In this episode we bring back our friend and world traveler, Ashley V Travels who is fresh off her 3 month trip solo traveling through South East Asia. Ashley shares solo female travel tips for safety, managing costs, planning learnings, and what it’s like returning some such an epic trip back to everyday life. She also shares a little about her Airbnb ventures in Thailand that came from this trip. Ashley goes to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before ending her excursion in Greece. This episode is packed with funny stories, solo travel lessons, and travel inspiration for this beautiful and affordable part of the world.
If you haven’t hear our first episode with Ashley V Travels, go back and give it a listen. We talk all about living and working on a cruise ship for over seven years and using your job to see the world.
1 (1m 54s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast. Today we are interviewing Ashley V. We’ve previously interviewed her before on our podcast, so you may recognize her, but we are interviewing her again as she just came back from a three month SOLO female travel adventure in Southeast Asia and we’re so excited to have her on
2 (2m 17s):
Ashley. Started her career working in travel for over seven years. She was on cruise ships and through work and pleasure, she’s visited over 60 countries along her journeys. Now she’s a digital creator, currently blowing the hell up on TikTok. Check her out at Ashley v Travels. She has a wealth of knowledge in travel to share.
0 (2m 40s):
In this episode, we’re diving right in to talk about her recent SOLO travel adventures in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Were gaining tips and knowledge on SOLO, travel safety, budgeting for long-term travel, and her recent venture in managing an Airbnb in Thailand. And with that, let’s welcome Ashley V to the Travel Squad Podcast.
2 (3m 5s):
We are back with Ashley Ashley v Travels for our second episode. We’re so happy to have you back. Thank you so much for getting on with
5 (3m 14s):
Us. Of course. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me. Again.
2 (3m 17s):
We wanted to talk to you today because you’ve been on this epic round the world adventure since the last time we talked to you. And I’m particularly interested because Thailand is one of my favorite countries in the entire world. So I’m so excited to hear about it. But you’ve been to some other places, so why don’t you just kick us off by telling us like how did you even come to the idea to do this? Because last time we talked to you, you were working on a cruise ship.
5 (3m 40s):
Absolutely, yeah, I’m happy to talk about it. So I’ll give you the very abridged version because there had been a lot of like moving parts to my decision. Like you mentioned before, I was on cruise ships and that was about seven and a half to eight years of my life that I spent in the cruise industry and working on ships. But after the pandemic I switched to the more corporate side of cruise travel and I was just visiting cruise ships about twice a month. And I decided to stay, take a step back from the corporate world for many reasons, but mostly because even though I was traveling to ships twice a week or twice a month, pardon, I didn’t feel like I was getting my travel fix that I wanted.
5 (4m 24s):
Like the out of the country, the flying and enjoying what you wanna do and being off the clock and those sort of things. I was mainly focused in the Caribbean and Alaska. So I thought, what’s a way that I can bring more travel into my life in on my terms, like the way that I like to travel. So I asked the company that I was working for to go back onto one of their ships and I went and worked as an employee on ships, your crew member on ships again. But I ended up getting sick while I was on board. About six weeks in, I had some really bad stoic issues and I was like, you know, what am I gonna do? Because when you’re sick on ships, you can’t go to work. Like and I, you know, with stomach issues, that’s like a big thing on ships, right?
5 (5m 6s):
And so I was confined in my room and I was just thinking and thinking and thinking about like, what if I can’t go back? You know, do I wanna go back to the corporate world? And I had all these options but my heart was still telling me like travel, like you wanna do this, do it now, do it while you can. And so I took the, the money that I had made on ships and that I had saved and I left it all and decided to go to Southeast Asia. And the reason I chose Southeast Asia, obviously there were many reasons, many factors, but mainly was the price cuz I knew I could stay there longer for the money that I had saved. And also culturally, I’d been to Thailand before I’d been to Thailand, Vietnam and Bali, Indonesia.
5 (5m 50s):
And I loved the culture of Asia. I loved obviously the affordability. I found that the, the people, the travelers, the tourists that I met there were a lot more like-minded in the sense of they didn’t just wanna go to like the major tourist attractions or they didn’t want to just go to a place for one or two days and then leave. They were really there to immerse their self in the culture and like get to know it and get to know the people. And that’s really what I wanted to do. So I flew to Thailand and that’s where my adventure started and I ended, ended up doing Thailand total for about six weeks and then I did or seven weeks and then I did Cambodia for 10 days and three weeks in Vietnam was the, the totality.
5 (6m 37s):
And then nine days in Greece at the end of the trip with my mom on my way back. So that was just an interesting change of pace and man, even going from Asia to Greece before coming back to the US was a major culture shock. But yeah, that was, that was the last three and a half months of life and now I’m back in the states to save again and hopefully go out and try it again.
1 (7m 1s):
When you started your trip abroad, was your goal to stay out as long as possible or did you have like a set number of weeks or months in mind to travel?
5 (7m 10s):
So I wanted to stay indefinitely. I mean that’s, that’s always gonna be the goal is that I can figure out how to do this full-time, but it’s not something, unless you have like a big nest egg or you know, a, a remote job that’s paying you really well, it’s not something that’s you can just pick up and do, right? So it’s a process, it’s a working process. I’m trying to transition full-time into TikTok and Social Media and YouTube and other outlets partnering with brands, that sort of thing so that I can travel full-time. But as of right now I just knew this is how much money I have, I saved about $8,000 and I thought, okay, well if I budget 1500 to $2,000 a month then I can stay out for you know, three to four months.
5 (7m 54s):
Like that was my, my mindset of course including flights and things like that, your bigger cost. So I knew it was gonna be about three months, three to four months, which is exactly what it turned out to be because I put myself on quite a strict budget. But I think as long as you do that ahead of time, like you’ll know what you’re gonna spend. There’s only a few costs that really came up, I would say that amounted to maybe $500 total over the whole trip that were unexpected cost that came up because I messed up a visa or I had went to the wrong airport or you know what I mean, like those travel so, so pause that you just learn as you go. But I, I definitely wanted to do it for a long time but gotta come back and be home for a few months, save up again and then go try my luck again.
5 (8m 41s):
I love how
1 (8m 42s):
Perky you are about the travel faux PAs and not letting those get to you.
5 (8m 46s):
You can’t, they’re gonna happen. There’s no such thing as a travel profession, you know, like you can’t go to college and get a travel profession. There’s not rights and wrongs and everybody’s gonna travel their own way. Most of my travel is done from Googling or from other people who have made the same mistakes and tell you not to or a lot of times it’s just trial and error, learn as you go.
