It’s Travel Blogger Thursday! On Thursdays, we like to showcase other travel bloggers from around the globe. This week, we interviewed Aileen of the travel blog, I Am Aileen. Aileen, originally from the Philippines, quit her job to travel the world as a digital nomad. Currently, she is living in Belgium. Let’s learn more about Aileen and her travels!
What inspires you to travel and what do you enjoy most about traveling?
I am inspired to travel because of the simple fact that the world is vast; it is filled with so many different people, cultures, places, and nature—that I just know I have to see and and experience everything! (For as much as possible while I’m still alive!)
I came from a small island in the Philippines so I guess it’s natural that such a desire was fueled day by day, starting from when I was young until I finally took off to live in the capital. My curiousness about what else is out ‘there’ was further intensified when I started to actually hop from one country to another! Today, that desire and passion to travel remains and I don’t think it will ever go away. I might just have an incurable case of wanderlust and I don’t mind at all!
There are a LOT of things that I enjoy about traveling that it would be hard for me to pinpoint what certain thing do I enjoy about it the most. But I guess in general, I love how travel gives me a deeper appreciation and understanding of everyone and everything in this world.
Where is your favourite destination and why?
This is a tough question… it’s hard for me to play favorites especially because every city or town that I have been to has its own charms and perks! Besides, it’s not like I’ve been to every country in the world either. (I’m still working on that, haha!). I think I’d give a more confident answer once I get to see at least more than half. But I guess I can say that the destinations in Asia will always hold a special place in my heart since I come from that part of the world.
When did you start to travel, and where did you first visit?
I started traveling to different parts of the Philippines when I was still small—they were trips with family and friends but there were also several trips that I did solo later on. For my first trip abroad, that happened in 2010 as I visited Hong Kong. However, I consider 2013 as the year that I officially started a ‘life of travel‘ because at that time, I made it a point to shape my whole future around it: I quit my corporate job, and I started working for myself. I transformed into a ‘travel nomad’ as I jumped from one place to another.
Today, I am living the time of my life and I have a career + my own business that I love.
I have no regrets, whatsoever!
Why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy most about blogging?
‘I am Aileen’
was launched in 2008 but it was more like a personal site—I treated it as my own ‘public’ diary. I loved writing on diaries ever since I was small and after misplacing those ‘books’ for numerous times, I decided that I should have it in a place that won’t get physically lost; and so, the website was born. Over the years, the posts have evolved from teenage angst into lifestyle musings. In 2014, I relaunched it to focus more on my sudden traveling lifestyle and it kicked off pretty well.
Other than my initial reason for starting a blog, I continue to do this because its how I can document my adventures, it’s a way to share a part of me to the world, it’s one of my passions and of course, it’s very enjoyable! I also love the feedback that I get whenever my stories or writing inspires and informs people that are not only my friends but also strangers from different parts of the world.
How do you fund your travels, and what advice would you have for people wishing to travel full-time?
I initially funded my travels only through my digital nomad jobs—SEO, marketing, graphic, and web design services online. But right now, it’s mixed with my income from an online business that I set up with my partner just last 2014, called ‘Adalid Gear’, as well as from partnerships that I get through my blog from resorts and hotels.
If you wish to lead a similar lifestyle, I advice that you just do it.
If traveling is what you really love, then go ahead. It’s never too late and it’s a lot less scary than you might think. I always love sharing this quote to my readers which I hope aspiring travelers would take to heart: “Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.”
We only have one life so you better not spend it full of regrets later on; this may sound very cliché but it’s true. I have met too many individuals who are full of ‘What Ifs’ and I hope you won’t be one of them.
What do you like to bring back from the places you’ve visited?
I’m not into shopping so definitely not material things. What I ultimately like to bring back from the places I have visited are the stories, memories, experiences, and connections that I have made. I also take a LOT of photos and in the future, I am planning on coming up with video snippets of my travels so that my posts will have a more ‘live’ feeling to it!
Where do you plan on visiting next?
I’ve just settled in to Belgium at the moment so I don’t have big plans yet in the future—mainly because of the fact that I’m the kind of traveler that doesn’t plan ahead. I often do a lot of spontaneous trips with my boyfriend! To give you a clue though, we are thinking of checking out more countries to the east of Europe. It’s going to be an exciting year ahead!
Thank you so much for the interview, Aileen! I’m looking forward to reading all about your adventures in Belgium and wherever else you may visit in the future! You can find I Am Aileen on social media:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest
On Thursdays, we feature a fellow travel blogger and highlight their journeys around the world. If you’re a travel blogger and would like to be interviewed for this weekly series, please contact us.