Today we are traveling with Alice from Teacake Travels.
Hey I’m Alice Teacake! A British chick who has been travelling solo through Asia for the last five years. I’m all about using travel to push my boundaries and challenge myself to be a better, happier, stronger and more fulfilled person. Teacake Travels is all about girl power and will give you the inspiration, determination and strength to challenge yourself too wherever you are.
What type of traveler would you say are you?
I’m the kind of traveller who’s happy as long as I’ve got a little bit of food, a ground to sleep on and a challenge on my plate. You can find me with a backpack, on a motorbike, travelling slowly through a country for months at a time to really try and see and understand the culture I’m within. I’m all about hiking, diving and the weird and wonderful. I started teaching English to fund my travels but now I’m blogging and travelling full time.
What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry
Not a lot! In all honesty I want way more cool and super geeky gadgets but I don’t have them. I pack lightly, simply and strategically. The one thing I always carry in my backpack is my buff. It’s perfect for keeping my hair back, protecting my face when I’m biking and wrapping around my wrist to store valuables when I need to.
Are you usually traveling alone? Why?
Yes, I’m travelling alone. In the beginning I was stubborn as hell about travelling solo because I wanted to prove to myself that I could be independent, problem solve, face my fears by myself and get through things using my body, mind and perseverance. I almost made travel difficult for myself to test myself to the limit. Things have changed now and I am more open to travelling with others if they want to tag along. Nonetheless, I’m an only child and time and time again, it seems I just like exploring by myself. I’m in my thirties now though and in the last couple of months I’ve been thinking that a Mr.Teacake wouldn’t be so bad.
Which country did you find the most hospitable people?
Bangladesh again! People invited me into their homes all the time, eager to feed me chai tea and scrummy delectable curries. It got to the point where I had to start saying no because I was getting nowhere with my travel plans. The less the locals had, the more they wanted to give me. Goes to show how kind their hearts are.
How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?
I feel incredibly blessed to be able to travel so freely, go where I want to, see and discover this planet and sometimes earn money from it. If I’m in a place for too long, I get itchy feet and a little bit miserable and tetchy. Then I tell myself to shut up because life could be WAY worse. When I’m not travelling, I’m putting all my love and energy into Teacake Travels. It’s my passion. Once I’d written my first ever article, I was hooked. Blogging is a drug!
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
To push my boundaries, learn about myself, be a better person, understand others and carry the flag for womens’ rights, encouraging ladies (and you boys out there!) to fight fears, anxieties and societal expectations.
Can you tell us about your longest trip? How long was it and which places did you go to?
I feel my travel has never stopped! In 2013 particularly though I didn’t stop to work at all and travelled through Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Austria. I used all the money I had saved from teaching English in South Korea to carry me through that year. That combined with couchsurfing and being careful with my pennies made travel totally possible.
How do you find traveling in Bangladesh for a solo female traveler?
Well well well…It sure was a challenge but the most rewarding one I’ve put myself through yet. Many people immediately wonder about how the men treated me there when I tell them I explored Bangladesh by myself for a month. Honestly, I was treated with respect and kindness. Sure, local Bangladeshi men were puzzled about why the hell I was there in the first place. Women are hardly on the street and I stood out like a sore thumb. After the shock of being stared continuously and surrounded every time I stopped, I quickly learnt they were simply as curious about me as I was about them and I was in no danger. Bangladeshi people are the kindest people I’ve met. As for the media hype about Muslims running after me with guns, that’s a load of crap. Don’t give into fear and let Bangladesh be tarnished with that dark brush.
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
Korean food! Hands down! I miss it so much and will hunt down a Korean restaurant in every city I visit. Yes, I’ve eaten Korean in Austria, Germany, China and Cambodia. I’m addicted to the kimchi and am even considering moving back to Korea for a while to teach English again and just eat all the food I can. It’s so goddamn good.
Has there been any challenging and bad moments?
