Today I feature a fascinating writer and traveller. She’s seen so much of South America she’s afraid to go home. Please meet Trisha Velarmino of PS I’m On My Way.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
Long term traveller.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
A few different things: In order to have free food and accommodation, I volunteer. I also teach English which allows me to earn a little every once in a while and my main job is social media management for a US-based company.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I think it was when I applied for an internship in Europe for an international fashion brand and didn’t look at myself as less-qualified. I was 20 and at that age, you are not sure of who you are and what you want to do in life. Though I didn’t feel less qualified, I was scared of not getting in. I thought of the competition — there must be 100,000 other applicants out there who was fighting for the position. I have 20% of the required experience in order to be accepted and 80% guts and faith. Then, I got it! This internship gave me the opportunity to travel Europe extensively and get to know another culture that is far from mine. Europe was the second continent I travelled to, next to Asia.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Bolivia!!! I was expecting for a very old setting: people dressed in their native outfit, no microwave oven, no elevators, shops closed at 21:00, zero nightlife etc. I was wrong! Their internet connection is really slow (I work online so this sucks) but it turned out to be the best experience I ever had! Things do really come when you least expect it.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Thankfully, I don’t have anything to share in this department. I’ve had one experience of being robbed in Rio de Janeiro but I wasn’t aware of it and nothing happened to me so I don’t count it as a bad experience. I only consider it as a warning. I am a firm believer of the law of attraction and positive energy so the Universe almost gave me everything I needed. I couldn’t ask for more.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
A lot but it’s not something that everyone will find funny. I can express myself in different languages and that’s what makes every funny story unique.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
There is no worst place. I consider every place I’ve been to as beautiful and distinct in their own ways. The world has too much to offer and everyone should see it!
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Home. I have a very beautiful family and I am really blessed to be supported in this journey I took. Aside from that, I am from a country where the most beautiful islands and beaches in the world lay, sun shining all year round, home of the kindest people on earth. I’m sure everyone would mark the Philippines as a favourite.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
It’s weird but I don’t. I think I just want to know more languages and learn about culture in general — how people eat, live, cook and speak. Culture is on my top list. I don’t think you’d be able to say that you know something about a particular country if you don’t know these things. For example, a lot of people have been claiming they have been to France, saw the Eiffel Tower, walked the streets of Paris but they don’t have any idea about the staple food and the French language. Learning these things are more important to me than the obligatory landmark circuit.
Can you imagine life without travel?
I can’t. And it’s kind of scary. Today, I am in South America moving from cities to cities every month. I can’t seem to stay in one place! I am hungry for learning and living on this side of the world — a complete opposite of where I came from. I am also afraid of going back “home” because I am a different person now. I don’t know if I will still be able to connect. That scares the hell out of me.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
I would be in Europe, working in fashion 24/7, attending fashion week in London and Paris, flying in and out of a country every 24 hours because of work. I would still be travelling for work, yeah. But not the kind of travel I want to do or be involved in. I might be living with less stuff at the moment but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Not even for a U$6,000 salary, a hermes coat or a Chanel purse.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
P.S. I’m On My Way: www.psimonmyway.com
When did you begin your website?
I was a fashion blogger first then shifted to travel when my interests triggered. The brand is one month old but the content is all the same. I have been struggling in making a brand for myself so I’ve changed around 4 times in the span of 4 years.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
Of all the versions of myself that I left out, there was one thing that never changed — I am a writer. I am from a family of writers and I’ve developed the habit of writing growing up. I was editor-in-chief of my elementary school paper and started my own personal blog at 11, where I share all my daily grind. I wanted to pursue a career in Literature but when I was entering Uni, it was a career that wouldn’t let you earn that much money in order to live. Today, as I’ve been told, my writing inspires people and it’s kind of therapeutic for me as well. I always want to express my thoughts and opinion and certain things and writing is the best channel for that. Not everyone can write nor express themselves through this method and I consider this as a gift.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
I don’t write about destinations — I write about real life experiences, give advice on how to live a life of travel and craft words of encouragement that will make you leave your daily hell and go travel. Go and check it out. You’ll see what I mean.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
I have 2 e-books: one about Volunteering in South America and another about getting your dream fashion internship in Europe. I also do travel life coaching to people who want to leave their corporate life and travel the world. I am like this supporting wall where I encourage them to just go and I won’t stop until they do so. I find joy in helping other people be successful with their endeavours and I really dedicate my time and effort to it. I’m working on more and more projects for 2015 so stay tuned!
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
There’s a lot really but the recently, I just published an article called How I Can Afford A Life of Travel where I enumerated the thousand things I juggle in order to keep myself on the road. I received a lot of feedbacks and consultations about it and I was very happy to know that there are tons of people who also want to do this! The Inspiration Section of my blog is also gaining a lot of popularity these days.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
Inspirational thoughts. Words of encouragement. I think this is what makes my writing different from the others and most of my readers can recognise my writing without even seeing my author bio at the bottom.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Bus. I’ve been to numerous bus rides from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, to Bolivia, Brazil, down to Uruguay and Argentina and I consider it as an accomplishment. Imagine paving a whole continent by bus in a span of 20 months!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
We are all different so I prefer to craft my answer depending on the situation of the aspiring traveller. Tell me your story! Shoot me an e-mail at trishavelarmino[at]gmail[dot[com! 🙂
What has travel taught you?
A lot of things and I need another interview to enumerate all these and explain it extensively.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Emirates
Favourite country? Peru
Favourite city? Buenos Aires
Favourite beach? Boracay Island, Philippines
Favourite food? Burger.
Favourite language? Spanish
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://www.psimonmyway.com
Twitter handle? @psimonmyway
Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/psimonmyway
Google+ profile/page? http://plus.google.com/+TrishaVelarmino