This week, Go! Girl Guides caught up with Lois, the co-founder of another women’s travel site, We Are Sole Sisters. Check out what Lois’ tips are about packing a backpack, her favorite surf spots and more in this week’s Girls That Go!
GGG: Hi! Welcome to Girls That Go! Can you tell us who you are and how you got your start traveling?
I’m Lois, co-founder of wearesolesisters.com
. I had been working in the financial industry in Manila for close to 5 years when I suddenly decided to save money and work in New York. While living there, I met so many travelers from all over who have inspired me to go on my own adventures.
GGG: Recently we heard about what you wish you had known before you traveled. If you had to add anything else to the list, what would it be?
I wish I knew that you didn’t need so many things in your backpack. Throw out the guidebooks, sleeping bag, hair dryer, gadgets, bulky souvenirs and other unnecessary gear. I would have saved my back and extra baggage cost.
Another thing is how travel takes a toll on relationships. Traveling with another person for months can cause tremendous strain and I don’t know of any way you can prepare for that.
GGG: What was important to you about documenting your travels as a community of women?
In the beginning, we blogged about our travels simply as an outlet to share our experiences. Now, we blog to inspire more women (and men) out there to make travel happen for themselves and for others. We don’t want the blog to just be about us, we want to encourage people to make travel a part of their lifestyle.
GGG: Much of the Sole Sisters travel is focused on Asia. Any essential tips you’d want to share for new travelers to the region?
When I first traveled in Asia, I was very focused on budget. A lot of the places we’ve traveled to could be explored on 10-15 USD a day. Now that I have traveled a bit more, I realize that budget should not be the main focus of a trip. You should think about your overall experience rather than just the cost. Think about what expenses you can scrimp on. For me, I’d rather save on accommodations and transportation. But I prefer to spend a bit more on cultural or unique experiences.
GGG: What is one of the most surprising things you’ve encountered as a female traveler?
I was surprised to find how safe it was to travel as a woman. I’m writing this from personal experience, however. Your experience may vary. But as I traveled all over India and Southeast Asia, sometimes alone but mostly with a partner, I was never harassed nor taken advantage of. I was never robbed although there have been a few individuals who have tried to scam us. It’s important to look after yourself but to never let fear dictate the outcome of your trip.
GGG: We’re glad to hear that. Surfing is a popular pastime among a few of the Sole Sisters. Where are your favorite places to hang ten?
In the Philippines, my homebreak is in Baler, Aurora. The place is scenic and the locals are very friendly. I also love surfing in Siargao for the island life, laid-back vibe and sumptuous food. Other places I would recommend are Bali and Lombok in Indonesia and Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka.
GGG: You’re going to have an exciting addition to your travel family soon! What are you looking forward to most about having a little one to see the world with?
My partner and I are very excited to meet our little travel buddy any day now. We are already thinking of places to explore with the little one in tow. We just know that we would want to see and experience more of the world because of our child.
GGG: Finally, where is the future of We Are Sole Sisters heading?
We Are Sole Sisters has always been a work in progress. We’ve been growing the sisterhood to encourage more women to make travel happen. In the future we’d like to find more ways for women to incorporate travel into their lifestyle- perhaps through some sponsored trips, volunteer opportunities or events that would bring great minds together to encourage location independence and long term travel.
All photos in this post courtesy of Lois Yasay.