Another feature for the Superwoman Indonesian Solo Female Travel Rica Facundo is the author for Foreign Filipino when I first encountered her in 2012! She was also one of the writers for We Are Sole Sisters back then. I got my eye on her blog mainly because she always write good stuff about her journey and the fact that she was born in Indonesia as well! So of course, I am one of her fans 🙂
I am beyond the stars when she agreed to be interviewed as the Superwoman of February. She was also my inspirations when I first started the solo travel, so I hope she can inspire you too! Read her story here down below:
Name: Rica Facundo
Occupation: Senior Account & Social Media Manager, Advertising
What inspired you to travel solo for the first time?
There’s a misconception among some that taking a solo trip is an excuse to run away from your problems. But I like to think that a solo trip is a way to find answers to the most pressing questions in your head (and heart, really). The first time I went on a solo trip, I was at a crossroads in my life and the trip was that much needed “me time” to reflect on what I wanted to do next. Ironically, I find stillness amidst movement. The act of moving makes the feelings of anxiety float away until what’s left is what I really feel.
Tell us about the first time you travelled alone. Where did you go and what did you do?
It was back in 2014 and I was 24 years old. I went to Saigon and Cambodia for about 1.5 weeks. I started with S.E.Asia because it was cheap (I didn’t have a lot of budget) and a lot of travelers take solo trips in this region so I felt more or less confident to do it myself. I first visited my friend in Saigon and she took me around. But my favourite memory is taking a motorbike trip along the Mekong Delta. In Cambodia, my favourite memory was exploring the temples on the back of someone’s motorbike too. You can read more about it here: https://medium.com/@senorica/life-beyond-the-life-changing-solo-trip-79bd36a683fd#.1s0hruw38
So what are the love/hate things you experienced travelling alone?
I love that I can do what I want to do when I feel like it and I don’t have to cater to anyone elses preference. I hate not having someone to help me take photos haha! But seriously, you feel safer when you have one more person with you. In case you run out of cash or battery.
Who’s your travel inspiration?
Definitely Anthony Bourdain. I like him not only because of the way he travels but how honest he is in his writing. He’s so real and raw and doesn’t give a damn about what anyone else says. He sees the humanity in traveling and not just the aesthetics (ie beautiful scenery to take pictures with.)
What is your favorite websites and travel apps do you often use?
Matador network, Nat Geo, CNTraveler are my favourite mainstream travel websites. My recent discovery is Life & Thyme which talks about culinary storytelling. For travel trends (especially for my job) I look to Skift.com.
Travel apps – I use VSCO for editing photos, google maps for navigation, TripIt to remember my flight details, and google docs for my itinerary. Oh and splitwise if you’re traveling with someone and you’re splitting the costs.
What is your favorite country so far? Any recommendation for female solo traveler?
This is such a hard question to answer haha. I have favourite places for different reasons. Cebu was awesome because I like adventure and we went canyoneering. I really enjoyed Sri Lanka because it was breathtakingly beautiful with the tea plantations and taking a 10 hour train to the mountainside was like moving through a landscape painting. Taiwan for street food. Jodhpur in India for the culture. See- told you I can’t pick one!
What are some important things you bring when travelling solo? (Beside money and passport?)
I think you need to have a backup of all your important paperwork. Upload a scanned copy of your passport, visas, bank statements, etc into a dropbox or google drive. Aside from this, the most important thing is confidence. Don’t be scared and just enjoy yourself.
Everyone has their quirky thing when they travel. I love doing temple hunting and visiting museums. So what’s yours?
I tend to stay away from glitzy shopping malls. I prefer visiting markets, checking out the local food and craft scene, graffiti spots. Places that show me the true heart of the city. Give me a souk over shopping malls anyday.
Share your tips for any first time solo traveller?
Pick a place that you’ll feel comfortable traveling by yourself. Identify people you could possible call to help you in case you get into trouble. Start small then slowly go further away from your comfort zone with every trip that you take.
What’s your favorite travel quote that’s best describe you?
I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.
Rica is a ‘foreign filipina,’ born in Indonesia, raised in the Philippines and working in Singapore. She writes beyond the border, about experiencing the world with foreign eyes and with local heart as the Founder and Chief Story Collector of Outandabroad.com . Follower her on Instagram @senorica.
Are you one of the cool solo female traveller with Indonesian blood that has abundance of story to tell? Get featured here as the Superwoman and help to inspire other solo female traveller wannabe too out there! 🙂
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© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.