Blogger FAQ – Let us get to know you! Can you give us a little brief nerd history of yourself!
I am Kal. A culture-curious being, the way people live now and then fascinates me. Living outside of my comfort zone and learning new things excite me. I got this wanderlust gene from my parents; my dad loves history and architecture, and my mom, well she just loves to go out. I also like donuts, reading other people’s blog, rainy days, even on Monday mornings, and to give long unnecessary speeches In front of my friends.
Blogger FAQ – Tell us about your favorite adventure thus far!
This is hard. I honestly can’t. I love exploring quaint little villages in Southern France or the scenic train ride in New Zealand as much as lying on the beach on Phi Phi island. Whenever I get to experience something new that enriched my life in one way or another, I consider it as my favorite.
Blogger FAQ – What is the nerdiest place you have visited?
And this is easy! The nerdiest place I have ever visited would be Japan. I saw a lot of people freely letting their geek flag fly everyday with varying types of nerdniess. They were wearing Victorian dresses, school uniforms; some even dressed up as comic characters. I could feel that they were proud of it. And don’t get me started with the gadgets and unique cafes all over Japan. Japanese celebrates the “weirdness” collective. Gosh, it’s like a dream society for me. I would move there in a heart beat.
Blogger FAQ – What is the inspiration behind your blog and what can readers expect to find?
Memories and travels are the biggest inspirations. It is a journal of an expat who loves to travel, collect experiences and make happy memories of it. Written to entertain wanderlust souls and curious minds about foreign cultures, both the people and the places. If you have been yearning to pack your bags, buy a one way ticket and start a new life, this blog is for you!
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned while traveling the world. For me the greatest reward of traveling is about finding pieces of myself that I didn’t know existed.
It adds up to my personality and I am not the same person I was before I started travelling. Another equally important lesson is that travel reminds me, over and over again to be grateful, grateful for the amazing places and the richness of human culture and to be grateful for being able to see and sample it.
We live in an amazing world you guys, if it’s not right in front of our eyes presently, we just need to explore a little bit further.
Blogger FAQ – What is the weirdest experience you’ve had while traveling?
Well, I got naked in public, twice. But since I have shared it before on the blog, let me think of something new. Umm.. Okay, here it is: I travelled with a group of people I was not close to, and ended up chipping for someone’s expense for the entire trip because she didn’t bring any money. Zero dollars. When we asked why she just said she didn’t bring any money with her, no other explanation. It was weird and unpleasant.
Weird, because we couldn’t leave her out when we ate and unpleasant because we had to tighten our own budget and cancelled some activities because of it.
Moral of the story: never travel with people you are not close to.
Blogger FAQ – What is your number 1 on your travel wish list?
Oh, travel wish list; I have so many things I want to experience! And the number 1 would be to celebrate my birthday on Trans-Siberriantrain. I am obsessed with train rides; I think it’s the chic-est way to travel. So yeah, birthday in a train would be an awesome sauce experience.
Blogger FAQ – How has travel changed you?
Travel has defined me as a person. I never feel like I belong somewhere and by traveling I came into realization that being a nomad is okay. It’s the fuel for my decision/dream to live in different places for a certain period, instead of putting my roots somewhere. Not only because fits my soul, for me, it’s an AWESOME way to live. In short, I learn to live my life my way by traveling
Blogger FAQ – What was your biggest travel blooper?
I missed a flight, got diarrhea, lost my passport and kindle (found the passport, not the kindle), and got cheated by tour guides before, but what I considered as the biggest (averted) blooper was when I had to beg my friend to take me to an Asian restaurant in Europe because I missed eating rice so very much. Never mind the strong MSG taste to add the flavor of the fried rice, never mind paying 20 times more than what I would pay back home, I was finally eating rice after almost two weeks!
Blogger FAQ – Why do you blog?
I started blogging because I wanted to keep a record of my expat life and the travels in between. Sort of an open travel journal, but these days I blog regularly to learn to write better, to connect with awesome sauce people, to share positivity, and mainly to be inspired and inspire people to live our lives to the happiest and finest.
Blogger FAQ – How do your families respond to your vagabond lifestyle?
To think about it even though my best friends gave me the travel bug, I always have the traveling gene. I am so used to hear my papa adventurous travel stories since like forever. My old man is a travel loving geek himself so it’s easy for him to understand my hobo like lifestyle and my ache to sample different cultures.
Blogger FAQ – What’s your favorite city for eating?
