Around the world with the www & me series: This week we’re talking to Aleah Taboclaon from the Philippines, author of a well-known travel blog travel blog, about her experiences as a solo female traveller and digital nomad.
Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor from Manila, Philippines. who has backpacked solo in India, Nepal, all over Southeast Asia, Europe and around the Philippines. She started travelling alone when she was 11 and writes about her experiences as a solo female traveler at www.solitarywanderer.com
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your projects?
My graduate education is in Clinical Psychology and I practiced as a therapist to abused women and children for more than eight years. I quit when I started feeling burned out and returned to my former work: that of a writer and an editor. I’ve been freelancing in oDesk now for over four years. My projects range from editing and proofreading theses and dissertations, to writing articles on travel, business psychology, home improvement, DIY posts, among many others.
How much time did you spend on the computer yesterday?
Nine hours. Sundays are busy because that’s the cutoff of the work week in oDesk.
You wrote a lot about being a female traveler - how is it to be a female webworker in the world wide web? Are there any similarities?
There’s a big difference between being a female online worker and a female solo traveler. In the interwebs, you can be anyone you want to be, gender doesn’t matter much. If you don’t like being a woman, you can have a male avatar online. In real life, however, you can’t you’re your gender, and for women it is sometimes difficult. When I’m traveling solo, for example, I am always conscious of my gender because there are places where the mere fact of being a woman is already an invitation for abuse.
Did the way of travelling change through social media and the option to be online almost always, and almost everywhere?
Through the internet, sharing all forms of content has become so much easier, making it easier for people to plan their travels. There is no need anymore to wait for new updates to guidebooks; you can read the latest travel article with just a few keystrokes on your keyboard. Social media makes it easy for travelers to connect with other people worldwide, too. It brings travel to anyone anywhere and in real time. For me, personally, the internet has changed my traveling a lot. I’m not rich so I had to save up a lot before in order to afford a trip. With my online work now, I just need to come up with the price of the plane ticket and I can already go anywhere, knowing I’ll earn my living expenses on the road.
The future of the internet - where does the journey go to for you?
With access to the world now via my fingertips, I can’t see myself going back to a brick and mortar job ever. I may stop freelancing, but it will be replaced with an online business. I think that’s the trend of the future.
Your relationship with the net in one sentence?
It sets me free.