so you won’t judge others if they do the same. It's good to appreciate similarities but remember to respect differences."

    This is so true! Especially, when you're traveling to a place for the first time. It's like EATING. First, you're hungry for something new. Then, "eating" new places/beautiful people/rich culture and sharing it to the world! :)

  6. madzrausa says:

    Hey Carl, thanks!

    I agree with your analogy, traveling is much like eating. I am always hungry to discover and re-discover new places. And I get so full after, can't help but burp and share the experiences. :D

  7. Archer says:

    looking forward to reading your stories Madz!
    and i love that this sole sister's a bit of a drinker too! haha
    i'm all for non-stop-happy-drinking-session-all-trip-long-til-we-got-mega-sun burnt!
    that photo (in the jeepney) looks like you ladies were having a blast!

  8. Eartha says:

    Cousin Madz!! I'm going to Glastonbury next year! My friends and I were online for almost 2 hours trying to get tickets. And the minute AFTER we secured ours - a tweet came out that said tickets were sold out! Photo finish diba? :) I'm sooo looking forward to it :)

  9. PossiblyPinay says:

    Congratulations Madz! :)
    Looking forward to your posts on SS :)

  10. Madz! Long overdue congrats since it's been a while since I last visited the website. :) Congrats dear!

    Funny that you mentioned Calaguas, I swear I will NEVER EVER forget that trip for as long as I live. I'm sure you know why... LOL! I will always remember that feeling of relief and triumph when my feet finally landed on solid ground after that harrowing boat ride!

    Anyway, let us know if you guys wanna go to Caramoan this summer so that the baklang bagot can join the cosmo girls again. ;) See you soon, hopefully!

  11. Thanks, There! I'm happy to find out that you blog too! Your Facebook status messages entertain me and now I know where to get a fix of There's piece of mind and your stories about travel.

    We want to go to Caramoan and we miss the BBB! Haha! The cosmo girls haven't sat down in a looooong while kaazarrr.

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