It would be Bali. The food in Bali is so flavorful and there are so many varieties to choose from. You can get the best of local on Bebek Bengil, the best of seafood on the other side of Jimbaran until the best of French in Metis. Don’t get me started with the coffee and the quirky coffee shops there. I could never stop eating while in Bali. Maybe that’s why I constantly think of Bali. Apparently, it was not the white beach, it was the yellow rice.
A tip: take it up a notch and attend a cooking class. You can bring the local flavor back home.
Blogger FAQ – When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired you to take that big leap?
Compared to many travelers out there, I only started traveling recently, in my late twenties. It wasn’t much of a big leap rather it was being dragged by my best friends to travel and step out of my comfort zone, which was a very small imaginary place if I look back now.
My turning point, the time I decided that travel is going to be a huge part of my life, was when I jumped off a boat at Phi Phi Island in the middle of an ocean to snorkel for the very first time. I didn’t know that part of the world existed and I was overwhelmed with joy. Then and there I made an underwater promise to myself to always seek more on what the world has to offer, which turns out to be awesomely abundance.
Blogger FAQ – How do you manage to keep traveling? Is there any special work that allows you to fund your trips?
Ha, I wish! I don’t travel as much I would love to (who does anyway?) In short, I allocate a certain portion of my salary for a few impromptu small trips and one pre-planned big trip to somewhere far (as far as I could afford to) every year.
Blogger FAQ – How did you find your travel passion?
There were many little moments that made me want to travel, from inheriting the curiosity gene from my father, to watching Sydney Bristow is tackling different enemies in different countries in each episode of ALIAS, to my best friends who fed my wanderlust bit by bit.
I eventually realized that travel, more than anything, makes my heart sing and it’s what I want to do again and again throughout my life.
Blogger FAQ – What’s your advice for all the women out there who want to start living their passions, but feel like they’re stuck?
Start small, but start today! For whatever reason or whomever, don’t postpone it for tomorrow, even if it’s 2 AM when you read this.
Once you have started it, build the momentum by keeping on doing something about it every single day, again, however small your daily passion living routine is. Consistency is another important thing to implement while following your passion.
Finally, little by little, arrange your life to revolve around your passion as much as you can, as long as it makes you happy, eventually you get to live the passion of yours as it has been integrated into your life.
Blogger FAQ – What are some major risks you’ve had to undergo in order to keep traveling?
I am not sure whether it can be categorized as a major risk, but I am terrified of flying, mainly the fear that the plane will crash every time I am traveling by air. It’s one thing I despise about traveling.
A little turbulence would make me squeeze the armrest like my life depends on it. I don’t see the need to take a roller coaster ride anymore since the hours up in the air provide me with tons of adrenaline rush.
Some friends, who know this irrational fear of mine, have asked me why do I keep traveling, then; It’s because of the reward traveling gives me. Also, if I die, at least it’s because I am doing something I truly love, traveling. I convinced myself with the argument whenever I hand the boarding pass to the counter and step into the giant steel bird.
Blogger FAQ – Who is Miaw and where have you traveled together?
Miaw is my adorable travel companion and the last thing I grab whenever I am going to the airport. He is a dream-life token, sitting proudly on my nightstand, giving constant reminder of the best times of my life, which mostly happened during travels.
He is also the mascot for my blog who at times takes over writing from me. Loved by readers, he is dedicated, practical and over-protective; he has taken countless train rides with me and looked after me when I sleep in many different beds.
Miaw’s biggest life goal is to take a selfie with his ancestor, the Sphinx in Egypt.
Blogger FAQ – Are there any women (bloggers, travelers or otherwise) who inspire you?
My mom and my best friends inspire me all the time; from being open to try new things, to appreciating the beauty in the unknown places, being grateful for the life we shared.
Other than people in my life, I am inspired by a lot of writers and bloggers; such as Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar) and Brenna (This Battered Suitcase blog), to name some.
The world is filled with truly inspiring role models; unfortunately they don’t get enough recognition as the unworthy ones get sometimes. Let’s make it our task to find them, learn from their stories and adapt their good qualities.
Blogger FAQ – What kind of skills or know how would you consider necessary for someone who is thinking of long term travel?
In a long term travel situation, you are going to spend a lot of time all by yourself in an unfamiliar territory facing new problems all the time. Therefore, being self-sufficient and independent are the most important traits to have.
