During this edition of the “Love of Travel” series, we had the chance to meet Trisha from the travel blog “P.S. I’m On My Way.” Trisha is a kindred spirit in the way she left her comfortable life back at home, trading the 9-5 for the chance to live out her passion of exploring the world. She is a solo female traveler, and is proof that you can live the life that you want…you just have to go for it.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to start a solo female travel blog?
I come from the beautiful country of the Philippines, where the best beaches and islands of the world lay. I worked in Fashion and it required me to travel a lot. Through the course of the “business trips,” I realised that I love the “other” type of travelling more than travelling for the job. Fashion is a really fast-paced and tiring industry. I was living well with the high-salary but I wasn’t happy with the high-maintenanced life — dressing up, buying clothes every week, looking good when going out.
I wanted to be in an environment where I can be who I am and enjoy what I do. Well, I enjoyed working in fashion but something was missing. It was then I decided to quit my job and travel to South America, alone. Today, I am marking my second year of being here. My life is simpler now but I do not regret anything. It’s the best decision I ever made.
You left the comforts of a nice job to travel the world as a solo female traveler. What are some of the positives and negatives of traveling solo?
I don’t think there are ‘negatives’ but I can share a lot of things with the ‘positives.’ I was raised being given what I wanted in life. Though I am not from a very rich family, my mother has provided everything I need to live a comfortable life. I didn’t know how to do household chores nor ride public transport — I was a sheltered girl. Though my mother taught me some basic things, I’ll end up not doing it because we have a house helper.
I surprised myself a lot by being here. I learned how to wash dishes, clean toilets, and most especially, cook. I can’t even fry an egg back home! These are basic things but the thought of living life in a different angle have changed me a lot. I was forced to go beyond my capabilities. I learned that things are not that hard to achieve. I realised that before, I was just making excuses in doing household chores. When you are out here, you cannot say, “I don’t know” because you will never survive. You have to always know, otherwise, there is no place for you to be here.
You need to survive and as time goes by, it becomes an instinct. Solo travelling will do that to you. It will change your life.
You have an awesome section on your blog called Dear Girls of the World, where you have other female travelers write letters to the girls of the world about traveling. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone reading this who is considering traveling solo around the world?
I really really love this series because I am seeing different perspectives from solo female travelers all over the world. I have so much respect for these girls! For those who want to star their own adventure, it’s okay to be scared. It’s normal. However, if you really want something, GO FOR IT.
I know I’ve made things sound really easy but it really is. We just complicate things. We think too much. We always think about the future. “What if?” “But…” “One day.” These are some common phrases that we tell ourselves but the truth is, these are just excuses. We do this because it’s convenient. It’s safe. It makes us feel better.
What I am trying to say is, do something that will put you to your limits at the same time, something that will make you really happy. It’s not easy being out here but everything will be worth it. If you feel good about it, do it. Remember that the only approval you need is from yourself so no matter what I say, if you don’t feel it, it won’t work. Trust yourself. That’s the only way you will succeed in solo female travel.
You are spending a lot of time in South America volunteering, teaching, and working remotely to make it from one place to the next. Which do you prefer the most? Teaching, volunteering, or working remotely and why?
I am not sure, really but I guess I’d have to pick working remotely. I am a social media manager for a US-based company and I must say, I am learning a lot from this job. Though I did not have any formal education about computers or such, this makes me feel that I am specialising on something; that I am updated with a particular industry; that I can apply this to my blogging career as well.
Teaching English and Volunteering are also very fulfilling but believe me, everyone can do that. I think it makes me feel confident to be specialising on particular field. You know, the feeling of practicing a “career.” Still, I am very thankful of all these methods because ‘they’ have kept me living the life that I want — that is travelling long term.
We love reading your Road Hacks section of your blog. You give great insight on crossing borders and obtaining a visa with a restricted visa. Which country was the toughest so far to visit?
Visa wise? Argentina. I had to apply twice to be able to get in this country and it took a lot of time and energy. I almost gave up with the dream of travelling here, to be honest. They are requiring a lot of things and they kept me going back and forth to the Consulate without even explaining what documents I need to submit. They always say, “come again next week. Bring this, bring that.” They all have the same lines!
Well, Argentina has also been difficult in other ways such as exchanging dollars, receiving money, etc. They require a lot of things from tourists! I remember one time when my employer sent my salary via Western Union. Normally, you can receive money from any WU outlets around the globe with a passport. In Argentina, you can’t. You have to have a CDI (Clave de Identificacion) which is like a taxpayer identification in the country for tourists. I mean, come on! I am just travelling here. Why do I need that?
It’s also an awful ride to get one because you have to fall in line for 4 hours, dealing with heat and thousands of people. Nonetheless, I would always love Argentina first. Travelling here has always been different.
Having spent so much time exploring South America, which country surprised you the most and exceeded your expectations?
Bolivia. And I say this a lot! I don’t know. I think it was a place where I didn’t have any plans in visiting. When I arrived, I was expecting for a very old setting — you know, people in their traditional clothing, no wifi, no electricity, stores closed at 9:00pm, etc. But I was wrong. The best parties of my life in South America happened here. I also met the most amazing people ever. Plus, Bolivia is really beautiful. Salar de Uyuni, Laguna Colorada and Lake Titicaca are so gorgeous, I can’t even believe such place exist! Everything is so cheap too!
Tell us what we can expect from you and your blog in the coming year?
A change in the way I travel, more life stories, more inspirational posts. I am currently deciding to live somewhere here and venture into a new project. I will also travel to Central America and try house-sitting for a change. I think it’s really exciting to explore the many ways to keep yourself on the road. I’d like to try everything and see what works best for me. Of course, you’ll learn something from my experiences too, so keep it here!
* All photos were kindly provided by Trisha from P.S. I’m On My Way
We want to thank Trish so very much for participating in our “Love of Travel” series. She is a real inspiration to solo female travelers everywhere and we look forward to following her upcoming adventures. Make sure to follow Trisha on her worldly adventures via her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, & Pinterest, as well as checking out her blog P.S. I’m On My Way.