Traveler Stories: Episode #9

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee

There couldn’t have been a better quote that embodies everything that my guest today stands for. The lovely Mikayla from Sydney, Australia.

This 23-year-old has been to 25+ countries in the last few years. She’s also lived and taught English in Cambodia for the whole of 2015.

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Mikayla loves to share, teach, and promote travel tips, inspiration, and honest experiences. She believes that anyone can achieve whatever it is they truly desire in this life. There are no excuses – get out there and travel the world! This is her story.

What got you into traveling?

I always wanted to work and live abroad. Growing up traveling with my family, this was naturally the next step for me. The greatest way for me to fulfill this goal was studying a TEFL course and taking this skill overseas.

I sold everything I owned and lived in Cambodia for 12 months teaching English to Kindergarten children when I was just 20 years old. This year matured me to be a worldly thinker.

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Normal societal roles just do not make me feel whole anymore. Travel and real-world experiences are now my norms. I strive to fill my day with travel, planet-friendly missions and incredible human stories. I hope to be traveling full time in 2018!

What was your first travel experience like?

Living and working in Cambodia for 12 months, in one word, it was interesting. Cambodia is still very much a third-world country in many ways. So living amongst all the huge issues – poverty, pollution, human-trafficking, no hygiene standards, no healthcare, and a dictatorship hiding behind the mask of corruption – meant growing up fast for me.

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It was incredibly fulfilling as I knew I was making a change in the children’s lives that I was teaching. That’s the only thing I had control over. This got me through all the other horrific things that I could simply do nothing about.

It was an incredible year! Cambodia has many public holidays, some lasting a full week.  So I was able to travel all over Cambodia, volunteer with elephants, travel to and stay in rural villages with locals. I also traveled to Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore.

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How did you take up blogging?

During my time in Cambodia, I read an article interview of Sab from Just One Way Ticket. I was blown away by how people were making a living from travel blogging! She has been a major inspiration to me throughout this entire journey.

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I wanted to share my experience of Cambodia, of teaching English abroad, and share tips and hacks for fellow travelers. This also allows me to use my creativity for good! It’s been a big learning curve for me, and I still find myself learning something new every day. I love it!

Which is your favorite destination and why?

South East Asia. You can find everything and anything here for super cheap! Asia has adventures, relaxation, shopping, vibrant culture, amazing natural landscapes, and incredible food! If I could live on Asian food for the rest of my life, I would be very very happy.

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Tell me about one of your most memorable travel experiences.

Traveling to the remote village of Takeo, with a Cambodian family I had become close with. They lived in the city for better income, with the extended family living back in Takeo in traditional houses.

I was invited on these trips and am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity! We would all sleep together on the floor, cook huge meals from the chickens that had been running around just moments before. And experienced traditional ceremonies. These trips will be an important memory I’ll cherish forever.

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What is your advice to people who wish to travel but think they can’t?

You have absolutely no valid excuse to not make your travel dreams a reality. You think money is an issue? Stop buying $12 lunches and $4 coffees every day, new clothes every week and drinking every weekend.

There are a million and one ways to save money. That is not the issue.

The issue is that you are not prioritizing your dreams. Put your dreams first. Make your goals the underlying reason for every action you take. You have no valid excuse!

Got a travel goal? Simply make it happen!

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Well said, Miki 🙂 You can follow Mikayla on her adventures here:

Did you find Mikayla’s journey inspiring? Show us some love by hitting the “Like” button and sharing your thoughts in “Comments” below.

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