I interviewed a Sole Sister for my podcast right after her 6-month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. I felt comfortable right away during the talk and one factor is because she’s also from Cebu.
Episode 7 of SoloFlightEd Sessions
Chichi of WeAreSoleSisters.com
One of the writers of WeAreSoleSisters.com (the other being Lois), Chichi quit her job and travelled for half a year in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia & Indonesia. I first met her during a meet-up with other Pinoy Travel Bloggers prior to her adventure. After that trip, Doi, Edwin and I went out for dinner so we could also catch up on our latest travel stories. She says that she couldn’t wait to go back on the road.
Chichi has such a bubbly personality and with this interview, you can tell that she’s a very sociable person. The way she wants to spread the joy and fun of traveling is infectious. 😀
Interview Location: EastWest, Asiatown IT Park, Cebu, Philippines
Please click the ‘Play’ button to listen to the Podcast:
What is your primary goal why you set up your travel blog?
Our plans of travelling long term for 6 months came before the travel blog. It’s one of Lois’s friends who gave us the idea to, “Why not blog about it?”, and tell the whole world so that those who want to travel would be inspired and would know about what it is to plan a trip.
It evolved into something like an online diary for us into something as this. We’ve already set up a travel exhibit and it just keeps getting better and better. That’s what we what we want to continue to do; To travel the Philippines or travel the world, if possible, maybe Europe.
To travel and show Filipinos that travelling is not just for the rich or for those who can afford it. We coined the term ‘poorpacking’ which means travelling without luxuries, travelling with just enough money to pay for accommodation and food and it’s for everyone.
What do you do outside blogging?
6 months before, if you had asked me that question, I’d have said, “Go to the mall, go window shopping, or actually shopping, for clothes, shoes…” But now I can’t do that anymore because I just spent all my money on travelling!
Seriously, blogging takes most of my time. But most of the time, you can find me with friends. After I got back, I gave importance to spending time with friends and family, catching up on my reading, dancing and having fun.
Prior to quitting and your backpacking trip, did this sit well with the people around you?
My friends, they were really happy because they know that I love to travel and they know that this is what I’ve been wanting to do.
When you ask me about my work, it was a little tough. I’ve been with that company for 5 years and I just made sure that everything was in place before I actually quit and I gave them more than enough time before my last day of work.
The most difficult part was telling my parents about it, especially my Papa. Because they’ve always been proud of my career achievements, most especially my father. They’re conventional, they want to see me settled, having a great career, climbing the corporate ladder. I just told them that my passion lies in travelling and since I have the opportunity right now to follow my dreams, and what I want to do, I don’t want to waste that opportunity.
After some time and several promises that I’ll be on Skype for 6 months, they understood and they’ve been fully supportive of my choice ever since.
It’s really great to travel while you’re still young, while you still can…
Exactly! Lois and I, what we really fear most is when you turn 60 and you have all the money and all the time in the world and you want to go to, let’s say Machu Picchu, but you’re too old and you can’t climb the steps. Or go to the Pyramids of Giza but you’re on a wheelchair. That’s our worst fear and we’re just so thankful to have this opportunity to travel at this point in our lives.
How long did you plan your 6-month trip?
We left in March of this year, and we started planning it April of last year so it took almost a year. Starting from buying our backpacker bible, which is the Lonely Planet, up until the time that we booked our tickets; up until the time that I sold everything.
We didn’t plan everything in detail because you can’t but the basic logisitics, itinerary, money, saving up, that took awhile. I can’t talk about everything in detail here because that would take probably an hour but if you want to know more, you can check out our site. We have a whole pre-trip planning section there and everyone can just check it out and we’ve narrowed it. We gave all the details there on how to plan your own escape.
Here’s the planning section: Getting Ready to Hit the Road – WeAreSoleSisters.com
Are there any tips you’d like share to those who are hesitant to go out and explore the world?
You just have to do it if you want to travel. Don’t think about ifs and buts and maybes, you can do it! I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next few months but I don’t have any regrets. I lived my dream and the one thing that I’m sure about right now, is that I want to continue living that dream. I used to have all those doubts in my mind but if your passion is really travelling, then get off your bum and just travel!
Sole Sister Americano Dance Craze
As a bonus, Chichi taught us the Americano Craze, a dance they conceptualized during their trip abroad. Click here to see the full video: Sole Sisters – Americano Dance Craze
Here’s a short video of our interview captured and prepared by Doi. Edwin kept dancing in the background.
Chichi mentioned that one of the places she has always wanted to go would be Europe. I can just imagine her getting lost in a Car Hire Greece rental and go on a tour with newfound friends or drinking beer in Germany on Oktoberfest. This will be another great adventure for the sole sisters once that pushes through. As for me, I’ll settle for nearby countries first to test the waters.
Thanks for your time, Chichi!
Check out my podcasts with other bloggers below:
- Episode 001: Gael of ThePinaySoloBackpacker.com
- Episode 002: Estan of Langyaw.com
- Episode 003: Brenna of PhilippineTravelogue.com
- Episode 004: Mica of Senyorita.net
- Episode 005: Ron of FlipTravels.com
- Episode 006: Flip of FlipNomad.com
- Episode 007: Chichi of WeAreSoleSisters.com
- Episode 008: Doi of TheTravellingFeet.com
- Episode 009: James of JourneyingJames.com
- Episode 010: Nina of JustWandering.org
- Episode 011: Chyng of ChyngReyes.com
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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