Sole Sister Spotlight: That Backpacker Audrey

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I had been doing a fair amount of research on how women travelers fund their travels, when I stumbled on this post: How Can You Afford to Travel The World? I couldn't believe I never heard of Audrey before! This girl is an inspiration- not only in her determination to keep on traveling but I was impressed at her blogging and social media skills as well! She's definitely someone I can learn from! So I simply had to interview her!

Here's what she had to say:

Tallinn-Estonia (80)-L

What’s the favorite place you have visited and why?

I was recently in Tallinn, Estonia and even though my visit was far too brief, I enjoyed every minute spent in that city. The architecture oozed medieval charm with a little splash of Art Nouveau, the cafes served up great cakes and pastries, there were lots of musical performances happening in the square, and the place just had a great feel!

What’s the best lesson you have learned from your travels?

I have learned to trust in the kindness of strangers.

Vietnam is a country that particularly comes to mind because this is a place where I was really moved by the kindness of locals all around me. Travellers who had gone before me told me Vietnam was a difficult country to travel through, but what I found instead was a kind restaurant owner who gave me medicine and hot tea when I was sick, a group of women who walked me to my hotel when I first arrived in town, and countless locals who were willing to stop what they were doing and look at a map when I needed to find my way.

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Any funny or embarrassing stories to share from your travels?

I once accidentally crashed a private boat party!

Our tour guide had told our group to go down to the pier and hop on boat #19 for our tour of the Mekong Delta. It turns out there were two boats with the same number and the one I hopped on was the wrong one. I didn't understand what the host of the party was saying to me so I was trying to explain to her that this was the boat I needed to be on and she kept looking at me like 'who are you?'

No champagne for me aboard that ship!

Audrey-in-Korea (226)-L

Is there any work you had to do or are currently doing in order to beef up your travel fund?

Over the years I have worked numerous jobs to help fund my travels. Part of my reason for moving to Korea for a year was that I wanted to pay off my student loans and save up to travel. I am happy to say that I was able to do both of those things during my year there. Now as I continue to travel and live overseas, I work on my blog full time as well as writing for a number of travel publications.

What do you consider the best countries for perma-travelers or location independent individuals?

Thailand sure seems to be a popular one!

I have spent a considerable amount of time living in Chiang Mai, and I know that many others who work online also like to base themselves here for months at a time. Chiang Mai is the kind of place where you can live quite cheaply while still retaining a good quality of life. The city is home to some great restaurants and cafes, the whole apartment rental process is pretty simple, plus there is plenty to see and do in and around the city.

Audrey-in-Korea (57)-XL

What bucket list items have you crossed off recently?

I don't really make bucket lists. There are so many places I want to see and things I want to do that the list would be endless! However, I am happy to say that I recently got to experience Finland in the summertime when the sun only sets for a few hours. Seeing the sun still out at 10 pm was pretty fascinating.

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What are the things you can’t travel without?

I'd have to say my computer which I absolutely need since I work online. I also always travel with an extra roll of toilet paper...enough said.

What are some of the challenges you face with your unique travel lifestyle?

Often times one of the biggest dilemmas I face is finding a decent Wi-fi connection. I know, I know, I should be disconnecting from the internet and enjoying the destination, but I really do depend on a reliable Wi-fi connection in order to continue doing what I do!

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How do you overcome them?

Scout guesthouses and check out their Wi-fi before I commit to a stay (!)

Who is the most memorable person you have met on your travels?

I think back to the first time I ever stayed at a hostel in Frankfurt, Germany. There was another girl staying there who was only a few years older than me and she had these grand plans to backpack around Europe on her own. I was 18 and travelling with a group at that time, and I thought that her summer plans sounded so badass!

"What?! She's going to travel around the continent on her own?!"

At 18 I still had a long way to go before I'd feel confident and independent enough to set off on my own, but meeting that girl planted a little idea in my head.


Have you ever fallen in love while on the road?

Not exactly while travelling, but certainly while living abroad.

My story is a bit of a blogger romance. Right before I moved to Korea to work for a year, I learned that there was another travel blogger living not too far away from where I would be living. Sam (aka Nomadic Samuel) offered to show me around town, and even though he turned out to be the worst tour guide ever (everywhere he took me had either moved or shut down), we ended up hitting it off.

I met up with him again the following weekend, and the one after that, and well, a year and a half later we are travelling the world together.

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Where are you off to next and what places are on your wanderlist?

It looks like this autumn I will have a chance to visit the Middle East for the very first time, and who knows, maybe after that I'll swing over to Eastern Europe. I have been spending a lot of time in Asia lately, so I think I'm ready for a bit of a change of scenery.

What advice can you give women to make travel happen?

Find YOUR travel style!

Just because you're not ready to strap on a backpack and venture off to SE Asia solo, doesn't mean you shouldn't go travelling. Think of where you'd like to travel to and what kind of scenario you'd feel most comfortable with. This might mean you go at it alone, it might mean you invite your best friend to come along, or it might mean you sign up for an organized tour with other people your age (and you'll make plenty of friends that way too)!

Audrey's travel blog is a collection of stories and photos from the road with a focus on local food, culture, and adventure. Audrey was born in Canada, has lived in Argentina, has taught in Korea (where she also met her travelling beau!), and is now in Thailand plotting her next move. She also likes making travel videos wherever she goes - you can find those over on her YouTube travel channel.

Want more? Read other features on Sole Sister Spotlight.

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 other women who make travel happen,
Sole Sister Lois

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3 sole trails

  1. Audrey's blog is one I enjoy the most. Never boring.
    I enjoy her energy!!!

    If there's one blog I always leave comments in, it's hers.

    Lots of love for Audrey!!

  2. I just stumbled on her blog yesterday, love her engaging writing style. :)

  3. Glad you guys enjoy reading Audrey's blog too! I'm definitely a fan!


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