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I've stumbled on a new travel muse- Kristin of bemytravelmuse.com. I can totally identify with her, she used be in banking, sold all her belongings and left everything behind with nothing but a carry-on backpack and has absolutely no idea what she's doing. You can imagine my excitement when I asked to feature her on the blog. Here's our little Q&A:

When did you start a travel lifestyle? 

I left on my open-ended trip in September of 2012 and have been nomadic ever since. I knew just traveling for a month wouldn't be enough, so I sold everything I had and boarded that plane knowing that I would probably not return for a while, if at all.

What inspired you to take that big leap?

I was inspired by other travel bloggers, actually! Seeing that other people, especially solo women, were out traveling long term let me know that I could do it too.

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Besides the paycheck, is there anything else you miss about your job as an investment banker?

I got to talk to really interesting people in that role. I spoke to CEOs all the time from all kinds of different industries and as a 22-26 year old, that was pretty cool.

The benefit of traveling is that I still get to talk to really interesting people all the time, but they tend to have a very different set of values. It's refreshing.

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Do you still keep a home base? Or are you traveling long term?

I do not have a home base anymore. When I do return to California, I stay with friends and family and still tend to move around a lot visiting each of them (they're spread out from San Diego all the way up to Eureka). I have been nomadic for over a year now and I enjoy it because a change of scenery is necessary for me to be happy. I crave the stimulation of new places and faces. I know that would be hard on a lot of people, but I just don't personally feel the need for a home and the associated costs.


How do manage to keep traveling? Is there any special work that allows you to fund your trips?

I am largely digging into my savings from my former career, but I do also make some money from my blog. It is enough to sustain me in Southeast Asia, but not enough to cover flights, my expensive SCUBA diving habit and Europe (where I currently am). I'm really working at creating some other income streams, but it's a lot of work for not much reward, at least at first.

How does your family see your travel lifestyle? Are they always supportive or do they sometimes show concern?

They are very supportive and I'm so thankful for that. I know my mom sometimes worries about me but she doesn't burden me with it. She keeps it to herself and knows that everything will work out fine.

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As a solo female traveler, what was the most challenging country you've been to? And how did you overcome that?

Indonesia, specifically Java, mainly because I was by myself there more than any other place and never took a tour. I got a ton of crude cat calls from young boys and men and had a harder time finding my own way around because most of the tourist infrastructure is built around tours and I simply do not like taking tours. There wasn't much independent travel information out there nor other solo female travelers so it just wasn't as easy as the other places I had been in Southeast Asia.


Have you ever been in a sticky situation when it comes to unwanted male attention?

Even though I covered up my arms and legs I still had issues. I also recall an older (over 50) guesthouse owner getting drunk and hitting on me. I was speaking to another solo traveler friend of mine and she had something similar happen on the other side of the world. Sometimes, things like that happen to female travelers, solo or not.

What's craziest travel tale you'll ever tell your grandkids decades from now?

I have a lot! The craziest was probably ending up in tabloids in Taiwan. I've never told that story on my blog or anywhere else, but I just might write a book about it one day.

This little #girl was SO excited to take a picture with me. How cute are kids?

Do you think you'll ever put down that backpack and settle down somewhere?

I can't imagine being a permanent nomad, but I don't have plans to in the near future. Eventually I know that I'll get tired of this lifestyle because I do have one big problem with it: I always have to say goodbye to people. I know at some point I'll meet someone special and that will probably dictate where I end up. I do hope to always move periodically, though. At least every few years. So I hope my future partner and I have the type of jobs that permit us to move. I get stir crazy!


One of the most interesting posts I found on your blog was about the Sak Yant tattoo. What made you decide to get one and how did you feel immediately afterwards?

I have always wanted a tattoo but couldn't figure out what to get. I loved the idea that the monk selects the tattoo and applies it himself, then chants over it and blesses it. I was on cloud 9 after. It's a pretty cool feeling that comes over the body after getting a tattoo. It's tingly, warm, and exciting.


What's your advice for all the women out there who want to start living their passions but feel like they're stuck?

For both men and women, I think the most important thing is to realize that there will always be naysayers and "what ifs,". So it's important to realize that and not let that stop you from doing what you want to do. For women especially, we have expected societal roles that are hard to break out of. But when it comes down to it, you get one shot at life. You simply have to do what you want because you won't get another opportunity. Whether it's travel or not, just do what makes you happy and don't worry about what anyone else thinks. 

Once you realize that, it's incredibly freeing.

Kristin Addis is the Chief Blogette at Be My Travel Muse - a website geared towards independent women travellers who like to head off the beaten path. She is a former investment banker and now travels and shares her budget and independent travel advice while living nomadically around the world. 

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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One Response so far.

  1. Joni says:

    I follow her on twitter! She's stunningly beautiful and sexy!

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