I have quit my decent paying IT job after 15 years so I can work for an airline to satisfy my travel bug. Yes, I took a big paycut, but life's too short to be stuck in a career that I've lost interest in. It has been 6 years now and I have no regrets.
Working for an airline also means I get background checked every other year. I not only love to travel, I think I am obsessed about it. At least once (or twice) a month, I fly wherever the "nicer weather" is. Annually, I visit a minimum of 1 new country and have visited 35 countries so far. I love interacting with the locals and get culturally immersed while on the road. I'm also known by my friends as one who likes to flirt with danger. Going for the unknown always gives me that thrill.
If I'm not flying, I like to ride my bike, go for a hike, play tennis with my friends, do yoga, watch movies, read, and do volunteer work. I used to do martial arts for 5 years. I am also a host on another site, and have hosted quite a few travellers from all over the world in the past 6 months.
I like to cook, love to experiment and concoct my own recipes. It's therapeutic. Also, on my days off if I'm not travelling, I visit a new restaurant once a week, in the Seattle area (or any area I travel to) to get ideas from the pros :)
A roommate lives with me, he's also an airline employee and gone 3 days a week. We're both non-smokers. I'm pescatarian. I also like to fast every now and then.
Feb 2104, I just got back from a volunteer trip doing relief efforts for the typhoon victims of the Philippines, the hardest that hit the Earth in Nov 2013. While most of my trips were all about me, this time the focus is for the happiness of others. It feels great helping out especially the ones whom you don't expect a return.
It's because you don't hear about them on the news, it doesn't mean they don't need help anymore. One just can't rebuild back to normal life in 2-3 months. There were definitely teary eyed moments (for both us and the family victims) the moment they saw us arriving with goods solely for them. The job is not over yet, I will be back there later this year to help out in rebuilding more.
Let me share some amazing things I've seen/done: (so far)
Volunteering for 5 yrs driving the Seniors to their medical appointments
Tutor volunteer (13 months) for kids at-risk thru Seattle's Youth Tutoring Program
Visited 2,500 yr old Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily
Watched all day in awe the Perito Moreno Glaciers, El Calafate, Argentina
Hiked at Cerro Fitz Roy, the Patagonias, Argentina
3 days and 4 nights 4X4ng at Salar de Uyuni, a 60,000 sq km salt flat in Bolivia
Seeing the sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Rising at 4am for the temples of Bagan in Myanmar
Stars gazing and celestial tour at 130am, San Pedro de Atacama Desert, Chile
Ice fishing in the Laplands, Finland
Sleeping under the stars at the Sahara Desert, Morocco
Watched the sunset at Windows Azure, Island of Gozo, Malta
Seeing the Athabasca Glacier, Banff Nat'l Park, Canada
Walking along the River Walk, San Antonio, TX, USA
Got "adopted" by a Singaporean family I just (email hidden)'l Airport, Singapore
Got "adopted" by a Moroccan family I met in Chefchauouen, Morocco
I'll be happy to share tips (and photos and stories) on my overseas travels, especially budget travelling. Just ask :)
**I've several photos on my profile from my travels, pls click on the arrow to rotate to other photos. ***
PS. I have been featured on a blog by one of my guests from Switzerland who stayed at my place for 4 nights in June 2013. If requested, I'll be happy to send you the link as we can't publish a URL here. The caveat is it's in German, but it can be translated to a language of your preference.
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