0 (9m 8s):
Well I’m glad you mentioned your Social Media and you kind of answered a question, which was when you started traveling were you trying to make money in the Travels? But it doesn’t sound like that but it was really interesting. I noticed as soon as you kind of like left the cruise industry and we follow your Social Media on Insta and TikTok whatnot, but once you started traveling you got so many followers and like thousands of views and it’s crazy to see that. So is that gonna be the kind of your main transition now in terms of income source for you to continue traveling and travel and earn money at the same
5 (9m 39s):
Time? That’s a great question And for your listeners, like if there is anybody who’s doing this already, like full-time travel influencing and you have suggestions for me, like please reach out, let me know. I’m very much flying by the seat of my pants winging it. But I have a background in, in film I have, I had a TV channel that I hosted when I was working on Chip, so I had a lot of the kind of like skillset needed to do a TikTok already or like a video channel. So I knew that I had to use that, it was kind of a no-brainer for me and it was something that I’d always wanted to do anyways. And this was just the opportunity that was like, okay, I’d already started growing a little bit of a falling from working those six weeks on the ship before I started travel.
5 (10m 25s):
So I thought okay I’ve, I’ve got a little bit of a base now, like I can really amp it up and like show everybody sort of the real side of travel was what I was trying to, to portray. Not just the oh I got to this beautiful island and I got to this beautiful place and like look how great it is. Like I wanted to show the steps so like you know, what are the transportation options if you are on a budget? Like how do you work out where you’re going, how you’re getting there, like how do you budget? That’s another thing. So I tried to really show more of the, the behind the scenes than the like look where I am. Obviously there’s a little bit of that too cuz it’s hard not to see, you know, just incredible beauty in in Thailand and in Southeast Asia.
5 (11m 8s):
But yeah, that was a big part of it is that I knew I had the skillset and I knew that people liked it, they wanted to see it, I just went for it basically. Like I just posted consistently. I made sure to video all the little parts of my day and then string them together. And when it was well received I thought, okay, well not only am I getting to share what is special to me, but also like hopefully people can take away some good tools and other things to inspire them to travel or if they are traveling they get an idea of a place to go or you know, there’s, there’s so much to take away from it. So I’ve had a lot of great positive feedback from people I’ve run into a couple people in my Travels who follow me, which is so weird.
5 (11m 52s):
And also like just, I don’t know, it’s so bizarre. Like I ran into this girl in the crazy house in Delott to Vietnam and it was incredible and if you’re ever in Vietnam make the extra stop Toi. It wasn’t on my original itinerary for Vietnam but I heard from so many people that you like you have to go, you have to go. And it was so worth it. So I stayed at the crazy house, which is incredible and this girl was like walking around and she came up to me and just said, Hey do you do TikTok? Like I recognize you for you thing. But anyways that aside like the reward for me has come from just like people reaching out and saying like, oh you inspired me to book the ticket or you inspired me to take the trip.
5 (12m 33s):
Like that’s what we do it for. So to answer your question more clearly, I am trying to monetize it just being completely transparent. TikTok pays shit and it’s not like a lucrative, like unless you have millions of followers and millions of views on every one of your videos, like you’re just not gonna be able to make the money from posting alone. Early on the entire three and a half months that I was posting during Asia, I made like $230 on TikTok like the whole time. So just to give you an idea. And then what I found from meeting other TikTok traveler influencers along the way was that the money comes from your sponsorship to your brand deals or YouTube and and other, other platforms that that pay better essentially.
5 (13m 23s):
So I’m working all that out. I feel like that’s why I’m so happy here for the two or three months where I can really sit and like do the research, put the time in and figure out how to make it go on the road or how to, how to keep making income on the move without necessarily having that remote job that you need to go to every single day or like log in for every
1 (13m 44s):
Day. Yeah it was amazing following your Travels because as you said like when you got positive feedback it’s good and it feels good to like, oh I’m gonna save this post and like go to this place. And as I was following along your Instagrams and your tos, I did definitely like put down a few places on my bucket list. I think one of the places would call was called like rainy, was it Rainy Beach in Thailand?
5 (14m 6s):
Oh, Ray LA Beach.
1 (14m 7s):
Ray LA Beach in Thailand. Okay. Yeah that looked amazing. Well
5 (14m 11s):
It’s so beautiful. That’s one of my favorite places. I actually went back there. So I went at the beginning of my trip and then when I went back I was supposed to go to India and I can talk about that if you want, but I was supposed to go India and decided not to and went back to Thailand instead and went back to really beach the second time as well cuz I loved it so much.
1 (14m 28s):
Was that the place that you had a crazy travel experience to where like you had a truck uphill with your carryon bag?
5 (14m 38s):
Yes, and and I’m glad you asked about that because I kind of felt guilty after posting it because it was just with the faux pa, the travel faux paw. It was totally my fault. Like come to find out like I, I just, when I got off of the boat and yes there is a pier that goes straight to like right by where I was staying, I could have gone to that pier and gotten off him within 10 minutes off like been there. But I got dropped off on the opposite side and had to walk basically to the other side of the beach but ended up walking along the beach and then like all around for no reason, just like going the wrong way.
5 (15m 18s):
So by the time I finally got to my place, I was exhausted. It took me like 30 or 40 minutes with my luggage and all these things and then at the very end when I was getting to my stay, there was like a million stairs you had to walk up and so it was a trek. But had I known and I learned after this and the second time I came back that there was a pier on both side east and west rail. So if you go to Thailand or you go to Rail beach in Thailand, just note which side you’re staying on and it’ll save you. Yeah, a lot of air.
1 (15m 53s):
With all of the trucking that you did, would you say should you travel long term with a suitcase like carryon or should you transition to a backpack? What do you think the best option is for like a SOLO traveler going to these countries?
5 (16m 7s):
Okay, so I have strong feelings on this. I went with a carry on suitcase and a backpack like a, like a small travel backpack. It’s a Herschel like American standard whatever. And about two months in left my suitcase in Vietnam and just carried on with my backpack. I liked having the options for clothes but it was just not feasible. I was paying so much in like airline baggage fees to check it even though I fit plenty of stuff in a backpack, especially if I had a real traveler’s backpack, which I’m gonna have for next time. But had I had that big backpack, I would’ve had plenty of room for everything that was in my suitcase and only had to leave stuff behind because I didn’t plan for it.
5 (16m 54s):
So I guess like in conclusion I would say definitely go with a backpack as long as you can handle it, you know, I mean I guess you’re gonna be walking, you’re gonna be doing things, but it will save you money if you’re, especially if you’re going on a budget and you’re gonna be flying between places. And it’s also just when you’re staying in hostels or you know places where you have like a combined area, like a small area, you know, you don’t want to be like sprawling your stuff out and like, you know, having too much stuff. So I think it, it helped in that sense too, just having that one backpack and and personal item and the way that I was able to sort of make it work, because like I said it was a standard size backpack was I had a, like a canvas tote bag that was like, you know about that big, I know that you can’t see that on here so I don’t know how to describe it.
5 (17m 44s):
But that was able to hold like all of my toiletries and anything extra souvenirs, that sort of stuff that I needed that didn’t fit in my backpack. So I just picked that up along the way to kind of supplement what didn’t fit. So next time I will go prepared with a bigger backpack and you know, hopefully that’ll be like a brand sponsorship opportunity. You know, my brain is always working in ways now that like I can promote or like, you know, work with someone or help promote or you know, whatever. So we’ll see, we’ll see how it goes.
