Our blog series 'Why Every Woman Should Travel Solo' continues with Amalla Vesta. She has been awarded with the Indonesia Travel Business Leader Awards (ITBLA) as a Leader in Promoting Domestic Tourism through Social Media. This November, she will be giving a talk at the Asian Women's Empowerment (AWE) Conference on Effective Social Media Campaigns.
After quitting corporate life, Vesta (as she's preferred to be called) started to focus on what had been her preferred choice of vocation – a full-time Travel Consultant. She believes everyone has different interests, and with that, she tries to deliver holiday concepts that suit each individual's needs.
Her calling was further strengthened when in 2012, she was hired as a travel consultant for the Tourism Ministry of Indonesia. To date, her resume is as impressive as her list of clientèle, which includes companies such as Unilever, Nielsen Singapore, Think Web, QM Financial, and many more.
Currently, Vesta juggles married life, motherhood and her two passions – travel and fashion.
Occupation: Independent Travel Consultant and Freelance Travel Writer
Interesting facts about yourself (bad habits are welcome): My weakness is that I cannot travel/pack light; if I can bring my whole drawer, I’d do that. I prefer to spend my money dining at fancy local restaurants than go shopping. I am a control freak, so I won’t go for tour & travel packages, because it feels that I have less control on when/where to go.
3 things you won't leave home without: My smart phone(s), my credit card(s), and my favourite perfume.
'Travel' smells like: Fresh morning dew, because it's a mood booster and fills me with exhilaration.
Guilty travel pleasure: I buy flight tickets ONE YEAR in advance, and I splurge on fine dining restaurants during my trips.
How it all began
Travelling runs in the family. My parents used to take us kids travelling around Indonesia. My dad was a mountain trekker and a skydiver too. He took us on road trips, by ferry/train/plane. So yeah, it was from my childhood.
My solo trip to mainland China was my biggest challenge so far. Language barrier is one of the most annoying things when you travel, as well as the “non-Latin writings”.
Maybe not the weirdest, but most the ridiculous experience when I travelled solo was getting on the bus in Shanghai. It had no English directions and everything was in Mandarin. I was so sure the bus would pass by my hotel, but as turned out, it did not, and I did not know how to stop the bus. Yup, I got lost due to my own stupidity. What I'd do differently, would be to never ever think I know everything. Admit to the fact that I can't read and speak Chinese.
Nothing stood in my way
I've never faced any obstacles to travel solo since I became an adult.
"All you need to travel solo is good preparation and research."
All the reasons that keep women from travelling solo are RIDICULOUS. Money? Well girls, you gotta get your priorities right. Scared? Please, there’s nothing to be scared about, really. Family? How old are you? If you’re under 17 years old, I can see why.
To all those women who says, “With all these assaults going on in the world, I'm not leaving the house”, I’d say: “Poor you, ladies!” Because this world is too beautiful to not be explored.
Changes in me
If you want freedom, and you have so many things you want to do but have limited time, there’s nothing better than travelling solo. Because travelling solo means being able to go anywhere, eat and do anything you want without having to think of someone else’s opinion. It’s a pure form of freedom.
Because of this freedom, I know myself better now. I discovered my limits and craziness when I first travelled alone.
The many dreams of the future
Oh I have so many ultimate voyage dreams in mind. One week in the Maldives, Bora Bora or the Caribbean with my husband. Two weeks in New Zealand (both South & North Islands) with my husband and our kids. One week on the Greek islands with my husband and our best friends. One month travelling in Italy, France, and Switzerland by myself or with my husband and our friends.
"Once in a lifetime, everyone should try solo travel."
What do you think about Vesta's thoughts on solo travel for women? Let us know what you think in the comment box below.