Sole Sister Spotlight: Curious Explorer Rica

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I hope you would agree with me when I say that Dr. Seuss should be the godfather of travel and adventure. Many wanderlusters find inspiration in his book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!", and one of them is constantly curious writer and traveler, Rica Facundo. She wears so many hats and those titles aren't enough to define her. 

I was drawn to Rica's blog while looking for articles about The Circle Hostel. Her vivid photographs carried me to nearby Singapore where she is currently based and her soulful writing drew me into her adventures for hours! I have never met this lady but I already know she is a Sole Sister through and through. Here are some travel tidbits she shared with us:

Sole Sister 10 (Quezon City Memorial Circle)What's your favorite travel moment?

My favorite travel moment was the summer after college graduation where I explored the older parts of Manila (like Binondo) with my friends. I finally made the effort to see Quezon City Memorial Circle. We accidentally discovered that we can bike there! So we spent the afternoon biking around like we were kids again! It's a lovely place to explore not only because it's a park but because it's rich with Philippine history. It's one of my favorite memories because it rekindles simple joys. That summer I learned that I don't need to travel abroad to feel a sense of wonder. It's just as fulfilling to see a place you grew up or live in a different light.

What's your worst travel moment?

Worst travel moment was trying to find our hotel in Pureto Galera for the Malasimbo Music Festival. Due to misunderstanding, the kuyas dropped us off the wrong part of the island and wanted to rip us off to bring us back. It turns out that our area was really far away so it was a tiring journey via tricycle and walking just to find it especially when I was sleep deprived. That's what happens when you were not the person booking your hotel.

What's your "holyshitImgonnadie" moment?

It was more of a "holyshitimsostupid" moment but I felt like an idiot when I forgot my passport while traveling by bus from Singapore to Malaysia. So I had to take a cab, pick up my passport from the house and beat my bus to the border -- Amazing Race style. (More on this in my first story!) So whatever I saved on my trip went to that expensive cab ride. 

Sole Sister 5

What books inspire you to travel?

I absolutely recommend "Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner. I love his writing style because he draws deep insights from simple observations on top of witty commentary. He writes about the importance of culture and how it shapes a country's view on happiness (among other things.) I want to do what he did -- travel the world in pursuit of one question. But instead of what makes a country happy, I'll ask a question about national identity and see how different factors shape each country then write about it afterwards.

Sole Sister 7 (Exploring Binondo)

What are the things you can't travel without?

I definitely need to travel with a notebook and a pen. I'm a constant scribbler! It's my favorite companion especially since I like going off on my own. Aside from that I guess it would be my iPhone. Only because it's what I use to take pictures with. Although I try to disconnect while I'm vacation.

Sole Sister 4
What's your dream destination and how do you prepare for it?

It's a different mindset to plan a trip once you start working. I believe in earning your trips -- not only in saving the money but deserving the break once you put so many hours in at work. Since I only started working this year the dream trips are endless! I definitely want to backpack through Asia for my birthday in June, but if there's one particular country I'm fascinated in it's India! I love the food, culture and character. Plus, I have a lot of friends who can show me around.

What's the great thing about growing up and being raised between two worlds?

Growing up between two worlds has taught me how to be 1) in between 2) open minded 3) how to see the connections between diverse cultures and ideas 4) how to befriend and understand people who are different from me 5) make the most out of any situation.

What's your travel personality and style?

I guess I'm a philosophic and cultural traveler who looks for the stories hidden even within the mundane. Every new experience is an opportunity to reflect and enrich life. As for style, you can always see my wearing my fedora. My friend coined it "Fedora the Explorer."

Sole Sister 13

Who influenced you to travel and what inspires you to do it?

Even as a kid I was always a wanderer, whether or not it was abroad. I have fond memories exploring with my pops during family vacations. While my sisters and mom would go shopping, we would explore behind the resort or take the car and drive to deserted beach nearby. What inspires me to travel now is my curiosity to learn more and desire to maintain a peace of mind especially with the daily grind. I can read all I can online but there's nothing like experiencing it first hand so I can make my own conclusions. 

Sole sister 18

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

Traveling helps me be awake to life; to pay attention to the nuances that make it worth living. It reminds me not to take it too seriously, sit back and enjoy where the wind goes.

Sole Sister 14 (Little India SG. Bird came out of nowhere!)

Rica is a 22 year old ‘foreign filipina,’ who was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. She's currently scribbling from Singapore as a digital account executive, freelance writer and wanderluster. Other than that, she's a blogger, host and student facilitator. She is always on the look out for new gigs. She loves a good conversation over a cup of coffee and a round of beer or a glass of wine makes her feel happy. She is also the newest contributor on Sole Sisters and will soon share her adventures in Malacca. Read about her constantly curious stories here.
Newest Sole Sister Madz

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!

Looking for women who make travel happen,
Sole Sister Lois
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3 sole trails

  1. I'm really enjoying this kind of series posts, its great to know great travel bloggers from all over the world. Great post!

  2. Thanks Carlo! Glad you did. We also enjoyed finding and connecting with other women travelers. If you have any more suggestions, please let us know. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. That was a fun feature, and some awesome photos! I really like the cliff-diving one! ;)


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