Woman of the Week: Jasmine

I’m excited to introduce you to our latest Woman of the Week: Jasmine! To date, I believe she is our first pharmacist interviewed in this interview series and I’m loving her new perspectives. In Jasmine’s interview, she talks about how her pharmacist-level attention to detail impacts her travel plans, overcoming language barriers, and balancing travel with her intensive schooling. Happy travels!

Connect with Jasmine:  

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Suitcase Six Jasmine-Beach Woman of the Week: Jasmine


  1. Tell us about yourself?

Hello! My name is Jasmine and I was born and raised in sunny California. I’ve lived all over the state from Central to Northern to Southern and back to Northern California again. The Bay Area has been my home for the majority of my life, but I went to college and pharmacy school in LA where I spent 7 years battling insane traffic, befriending beautiful people, and eating overpriced brunch. 
I currently work as an Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, which means I’m basically an extension of the physicians in helping patients manage their long-term diseases and prescribing/adjusting appropriate medications to keep them out of the hospital. It’s not your typical pharmacist job at the local drugstore and I love helping people achieve good health because that health is so important to me. I recently started a travel blog Pearls of Jasmine to document my “travel pearls” for friends who would ask me for them. It helps that I was involved in journalism in high school and I actually have a love for writing and photography–although, my photography skills are VERY amateur! Along the same lines as my job, I think I just enjoy spreading information and being helpful to others. 🙂
  1. Why do you travel? 

My parents didn’t have much at all when they moved to the U.S. from Taiwan, and growing up, we were very frugal with our spendings. But the things my parents valued were health, education, and travel. Almost every summer, my parents would plan a trip somewhere after pinching every penny they could, and I was very fortunate to be exposed to this at a young age. Some of my favorite family trips were to Banff (Canada), Thailand, and Hokkaido (Japan). So travel was something that I was just used to, like how regular exercise was ingrained at an early age.
College was expensive, as was pharmacy school, so my academics really came first in my early twenties. The rigors of being in professional grad school while working part-time to pay the bills and then residency meant I didn’t have a lot of time or money to go on more travels–though looking back now, I wish I just sucked it up and did it. Now that I can more afford to, I travel because I’m catching up on the time I missed out earlier in the decade. 
I feel traveling teaches you to be less ignorant and to be more humble about your part in the world. I travel to taste the different cuisines, observe the different daily norms, learn how people live in other countries, see the landscapes before climate change alters them forever, and breathe the air on the other side of the world. I travel to see how the sun rises and sets in a different part of the world and appreciate how we are so very different and so very alike all at once.
Suitcase Six Jasmine-Yoga Woman of the Week: Jasmine
  1. How do you balance work and travel?

I am very lucky in that I only work 32 hours a week and I get a decent amount of hours off in a year. (Almost equivalent of 5 work weeks) That, along with weekends and holidays makes for a lot of short weekend trips and longer out-of-country trips. It works out for me because if I’m away from home longer than 2 weeks, I actually start to get a little homesick anyway. There are people who want to always be traveling and on the go, but I have actually settled quite nicely in a place I want to be, so I do like returning there! I can be quite the homebody when I want to be!

 

Suitcase Six Jasmine-Views Woman of the Week: Jasmine

  1. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?

It’s okay not to have a plan sometimes. I’ll tell you an obvious secret–pharmacists are really OCD. And if they’re not, then they’re probably not very good. I used to be obsessive about every little detail and minute of my travels. Luckily, traveling with my husband has taught me to be a combination of well-prepared but sometimes spontaneous too. Some of the best travel days can just be simply roaming around lost in a new place (and then maybe have a backup for how you’ll return). For someone like me, learning to let life lead is a big step and travel helped me loosen up. 

 

  1. Share one of your favorite travel memories.

Hiking to Havasu Falls was one of my favorite travel memories because of all the hard work we put in to get there. I’ll never forget that sound of roaring, revitalizing water as we trudged around the bend, sweaty and achy from the hot Arizona sun and heavy backpacks we had carried for 10 miles. Looking down and seeing where the majestic falls pooled in the most beautiful aqua blue water surrounded by the red canyon was more unbelievable in life than any of the pictures could portray. I truly felt humbled by nature and proud of the journey we had accomplished. Getting there was a physical and mental challenge that was so rewarding to see come to fruition! 

 

Suitcase Six Jasmine-Building Woman of the Week: Jasmine

  1. If you could share one travel tip with other women, what would it be?

I think my tip applies to both men and women, but if you are a solo woman traveler, this could be helpful. It may seem obvious but learning to say “Hello” and “Please” in a foreign language goes a long way with locals. And being respectful goes without saying. People generally can tell if you’re a tourist, but a greeting and respect will usually win you sympathy and more willingness to help. Also, Google Translate has the option to download an offline version of translations from one language to another. I’ve found it very helpful in foreign countries!


THANKS FOR READING JASMINE’S STORY!

Looking for more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library. 

I’ve also created three freebies to help you plan your next adventure:

  • 50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF)
  • 20 Tips for Sustainable Travel (a checklist)
  • and 30 Jobs to See the World.

After you join the mailing list up, you’ll have access to all the freebies, AND get the password to the Global Directory! The directory will connect you to my recommended resources for each country and tons of travel topics. All blog posts I recommend are written by traveling ladies. From logistics to inspiration, the Global Directory will help you find the info you need no matter where you’re going.

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