This Third Eye Traveler Has Been Exploring Offbeat Destinations Around The World For Half A Decade
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GAFFL
4th Oct | 10 min read

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    At GAFFL, we love to publish inspiring travel stories from adventurers around the world. You can connect with adventurers from 170+ countries on GAFFL, meet up, and explore destinations together. In this post, we are featuring Sophie, a UK-based solo female travel blogger.

    For the last five years, Sophie has been traveling solo around the world. She takes her own travel photos and writes destination guides on her blog Third Eye Traveller.

    She loves exploring unusual offbeat destinations and writing about weird, wonderful, and historical adventures on Third Eye Traveller.

    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
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    Why I Quit My Job To Travel The World

    I traveled the world on a six-month backpacking trip and became hooked on travel. 

    None of my friends was available to travel with me after that so, instead of waiting, I started traveling by myself! 

    I eventually applied for an international placement at my corporate job in India and started traveling around the country solo and blogged about it full time and the rest is history! 

    I still do it today as I feel it’s liberating and I get the freedom to do what I want! 


    I’m Always On The Go

    I travel solo all the time, mostly each month. Whether that be on a day trip to another city or a longer trip at home or abroad. 

    Personally, I love to travel to historic destinations or beautiful places in nature. Unusual and offbeat destinations are usually the ones I find most intriguing!


    How I Choose Where To Travel Next

    As someone who is addicted to travel, I have a bucket list as long as my arm. Whether that be countries I want to visit, attractions, historical locations, or filming locations! 

    I usually plan my next destinations around what I feel most excited to see next. I used to travel full time and was on the road non-stop but now I have a home base and I like to keep my trips a bit shorter as I feel more inspired rather than tired. 

    I usually prepare my trips by doing lots of research on blogs, reading books, watching documentaries, and using apps like Instagram and Pinterest for ideas!


    How I Pack For My Trips

    I’m a nightmare for organization, so I don’t have any sort of strategy and you will usually find I’ll pack the night before a trip or on the day of the trip itself! I’m the opposite of Type A. 

    But, of course, I pack appropriate clothing for the seasons and the culture of the country I’m visiting. 

    My must-haves for solo travel are my camera, tripod as I take photos of myself for my blog. Also, a sleeping mask and earplugs as I value a good night's sleep!

    How I Meet Like-Minded Travelers & Locals

    I used to meet a lot of fellow travelers in hostels when I went traveling solo at first. I would highly recommend this as it’s the easiest way to meet fellow travelers abroad! 

    Also, you can book group trips to meet like-minded people. 

    For example, the first time I went to Morocco I went to the Sahara Desert and met some travelers on my group trip.

    We ended up having the best time together and a real laugh even though we had just met. 

    We then carried on traveling around the city of Marrakesh together and had a blast in the food market, grossing each other out by trying goat brains, tongue, and snails! 

    I’m still friends with them now and we keep in touch!


    I Spent Six Months Adventuring Around India

    I actually moved to India for my job and lived in Delhi for a year prior to my six-month backpacking trip there, so that certainly helped with the culture shock! 

    I think if I had landed in the country without prior experience it would have been a total shock. But, I LOVED India and called it my second home, I’ve now traveled to 22 states. 

    I especially loved the North East of India. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Assam were some of my favorite travel experiences. 

    This is when I started to record my adventures on my blog, I saw that other people were able to travel blog full-time so I thought, why not me too!


    Why I Started My Blog

    When I was traveling around India, I started to learn how to take photos of myself and was recording some of my adventures on my Facebook page. 

    I’d get a lot of questions from my friends back home so I decided to start recording the information on my blog! I wanted to help others plan their travels through travel guides and also empower women to travel solo

    I started my blog around 5 years ago and I still do this today! 

    However, nowadays, I also like to write about hidden gems or offbeat destinations. I like to encourage people to ‘step off the beaten path’ to counter over-tourism. Also, there are so many more interesting destinations than the typical tourist sites. 

    I’m not sure what the future holds for travel blogging in the current climate but I hope I’m still going to be providing solid travel advice five years down the line as well but for many more destinations around this beautiful world of ours.


