This week’s featured lady is miss Kate, an accountant with a passion for exploring in her spare time. We share a love for eating our way around the globe, and soon Kate will also be launching her own travel blog, Explorabella! As she explains, travel isn’t something restricted to the rich (in time or money). Even those with a 9-5 can live travel often with enough know-how and gumption. Thanks, Kate, for sharing your story with other wandering women!
I graduated from university many years ago with a degree in Accounting and currently work as an Accountant. Before I discovered my passion for travel around 7 years ago, I was a different person. I used to be a “scaredy-cat” girl who is scared of everything and over think on anything. I was also the type of person who is always on the safe side and never take any risks. All of those were changed when I started traveling solo and made it my preferred traveling method.
Whenever I am not working (or traveling), I love to discover great places to eat around my area as I consider myself a foodie. I think this is because I love to explore anything and everything around me, thus my Instagram and Twitter handle “Explorabella” (and also a travel blog coming up soon.)
2. Why do you travel?
Originally, I travel out of curiosity. In March 2012, I was given a chance to visit my relatives who are based in some countries in Europe. I take this as an opportunity to explore some places there as well, so I made research beforehand, and made a bucket list. Once my flight is booked, I realized that I had a very long layover in London during the day. I have always wanted to go to London (as well as being mesmerized by the British Accent). Being the non-risk taker that I am, I decided that will change going forward. I went straight to the UK Border (Immigration) queue, and took the tube into the city. Thank goodness I was able to make it to Heathrow on time for my flight to France.
During that trip, I’ve discovered another passion of mine: photography. I was so amazed at the architecture wherever I go, and I need to have a record that I’ve been there and seen it in person, as well as trying to build up my photography portfolio (most are posted on my Explorabella Instagram account). I take pictures of anything interesting that is related to the destination, from the food to buildings, street photography, and even goats on trees while I was on my way to Essaouira from Marrakech, in Morocco.
In a nutshell, I travel out of curiosity and take photos to build my portfolio as well as sharing what I have discovered to the rest of the world.
How do you balance work and travel?
If there is a will, there’s a way, right? Travel is my biggest passion. Ever since I’ve traveled, I’ve became more confident, I am not afraid to take risks, and I became a bit more outgoing (though I admit I still have to work on my shyness). I owe all of the changes and improvements in myself on my travels. So how do I balance work and travel?
Since I work full time, I am given a certain amount of days that I can use for vacation. Either I split them up and combine it with long holidays, such as Memorial Day weekend, Thanksgiving, or Christmas/New Year. Or I will use it all up and plan as many destinations that I can fit as I can, including any layover tours that I can get.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?
I learned how to be minimalistic. I learned that experiences for me has bigger value than things. I’d rather live in a suitcase and move from one country to the next, rather than having a mansion, a designer bag, and a luxury car. I will never let myself being controlled by status and material things. I only have one life to live, and I want to be happy…traveling will always make me happy. Also, since I always travel on a budget, I learned how to be grateful and make the best of whatever I had or whatever I can afford.
Share one of your favorite travel memories.
It’s hard to chose one since I cherish each and every one of my travel memories. But if I have to chose one, it will always be the first time I traveled solo, which is my layover tour of London. Like I’ve mentioned before, London is one of the cities that’s very high on my bucket list before, and instead of staying inside of the airport doing nothing, I braced myself and took the train to explore the city.
Within that short time frame, I managed to go to places such as the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Harrods, and even spared some time to eat some fish and chips. I was doing all of these alone, and I really like it since I own my time and I don’t have to accommodate other’s needs. My confidence level has also skyrocketed. This trip has fueled my passion in traveling solo and I was starting to plan of my next trips after that.
If you could share one travel tip with other women, what would it be?
Don’t listen to the fear-mongering advice of people who hasn’t even stepped foot into that destination. Most people are influenced by media hype, and their advice will always be based off of that. However, it is still important to stay safe and do more research for advices and reviews. The best ones will be from the people who has actually been there. They will be the ones who will give you tips and warnings, but they usually recommend visiting the place in the end. Also, sign up for news alerts as well. Always be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant.
Thanks for reading! Want more travel tips from Kate and women like her?
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