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Wednesday

Lois Yasay of wearesolesisters.com: A Traveler's Tale

  
                    I had an interviewed with Lois Yasay, the woman behind wearesolesisters.com, one of the famous blogs in the Philippines. She already featured in some travel magazines and also featured in TV shows like Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho and Pop Talk. And now it’s an honor for me, presents her in my blog.

PBW: Please, give me a little background about wearesolesisters

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Lois: We started out as two girls who quit their job to travel. We planned and saved money for a year and went on a life-changing journey all over India and Southeast Asia for 6 months, through 9 countries and we spent less than 100,000PHP. We created a travel blog called wearesolesisters.com to document our trip and share our experience to the world.

PBW: How did you get your idea to make a blog? Is there any travel blogger who influenced you?

Lois: There were a lot of travel blogs that influenced us like Adventurous Kate who was also going around Southeast Asia at the time. Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic and Jodi of Legal Nomads. They were all westerners and we thought that Asians should also get some representation in terms on long term travel and exploration.

PBW: How can you earn through your blog? 

Lois: Travel blogs usually earn money through ad banners, sponsored posts and paid links. The fee often varies. Of course it increases as your readership also expands. We only review products, locations and services if it's relevant to our audience and if we have tried them for ourselves.

PBW:  What’s the difference when you had a full time  job compare now that you’re a travel blogger?

Lois: Having a full time job definitely makes more money and gives a steady income. Travel blogging is not yet our main source of income but it provides us opportunities or gigs because of the exposure we get from it. I've been doing motivational talks and retreats for almost a year now. Some of our travels are now being sponsored. But our international trips are still from our own travel fund.

 PBW: Do you have favorite travel blogs? 

Lois: Already mentioned above. I will add Nomadic Chick, This Battered Suitcase, Flipnomad and Soloflight Ed. 

PBW: As a girl, what would you do to care yourself while traveling? And what would you say to your family for them not to worry about you?

Lois: We make sure we tell people where we're going. We even give detailed itinerary to family members to let them know where we'll be. We always get travel insurance for trips exceeding 1 week. Family members can be very understanding as long as you reassure them and tell them you will travel smart and always stay safe. 

PBW: For you what’s the most memorable places that you already traveled?

Lois: India for the unique culture and energetic vibe and Myanmar for its authenticity and lovable people. 

PBW: Do you recommend to the foreigners you met that they may visit also to the Philippines?

Lois: Yes we recommend that they come over to the Philippines because it's great for adventure tourism. I always recommend surfing in Baler, Siargao or Catanduanes. Going to the beaches in Palawan and Calaguas island. And trying out the food in Cebu and Bacolod. And of course to check out my hometown Davao City for the whitewater kayaking, durian and Kadayawan festival.

PBW: What the great  lessons do you get when you’re exploring other cultures?

Lois: That you should always connect with locals because they are the best resource for information about the place and the culture. Ask them where to eat, stay and travel.

PBW: What’s the good character of a blogger, they need to apply themselves?

Lois: You have to always be patient because things will often go wrong when you travel and that's when adventure starts. You have to be resourceful in getting to places and stretching your budget. You have to have an open mind and a ready smile for people you meet from all over the world.

PBW: If you’re travelling, what’s inside your bag and what’s the weight of it?

Lois: I always stick to 7kgs so I don't need to pay for extra luggage. A comprehensive packing list may be found here: http://www.wearesolesisters.com/2012/07/the-7kg-pack-light-challenge.html

PBW: How to lessen your expenses when you’re travelling?


PBW:  What’s your future plan for solesisters?

Lois: I also want to go on a long term backpacking trip all over South and Central America soon. I think I will be traveling for as long as I live because it's my top passion.

 PBW: In your opinion, what’s your difference to other blogger and your blog became so famous? What would be your advice for them to gain attention from the netizens?

Lois: I'd say we have a unique story and we did something that only few people choose to do. My tip for other bloggers who want to be successful is to start branding as soon as they create a blog. Make yourself stand out by having a unique story, promote yourself and your brand by being authentic and true to your readers and always stay positive and give inspiration to others. The keywords would be to inspire, motivate and entertain in whatever topic or field you choose.

 You should not settle for a life less than what you dream. If you want to do something, create a plan, ask for people to support you and start taking steps towards it. It's only impossible until you do it.


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