My latest world traveller is another cool Philippino lady (or Filipino lady, never know how to spell that one), meet Aileen!
Who are you?
I am Aileen and when I was 21, I quit my job to travel the world! Today I am a digital nomad and entrepreneur living a sustainable life of travel.
Through my website, ‘I am Aileen‘, I want to send the message that a life of travel is NOT only for the rich, and that it is absolutely possible to explore the globe with only a third world passport!
Where are you from?
I came from the Philippines — said to be the ‘Pearl of the Orient Sea’ in Asia.
Where have you been?
I am the kind of traveler who likes to take things slow (plus I also just started traveling last 2013) so I have been to 8 countries only so far: Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Where are you now?
I am temporarily living in Antwerp, Belgium which I refer to as my current ‘home base’. After a year or so, I will be moving to a new place and that is still something that I haven’t planned for yet!
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
I may have been to only 8 countries but this is still a hard question to answer because there are a lot of places that I am absolutely in love with! Though I guess, the three specific places are on the top of my list:
> El Nido Palawan, Philippines – the natural beauty, the white sandy beaches, the turquoise clear waters, and the pristine islands… these qualities among many others make El Nido the perfect getaway! (But in fact, almost all of the islands in the Philippines have these characteristics so it can be what you would call ‘paradise’.)
> Annecy, France – a hidden gem in France, I am absolutely in love with its terrain! Wit a beautiful lake in its center and the French alps as its background, this town is just truly amazing.
> Chiang Mai, Thailand – it is a treasure trove of experiences. I definitely liked the night markets, the Thai dishes, the temples, the friendly Thais, the places that support responsible elephant tourism, and more!
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
My trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand really stood out to me! Not only because of the amazing experience that I’ve had with elephants, but also because of the amazing Thai people that I have encountered. I went here on a trip with a friend and there was a time wherein we were haggling with songthaews but it was difficult to talk to them since they talked little to no English. Thankfully, two traveling Thais came to our aid; not only have they offered to accompany us around the city but they scored ridiculously cheap deals for us too (even cheaper than what we have researched!).
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I guess it will be the time when our car was broken into and they stole my newly-bought laptop that I worked really hard for. We were in France at that time and I know these things can happen, but it just really made me upset that it did happen to us. However, we were somehow lucky since they didn’t take anything more like our essentials: food, tent, etc. Moreover, in a way, this doesn’t exactly embody a travel experience since it was just an event; it absolutely didn’t ruin the charm of the place that we were visiting. So… if I really have to think of one, fortunately, I can’t come up with any. Sure, I have been to places that were underwhelming but that doesn’t necessarily transform my stay into something bad.
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
Probably when I first tried paragliding in Annecy, France. I am the kind of person who is incredibly scared of heights, but I just wanted to do it and I also wanted to challenge myself! So I sucked it up and took the leap — and I’m glad I did! I wouldn’t have known that I can still handle such things if I didn’t try. (After that experience, I am even planning on trying sky diving soon!).
How do you fund your travels?
At the start, I mainly funded my travels through the online jobs that I did as well as through the opportunities that I got from my blog. Today, apart from those, I also fund my travels through the income that I get from an online business that I have managed to set up last May 2014 called as Adalid Gear.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
> Never undervalue the skills and abilities that you have. Use it to your advantage. Proactively find ways on how you can make it into an earning opportunity while you are on the road.
> Ensure that you are going after your true passion in life because though the process would at first be slow, it’s inevitable that you will eventually become a master of it. When that happens, not only will the money come but you will also be open to a LOT more possibilities such as potential business ventures, partnerships, and more.
> Try to diversify your ‘work portfolio’ and always think long term. Volunteering, for example, can keep you going for years and it’s an interesting and helpful way to travel — however, I don’t think you would want to work for bars or hostels for all your life especially if you want to lead a travel lifestyle for a very long time. Therefore, as you go, do try to think of other ways that will lead you to a more sustainable life of travel and this can be a (remote) business or a profession that you can start working on as early as now.
What are your future travel plans?
I’m not really known for making plans for the far future since I am more of a spontaneous traveler; however, I can tell you of a plan that I have in the near future.
In the summer of this year, I am hoping to do another BIG Eurotrip and it will either be through the north or from south to east of Europe. (‘Another‘ because I have previously done a Eurotrip last 2013, but more on the western parts and it was a very amazing experience!)
Aileen Adalid is a wild spirit from the Philippines who quit her corporate job at 21 to travel the world. Today, she is a digital nomad and entrepreneur living a sustainable travel lifestyle. She is also the mastermind behind ‘I am Aileen‘, a travel blog where she documents her adventures, thoughts, and experiences as she aims to inspire others to wander out more. Come and follow her updates around the globe on Facebook!
Thanks to Aileen for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch and you can be featured on the series. If you are a friend or mine or someone who I have met on my journey, you can be featured in my Backpacking Buddies series. Either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my Contacts page and get connected. You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below!