Sole Sister Spotlight: Foreign Geek Nana

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I can't stop raving about how the internet is such a great way to connect like minded people.

I recently got an email from Nana of Foreign Geek who wanted to share her blog. I love her down to earth and laid back attitude and the fact that she's had to overcome a major fear while traveling. Here's a quick chat with her:

When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired you to take that big leap?

Compared to many travelers out there, I only started traveling recently, in my late twenties. It wasn’t much of a big leap rather it was being dragged by my best friends to travel and step out of my comfort zone, which was a very small imaginary place if I look back now.

My turning point, the time I decided that travel is going to be a huge part of my life, was when I jumped off a boat at Phi Phi Island in the middle of ocean to snorkel for the very first time. I didn’t know that part of the world existed and I was overwhelmed with joy. Then and there I made an underwater promise to myself to always seek more on what the world has to offer, which turns out to be awesomely abundance.

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

I was working as an expat for the biggest part of my adult life, but I am currently back home, in Indonesia, living under my parents’ roof (eep!), in the midst of a migration process, I guess that is sorta my home base for now.

Though I have never traveled for a long duration, it’s something I have been dreaming about; that being said, I genuinely enjoy being a cubicle warrior (even when I gave it up for a while to take a break). I take pride in my work and am grateful that it’s able to fund my wanderlust.

Nana of Foreign Geek9

How do fund your travel lifestyle?

I allocate a certain portion of my salary for a few impromptu small trips and one pre-planned big trip to somewhere far (as far as I could afford to) every year.

Why Foreign Geek?

I choose Foreign Geek as my avatar because those two words best represent who I am. 

I was a foreigner working in a foreign land and I plan to continue to live life as a foreigner for the rest of my life. And as for the geek part; I tend to get all geeky towards the things that I am really passionate about, and in this case, I am combining both how I dream my life to be (being an nomadic expat) and my passion for travel, and voila, Foreign Geek.

How did you find your passion?

There were many little moments that made me want to travel, from inheriting the curiosity gene from my father, to watching Sydney Bristow tackling different enemies in different countries in each episode of ALIAS, to my best friends who fed my wanderlust bit by bit.

I eventually realized that travel, more than anything, makes my heart sing and it’s what I want to do again and again throughout my life.

Nana of Foreign Geek5

Tell us about your Passion Projects.

I blog to record and keep my travel memories alive and the reason keep I don’t set it as private is to inspire people, mainly women, to travel and discover more of this world. Also, to actively choose the life they want and do things that make them happy.

Sometimes though, I have smaller and more specific goals, usually within a period of time. I call these type of goals, Passion Projects. The two main projects at the moment are Stamp Love and #ForeignFood. With Stamp Love I want to share some love and connect with awesome minds all over the world, by sending 100 postcards to 100 countries. While #ForeignFood is an exclusive Instagram project I made to share the picture of unusual meal or snack from different countries to increase the awareness of the diversity and abundance of our planet and evoke people’s curiosity to travel.

Nana of Foreign Geek10

Any advice for women who want to start living their passions but feel like they're stuck?

Start small, but start today! For whatever reason or whomever, don’t postpone it for tomorrow, even if it’s 2 AM when you read this.

Once you have started it, build the momentum by keeping on doing something about it every single day, again, however small your daily passion living routine is. Consistency is another important thing to implement while following your passion.

Finally, little by little, arrange your life to revolve around your passion as much as you can, as long as it makes you happy. Eventually you get to live your passion as it has been integrated into your life.

Nana of Foreign Geek6

What are some major risks you've had to undergo in order to keep traveling?

I am terrified of flying, mainly the fear that the plane will crash every time I am traveling by air. It’s one thing I despise about traveling.

A little turbulence would make me squeeze the armrest like my life depended on it. I don’t see the need to take a roller coaster ride anymore since the hours up in the air provide me with tons of adrenaline rush.

Some friends who know this irrational fear of mine, have asked me why do I keep traveling then. It’s because of the reward traveling gives me. Also, if I die, at least it’s because I am doing something I truly love which is traveling. I convinced myself with the argument whenever I hand the boarding pass to the counter and step into the giant steel bird.

Nana of Foreign Geek1

Who is Miaw and where have you traveled together?

Miaw is my adorable travel companion and the last thing I grab whenever I am going to the airport. He is a dream-life token, sitting proudly on my nightstand, giving constant reminder of the best times of my life, which mostly happened during travels.

He is also the mascot for my blog who at times takes over writing from me. Loved by readers, he is dedicated, practical and over-protective. He has taken countless train rides with me and looked after me when I sleep in many different beds.

Miaw’s biggest life goal is to take a selfie with his ancestor, the Sphinx in Egypt.

Nana of Foreign Geek4

Who are the people who inspire you?

My mom and my best friends inspire me all the time; from being open to try new things, to appreciating the beauty in the unknown places, to being grateful of the life we shared.

Other than people in my life, I am inspired by a lot of writers and bloggers; such as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar), Brenna (This Battered Suitcase blog) and Juno (Runaway Juno), to name some.

The world is filled with truly inspiring role models. Unfortunately, they don’t get enough recognition as the unworthy ones get sometimes. Let’s make it our task to find them, learn from their stories and adapt their good qualities.

Nana of Foreign Geek3

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

In a long term travel situation, you are going to spend a lot of time all by yourself in an unfamiliar territory facing new problems all the time. Therefore, being self-sufficient and independent are the most important traits to posses.

Equally important: discipline. Let’s try to be disciplined, whether it’s to save money to afford to travel or to allocate a certain amount of time a day to work to support ourselves while traveling. Discipline is the surest way to make our life much better once we master it.

Last but not least, is kindness, to others and to ourselves. I am a big believer in good karma, the Universe will be kind to us, if we share kindness with the world.

Nana of Foreign Geek2

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 .weare@gmail .com. We look forward to your suggestions!

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

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2 sole trails

  1. Thank you very much sole sisters for featuring me :) I look forward to connecting with fabulous souls from all around the world.

  2. Happy to have you hear Nana! Thanks for inspiring us as well. We love learning from women like you!



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