Sole Sister Spotlight: This American Girl Camille

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's rare to find bloggers who bare their soul in their writing. That's why it felt like a fresh sip of coconut juice when I stumbled on this article: You Are Where You Need to Be. Camille's poetry inspired style of writing, complemented with her vivid photography, can really make you close all those other windows and just give her your full attention. And you will soon realize that her every word speaks to you.

What's surprising is that it's not a travel blog. Well, not exactly. Here's my quick chat with her: 

When did you start a travel lifestyle?

Before I left to go traveling I worked in Marketing, a career I had no passion for, was in a very tumultuous relationship, and had completely lost touch with who I was and what I wanted. I lived in a gorgeous apartment that I obsessively decorated and organized, worked in an office, wore high heels daily, got around town in a BMW, and ate out at restaurants at least once a day. I felt totally disconnected from my body and from the earth and derived most of my pleasure from shopping and eating.

When I was laid off from my job, like so many people in the world right now, I finally realized it was time to make a big change. A dear friend of mine, food blogger Andie Mitchell, had decided to spend three months in Costa Rica and I asked to tag along. February 2nd, 2012 we made the journey to Costa Rica's South Caribbean and my life has never been the same since.

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Do you miss your old life? What do you miss most?

Honestly I don't miss my old life at all. Except when I'm sick. Then I miss sleeping in my big white bed and having my kitchen with everything I need and my mom close by to take care of me.

There are moments when I miss drinking a fancy cocktail, wearing real clothes, and styling my hair, but after about a day I'm over it. I know now what makes me happy and it has nothing to do with material things.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille9

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

I fund my travels by writing articles for various websites and publications. Just a couple of months ago I was featured in Marie Claire magazine and that gig funded nearly a month of travel in Southeast Asia. However, at this stage, most of my articles are much lower on the pay scale. Occasionally my readers donate to my travel fund through my Buy Me a Coconut page which is always a nice bonus.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille3

What are some major risks or sacrifices you've had to undergo in order to keep moving?

The biggest sacrifice I have made by choosing this lifestyle is being away from my family. I have a two year old nephew and not being there to watch him grow up is pretty heartbreaking. However I do my best to keep in touch through skype and I typically fly home for a visit every six months. More than anything my family wants me to be happy and they know that this lifestyle does.

Another serious sacrifice most travelers make when they live on the road is their health. Travel is unbelievably hard on your body and I've endured many bouts of food poisoning over the last two years. My legs have become roadmaps with scars telling stories of the places I've been. My health is very important to me and when I feel ill, I lose my fire to keep going. It's been a project and passion of mine for the last nine months to find a way to stay healthy while living as a nomad and share it with my readers. I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm dedicated to getting there eventually.

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

Yes, often. This is one of the unfortunate challenges traveling in certain countries as a woman. For the most part it's "just" catcalling, which as bad as this sounds, you get used to. The most important thing to remember is to never put yourself in a position where you're alone with someone you don't know. I often cross the street, change directions, or step into a cafe if I get a weird vibe off someone regardless of the time of day.

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

When I hiked through the Corcovado National Park with a 71 year old tour guide and waded across a river that was full of crocodiles and bull sharks. Read the full story here.

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

I don't think I'll ever lose my passion for travel or adventure, but one day I would like to have a place to call home and a partner to share my life with. Maybe even kids. At this point I can imagine having a few home bases around the world and the freedom and flexibility to travel when I wish.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille7

Are there any women (bloggers, travelers or otherwise) who inspire you?

There are so many women, and people for that matter, who inspire me that I could never talk about all of them here. My mother and my sister are my biggest sources of inspiration with their incredible capacity to love and their constant support. I think my sister might be the most patient person on the planet and I have so much to learn in that regard. 

As far as bloggers go, my dear friend Andie Mitchell of Can You Stay for Dinner is a rockstar blogger, an incredible woman, and the reason I started traveling in the first place. Marthe Hagen from The Freedom Experiment is another role model for me with a huge global following and an even bigger heart. A blogger who I don't know personally, but who I have a huge girl crush on is cancer survivor and natural health advocate Jess Ainscough aka The Wellness Warrior.

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Have you found love on the road?

I find love on the road constantly. It's there every time I look out the window of an airplane, when I run recklessly into the ocean, when I taste something I can't pronounce the name of, when I sit in silence while the sun sets, and whenever I exchange a smile with someone new.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille10

What kind of skills or know how would you consider necessary for someone who is thinking of long term travel?

Good problem solving skills, a strong immune system, a great deal of flexibility, an outgoing personality, and an adventurous spirit will certainly make life on the road easier. But all you really need is the passion to see the world and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

What motivates you to keep traveling?

On the road, even in the hard times, I feel so unbelievably alive. That is my biggest motivation in continuing this journey. When I witness my tremendous growth as a result of these experiences and my readers tell me that I inspire them, I know that I'm on the right path.

Sole Sister Spotlight: Camille2

Camille is a coconut-loving, barefoot, beach bum who finds bliss exploring the endless possibilities of the Earth. She aims to inspire people to release their fears, chase their dreams, and live life on purpose. Follow her journey on her blog: This American Girl.

Want more? Read other features on Sole Sister Spotlight.

Do you know of travelers who conquer the world one country at a time? 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!

Searching for other sisters who make travel happen,
Sole Sister Lois

Get a FREE copy of the Sole Sister Guide to Planning an Epic Trip by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also hang out with us online on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

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