2 (18m 15s):
I’d have to agree with you on the carryon for Thailand, when I went, I came back and my carryon one wheel was busted off, they had to tape it closed because it gets so damaged out there, you really are moving around a lot.
5 (18m 27s):
Yes. And that’s great that you bring that up because it is carts that are rough terrain, you know, they’re not these smooth roads, you know, a lot of it is broken cobblestone or brick or whatever and, and it can be pretty annoying to have to carry around a roller suitcase anyways. So I, I’m a backpack all the way and I kind of made fun of it in the beginning because when I first got out to Thailand and I was meeting people, their travelers, it was like I got this weird look or or reaction when I said no I’m not a backpacker, like I have a suitcase. And at first I was like, oh who do these backpackers think they are? You know what I mean? That kind of attitude. But it just makes sense when you’re doing it.
5 (19m 8s):
Like, I mean I was only staying in a place for usually like three or four days and I didn’t need that much stuff. I’m not like the travel influencer that’s wearing like, you know, big flowy dresses and hats and like trying to be beautiful in their photos. So I don’t need a lot and I just, minimalism is to me the, the best way to travel just with what you need. Just the basic how
1 (19m 31s):
Was doing laundry abroad? Did you do it with your hotels or did you find local places within the community like a laundry mat to wash your clothing and how often were you having to do laundry while you were away?
5 (19m 43s):
So it varied. I would, when I had my suitcase and I had a lot more clothes, I was wearing a lot more clothes so I had to do wonder a lot more often. There were a few times when I’ve specifically booked Airbnbs or stays that had laundry service because I knew I was gonna be at that point in my trip when I would need to do it. But if I didn’t, especially in Asia you’ll notice there are laundromats and laundry services just about everywhere you go. Hostels oftentimes have a laundry service and you just drop your clothes off, they charged by the kilo and then you pick it up folded, you know, ready to go and use pay and it’s, it’s very affordable. I paid, I wanna say usually anywhere between like five and 10 bucks for, for all my clothes to be done.
5 (20m 23s):
So it was extremely, you know, feasible, affordable. I never felt like I went without clean clothes or anything like that. So I would just say, you know, plan once a week I would say that you’re gonna need to do laundry depending on what you bring and it’s not like when you’re in the states or at least for me, where if I wear something once I’ll just like throw it in the laundry basket and you know, just wash it it because you have that there. You don’t really need to do that when you’re traveling unless you have muddy clothes or wet clothes or you sweat a lot. Like you don’t need to be washing clothes as much. So yeah, it’s, it’s kind of up to you but very accessible and very affordable.
0 (21m 2s):
Well speaking of prices, cuz I know you mentioned how much it was to do laundry, but you said something very interesting. You’ve mentioned before how you did this on a budget, but when I hear Airbnb and you were saying you stayed places with laundry, I don’t think of Airbnb as budget. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about the prices of Airbnbs in Southeast Asia and the region you were in so people can just be like amazed. Cause I remember seeing one of your videos talking about it and I was just blown away by what you get for how cheap at Airbnbs in Southeast Asia.
5 (21m 31s):
Absolutely. I’m so passionate about this because there’s a big negative connotation right now specifically around Airbnb and like how it’s taking housing from you know, locals and you know, big businesses are buying up, you know, tons of properties and like there’s nowhere to live. But I would say in Asia, like that’s not the case in the states. Arguably the research has been done like that is happening, like corporations are buying it up and like we’re having in this housing crisis. But in Asia all the places that I’ve stayed, were locals, like we’re locally owned, local, local operated. Like that’s one of the things I love about Airbnbs abroad is that you can get those personal touches that you don’t necessarily with hotels and and other cities.
5 (22m 16s):
So there are, you know, there’s some controversy, especially in Thailand, there was some people commenting on my post that said, you know, it’s illegal there and you shouldn’t do it and this, that and the other. But I was always in very strong communication with my host saying, you know, I do post videos just so you know, I don’t want you to get in trouble but like, is that okay? And they were always very comfortable with it. So I’m assuming that they have some sort of like relationship with these, you know, buildings or properties or they’re just not that worried about it. But that being said, I just wanna talk about like how absolutely amazed I am with Airbnb and why I love it so much. Because I think it gets overlooked, especially abroad because people think, oh, I’m not gonna be able to find it or maybe I can’t, you know, it’s not on the g p s or there’s not check-in times like, you know, there, there’s a lot of question marks, right?
5 (23m 8s):
I find, and my mom and I did both when we went to Greece, we did Airbnb and hotels so that I could show her the difference like in person because I wanted her to see like what I mean when I say Airbnb, I think she thought of it as like me staying on someone’s couch almost. And so the things I love, first of all, the minute you book, you have a person who messages you, a contact that you have from the time you book to the time that you get there. If you have any questions ahead of time, you can message them, you can ask them, you can tell ’em your airport pickup time. A lot of times they’ll offer you transportation from there they will give you recommendations for the area. A lot of times, times they have like a guest book in the house or the a pdf that they’ll send you of like restaurants and things to do and activities, free tours, like all sorts of things.
5 (23m 55s):
So I love that I was finding Airbnbs, the, the, I think the cheapest Airbnb I did was $12 a night and that was a one bedroom apartment with a balcony in unit laundry, great location. The way that I find them is just by filtering my budget. So my budget was no more than $30 a day or $30 a night for my stays. And so I would on the filter, filter down to $30 and pick the part on the map after googling, which was the best neighborhood to stay in that particular neighborhood. And then it narrows it down for you. So I would maybe have, let’s call it, you know, 20 or 30 places to choose from depending on the area.
5 (24m 36s):
And then you just scroll through. And I did try out a couple of videos where I let like my followers pick my stays and that was really fun too to see like they picked very different ones than I thought what was gonna happen. So that was interesting. But you can get so much from like the photos because you know, this is another thing I love. You usually know from looking at the photos what you’re getting. Like they’re, they’re taking a picture of that part, the room you’re staying in, the building you’re staying in like the particularly, whereas when you book a hotel, you don’t know what room you’re gonna get. You know, you, you, it is just a double bedroom or a king room, like you don’t know much about it. And most of the time online they don’t have the picture of that specific room.
5 (25m 16s):
So I love that you know exactly what you’re getting. And I only had two situations and like, I think I added it up the other day and I wanna say I stayed in about 18 Airbnbs or something like that. And I only had two issues. One was a hundred percent my fault, it was a, it was in Ho Chi Min City and I booked it right off of like, it was like an alleyway off of the main like party street because when I looked up the area that I should stay in, it said district one, which is like the tourist area where all the things are and sound a great deal on it, get there, easy to find great directions with pictures and everything. I’m like, this is going great. And I get up to the room, I switch the lights on, it’s all like UV purple lighting going on.
5 (25m 59s):
This is weird. But I go back and I look at the listing after like looking around the place and the very last picture has a photo of this like furry rug with like all these like sex toys and like nipple clamps and like, my god, I’m in a sex room like by the out like, you know, whatever. And so I look around and I’m totally like kicking myself because there’s like one of those like curvy sex chairs and like, I’m like that’s, I didn’t, you know, you just, it was something when I skimmed the listing I was like whenever, like didn’t, didn’t think anything of it. So that was my fault because I didn’t look through everything.
5 (26m 41s):
So look at everything, look at all the details, read the descriptions, know what you’re getting. But the other one was a little bit more disappointing, I would actually say because the listing had mentioned that it was close to, it had a photo of like how it was around a convenience store and a grocery store and a tourist booking agency. Like all of these things around it, it was right across from the beach, it made it sound really good. And when I got there, not only was it not the same picture from listing, but there was a lot of like other smaller issues. Like the toilet situation was very strange. I had to like carry water from a bucket to the toilet, but they didn’t like mention that before the balcony had like no furniture on it other than like a small kitchen chair, but it was like this massive balcony.
5 (27m 26s):
So that was weird. The decor was completely different. And then the, all of the things that were in the picture that they said were open had closed during covid. So I’m on the par, like I’m about a 10 or 15 minute ride from any of the action, let’s call it, you know, any open businesses or anywhere you’d wanna be. So that, that was really disappointing because the listing was extremely misleading and you know, obviously there were like cleanliness issues and issues with the apartment, but I ended up messaging Airbnb. Another thing I love about them and just saying, Hey look, I took pictures of everything, sent them the pictures, said this isn’t what I purchased. Like there’s a very clear difference and they refunded me for the nights and gave me like a credit to get something else that night and even helped me like find a place that was close by.
5 (28m 14s):
So like it was very, very helpful and I don’t know that you’d get that kind of service if you go to a hotel and say like, hey I, I don’t like this room. Help me find somewhere else to stay. Like they’re not gonna help you so and give my money back. So those are just a couple of reasons that I love it. I have also during my travel met some I hope are my lifelong family friends. I call them because I met a family in called Al Look Thailand, where I’d randomly booked this Airbnb stay in this bungalow in the middle of the jungle because it was on the way from K crabby to rayley beaches. That area by the way, to Kos samui was my next stop.
5 (28m 54s):
And in between like on the route between there was this little tiny place and I thought, okay, nighter two between and ended up falling in love with it, meeting the, the guy who runs it and his family and he introduced me to more of his friends. We did like Thai barbecues and he showed me to another one of his friends Airbnb property who actually is gonna let me stay there and de like as long as I want and help host Airbnb as well. So it’s opened up just like real opportunities with real local people and I just, I’m so grateful for it. Like I, I hope that the negative connotation that it has here doesn’t spread to other parts of the world because I am such a huge fan of it.
5 (29m 39s):
Now that being said, you asked about hotels in, in hostels as well. So I will touch on that. I had a lot of really great experiences in hotels. I stayed in some of the most incredible hostels that I’ve ever stayed in, like luxury hostels. And you can get pri i, I’m 35 so I do private rooms. I’m not, I have done shared bunks, but that’s really only if they don’t have a private room or if it’s not a like specific situations. And it’s still never been more than like 20 bucks for a private room. And in a hostile atmosphere you really get a social aspect. I don’t know if you guys, do you guys do hostiles or due to hotels? How do you We
1 (30m 19s):
Have once before and it was great super social out in
5 (30m 22s):
Peru. Yeah. And so I did love that about it. I loved how social it was and that you kind of get like built in friends or parties or you know, people to talk to. But I still, I’m a little bit of a recluse, like I’m the guest, you kind of have to be as a SOLO traveler. So I like my own time and space and quiet. And when you are editing and making videos like doing voiceovers like I do, you know, it can, it can be kind of awkward if you’re sharing a room with someone, obviously
1 (30m 51s):
You’re like, look at my roommates, right? Yeah. Like, this is very blank. So
5 (30m 58s):
It was, and I didn’t wanna like impose on them either. Like if I’m, you know, if, if I’m sharing a, a bunk room with eight other people and I go in there like filming, like you never know like how someone feels about that. So not that that’s, you know, that important, it’s just a personal thing. But I definitely, I, if I had to rank them, I would say it would go Airbnb, hostile hotel hotels. It’s not that I don’t like ’em, obviously hotels are great, you know, it’s easy, convenient, all the things, the amenities. But I like the personal aspect of Airbnbs and staying somewhere that’s like completely unique. Like unique stays are my, my bread and butter my favorite thing.
5 (31m 41s):
1 (31m 41s):
Yeah. So I love following along and how, you had mentioned that you allowed some of your followers to pick some of your stays and you kind of mentioned that you, you booked it in between for like a day or two. So how much of the travel process did you do before you went on this trip and how much did you do on the fly? So
5 (31m 59s):
Like I said, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but this was my first big SOLO trip. I’ve traveled SOLO for work, like, you know, going to the ship or things like that, smaller, shorter trips. But this is my first big SOLO trip. What I ended up doing was I booked a one-way ticket to Thailand and then when you get to a country, usually have to show proof that you’re leaving. So the way that I got around that, because I didn’t know when I was returning was I just bought a ticket to Cambodia because it was the neighboring country and it was pretty affordable and I knew I wanted to go to some other Southeast Asia countries anyways. So I just booked that and when you get to Thailand you just show them, you know that ticket and you’re good to go.
5 (32m 38s):
Now I had that ticket, I wanna say one other ticket to India booked. And the rest, I was weighing it, India was gonna be the last stop on my trip and I ended up not going because after about, and this is something I learned about myself along the way, after about two months, like I was pretty much like winding down. Like I needed to, I needed to refresh, like I needed to go home. I needed to like sleep and rest and like recuperate because, and you people that know this, the best travel is, it can be really exhausting. It can be really stressful. Like especially as a SOLO, which I learned quickly. You’re having to solve all of your problems.
5 (33m 18s):
You know, even if it’s not a problem, you still have to have a solution, you know what I mean? Like you have to decide are you gonna take a bus or are you gonna take a trainer, are you gonna fly and when do you need to get there? You need to take a taxi, you have to book your own taxi, you have to find what tour you’re gonna do, what coffee shop am I gonna, there’s so many decisions that you have to make that your brain is just on overload. And so I got to a point about two months in especially, it was probably around the time that the situation in Cambodia happened, which I’ll talk about in, in just a little bit. But I got really like, I won’t say like depressed or defeated. It wasn’t like a negative feeling or emotion, it was just exhaustion and I was just tired. And so I spent, I would say about a week longer than I expected to in Dlot Vietnam, which was where the crazy house was.
5 (34m 7s):
Just because I, I needed to rest. I needed to be in one place and not move and really not do anything. I didn’t do a ton. I did a lot of cafe hopping and just kind of like walking around and sighting. But I didn’t do a lot of big excursions there like a lot of other people were doing just cuz I needed the downtime. So I had certain things in mind that I wanted to do, but a lot came up while I was there that I wasn’t expecting. So when I first got there and I started meeting other travelers and really talking to people, everybody had like a different suggestion. Everybody has a different city you should go to a different island you should go to or where you should stay or you know, this thing that you should do.
5 (34m 47s):
So I really had to narrow it down as I went and I ended up doing a lot of unnecessary, especially in Vietnam because it’s so long and skinny. But I did a lot of backtracking like flying north and then flying back, you know, to the middle and then back north again and then back south. And whereas if I had planned it a little bit more, I probably could have saved a little bit there on, on transportation cost. So I think there’s, there’s something to be said about like flying by this, your pants, which is how I was planning to do it. But in hindsight had I planned a little more, like just a little bit more, like I could have saved myself some money and probably a few headaches too. So I think it’s a fine balance. Like if when I do it again, I think I’m gonna decide, you know, which, which cities that I’m gonna visit in advance, not necessarily book my stays, not necessarily book the flights, but no, geographically this is the order that I wanna go so that I don’t do that again.
5 (35m 44s):
I actually think you can save a lot of money by not booking your transportation in advance too, in case your plans change and booking flex tickets is something I’m gonna take advantage of more next travel as well, which is where you literally pay a little bit extra. It can be like $10, $20, you pay a little extra so that you can change your destination or your dates or cancel the flight. And I never took advantage of that even though I’ve talked about it on my TikTok, I haven’t done that and I should like, you know what I mean? Like I, I really, next time I go we’ll book those flex tickets so that if if plans change, I don’t lose the money on that flight and I can just pivot so to speak.
2 (36m 22s):
I love that you’re sharing like what you’ve learned because I think with SOLO travel it’s so scary in, in some ways it’s exciting, but it’s really scary and I love that you’re kind of sharing like what I know now, you know, and so I think it’s gonna help a lot of people. And I think another topic is on safety, especially SOLO women travel and especially in a country that’s so entirely different than the United States, but it seems like you, well you came back all in one piece, so you’re safe, you’re good. But what would you say about safety? Like did you feel safe most of the time? I know you had one incident, but besides that, how were things
5 (36m 60s):
99% of the time I felt so safe. I felt so comfortable and safe and like I had everything I needed. I went with a Google thigh, like cell phone plan. So I had service everywhere that I went, which to touch on. I won’t recommend for longer tra longer term traveling. And I learned that along the way too because after, I wanna say it was like 60 or 70 days, if you’re conse consecutively international on a Google Google fly plan, they will cut your service off. So I learned that the hard way and ended up having to do EMS after that, which is more expensive than, than doing like a regular sim card.
5 (37m 41s):
But it was convenient at the moment when I realized my plan expired and you know, it is what it is. So got off on a tangent there, but I had the resources that I needed. It was a lot of, it was just a learning process. I would, I would talk to locals, I would talk to other travelers about what not to do more than anything. So, you know, don’t walk alone at night, don’t take random like tuk tuk rides don’t like, and when I say random tuk rides, I mean in Asia there are these, you know, bikes, tuk-tuks that will pull up on the side of the road and or Ethan moped, scooters, bikes, they’ll pull up and you can just hop on the back and they’ll take you wherever you go.
5 (38m 21s):
Well I ended up ha using their apps, which are like Uber over there called Grab and Bolts and these other ones, it’s a simple Google search because then, then there’s a digital record of who picked you up. You can match the license plate to the vehicle, you can g p s where you’re going. I follow along on GP on Google Maps just to make sure they’re going the right way. Things like that, that get added that extra level of safety and security that I needed. But for the most part, I would say I felt very, very safe. The incident that I got myself into in Cambodia was, you know, partially not being smart on my part, like fully admittedly. And then, or I would say not smart, but overconfident, I would say I was overconfident in, I had, I had just come off this amazing tour with these locals in Cambodia and had this wonderful time.
5 (39m 13s):
I had heard from TikTok followers that they’d been to Cambodia and that they loved it. It was so safe and you’re gonna, you know, you’re never gonna have felt safer. So I definitely had this like overconfidence going into it that it was very safe and had nothing to worry about. Right. And getting into this story now, my driver had suggested when he dropped me off, he’s like, oh, you’re just right around the corner from Pub Street, which is like a really popular street, like tourist attraction. You should walk there like it’s so close to where you’re staying. And I said, oh, thanks so much for the recommendation. Like I’ll do that later on. So it was around like six 30 or seven o’clock in the evening. I wasn’t going out partying or anything, I just wanted to see it and like maybe go have dinner or a drink or whatever.
5 (39m 54s):
Now as a solar traveler, I don’t drink as well unless I’m in like a situ like a social situation where I know people, like if I know them personally, then I will. But aside from that, like I don’t sit at a bar or a restaurant and have a drink by myself. Like that’s just another safety thing that I’ve heard not to do. And that’s just how I choose to, to live my life. So that being said, I get to Pub Street, a tuk driver approaches me at the entrance as I’m filming. And he says, you know, he’s very, very personable. Very personable and like making jokes and like him and his friends start bantering with me. And, and so I’m loving it. I love talking to locals anyways and just like making them know that like I, I want their opinions and like, gimme your recommendations.
5 (40m 39s):
But in hindsight, one of the biggest red flags that happened early on was I was at the entrance of, of Pub Street, there’s a big archway that says like, this is where it is, it’s lit up, there’s tons of restaurants, like, you know, and it was a lower part of the season so it wasn’t totally crowded and it was pretty early in the night, but there were people there, you know, and he had suggested that I go away from that street towards the water is what he said it was. And he was like, oh yeah, there’s a really cool place down there. And it was like away from that street. And I thought, no, like I just came to this destination, like I’m gonna stay here. So I said, where’s your recommendation here? And he pointed to the rooftop of this restaurant. I go and, and sit down and within about 10 minutes I, I did order a drink because it was like $2 for a drink.
5 (41m 24s):
And I thought, well I’ve got nothing else to do. They didn’t serve food at that particular bar. He didn’t know that I wanted food. And so I thought, okay, I’ll have a drink and I’ll move on. Well, about within about 10 minutes, a lady sat down next to me who was a local girl who I later found out was a lady boy. But I didn’t know that at the time. I had a, you know, I had an inkling like I thought maybe they’re gonna try to get money from me or pick me up or you never know. But it was very odd because the entire, this is like a three story restaurant, rooftop bar, whatever. And there was hardly anybody there, maybe one other couple in the restaurant. And she happened to sit at my table, not like beside me at the table next to me at my table and like ordered a beer and lit up a cigarette.
5 (42m 5s):
So it was very strange. And I was on FaceTime with my mom and like showed her the girl. I was like, look, I’m, I’m gonna go because like I’m made a friend and make it, you know, I think nothing of it. And it was very odd, but I’m in another country that I don’t know. So I thought maybe it’s normal people said it’s friendly here. People said, you know, you’re gonna love the people. I thought maybe they, she just got off work and like wants to meet someone and it ended up being a, a scam. So I was being set up for a scam where the tuk tuk driver had let someone know that they had just set me there and then she comes and sits with me, befriends me, and then takes me to another bar away from this street where it’s less surveillance, less people, less cops around.
5 (42m 51s):
And then they rob you. And I was able to find out that information because of picking up on the red flags during the situation, but also just going into the bathroom and Googling it. Like I was getting really weird vibes. She couldn’t give me a location of where the next bar was because I knew I wasn’t gonna leave the restaurant or the bar with her. That kind of crossed my mind in the beginning, but then I realized that was a really bad idea and I would just meet her there later because I’d heard about a situation where if you leave a bar with an escort or a lady boy or something like that, that they will go to the police and say they got a service from me and didn’t pay me. And they’ll get money that way. And then they’re like in cahoots with the cops and the cops will make you pay it.
5 (43m 31s):
So I was like, not gonna leave the bar with her, but like, we had good conversation. So let’s see where this goes. And then basically go to the bathroom, Google SOLO travel Cambodia woman bar, like all these key words. And lo and behold, like it pops up like beware of a girl named Lili. And we had exchanged Facebooks on like my Facebook travel page and so that she could message me where she was gonna be. She was very reluctant to do that anyways and didn’t have any other Social Media, but her name was La la Lili or something like that. So I knew, yeah, it was, it was very like, I was just googling it as a precaution. Like I knew it was weird, but I really didn’t expect anything to come back, you know, that moment of like, holy shit, like this is real, like this is happening.
5 (44m 17s):
And it was terrifying. And I immediately FaceTimed my boyfriend, Connor was like, babe, I gotta get outta this situation. Like, I don’t know if the bar’s involved, I don’t know like who to trust. I just gotta get back to my place and obviously I can’t walk there. Like how am I gonna get there? There I can’t trust the tokic drivers. Like, so I calm myself down and quickly realize that it’s not a problem. I can order a grab, just, you know, beeline it straight from the bathroom to out the restaurant to this grab check, the license plate, of course, all those things that I mentioned before. And it pretty much went according to plan. But on my way out she was standing at the entrance waiting for me and was like, oh.
5 (44m 57s):
I was like, are you coming with me? Let’s go, let’s go. And I was like, no, I’m not feeling well. I gotta go back. Like, I’ve been in the bathroom being sick, like, sorry. And she was like, definitely perturbed. But almost immediately when I walked away from her there took, took drivers approached me as well and told me that they would give me a discount. They were like, cancel your grab. Like we’ll take you. You’re my, you’re a friend. And so it was just a really like terrifying, like I couldn’t wait for that grab to pull up. It felt like it was an eternity that I was waiting. And I think I even hugged the guy when he dropped me on to the hospital cuz I was like just so relieved to be back and safe and, and and all of that. So it was a scary situation. But I guess the good, there’s always good that comes out of it.
5 (45m 38s):
A I learned a lot B because I put it out on TikTok and wanted to raise awareness. Yahoo News Australia actually reached out to me and did a story on it and Warren’s like Australian travelers and other international travelers like about the story. So like, I’m happy like that. At least I feel like it might, you know, help other people not be in this situation because there was a little bit of a follow up that happened that I wasn’t, I did one TikTok live as it was happening because I was, I saw what, where were you on there? Okay, so it was bizarre. And, and I haven’t been very public with this cuz I’m not sure, like, I think it still like scares me a little bit. And maybe that’s why I haven’t talked about it so much.
5 (46m 19s):
But I had blocked her on Facebook after this happened and I wanted to, like, there was something in me that was just like, tell her, you know, like tell her, you know, like she needs to know that like we’re on tour, like maybe it’ll scare her from doing this to someone else, right? So unblock her and just send this message that’s like, I know what you’re doing. Like I’m lucky that I got away, but like, you know, you’re not a nice person. Like, you know what I mean, in simple English. Like basically told her my thoughts, but immediately get this like voice note back from her that’s like, I don’t understand, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And then a bunch of selfies, like sexy selfies, like of her. And I was like, what in the world? This is so strange.
5 (46m 59s):
But like immediately like voice note and then like nine selfies of her and then an and then I responded and said something else, I don’t even remember what it was, but the frightening part was she sent me a photo from what looked like the same rooftop bar that she had approached me of a guy down on the street, like a SOLO guy, like traveler guy. And she sends a voice note that says I’m at Temple Bar and something else in Cambodian language. And so I feel like she had accidentally, because we’d been messaging, like, sent me a photo of like her next victim, like a person that she was trying to target or maybe like send a photo to her partner to say send that guy up.
5 (47m 42s):
And when I asked her, who is that? What is this? She immediately like went silent. And so that just really like shook me because it felt like you’re seeing something bad happen, but there’s nothing you can do about it. So that’s when I like went full blown and was like, screw it. Like I’m gonna make these videos and like get this out there and like make sure that this doesn’t happen to someone else. Because there’s always gonna be the negativity on Social Media of people that say, oh, nothing even happened. Like maybe she was just a nice girl and you’re overreacting or you were the idiot for getting yourself in that, you know, there’s, there’s always those people. But I know what the situation was. I know what was happening. I’ve had enough people confirm it that, you know, the same thing happened and it didn’t turn out so well.
5 (48m 27s):
2 (48m 27s):
Not only that, but you felt something like, the feeling is you cannot ignore that intuition that was telling you all you needed to know.
5 (48m 36s):
You’re so right. It was such a strong feeling of like, something is not right that once I, and I start the video off by saying TikTok saved my life. And I, I felt at the moment when I recorded that, that that is how I felt because I, the way that I got out of it was because I stretched out or encounter for like 40 minutes because I told her that I’m a TikTok and I wanna make a video of this really cool bar. So like, go ahead without me and I’m gonna do this video and then I’ll meet you. So that was the way that I got her to say like, no, you go and I’ll meet you later was by walk. But then the more time I spent in the bar filming, she was like lingering and like way too invested in me, way too invested in me going with her and then putting that together with the fact that she’d approached me and sat down with me.
5 (49m 26s):
It was all just too much. You know, it’s, it’s like when you look at it over like the full timeline maybe of the hour that all of this took place. There’s a a lot of time that goes in between these red flags. When I tell the story back, you’re like, oh, how did you not notice? Because there’s all these red flags, but like remember there’s like five and 10 minutes between each of these things and then you start to put it together and you’re like, oh shit. Like what have I got myself into? So I would say the takeaway is just to a, don’t drink in SOLO travel. Like don’t, if you’re a guy, maybe you can get away with it, but like I felt like that instantly made me a target and had I had more drinks or been unaware, like I might not have picked up on it.
5 (50m 6s):
That’s just my advice. And I would say the other part of that is you nailed it on the head Kim, like trust your intuition. Like if something feels off, you don’t have to be too nice. And like I think as women, a lot of times we are too nice, like we don’t wanna be rude, we don’t wanna offend people. But like if you’re feeling strange in any sort of way, like just leave, remember you’re like, you’re more than likely you’re never gonna see that person again. Like your safety is way more important than how they feel in that moment. They’ll probably forget about it in five minutes, you know? So keep that in mind. And I would say just overall, do not let a bad situation that happens to you, like don’t let my situation especially deter you from traveling SOLO from going to these countries because this could happen anywhere.
5 (50m 52s):
This could have happened in New York City, this could have happened in Greece, this could have happened anywhere. So it’s not about the place. You just have to be aware and trust your intuition and, and all the other things I said. So that’s the story. I am always a little bit hesitant to share it with someone who’s new to traveling or someone who might be on the fence because I don’t wanna scare them away. And just kind of like tangent a little bit, and this has been something that I’ve wanted to get to into on on TikTok a little bit more, is going at your own pace. And I don’t mean like while you’re actually traveling, going at your own pace. I mean where you go, what you do when you decide to SOLO travel, all have the length of time that you go and travel, like that’s gonna be different for every single person.
5 (51m 35s):
Do what you’re comfortable with. I was able to ease into travel with cruise ship lights with my mini vacations between my cruise ship contracts, traveling with other people first, visiting a lot of different countries that were really diverse and like culturally different. So I kind of got like a lot of sampler platter travel with cruise industry stuff so that I did know the basics, you know, the the foundation of of travel things that you need and then a lot of stuff, yeah, I learned along the way. So it was a combination of a lot of experience that was able to take me to three months in Asia. You know, if if someone just getting started in trouble says I wanna take a trip, I’m probably not gonna recommend that for them.
5 (52m 18s):
You know, just because they’re, I used a lot of the skills that I’ve learned over 10 years to be able to do that. And so I would say go at your own pace. Just do what you’re comfortable with. And then kind of on another note that I just thought of, take the time you need when you’re traveling long term, take the days that you need to just lay in bed, do nothing, watch your TV shows that you would back home or talk to family, friends. Like you don’t have to be go, go go every single day of a three month or six month or whatever trip. Like you still need those days to catch your breath just the same way that we do in real life.
2 (52m 56s):
Do you think your next SOLO trip that you’ll spend more days in less
5 (53m 2s):
Places? Yes, is the short answer. I really enjoyed bouncing around, but there was three places that I liked so much that I went back to. So had I stayed longer the first time again, I could have saved a little bit on the transportation costs. So yeah, definitely. And I think that goes back into earlier what we were talking about, which is the, the timeline. Like how you decide what to plan and book in advance and what to go along with, you know, because you might get to a place and hate it and you don’t wanna stay that long. And then you might get to a place and absolutely fall in love with it and wanna stay way longer. So it’s good to gauge it as you go, I think. And you can do that a lot easier with hotels and hostels cuz you can just add another night, add another night.
5 (53m 43s):
Sometimes with Airbnbs those days might be booked. So if that’s something that you’re considering, like just take all of that into account. Again, it’s really hard to talk about travel because it, this is just based on like my one trip and it’s gonna be dependent on the person and what makes them feel comfortable and what they like and and where you are in the world. So these are just like sort of basic blanket guidelines that I would suggest. And then you have to cater it to you.
0 (54m 7s):
Well they’re all really good guidelines and I feel like you hit the nail on the head several times in what you said. One is like, don’t just go out and never have traveled really and be like, I’m gonna go for three months because you before that have been to a degree, even with work, avid traveler granted for not that much amount of time, but a lot of this episode you’ve given solid tips yourself of things that you learn along the way. And we even have that for as much as we travel every day or every time we travel, we always kind of learn something new to get that skillset, to really be long term like that. And I’m really, really excited for us to one day do that two, three month just, I’m traveling so I know all of us are really envious that you pulled that one off and did it and for as long as you traveled with just like the one incident, which I wanna reiterate could happen anywhere, you know what I mean?
0 (54m 55s):
So I don’t want anybody to feel discouraged from that either. So I wanna reiterate that, but why don’t you kind of like end us here on a very solid positive, like what was the most positive thing that occurred from this trip? Maybe it was an experience or even something personal.
5 (55m 8s):
So I learned probably more about myself in the last three months than I have in my combined 35 years, you know? But I have had a lot of big life moments. Obviously travel, you learn so much about yourself in those tech things. But when you have as a SOLO traveler, ultimately that much time to spend with just you and your thoughts, you, you learn what you like to do. You learn what boots you like, you learn what you’re willing to put up with you’re, you learn about your social style. The thing that I found the most interesting was who you sort of portray yourself as when you’re meeting people that know nothing about you.
5 (55m 50s):
So these are people that I are from all over the world who I’m meeting for the very first time. And you could essentially be any type of your personality that you want, you know, you wanna be this over the top really loud, you know, whatever to this group, go for it. Or if you wanna be really quiet and reserved with this group cuz you’re not feeling it, you can. So I, I found that you don’t necessarily have to be on all the time. You just are who you are. If you’re in a mood, you’re in that mood and you just, you’re, you’re able to really mold what you want to do. And I mean, to the nth degree where we can’t do that when we’re at home because maybe you’re confined, you know, to a schedule or you know, you have to wake up to an alarm clock or on this day you have to go to that birthday party or this day you need to go to that whatever you are completely, every single moment of every single day doing exactly what you wanna do.
5 (56m 43s):
It could be today I wanna lay in bed again or today, you know, I’m gonna go walk around the city and see what I can find. Or maybe the next day you’re gonna do a two day canning tour or whatever. I think the amount that I learned about myself and what I’m capable of, the problem solving skills, the just adaptability is the most valuable thing that I took away.
0 (57m 7s):
I love that. And you said that because I feel like we’ve mentioned in several episodes before ourselves, that’s one of our favorite things about travel is because it really is a self-development to a degree and yet awareness of who you are. And like I just said, none of us have done the length of time of SOLO travel as you have. And I can only imagine how much more like, of what we feel we’ve learned of ourselves just on our shorter trips compounded by the amount of time you did it. So I I love that that was your answer.
5 (57m 35s):
Well, I appreciate it. I mean it from the bottom of my heart and I just like, I, I know that it’s not for everybody. I know that it’s not even a desire of everybody to do what I did, but I hope that if anybody has ever been thinking about doing it and thought, you know, they’re not ready or they don’t have the experience, like a feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or you need to get over a hump or you know, a fear or reach out to these guys as well. Like I might be able to give you some insight or you know, a piece of advice that would help you know where to start. But then on top of that as well, like you just have to start somewhere. Like you’re never gonna feel ready. I I if it’s SOLO travel trip that you’re like really wanting to do and you’ve done some travel and you’re ready for it, but like you’re, you’re, you haven’t pulled the trigger yet, you’re like waiting on something to feel ready.
5 (58m 24s):
Like you’re not, you’re not ever gonna feel ready. But once you do it and you meet so many other people that are doing the exact same thing that just quit their job and are just winging it or you know, whatever it may be, it’s just very inspiring and you see how so many different types of personalities can just make it work for them. Nobody’s doing it the same. Everybody’s sort of learning as they go. You think that you’re gonna run into people that are so much better at it than you are. And then you realize that, wow, like these are 18 year old kids that just graduated high school, or this is a couple that’s been traveling for 20 years or this couple just is on a honeymoon.
