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!
What is GRRRL TRAVELER?
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!
GRRRL TRAVELER was born.
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.