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GRRR Highlights Reel : Solo Adventure/ Solo YouTuber

Hi, I’m Christine Ka’aloa!

I’m a female solo travel blogger and YouTuber, who left her life in New York, as an actress and reality TV camera operator and producer  to live/work abroad in South Korea.  From there, I launched into a 7+ month solo backpacking trip through Asia and Southeast Asia. Since, I’ve returned to the U.S. and am currently re-designing my lifestyle towards travel.

A vacation begins after you survive it

I started GRRRL TRAVELER, a solo travel blog in 2008, when a trip to India with friends went awry and I was forced to go it alone. Since then, my solo travels have been perfectly imperfect. As a traveler, I’m not as cool as I look in that photo below. I’ve learned that often, the vacation part of each trip, only starts after you survive it.

But the survival part is actually the beauty of the solo travel experience.. it leads to better, more unique and vivid adventures!

christine kaaloa female solo travel blogger, christine kaaloa tv producer

hooting/producing an episode about a surfing pig for Nat Geo in 2014



GRRRL TRAVELER  is a travel survival and solo travel site inspiring others to find their GRRR for travel.  It’s about finding empowerment as a traveler by navigating cultural diversity while experiencing the bizarre, foreign, frightening and often times, funny.  I may not always start out with the GRRR, but I have it at the end.


My Story: How & why I became a solo traveler

In 2008, I was on a backpacking tour through India and Nepal with a group of friends. We all signed up for a scam tour and midway, I decided I wanted “out” of it and well.. you can read the rest here. That was it. Like a baby bird, I was drop-kicked into flight. Not all solo beginnings start on a happy note…

While I am absolutely in love with India, anyone who’s been there knows that traveling it for the first time, can feel challenging, overwhelming, sometimes extreme. As a female traveling alone in a developing country, such as India,  for the first time, the degree of difficulty felt, well,… high!

Thrown into a crazy and dizzying world both, beautiful and ugly, I navigated through the chaos of touts, scam artists, abject poverty, heat, pollution and haggling tuk-tuk drivers, which left me stranded in the middle nowhere.  There were moments I felt uncertain, vulnerable and “a little chicken” of a sheltered Hawaii girl.  The only thing I knew I’d never do, was give up!

So I did the only thing I knew-   I pulled every self-survival trick I could think of to flip my rupee into positive change.  I worked my humor, wit, vulnerability, quirky personality traits, “brave bluffs” and all I considered to be my worst New Yorker attributes! In emergency situations, I accessed my Mac Gyver of ridiculous, but resourcefully-sound solutions. Together, these all created a courage to lean on and helped change what could have been the worst trip in my life, into the greatest!

What had gotten me through it all was my GRRR!



How do you find your  GRRR?

For me travel is like breathing. There’s no question about whether you want to do it or not. You simply know you must find a way. Thus, “Finding GRRR” is actually not about bravery or courage, but  about utilizing travel survival and  all the tricks and resources we’re capable of, to overcome travel’s unpredictable or sticky situations in the best way we can; sometimes, flawedly. Courage is an impulse, while confidence is something you acquire after an experience, so you can’t always start with them.  Instead, you must use what you have in existing fears, bluffs, humor, anything that arises as a resource to help you hurdle an obstacle.

I don’t know if we ever truly conquer our fears. Fear is largely what keeps you safe, so there’s a healthy aspect to it. But because it’s a strong emotion, it can be used as a catalyst for success.   In travel, everything is a resource to be used.




Disclaimer: This is a travel blog. The contents on this website are based upon my opinions and observations of people, places and events that I experience in my journey.  This wouldn’t constitute me as an expert to a country or culture. The best advice I can offer is to go and experience a country on your own, as everyone’s experience is different.


  1. Thanh says:

    Grrrl POWER!!! I discovered your website searching SAPA Vietnam and started reading your travel blogs/tips, i’m hooked! Keep traveling and making awesome videos. Safe travel.

  2. Yoojin says:

    Just discovered your blog and love your stuff! The video on being a polyglot is so fun (!) and so true. Loved, “Left” and “right” in Korean, then “straight” in English (but with a Korean accent, of course). Lol!^^ I’m an American in Korea right now and am getting ready to go to Jeju, which is how I discovered your scootering around Udo video. Udo wasn’t on my radar but you make it enticing! Thanks for your awesomeness!

  3. Amy says:

    Christine, Your website and Youtube posts inspired me to leave my job/life in the states behind and travel/work solo in Korea and surrounding countries. So far it’s been life affirming and confidence busting experience. Thanks for all the great information and for your honest and entertaining posts.

    • Christine Kaaloa says:

      Wow, I’m so happy everything has worked out for you @Amy and that my posts and videos were helpful in making your leap. Rain or shine, your leap was one of the greatest moves in self-faith and trust a person can make! And it will only give you back more. Be proud of yourself– what you’ve accomplished is HUGE!

  4. Sam says:

    Your website is great. I love the photos and info. Are you back teaching in korea these days?

    • @Sam: Thanks- glad you find some of it helpful. Flying up for a job interview next week, but at the moment, my status is up in the air. Are you planning to teach in Korea?

  5. Mathilde says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and I never left a post (I don’t really know why though)
    I simply love your writing style, very funny and clear !
    Your experiences are just ….. GRRR
    I’ll keep reading, so keep traveling =D

  6. Lisa says:

    very cool, grrrrrl!

  7. Runaway Jane says:

    Ha I never thought about it like that but it’s a great idea! I’m actually planning a trip over across the trans-siberian express later this year from moscow to beijing. If all goes well then i’m going to turn it into a RTW journey over land and sea.
    I also like the jailbeak idea! 🙂

  8. Lauren Quinn says:

    All I can say is “agree” and “agree.” Keep on keepin on!

  9. Runaway Jane says:

    I love the name of this site! Sort of remindes of the frosties advert (not sure if it was ever shown outside the UK) 🙂

    Very inspiring story! I want to go to India at somepoint. Can’t wait to hit the road again!

    • Thanks Runaway! Your site name was pretty eye-catching for me too and I like how the nickname I’m giving you sounds like i’m talking to a jailbreak sister! Love your story too- I love impulsive leaps like yours! Are you choosing your next destination by your top 5 travel films list?

  10. Ekua says:

    Hey there, I just wanted to stop by and say I love the concept of “GRRR”!

    • Thanks Unstoppable. You sound like a GRRR! travel sister too weathering malaria ridden trips & Bolivian hostels! There’s an imperfect & uncourageous traveler in us all. It’s interesting to me, how qualities such as “confidence and fearlessness” are often inspired thru trial & error, accident/mistake, horribly (but funny) unraveling & stumblings, etc… Hope you continue to drop by and share some of your story. 😉

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