Meet our latest Woman of the Week: Angela! This week, Angela shares her struggles balancing a full-time office job with her wanderlust, her experiences as an au pair abroad, and her philosophy on getting out there and exploring the world, no holds barred. An avid postcard collector, Angela documents her travels via paper and web on her personal travel blog, “Postcard by Postcard” (links below). Happy reading!
Connect with Angela:
Tell us about yourself?
Hi! My name is Angela and I am obsessed with traveling. I need only a day or two to recharge but then I am ready to explore again. If I did not have the ability to travel, I don’t think I’d make it. I love cheese and going hiking, surrounding myself in green spaces and/or mountains makes me tick. I collect postcards when I travel.
Why do you travel?
Travel makes me happy, inexplicably happy. Once I realized the positive impacts travel has on my mood and perspective on life, I started to make it a personal priority. Hearing a different language, meeting new people, trying new food and learning about other cultures is invigorating. It makes me realize across borders we are all just human and want to be happy. Happiness has many definitions and I realized through travel, I can make my own definition of this word without dealing with preconceived notions of what I should be doing with my life as a lady who is almost 30 and unmarried (gasp!).
How do you balance work and travel?
I don’t know yet, to be honest. I recently started working at my first full-time, big girl job and it has been a struggle balancing travel and work. I feel financially like some doors opened (thankfully) but some windows closed in terms of my freetime. I am using my paid time off wisely and keeping an eye on flight deals. I am also trying to take advantage of weekend road trips to avoid using PTO. Little by little, I am figuring what works the best for me.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?
We are all a lot more alike than we think. Everyone on this planet has commonalities so don’t judge others. Everyone has their own life path and finds their way at different stages of life and at different paces, regardless of their age. And a majority of people on this earth enjoy good cheese and quality wine (or whatever alcoholic beverage is popular in the region) so you’ll generally always find friends.
My favorite travel memory is meeting my Spanish host family and getting to know them better over 14 months while I lived with them as an au pair in Spain. It amazes me how before we met we were complete strangers, and now I feel like I am the big sister of the family after they were kind enough to open their home and hearts to me.
Overall too though my favorite travel memories include meeting new people, grabbing drinks or a cup of coffee and talking about life. We are all so similar from country to country and I get reminded that every time I meet new people. But also listening to stereotypes from other countries about the US or verifying if stereotypes are true from other countries is usually pretty hilarious, a good time. During my time in Spain, I met some amazing people and we got to know each other so well after hanging out a bunch that I know we will see each other again in life.
Walk with a mission and don’t take any crap from anyone. You can and should travel, alone or in a group. Just because you have ovaries does not mean you are incapable of standing up for yourself or unable to travel freely. You are smart and strong. Anyone should travel if they want to, male or female. If you are aware of your surroundings and are smart about when/where/how you travel to avoid potential danger, you will have a fabulous time.
THANKS FOR READING ANGELA’S STORY!
Looking for more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library.
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- 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.
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