Yep. I write very honestly on Teacake Travels and will tell you about all the ups and downs I experience because travel isn’t all about rainbows, roses and magical unicorns. I got pregnant when I was in Thailand and had to go through an abortion in Cambodia. I got stuck on a mountain in Vietnam in the pouring rain and fierce winds and barely made it round the edge of it alive on my motorbike. Near death experiences do make you stronger though: I can vouch for that! I also saw some pretty harrowing events in Cambodia involving knives and dodgy fairground rides
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
Busan in South Korea. The only reason I left was because I knew I’d never leave. Busan has such a special feeling in my heart because it has awesome city life, amazing mountains to hike up just outside your front door and lots of lovely beaches. Can’t get better than that! And obviously: Korean Food!
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
The worst was in Thailand when I got stuck in the middle of nowhere and had to knock on someone’s door to seek shelter. They were the only ‘hut’ around for miles. The family living there reminded of the Texas Chain Massacre. It’s times like these where I wished I carried a tent. I slept there with one eye open but they were very kind to me, seeing as they let me stay there completely through the magic of body language. I slept on the floor in the corner with farm animals. True story. The best place I’ve ever slept in was Thailand though! Panviman Resort in Chiang Mai is amazeballs. It’s a mahoosive plot of land with a meditation cave, home-grown vegetable patches, top-notch masseuses, stunning mountain views and delicious Thai food. I wanted to hang out there way more than I could afford to.
Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
I’m currently in Dali, China studying Gracie Jiu Jitsu in a three month intensive course. It’s an amazing gift to myself to learn how to protect my ass and be a confident lady walking down the street. Jiu Jitsu is known as the ‘gentle art’ as it’s for people who are not the strongest with the biggest muscles. Instead, you learn how to control your big opponent easily with the least amount of effort. It rocks. I now know how to choke people out and break their arms if I need to. Sounds horrible but it’s useful for sure.
After Jiu Jitsu I’m driving from the UK to Mongolia with Team #WeLive on the Mongol Rally 2016! We’re driving through 21 countries to document womens’ rights. It’s going to be epic and a catalyst for change for all the ladies out there.
Its easy to find love while you are traveling?
Ha! If you know the secret, do tell. I feel by travelling the way I do, I am sacrificing finding love for myself immensely. Being a Libran, I fall in love easily and get my heart broken even more. It sucks. I hate it. I just wanna find someone and stick with them. I’m counting on the cosmos to finally sort that out for me.
How do you finance your trips?
Teaching English and Blogging
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
Check out Travelstache.com! He’s been places most other won’t go and his photography is top notch.
How many hours do you work in your blog? How do you manage while traveling to work in your blog?
I put a hell of a lot of time into my blogging. At least six hours a day. I’ve been blogging for a year now and have got better at it, time management wise but it is a ‘job’ I’ve put the most amount of time into my life with the least amount of pay. The bottom line is that it’s my passion and I love getting woman power out there into the world. I’m hoping to up my game and work out a way to monetise it this year.
Where do you usually sleep on your travels?
It’s a mix! I’m on a budget so whatever is cool and a good price is fine by me! Couchsurfing is rad for getting the super local treatment, hotels for being able to sit in the bathtub once in a while and hostels are always a gem for meeting other travellers.
Which is your favorite post in your blog?
Getting my bamboo Sak Yant Tattoo from a monk in Thailand! A truly magical, spiritual, thoughtful and genuine experience that I have felt the power of ever since I’ve had it done. Make to sure to check the post to find out more!
Wow amazing interview with Alice from Teacake Travels, thank you for your time!
Alice’s been traveling around the world and she has very interesting stories. How is it possible to travel alone as a girl in Bangladesh? Alice teaches English and blogs to finance her trips, it doesn’t sound bad! Traveling is easier than we think.
Right now, Alice is working on a very special project. Alice and four other kickass women will travel 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia, across 21 countries in 49 days, to document and promote women’s rights. They’re passionate about women having access to the best opportunities they can in life and are fighting strong to get the word out there about what is happening.
If you want to read more adventures, read the story of Melissa, who has been traveling around the world with her backpack. You can also read the story of Tomislav Perko, who’s been traveling around the world on a budget, $1o per day. He even wrote a full book about it!
Hope we provided more inspiration for you to travel with this amazing interview.
Much more energetic stories to come for you. x