Equally important, discipline, Let’s hone our being disciplined skill, whether it’s to save money to afford the travel or to allocate a certain amount of time a day to work to support ourselves while traveling. Discipline is the surest way to make our life much better once we master it.
Last but not least, is kindness, to others (I am a big believer in good karma, the Universe will be kind to us, if we share kindness with the world) and to ourselves.
Blogger FAQ – What makes you do solo traveling for the first time?
To be honest, I didn’t choose to travel solo on my first time. I wanted to visit the Great Wall of China, which has been on my wanderlust for a long time, but my friends have been there before, so I embrace my first short solo trip in a country I know nothing about the language and during their biggest festival of the year, the Lunar New Year.
Blogger FAQ – Share us about your first time solo, where did you go and what did you do?
I went to Beijing to see one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China and took a selfie in front of it. I also visited the Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace (my favorite place in China) and ate plenty of Tanghulu. On my third day, I started to feel lonely, so I went to Starbucks, and made conversations with fellow visitors. It was not a proud moment for me, but it happened.
Blogger FAQ – What is it like solo traveling?
Exhilarating is the exact word I would describe my first ever solo traveling. But, to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I would. There were times I miss having my friends around (boohoo), especially the times when I couldn’t communicate due to the language barrier when I solo travelled to Beijing.
The best part was, having done it, it made me more satisfied with my life, like it feels well rounded. There is definitely more solo traveling in the future for me, and maybe this time I will pick an English speaking country.
Blogger FAQ – So what are the love/hate things when you were traveling alone?
I love that I get to do the things I really want without compromising and eat anytime I want, which is almost all the time, without being reminded of my unfitting jeans. It’s also the best time to reflect on life and changes. It’s during my solo travel when I decided that it’s time to move from Singapore; months later, I did.
I hate that I don’t have my friends. Yes, I know, the essence of solo traveling is the solo part, but I love my friends, they are my best people in the world. Also, they give me plenty of me time when we travel together, so I usually do get the time to do what I want even though we travel together.
Blogger FAQ – Who’s your travel inspiration?
There are a lot of people who inspire me to travel. I guess, the first inspiration came from my parents. My dad’s curiosity and open mindedness and my mom’s love to “jalan-jalan” gave birth to my wanderlust. My best friends, who love to travel; and lastly the like-minded people I meet online and offline, bloggers and writers; who have “seen” the world, who keep reminding me, that I can too. And lastly, Sydney Bristow.
Blogger FAQ – What is your favorite websites and travel apps do you often use?
Pre-travel, I use AirBnB/Agoda to book my stay as I don’t like going unprepared to a stranger’s land. I also read plenty of travel blogs as my only source of travel guide and plan my itinerary largely based on it.
Two apps that I use while traveling are Twitter (to get real time information from fellow travelers and helpful local friends) and Google Maps, you know, to not to get lost.
Blogger FAQ – What is your favorite country so far? Any recommendation for female solo traveler?
Japan, and go beyond Tokyo! Try to embrace the well-kept traditions like wearing Yukata, soaking in the hot spring water bath and sleeping on tatami, but don’t stop there! Also try all the quirky, hi-tech things Japan has to offer like the vast array of vending machines and cafes.
You need not to worry about traveling alone in Japan. It’s one of the safest countries in the world. Just book your ticket and expect your mind to be blown (in a good way!).
Blogger FAQ – What’s the important thing you always bring when you solo traveling? (Beside money & passport)
My journal. I like to write on paper, with pretty colorful pens, while traveling. It’s one of my most cherished rituals on the road, to have some time alone (solo traveling gives you plenty of it) and reflect on my thoughts or just record my days for the memories.
Blogger FAQ – Everyone has their quirky thing when they travel. I love doing temple hunting and visiting museums. So what’s yours?
I visit the local markets. I believe if we want the most authentic experience of a new place, we must go to the market. We get to see how the locals interact, learn the traditional norms and score local products to eat or take home. It’s my must do while traveling. I also like to try the local coffee, the more unusual the better.
Blogger FAQ – Share your tips for any first time solo traveler?
Learn to truly love yourself first before you consider traveling alone. Remember the saying, “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company“. At times it’s going to hard to be alone on the road for a long period of time, during those times it’s best to treat ourselves like how would we treat our best friend, with compassion and respect. Also, never hesitate to do it! You will rediscover yourself, learn new things, and most importantly, have fun!
Blogger FAQ – What’s your favorite travel quote that’s best described you?
“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton.