Wednesday Women: Alaska

Meet Alaska Rue.

Hi there! I’m Alaska Rue, a typical millennial that just didn’t want to get a full-time job straight out of university. I’m in the jack-of-all-trades breed of humanity, and I’m the master of none (yet)! As a quasi-digital nomad, a self-published author in her early beginnings, a travel blogger/vlogger, and a book lover, I’m constantly trying to do too many things at once, to my own downfall. I’m in love with the location-independent lifestyle, and I’m determined to be my own boss. No more working for minimum wage, please!

Fun fact? I can solve the Rubik’s Cube in thirty seconds, sometimes less. 😉


What inspired you to start traveling?

Honestly, boredom. When I went on my first solo backpacking trip, I wasn’t satisfied with my life. I’d just been spending all my free time outside of school hanging with my friends, doing the same old thing all the time, and it was quickly getting old. I was wasting all my money on the same boring activities, just to pass the time. I needed something exciting in my life.

It randomly occurred to me that there was so much more of Canada to see. I’d been in Vancouver (where I lived at the time) for over a year already and hadn’t seen anything outside of the city limits. So, instead of waiting for a miracle to happen, I decided to take the money I would have spent on the same old habits and spend it on travel instead. I spent two weeks hitchhiking around the Okanagan, British Columbia, and two weeks touring the big cities in Canada by Greyhound (back when they still had discovery passes).


What is your travel style?

When I first started traveling, I thought I was a backpacker. While I still travel with a single tiny backpack, over the years, I’ve come to realize I’m squarely in the category of a flash packer. I’ll still overnight it in an airport if I can, and I’m always trying to find the cheapest way to get to places, even if that means longer and more connections, or hitch-hiking. Instead, I tend to spend less frugally on activities and souvenirs (I absolutely love sending postcards!).

I fell in love with outdoor adventure travel when I traveled around Southeast Asia back in 2015. That trip, I got scuba diving certified, and did a lot of rock-climbing, deep-water soloing and deep diving. Now, I’m addicted. In the next two years, I’m looking to get skydiving certified, do a lot more outdoor rock-climbing, and try surfing.


If you had a one-way ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

If it was paid for by someone else, I’d probably go to Antarctica or Greenland. Those places are expensive to get to!

If I was paying for it out of my own pocket (most probably), I’d probably go back to Southeast Asia. I’m an adrenaline junkie and adventure travel enthusiast now; that region is where I can get access to activities like rock-climbing, windsurfing, scuba diving, ATV riding, etc., on the cheap.

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Any horror/funny stories while traveling?

A lot, ranging from the lightly comedic to the downright traumatizing.

To pick from the less dark of the pile—when I was on a two-week solo cycling trip along the Irish coast in 2014, I got myself into a really dangerous situation. I hadn’t realized that my brakes were completely shot until it was too late. Going down a steep hill that went on for a good kilometer or more, I was not able to brake. It was raining, and the roads were slick and narrow; if a car had come out of nowhere, I would have been toast. Somehow, I kept calm long enough to navigate the crazy descent (I couldn’t even use my shoes to brake because I was wearing slippers; I tried, and cut my toes). The moment the road leveled out, I got off, shaking uncontrollably, taking long, deep breaths, and thanked the higher powers for letting me survive that. Even thinking about it now, I don’t know how I got so lucky.


Are you married? Single? A mom? How do you think your status affects your traveling?

I’m single, but only recently so. I’ve been in kind-of, not-really, on-and-off relationships for the last five years, and consider myself fully single just this January.

Being in a steady relationship wasn’t the best thing for my travel spirit. I got into a live-in relationship right after my second solo backpacking trip, and went into dormancy. Didn’t travel for two years. It was because of my relationship that I didn’t transfer to a university across the country, even though I wanted to. But, when my last chance to go on exchange showed up, I knew I couldn’t miss it. It was tough. I missed him every day in the beginning, which was so bad because I would just hang out in my dorm room skyping and texting him instead of exploring Prague. Although I still did my fair share of traveling through the summer, I regret not doing even more and feeling so hung up over my guy at the time. I almost actually left field school early because I missed him so much… So glad I didn’t!

Being in a relationship that wasn’t really a relationship was even worse. At least with the first, I knew where we stood, and I could go off traveling, secure in that. With my next relationship, I made my travel plans around his because I wanted to be with him. I knew that if I didn’t follow him, we wouldn’t last, because he wasn’t interested in a long-distance relationship. It wasn’t sustainable at all; I ran myself broke trying to keep up with where he wanted to go. Eventually, we had to say goodbye because I literally had no more funds to continue, among other things. That was the most irresponsible I’ve ever been in my life, all because of love. I basically ran out on family obligations, and should have been working instead of traveling.

But, now that I’m single, I have the mental clarity and time to work hard on my own creative projects and on becoming the best version of me. It’s very empowering, being single after having been in relationships for so long. Being a single traveler opens up another world of opportunities, where I—only me—get to determine my experiences without having to consider the feelings of a significant other.


Solo or with a group? How do you prefer to travel? Why?

I prefer traveling solo, all the way. I don’t mind going on road trips with friends, but only for short periods of time. I find that unless you’re with really good friends who are easygoing and flexible, being in a pack is more stressful than fun. You have to compromise and miss out on things you want to do, or you have to deal with people who want to sleep in instead of go out and see things. The worst feeling though is when you get sick or just need a rest day, but feel like you need to put on a good face so you don’t become a burden on everyone else. I absolutely hate feeling like that, so the best solution for me is to just go my own way. I also like time to myself, and being able to experience a new place with my own thoughts in my head, rather than feeling like I need to entertain other people all the time.


How long have you been a travel blogger?

Like, less than a month? Haha.

Well, I’ve had my travel blog since 2013, but never really kept up with it. I wrote the (very) occasional post. I only decided at the end of February 2017 that I was going to get serious with it.

How do you plan your adventures?

I open up Google maps and the Wikipedia list of countries I can go to without a visa, then imagine the possibilities.

Recently, I’ve begun orientating my travel plans around certain activities. For example, next year, I really want to take part in the Mongol Rally, so I’ll be spending a large chunk of my summer going through Europe, the Middle East, and Mongolia! After that, because I want to focus my travels more around learning new skills and hobbies, I plan on heading to Mui Ne, Vietnam, for windsurfing; Indonesia and Thailand for scuba diving; India for yoga; etc.


Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

Well, I think there’s a difference doing anything as a woman versus a man. It can sometimes be good and sometimes bad. Based on appearances alone, I know I am typically more approachable as a small Asian woman with funky yellow glasses than a big, tall, hulking man with obvious tattoos (people see what they want to see, right)? I think it’s easier for me to find rides when hitch-hiking, and people seem more willing to help me if I need it.

On the flip side, people also think it’s easier to rob a woman or sexually assault her, or worse. While I generally feel safe in most places, I do think women feel like they have to take care of themselves even more so than men. But I’d still do everything I set my mind to, no matter the traditional challenges a woman has doing them.

Do you have any dos/don’t when it comes to traveling as a woman?

DON’T let other people tell you what you can or can’t do! That’s my number one thought. I absolutely hate it when people tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do something “because I’m a woman”. Please, find a more original reason to stop me. You do you, and I’ll do me.

Want to learn more about Alaska Rue?

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Wednesday Women: Jamie


Meet Jamie.

Hi, I’m Jamie. I am 28 years old, german and recently started life as a digital nomad. Previously I worked in an advertising agency in Vienna as a Graphic Designer but the atmosphere of the field didn’t suit me. I love taking pictures and editing them, go for long walks, do yoga, eat healthily and also very unhealthy, am addicted to way too many tv shows and just try to figure out how to live a happy life.

What inspired/inspires you to travel? 

I’m mostly inspired by my wish to see the world and change myself while doing it. Character-wise I am way more pessimistic and scared than I want to be. I’m insecure in a lot of moments and have let a lot of opportunities slip by me. Travelling helps me actively change those things. I am traveling to live in the moment and to not worry about the future, society or my own issues. I travel so I can feel empowered about my choices and my own life.

Where is your favorite destination to date? 

I think it was the city of Jogjakarta ( also referred to as Yogyakarta) in Indonesia. All of Indonesia was pretty special to me because of the people who I met and the experiences that I had. But Jogjakarta has so much to offer even though it looks so ugly and raw. It is my favorite city so far for sure. For experiencing nature my favorite place to travel is the Low Tatras in Slovakia.


How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why? 

I have to admit that I really hate to travel in groups. Three people can already be too many. There are so many differences, needs, problems. Everything goes too slow for my taste. I’m sure there can be different outcomes with different people. But so far I enjoyed the most traveling with one person. When I went to Asia in 2015 I traveled with a stranger, we met online and decided to go on this trip together. That was the best experience I ever had in my life. We grew so close as friends that we got a tattoo together on our last night – in Jogjakarta btw 😉


Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman? 

Of course. I am traveling with my boyfriend at the moment and he can a lot of times not understand at all why I don’t want to go alone to certain places or why I have troubles with going for a run next to the street because every second car is honking at me. I am aware that a lot of insecurities that I have are coming from my own experiences and I’m trying to work on them. But for me, it is a fact that women traveling alone are not as free in certain areas as men are.

How do you plan your trips? 

Ha, this is a good question. I love to just wing it. When I traveled Asia I had a very rough outline of places that I wanted to go to and then we just saw how we would get around. This kind of non-organized travel can also have some downsides (higher prices for last-minute bookings, no empty rooms in hostels, searching for everything longer) but it gave me so many adventures in the past that I’m still a huge fan. At the moment I am traveling way more organized because my boyfriend likes to take care of things way up ahead. That can be nice as well but I don’t like to live by a schedule. Maybe I’ll grow into it some more 😉


When is your next one? 

Doing it right now. I have been in Romania last month, now in Bulgaria. Until Christmas, I plan to see Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, and Montenegro.


Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers? 

Pack everything that you feel you absolutely need. Then wait for two days and check your stuff again. Take out half of the clothes again and over think that moskitonet/knife/sandals/extra lens very carefully. You’ll have to carry it around and I guarantee you that after your trip you will not have used some of the things you thought you desperately needed 😉 Also for women travelers: Use the menstruation cups! 😉

Want to know more about Jamie?

Wednesday Women: Ashlyn


Meet Ashlyn.

I am a twenty-something outdoor adventure traveler. I’ve been to 52 countries on six continents and fund my travels by freelance writing, speaking and shooting and editing videos. I also sell photography when possible as well.

I like to push my limits when traveling and you’ll most likely find me out hiking, surfing, scuba diving or trying out any crazy adventure activity an area offers – I’ve even flown a military jet! If it scares me, I can’t say no.

What inspired/inspires you to travel?

After five years completing two degrees in university, I decided I wanted to spend the same amount of time traveling the world so I designed a five-year travel plan. On my first six month trip, I was hooked and knew it was a lifestyle I couldn’t easily give up. I love how every day I wake up wondering how the destination I am in is going to change my life. It’s thrilling and educational – much better than sitting in a classroom to learn.

As for travel inspiration, my destinations are usually chosen based on photographs I’ve seen as well as recommendations from other travelers.


Where is your favorite destination to date?
It’s really difficult to decide but I loved spending a month in Madagascar. It’s not an easy destination to get to and there aren’t very many tourists so the locals are still curious yet friendly. The wildlife and landscapes were pretty spectacular as well and I spent a lot of time hiking and diving.

How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?
I spend most of my time traveling on my own but always seem to meet up with other people on the road. Admittedly, I prefer traveling with family and friends as I find the experiences more meaningful when I can share them with someone I care about. To date, I’ve managed to visit six continents with my mom as she enjoys meeting up with me around the world.


Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?
There are definitely differences traveling as a woman than as a man. Some of them are positive and some are negative. As a woman, I’m more likely to get picked up while hitchhiking, but I’m also more likely to be bothered, catcalled and stared at by men. I have to be modest in how I dress and very respectful of other cultures depending what area in the world I’m in. Men and women definitely get treated differently while traveling.


How do you plan your trips?
I’ve discovered that long trips are best left to planning on the go, while shorter trips it’s easier and less stressful to plan in advance. I prefer to plan as I go as I like to add in side trips that I didn’t know about until I arrived at the destination.


When is your next one?
I’m currently working on a book back at home in Saskatchewan, Canada so I don’t have an immediate trip planned. I recently flew back from British Columbia where I hike the 75 kilometer West Coast Trail. Next month I’m thinking of escaping somewhere warm in the Caribbean if I can find cheap flights.

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?
A scarf is one of the most helpful items to carry. It adds warmth, style, and additional coverage when entering mosques or temples. It can also be a towel on short notice.

Want to know more?

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Wednesday Women : Kristina


Meet Kristina. 

Hi! My name is Kristina. I’m a Canadian-born traveller currently backpacking/living in Southeast Asia with my French boyfriend, Gaspard. I have been a traveller almost my whole life; I’ve grown up in several countries and have lived as an expat for most of my childhood. The travel lifestyle has become a natural part of my life, and when I am not abroad I feel antsy! After six years of university back in Canada, I left home once again and have been on the go ever since.

My feet have gently settled for a time being – in Thailand! Gaspard and I have now been living in Koh Phangan, a small island in the south of Thailand, for the past three months and we have no plans to move on anytime soon! I have a job here as a SCUBA diving instructor at an amazing dive school in a lovely quiet area of the island. I could not be happier.

What inspires you to travel?

I have constantly reflected upon why travelling so important and so vital in my life. I believe travel makes me feel connected; I feel connected to people, I feel connected to cultures. Travel allows me to continuously face new challenges and new situations and in turn lets me grow as a person. Travel allows me to feel humble, and reminds me that the world is a complicated and diverse place. I would not have the same lived experiences if I stayed at home.

Travel allows me to feel free and creative. When I travel, I see opportunities that would not have been available to me if I had stayed in one place – if I had stayed at home. Travel allows me to remind myself, daily, that there is more than one path to follow; you don’t have to follow the same road as everyone else. Feeling creative is important to me, and travel helps me find creative outlets. Whether it’s appreciating art from several cultures, or practicing yoga at the beach.

Travel is my therapy. I feel less anxious; I feel less pain, I am happier when I am on the road. And if travelling is the key to my physical and mental heath, then that is the only inspiration I will ever need to keep my feet on the go.


Where is your favorite destination to date? 

I always love travelling to Thailand. Thailand is an easy country to travel to; as a traveller you are well taken care of. But you can always step aside and stay away from the typical traveller’s route and discover a Thailand that is all your own. It is such a diverse country; no place is the same. In the north you have the Golden Triangle, in the south the beaches, then you have vibrant cities like Bangkok. Every destination in Thailand is unique. Thailand’s culture is unique as well. It is one of the only countries in Southeast Asia that was not colonized, therefore its tradition has stayed authentic and its own. For that I think Thailand is such a culturally rich destination as well: The spiritual traditions, the language, and the food!

How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?

I do not like travelling in groups! I find it overwhelming, and I don’t feel in control of my own trip. I am the person who will always end up following along with what the others want to do rather than voice what I really want to do. Not only that, I think traveling in a group can become an organizational nightmare! Accommodating to everyone’s plans, spending loads of time waiting for others, and deciding on itineraries. I find it more constricting to travel with more than two people in a group, and my personality means I will be the one stressed out about whether or not everyone is having a good time. I like travelling with my boyfriend. I don’t need any more company than that. We are a great fit and fantastic travel buddies. We are both very introverted people, so it’s easy to decide to take low-key days and not have to worry about jamming in a full-day plan. We are interested in similar things too, so we agree on destinations and activities easily.

I enjoy solo travel too, and sometimes getting time to travel on my own is really rewarding. I feel accomplished when things go smoothly, and it’s freeing to be on no one else’s time than your own. I was recently in Penang, Malaysia for a few days on my own. I felt triumphant when I successfully organized my travel arrangements, when I was able to argue my way out of potential scams, and even help other “newbie” travelers along the way. I did it all on my own. While I was in Penang I didn’t care if I ended up spending hours reading my book in a café. I had no one to worry about!


Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

I think travelling, as a woman, has become a huge trending subject to talk about. I have never thought about it so much until recently. Perhaps it’s because I have traveled solo more often lately, or perhaps it’s a result of the fact that every female traveller talks about her experience…

I am very aware of my sex. I am aware of it no matter where I am or what I am doing. I am aware of other things too; I am petite, I am brunette, I am young… these are things that affect my lived experience too.

And of course, that doesn’t change while I am travelling. Perhaps when I travel alone, it becomes even more of a big deal that I am on my own because I was told it is a big deal to travel solo as a woman. For fair enough reasons. We are the minority sex, and we are often the victims. So when a woman travels on her own, her friends and family immediately warn her about the dangers of travelling alone. Traveling to an unknown place is a scary thing for many people. And for many women who want to travel solo, it has become the very thing that stops them from traveling all together. The fear of the unknown is the major factor. Being a female in your hometown can be just as dangerous if not more than when you’re travelling.

As a young female adult, I am aware of my vulnerabilities. It makes me anxious when I travel to new and unfamiliar places. But from past experience I remind myself that I have nothing to fear. As long as I keep my wits about me, stay logical, and not accept anything I wouldn’t accept back home, I will be fine.

But because the worry is instilled in me, I find the small successes of travel become huge victories. Just like my journey to Penang; being so proud of myself that I was able to get through the trip without an anxiety attack or feeling like a “damsel in distress”. There is nothing wrong with feeling proud of the little victories, but it shouldn’t be a surprise when you have made achievements – whether on your travels or in daily life.



How do you plan your trips?

Plan? I don’t! Not really. On our travels, a day or two in advance, my boyfriend and I will decide where to go and book our ticket to our next destination. We will then book accommodation, but that is as far as we go. We never make a list of things to do, or make a daily itinerary of what to do and where to visit. Our travel style is slow and relaxed. We value exploring a place by simply getting lost in the area and only occasionally visiting popular sites. We want to experience a place for its authenticity rather than go on tours to popular/organized sites. I think making a rigid plan is bound to fail and doesn’t leave much room for surprises that you will encounter along the way. I think not having a plan allows you to be open to creating more experiences, as you don’t have anything pre-arranged!


When is your next one?

I am not sure what my next adventure will be, or when it will be. I am enjoying my current one so much, and I think I’d like to keep it up for some time. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to live and work on such a gorgeous island. It’s definitely a dream come true!

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?

Apart form “don’t plan much”; don’t be too anxious as it hinders you from really enjoying your travels and experiencing things genuinely. Stay safe – of course – and like with anything you do, stay wise. Follow your gut, but stay open. Travelling is the most real way you can ever learn and experience life, be tolerant to new customs, be empathetic to strange ideas. Don’t judge or compare countries to each other, especially to your own. I can guarantee you that if you do, you will be grumpy a lot! If you enter an experience with solid expectations you are setting yourself up for disappointment and not opening your heart to new experiences and life lessons.

Want to learn more about Kristina?



Wednesday Women: Kathy


Meet Kathy. 

I’m Kathy from the North of England. In 2008 I went from package holidays to traveling solo around the world and now I have visited over 58 countries. I have made true friends, experienced the lure of travels and grown in confidence everyday.I have traveled to may places alone, made friends I will never forget and showed people you can travel safely as a female. My passion is exploring the road less traveled and being immersed in different cultures.

What inspired/inspires you to travel?

photo5I have an overwhelming urge to get up and go. It’s like having an itch which I have to scratch, I just need to go and have a look. I want to learn about other cultures, see different countries and open my mind to how other people live their lives. In addition, it’s the people who I have met on the way. The little old lady on the bus, the first time backpacker in Thailand and the local tour guide in Nepal. They all enrich my life and have given me long-lasting memories.
Where is your favorite destination to date?

I have two. I love Taiwan and Myanmar. The locals are such wonderful people. So kind and gentle. There are amazing things to see in both countries but if I had to narrow it down to just one place then it would be Bagan in Myanmar.

How do you prefer to travel? Solo or With a group? Why?

This is a tough one. I think I am going to say Solo as I then have the best of both worlds. When travelling solo you get to meet people. It gives you the freedom to travel with lots of different groups of people but also gives you the time that everyone needs on their own. By doing this, I have met so many amazing friends who I have met up with time and time again on my travels.

Do you think there is a difference traveling as a woman?

Yes. There is a definite safety aspect for females travelling. You might not feel vulnerable but you really are. I have received a lot of unwanted attention in some countries however I have also been offered some amazing experiences due to being a solo female traveller. It is just hard to know who to trust. For example; in Myanmar, a young lad took me around the area on his motorbike for 3 days, all because he wanted to practice his English. He introduced me to his family and we have become life long friends.

How do you plan your trips?

I find the flights, either the cheapest ones that fly out of my local airport or to the place that I am really inspired to go. I use Skyscanner and Momondo for this. I then research the places in the destination I am going to, using Travel blogs, Wikitravel etc. Next I work out how to get to these places eg. bus, train, hitch hike, hire car. A lot of the time, I just have a bit of an idea where I want to go but never have things set in stone. Plans change and I want to be flexible.

When is your next one?

I am currently in Norway after getting £39 return flights to Oslo. We have hired a car and currently on a road trip round the South West Norway.

Any advice you would like to give to your fellow travelers?

Follow travel blogs which will give you inspiration and tips on where and how to travel. Act confident when you are lost in major cities to prevent from being a target in some countries. But don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Nip into a cafe, buy a drink and take some time out. Ask a member of staff to help you with directions etc.

Want to know more about Kathy?