    Starting Off As A Full-Time Solo Traveler Had Some Challenges 

    My family has always been really supportive of my choices including taking a break from my career to pursue travel and my dreams of full-time travel blogging. 

    I’m a very determined person and self-motivated and it has paid off as I’m now a full-time solo female travel blogger. But, it wasn’t easy in the beginning and everything felt unsure. 

    Of course, when you start out as a blogger you should be prepared for the fact that you won’t be making a regular income from your blog for around the first few years.

    Some bloggers prefer to wait until their blogging income is bigger than their regular income until they take the leap. 

    Personally, I just went for it and took the risk. As they say, you can always make more money, you can’t get back time. 

    Nowadays, I make more money through my blog than in my old corporate job. So, I finance my trips with my income from my website. 


    It’s Important To Budget For Your Travels

    It’s always best to have some savings to keep you going if you want to be a full-time traveler as you’ll have no regular income. 

    A ballpark figure would be six months of your yearly salary or over in your account. 

    But, this also depends on where you’re traveling. Your money will go a lot further in South East Asia than it would in Europe or the United States!

    You could take on some freelance work like website writing, typing, Virtual Assistant, language teaching, etc. to make money on the side while you’re on the road. 

    But, always try to have a good amount of savings behind you before you quit your job to travel! 

    I used to travel on a shoestring budget when I went to South East Asia. I used to stay solely in Hostels and try to travel as cheaply as possible. 

    But, now I’m not afraid to splurge on experiences and hotels especially as I value my sleep.

    However, there are always some things I do to save money when I travel solo like using public transportation as I have no one to split the cab fare with! 


    Countries I’ve Traveled To So Far

    So far I have been to 37 countries, not all of them solo but a good amount of them!

    My number one bucket list destination has to be Galapagos Islands but I’d also like to explore the Faroe Islands, Patagonia, the Antarctic, and Greenland one day. 

    Also, I’d love to take the Trans-Siberian across Russia into Mongolia and China - I have so many things I’d like to do! 

    One of my most exciting destinations was one of the first places I ever visited in Asia in Myanmar. 

    I went in January 2015 where it had just opened its doors to tourists and no one really knew what it was like traveling there. Even my travel agent said we should prepare for no ATMs, no roads, no backpacker buses, and lots of delays. 

    It hadn’t been touched by backpacker culture yet so there were no hostels or happy hours, buses and it was all a bit of a mystery what we were going to find. 

    We went to Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake which were all amazing! We couldn’t leave by bus as it was illegal at the time and our flight got canceled for no reason to travel to Thailand. 

    So, we had to stay in a remote place called HeHo and we didn’t speak any of the languages at all but the people were so kind and still looked after us until we could get on another flight. 

    Myanmar will always stick with me as one of the best adventures ever! I hope that one day I can go back.


    How I Manage My Work And Travels

    This is a difficult one. I used to travel all day and then blog at night, on transport, or in between destinations. 

    But, I found it was too frustrating and tiring. I couldn’t be in the moment or enjoy my travels. I was all over the place and it was super stressful for me. I could never find a good balance. 

    So, now I have a home base and take shorter trips where I don’t blog at all on them. 

    I do enjoy the trip but I still work hard as I take a thousand photos and videos at each place. However, I will write up all my adventures on my blog when I get back! 

    I find this works best for me and it’s far easier to balance my life - that’s the most important thing.


    How I Think GAFFL Can Help Solo Travelers

    I think it’s a great place to connect with solo female travelers and digital nomads. It’s an amazing archive with easy access to honest advice about the digital nomad space which is refreshing. 

    Of course, I would advise people who want to pursue full-time travel to ensure they have the means to support themselves on the road but also to just GO FOR IT!

    There will never be a perfect time, you’ll never be completely ready, so take the leap and trust that things will work out. They always do! 

    Some Lessons I Wish I Had Known When I First Started Traveling

    Being open and curious is the most important part of travel. 

    Traveling with an open mind with a willingness to learn and a friendly heart to embrace new people. Also, an adventurous spirit that is brave enough to step into the unknown and out of your comfort zone. 

    Plan your travels but don’t overdo it as you may just miss out on some of the magic that’s about to unfold right in front of you!

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    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 190 countries to plan trips and travel together!
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