I used to get really homesick in the beginning. Missing food and my friends. And my bed.
But when I would visit home…I’d miss Asia.
Now, my home is Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia. And I’m surrounded by my family.
My best friend of 5 years lives in Bangkok. My brothers both live on this side of the world, too. One in Thailand and one in South Korea. My mom came to visit for Christmas once. She’s coming back next year.
One day, when I’m tired, I’ll move back to Seattle. I’m sure I’ll miss Asia then, too.
I fly home to Seattle about once per year…and rack up those frequent flyer miles on my travel credit cards.
I’m usually home for 2-3 weeks. 90% of that time is spent eating.
The people are incredibly friendly… the “invite you to my house for dinner” kind of friendly.
The food is basically all pork and seafood, which I love.
And the country is made up of the most exotic, off-the-beaten-path, magical islands you will ever see. Ever.
BUT … you’ll have to commit to at least 3 weeks of backpacking to really experience the Philippines.
This is a country for true travelers.
In high school, I started going to Mexico during the summers to “volunteer” at an “orphanage”.
This experience taught me a lot about Orphanage Voluntourism and the lucrative business that is exploiting children for Facebook photos.
Isn’t that a fun way to start this off?!
If you want to volunteer around the world, here is a list of fabulous, ethical opportunities!
At first, I couldn’t. So, I found companies to fund my travels.
I joined the Peace Corps. Paid.
I became an English Teacher in South Korea. Paid.
I was a housesitter in Mexico. Free.
Now, I’ve turned my life of travel into a resource.
I write the #1 best-selling travel guides for women.
And a couple times per month, I plan the most epic trips and itineraries for Asia.
Most often, hotels will invite me to stay for an experience.
I LOVE hotels.
I’m obsessed with hotels and have even thought of starting a YouTube channel of just hotel reviews.
On the flip side – I’m not looking to break into the “influencer” scene…so you won’t find me repping any hotels, brands, or airlines just for cash.
So, even when my trip is paid – know that my reviews are 100% authentic.
There are so many opportunities to move abroad – literally just waiting for you to sign up.
✓ Being a Digital Nomad Online.
If you want to hear how I made the move – step by step – I tell the whole story on this podcast episode for College Magazine.
For action videos, city tours, and market close-ups…
For videos with crisp sound quality…
With the 2019 Summer launch of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide YouTube channel…
The #1 travel backpack in my world is the Osprey Farpoint 40 Liter Travel Backpack.
I’ve tested the top 6 travel backpacks over the past 8 years.
I am a god damn expert on travel backpacks by this point.
Trust me on this one.