5 (59m 7s):
Like you’re gonna meet people from all different aspects with all different levels of experience and all different knowledge and tips and tricks and you just have to throw yourself in, be prepared as much as you can, but you’re not gonna be able to know everything. Period. You know, that was one of the biggest comments on this, the situation in Cambodia was you didn’t do your research, you didn’t look up this, you didn’t, you, you, it’s impossible. You know, you, you’re gonna look up as much as you can. You’re gonna do as much research as you can, but there’s no way to know everything. So you just have to do the best you can. Trust yourself, trust your, you know, abilities. You’re a hundred percent capable of what you know, what you’re capable of.
5 (59m 47s):
And and you learn a lot of that along the way. So I know that was a lot of gibberish, but I just, I feel really passionate about like, people not needing to be ready. You know, you don’t need to feel ready, you just have to go for it. You just gotta do it. And there’s no such thing as failure. Cuz even if you go and you come back like I did, it’s okay. Like, I still did it. Like I went and did a a three and a half month Asia trip, like that is done. Did I stay indefinitely? Like I’d plan to? No, but it’s not a failure, you know? So as long as you keep a positive mindset and you know, like there’s always a reset button, you can always go back. You can always get another job or, or go back if you don’t like it. But I hope that everybody, if you’re interested, will just try it and see.
5 (1h 0m 29s):
You might learn a lot about yourself that you didn’t
2 (1h 0m 31s):
Know. I’m glad you said that. I, I feel like I’m in that boat where I wanna try it. I just like, I don’t know if I’m ready and you know, I don’t like going places by myself, but I will get there and I love everything that you’ve said and I think for me, I cannot let you go without you telling us. You said there were three places that you love so much you went back to, what were those places?
5 (1h 0m 51s):
Rayleigh Beach, I went back to look Thailand, which was the family between k Crabby and KOMO that I stopped at from here, Airbnb. And the other one was Dlot, Vietnam. So I went once and then left and then went back and I, I loved so much about each of the places for different reasons. Like dildo was mostly cold and rainy in the mountains, re beaches, you know, sunshine every day on these beautiful Thailand beaches. And then I look is in the middle of the jungle. So like it’s all three for different reasons and it’s usually just a feeling that I have when I get there and I just think, wow, like I could hang out here for a little longer. Like this feels right. So in those places, I two out of three of those places I didn’t even plan on going to.
5 (1h 1m 33s):
Yeah, I just found along the way, one of
1 (1h 1m 35s):
The questions that our listeners had asked us was they wanted us to interview someone who had done a long-term travel and they wanted to know a little bit more about travel insurance. Can you tell us just quickly a little bit about did you book travel insurance in advance? Did you have to use it? What was the process and kind of what was the affordability of it?
5 (1h 1m 54s):
Of course I did do travel insurance. I used Safety Wing. I had been recommended Safety Wing from another traveler and it’s great. I wanna say it was about maybe $50 a month, 50, $60 a month maybe so bad. Yeah. And the only thing to be aware of is that it doesn’t cover accidents for like extreme like activities. So like if you rent, like I didn’t drive a scooter or a motorbike the, the entire time I was in Asia, which almost no one does. Like almost everyone rents a motorbike or a scooter in Asia because it’s the cheapest, it’s the easiest way to get around and see stuff. But I had just had a friend come back from there and extended her trip a month because she broke her leg and had to have surgery on a and I was like, not taking that risk, you know, so, and that would be obviously out of pocket cost if they know that it was an accident.
5 (1h 2m 46s):
So just be aware of that. There are a lot of different options out there, but the recommendation that came from her was because she had had to use the service and it was great. She basically called customer service when she needed to use it ahead of time so that she made sure to go to approved facilities and approved, you know, hospitals or clinics or whatever. And they were very helpful, she said and contacted like even with her insurance back at home to cover anything that wasn’t covered. So they were very helpful, they had great reviews online and I did not have to use it, thank goodness. But I will keep them and use it again next time I travel for
1 (1h 3m 26s):
Sure. Well thank you so much for sharing that. We’ve really enjoyed touching base with you. Again, like our listeners know, you’ve been on our podcast before. I love following your Travels and keeping up with you. It’s so much fun to watch and see like all of the adventures you do and as fellow travelers you kind of build that network and community of like, hey, this is what I recommend, or this looks amazing and kind of like banter off of each other, which is really great, especially when you’re SOLO traveling and doing other things. It’s great to have like a community behind you. So thank you so much for coming onto this podcast today.
5 (1h 3m 56s):
Of course. Thanks so much for May. I always love coming back and chatting. I feel like, and maybe you run into this as well, but a lot of times when you come back from trips or you’ve been traveling a lot, like when you get back with your friends and family, like they’ve been following, following along or you’ve been keeping in touch with them and you, you can’t really like tell them everything that you wanna tell or really talk travel, so to speak. And that’s one of the things that I miss about my Travels is meeting other travelers who I’m able to talk about this stuff with and have that, that connection. So it’s great to to talk to fellow travelers again and share that with you. So I appreciate it. I feel like
2 (1h 4m 32s):
We could have done a whole nother hour just talking about the destinations and, and it’s been really, really cool to see how you’ve grown on Social Media too. And I know you’re just gonna continue killing it on there.
5 (1h 4m 42s):
Thank you so much. It’s been a really fun process and I, I hope it keeps growing. So if you are listening and you wanna follow along, it’s Ashley v Travels on everything. So yeah, come and join the party.
0 (1h 4m 53s):
I was gonna say halfway to the point where we got to this part of the conversation, I was also thinking, man, we really haven’t gotten into like really any of her Travels and destinations, but yet there’s so much good content of like good information that we’re already gonna have to have episode number two, talking about what you actually did versus what you’ve learned.
5 (1h 5m 12s):
Right, right. And, and, and I wanna share it all. I’m happy to keep talking about it. So if you ever do wanna have me back, I can talk about some of my recommendations for, for Thailand, for Vietnam. I only went to places in Cambodia and honestly, I don’t know if I’m gonna go back in my next Asia trip just because there’s just some other places that are more high priority on my list, but I can definitely share a ton if you would like to know or if your listeners would like to know. So keep posted a
2 (1h 5m 39s):
Hundred percent. Well
5 (1h 5m 40s):
Thank you guys so much again for having me. I appreciate it and yeah, keep killing it.
0 (1h 5m 44s):
Thank you, Ashley. Thank
2 (1h 5m 45s):
You. Thank you Ashley. All right, Scotties, thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week. Please keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram and TikTok at Travel Squad Podcast. Tag us in your adventures and send us in your questions of
0 (1h 5m 59s):
The week. If you found the information this episode to be useful or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, guys, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes day
6 (1h 6m 14s):
Tuned for next week’s episode. We have some more amazing adventures and tips in store
0 (1h 6m 18s):
For you. Bye squadies!