Todays guest had a respectable work life with good career prospects however she felt unfulfilled. In this interview with travel blogger Aileen Adalid of I Am Aileen we discover how she gave up a steady job to become a digital nomad.
What is your name?
My name is Aileen Adalid and I am the creative mind behind a lifestyle & travel blog…
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
…called as ‘I am Aileen’. My URL is: http://iAmAileen.com
Do come and visit me today!
Which country do you come from/call home?
I am from the Philippines and though I grew up in a small island in this so-called ‘Pearl of the Orient Seas’ country, I have traveled around a lot in the past years that I really think I just can’t call a distinct place as my one and only ‘home’ anymore.
I say this because this quote really sums up my thoughts on this:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I am a more of a traveling digital nomad. My travel story started in 2013 when I quit my corporate job in order to travel the world and work remotely. Today, I am a digital nomad and entrepreneur who travels from country to country at a normal pace.
What urged you to quit your job and start a life of travel?
You can read all about why here in this article: ‘Who I Was before I Quit My Job & the 5 Steps I Took to Start a Life of Travel’
But to sum it up: I quit my job and started a life of travel because I didn’t want to waste my life away doing something that I didn’t love. Plus, I wanted to put a stop to letting society dictate what I have to do with my life. I wanted to take control and live boldly that’s why in the end, I took the leap.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I initially funded my travels alone through my digital nomad jobs, but right now, it’s mixed with my income from an online business that I set up just last 2014 and it’s going pretty good!
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
This is a tough one… but I guess the first thing that pops to mind was a trip with my family back when I was 5 wherein we went to faraway island in the Philippines to visit this big lake dam.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Not really… whenever I travel, I try to be as perceptive and open-minded as possible. Let’s say a certain area has a lot of bad reviews, I often wouldn’t mind those if I really want to see it; plus, I usually go with no high nor low expectations at all because what I just ultimately want to experience is the place as it is.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I had my laptop stolen while we were traveling in France; it was such a huge shocker especially because it was new and I just bought it 2 weeks before. It was such a crazy day that it made me realize how material stuff can have so much hold on us — which is a boon and a bane. I’m usually unattached with my material possessions that in the past I wasn’t too affected when I lose my phone or wallet; but that day, it just hit me a lot because I really worked extra hard for that thing.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
A LOT! Really too many to mention so I won’t bother listing those. But for sure, traveling really gives you a lot of experiences that even the bad experiences become funny stories. Yes, right now, I often just laugh whenever I retell my story about that stolen laptop.
I keep jesting that:
“Ah, even in Europe, there are crooks! I thought it was only in Asia!”
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
So far… none (yet). I mean, of course, I have been to places that really didn’t ‘stand out’ but I am that kind of person that tries to see the good in everything that in the end, I can’t really say that they’re the worst. Besides, I believe that every city or town has its quirks and they can be quite a charm may it be a bad thing or a good thing.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
For me, nothing beats the feeling that I got from my hometown: Batanes. It may be such a very a small island in the Philippines (that often times, maps don’t even include it at all) but it’s such an untouched beauty. I will always love the tranquility of these islands and the experiences that I’ve had with it up until I was 15.
Where have you recently been?
I have been to Amsterdam recently and it was such an experience! Of course, other than trips to their amazing attractions and cultural spots, unique adventures of trying space cakes for the first time and visiting the famous ‘Red Light District’ were included.
Where is your next trip?
I am planning on exploring more of Europe this year so I am eyeing Czech Republic (I wanna see Cesky Krumlov!). If not, a trip somewhere to Austria or Spain would be swell.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I do! Well actually, I used to have one and I even regularly updated it. However, over the years, I have lost that file and I think it’s totally fine because there’s just too many things that I want to try in this world! Even if I don’t have it, I’ll just aim to be a ‘YES girl’ in every opportunity, experience, and adventure that I see as I aim to travel the whole world!
Can you imagine life without travel?
NO. Just… NO.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
I might be volunteering for a charitable cause but then again, that also involves ‘travelling’… so you see, travelling can’t really be taken away from me! Never! Haha!
When did you begin your website?
‘I am Aileen’ began in 2008 but it was more like a personal blog at that time because I treated it more as a diary (since I loved writing on my own diaries ever since I was small). At one point, I want to place my ramblings in a place that won’t be lost so I put up a blog. Over the years, the blog evolved more into a lifestyle platform and in 2014, relaunched to focus more on my travels.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I blog because I want to document my life, it’s one of my passions and it’s very enjoyable; but other than that, I write because I love inspiring people with my story as well as sharing information with my readers.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
My site is unique because of my story; it has a part of me in it that no one else would ever have. I would love for people to read my blog so that they can be inspired in going after their passion in life and not get stuck working for someone else. Also, I aim for people to ignite their wanderlust so I hope that my detailed posts about adventure would motivate every one!
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Since I started as a digital nomad when launched my ‘life of travel’, I still offer my services of graphic and web design. (You can see my portfolio here). Other than this, like I’ve mentioned above, I have an online business and it’s called ‘Adalid Gear’. It’s an online Amazon shop so if you guys are living in the U.S., do come and visit our storefront here- Adalid Gear
We would really appreciate it!
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
It would be about my post on: ‘Who I Was before I Quit My Job & the 5 Steps I Took to Start a Life of Travel’. It got a lot of attention when I finally put this article up to discuss in detail what ushered me to do the travel lifestyle that I have today; and of course I’m very happy that people found my story inspiring!
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I always love writing articles about my personal experiences in the countries that I visit. In particular, I like writing about what I learn or find interesting in a foreign country which is in contrast to what I have been accustomed with back in Asia. Some examples of these kinds of posts is this one: ‘25 Interesting Things & Facts That I Learned While Staying in Belgium’
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I used to be a tough chick when it comes to flying. I was NEVER afraid of turbulence or whatnot because I probably have experienced all the worst turbulence in the world whenever I have trips with small airplanes from my small island hometown, Batanes, to the main city of the Philippines, Manila. However, when I started traveling long distances by plane, I suddenly realized that I hate flying for long hours!
So I guess I’ll have to say car because I really enjoyed the backpacking trip that we did last 2013 in some parts of Europe. That was really fun!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travelers?
Just do it. If traveling is what you love, then go ahead. It’s never too late and it’s a lot less scary than you might think.
I always love sharing this quote to my readers which I hope aspiring travelers would take to heart:
“Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.”
We only have one life so you better not spend it full of regrets later on; this may sound very cliché but it’s true. I have met too many individuals who are full of ‘What Ifs’ and I hope you won’t be one of them.
What has travel taught you?
Travel has taught me many, many things that listing them all would probably take up a whole chunk of this page.
…But I guess one of the ‘teachings’ that really stood out to me is how travel ultimately teaches people to be very open-minded. In my opinion, travel really helps in making you look past the wrong and bad side of things: the more people you meet, the more understanding you become of others’ quirks, flaws, and customs. And that is a great life skill that everyone should learn because I think most of the problems in this world is rooted from narrow-mindedness and prejudices.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? So far… Etihad Airways (other than the service, I love the flight attendants’ uniforms! Haha!)
Favourite country, city, beach? This is a hard question… Sorry, but it’s hard for me to play favorites! There are far too many beautiful countries, cities, and beaches in this world that all of them have their own charm.
Favourite food? It’s a tie between Thai and Japanese!
Favourite language? I like listening to the French language. Well… WHO DOESN’T? Haha!
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://iAmAileen.com
Twitter handle? @iAmAileen
Instagram page? http://instagram.com/i_am_aileen
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/iamaileencom
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/+AileenAdalid