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Dear girls of the world: don’t let society dictate...

Dear girls of the world: don’t let society dictate who you are

Dear girls of the world,

Don’t let society dictate who you are. Better yet, while you’re at it, don’t let anyone dictate who you are. Coming from the Philippines, I was expected to follow the norms of society. Graduate college, get a job, get married, have babies. While that works for some, it didn’t for me. Early on in life, I knew I wanted more. While some girls dreamt of weddings and having the perfect home, I dreamt of foreign lands and discovering the unknown. As soon as I got my very first job, I started a travel fund and hustled like crazy. I then moved to Boracay Island where I lived and worked for three years.

While I was happy and content, it was there where I met some of the most amazing free spirited people who inspired me to pursue my longtime dream of travel. Despite having a kick ass job (I was the principal of the International School), I woke up one day and decided it was time to go. That day, I quit my job, booked a ticket, and called my parents to tell them my plans. Life was too short and if I wanted to see and do everything that I have spent countless hours dreaming about, I had to do it now.

Armed with one backpack, a camera, and a journal, I bought a one-way ticket to Europe with that plans of traveling for a year. While everyone thought I was crazy for leaving, it was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made as it has ended up opening countless doors for me. Three years later, I’ve backpacked across 4 continents, made countless memories around the world, met my partner in crime and founded a start-up. All of that happened because I chose to defy the life that society set out for me. Dear girls of the world, trust me on this. All it takes is guts. Guts to pursue your dreams, no matter what others think of them.

Windows of Opportunities Turn into Doors and Hallways


When I left to travel, I was far from rich. In Europe, I budgeted hard. I couch surfed, stayed with friends, and did anything to save a couple of dollars here and there, but I also had the time of my life. At the tail end of my yearlong backpacking trip, I met my partner Tom in Vietnam. After a whirlwind 6 weeks of traveling and dating each other across two countries, I left to go back home to the Philippines. Tom soon landed in the Philippines and ended staying while waiting until I could save a bit more money to leave again. To stay connected to something we both loved, we started a travel blog as a small passion project. Little did we know, starting Adventure in You would end up changing our lives.

Armed with nothing more than a dream that we could travel the world and somehow make enough to survive, we left once again and have never looked back since. Fast forward to today, we have grown our website to become an adventure travel resource site, inspiring people to DO MORE. Somewhere along the way, we incorporated our company and received an Angel Investment which we are using to launch GetStoked, a mobile app for travelers. This life of travel has opened up so many windows, doors, and hallways for me that often, I have to pinch myself to see if its real.

Are You Crazy?

I tried very hard to fight the urge to run around and start throwing leaves everywhere! Autumn in Paris is love 🍁🍂

A photo posted by Adventure In You (@adventurein_you) on

When I first quit my job when I was at the top of my career, people thought I was stupid. When I sold everything I owned to go traveling, everyone kept asking me, “are you crazy?” When I did it again the second time around, everyone was convinced I was. While I am lucky that my parents stood by me and supported every decision I made, not everyone understood. I am nearing thirty and everything I own can fit into one backpack but I am also the happiest that I have ever been. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to travel all over Europe (twice), trek through the lush jungles of the Amazon, and go paragliding while a volcano was exploding behind me (true story). Lastly, never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would end up as a founder of a tech start up company.

I realized that I stuck to the confines of what society had expected me to be, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So, dear girls of the world, be fearless about pursuing who you are. Pursue your passions and never, ever let anyone define who you are.

Love,

Anna

Who is currently in Chiang Mai, hustling


Do you have anything to say to the girls of the world? Use this channel as your voice! E-mail trishavelarmino[at]gmail[dot]com with subject “Dear girls of the world series.” I would love to hear from you!


After her year long stint traveling around the world, Anna found her love for exploring new places insatiable. Driven by epic adventure stories and good food, she is on a mission to go, eat, and write about as many places as she can. Anna is currently growing their blog, Adventure in You and developing a mobile travel app GetStoked.

  1. Thet Gueco

    30 November

    Wow, that’s a brave move you had to do back there! After college hopefully I’ll be able to travel too.

    • anna

      30 November

      Thank you Thet! Believe in the good vibes of this universe and make it happen! 🙂

  2. Marina Utami

    1 December

    Good read!! Keep Inspiring Anna! I had the same feeling too when i left my job but nontheless the heart wants what it wants 🙂

    • anna

      2 December

      Thank you Marina! 🙂 Grateful for your kind words and kudos to you for the courage to pursue your dreams x

  3. Carla

    3 December

    I say amen to this post! I really love the way you write and your style is really nice. Keep on inspiring girls all over the world!

    • anna

      5 December

      Thank you, Carla! Appreciate your kind words.

  4. Stefan

    3 December

    PREACH!! Excellent advice 🙂 And by the way, LOVE your Casa del Arbol photo. We’re currently travelling around Ecuador and were recently also getting our money shot in Baños as well 🙂

    • anna

      5 December

      Stefan!! While you guys are there, hit up GEO TOURS. They are an amazing company. Love Banos!! Enjoy x

  5. Indrani

    4 December

    Indeed inspiring! Great that you are able to follow your passion and dreams!
    All the best!

  6. Nathan

    4 December

    What an amazing story! I also left thinking I would do a 6-12 mo trip and I’m about to hit my three year mark also! Our stories are similar in many ways. Best to you and I hope your travels continue to be safe.

    • anna

      11 December

      Thank you Nathan! Happy travels to you as well- maybe our paths would one day cross!

  7. Megan

    4 December

    Love the message behind this post – thankyou for writing it. I completely agree – I’ve adopted a saying that “reality is negotiable” because we can make life whatever we want it to be. It’s difficult breaking away from the mould of society when that’s all we’ve ever known, and when friends and family who we look up to and admire don’t understand, or even call us crazy, but I’ve found that after you prove that you’ve achieved the lifestyle of your dreams, the “crazy” comments stop and transform into “how can I do this too”!!!

    • anna

      5 December

      Totally agree with you on that, Meg!

  8. Carol Perehudoff

    4 December

    I’m with you – I can’t live without travelling. Never have and never will, as long as I’m able to, at least. I’m so glad you found your passion in life and didn’t let anything stand in your way. Um, exploding volcano?

    • anna

      5 December

      Hahaha! Definitely an experience. 🙂

  9. Maddy

    5 December

    This post is so inspirational! Sometimes when I constantly hear friends & family tell me I’ve travelled too much or “it’s time to join the grown up world” I get so frustrated. This is the grown up world! Travelling is different but that doesn’t make it wrong. Thank you for being inspirational!

  10. sophie

    6 December

    Great post! I think it’s important to follow your dreams and travelling for me is one of them!

  11. Christopher

    8 December

    This is a great message for all the girls. It takes a special person to make moves like that. It’s a lot of work and not all fun to be able to travel full time. As much as I love travelling a part of me also loves coming home. This is veryinspiring 😎

    • anna

      11 December

      Thanks Christopher. It is tiring..but we travel quite slow! Lived in Indonesia for 2 months, Ecuador for 2 as well and now we have slowed down even more as we are developing an App! 🙂

  12. Monica

    15 February

    “While that works for some, it didn’t for me. Early on in life, I knew I wanted more. While some girls dreamt of weddings and having the perfect home, I dreamt of foreign lands and discovering the unknown. ”
    I could not have said it better.
    This is sooo inspiring! Thank you so much for this!

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