Last Updated on July 14, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa
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Popular Asked Questions
Hi, I’m Christine Ka’aloa .
I’m a legacy female solo travel blogger and one of the first solo female travel vloggers on YouTube!
GRRRLTRAVELER is a solo travel blog helping travelers find confidence in traveling alone, one destination at a time, while doing it responsibly, sustainably, anti-cruel and making a positive impact! You can have fun solo adventures at any age
I left my life in New York, as a 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 returned to the U.S. and am a full-time travel content creator and freelance videographer.
I started GRRRLTRAVELER, a female solo travel blog in 2008 (I’ve kinda been around since the start of travel blogs), when a trip to India with friends went awry and I was forced to go it alone.
I began my solo female travel YouTube channel in 2012, where I document my solo adventures, offering trip and food guides and cool finds as a responsible blueprint for adventurous travelers and foodies to follow in my footsteps.
GRRRL TRAVELER is a travel survival and solo travel site inspiring others to find their GRRR for travel at any age! It’s about navigating cultural diversity while experiencing the bizarre, foreign, frightening and often times, funny.
I film, blog and Instagram my solo adventures to take you into my adventure, where I demystify the ‘scary’ in solo travel.
Not all solo beginnings start on a happy note…
In 2008, I was on a backpacking tour through India and Nepal with a group of friends. We signed up for a scam tour and midway, I decided I wanted off (…you can read my gory details here).
Thrown into a crazy world, beautiful, different and dizzying. 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!
I pulled every self-survival trick I could think of to flip my rupee into positive change and I turned what could’ve been the worst trip in my life, into the greatest! What got me through was my GRRR!
GRRRL TRAVELER was born.
I used to think that traveling alone started with courage and confidence and I had to have both in order to go solo.
Truthfully, few people start at point zero with courage. Courage and confidence are things you develop with time and experience. You can test waters by doing things, like going to a social event alone or taking a solo weekend trip outside the city. If its your first time traveling internationally, do so with a partner first so you can learn to adapt to culture shock.
But taking a full-blown solo trip is a different beast and there’s no way to prepare for it, really. The easiest way — take the leap (or my case, have the rug pulled out from under you).
To be honest, I don’t think the fear ever goes away. At least not with me.
I’ve been traveling solo for over seven years and I still encounter moments of reluctance of booking a new destination. Each destination is similar and yet, unique with different challenges. But the moment I book my trip, reality sets in place and my fears and worries gradually subside. My instinct to survive kicks in and helps me along.
I work and save for my travels like everyone else. Starting out in blogging and YouTube, I did invested in travel a lot to grow my brand. You have to spend money to make money they say. Sometimes, I use credit card points. I loved what I was doing.
I’ve always been good at steering towards jobs the pay me to travel.
Teaching English in Korea was an all-expense paid move to Korea and my work paid me enough to travel during vacation breaks. I based my travels on affordability, choosing the countries based on low flight costs and which are inexpensive to travel.
Being a freelance video camera operator , affords me travel and takes me into different lifestyles on each assignment. It is one of my favorite ways to travel.
And due to the fact my blog and female solo travel YouTube channel have grown, I occasionally get sponsorship, brand deals and work with tourism boards that invite me to film content there.
Most people think my job at GRRRLTRAVELER is an enviable vacation and it’s true that I experience a lot of things- but it’s also 100% work. I don’t get weekends, holidays or sick days off -creating content and inspiration is around the clock work. Trip planning involves not only researching and planning my creative fun, but how I will film it, work within a budget or reach out to sponsors to help me create content that will inspire audiences. But I love shooting and creating travel video content which inspires. That is rewarding
Yes, you can. You have to do a lot of legwork, take additional employment when you’re starting out and find other ways to diversify your blog services. I use everything from affiliate programs, ad sales, sponsored posts, brand deals, campaigns and Patreon.
Many influencers want sponsorships and brand deals to fuel their work and travel. You’ll need to learn how to pitch and negotiate for projects or you can wait for brands to find you.
If you’re really interested in the various ways to monetize your blog and YouTube channel (check out this ebook bundle I created).
These days, I also do speaker engagements and mentor creators on building a business on YouTube. I teach in a couple months, what it took over six years to learn on my own.
It helps to have a business plan or strategy, because my job is to travel but also be self-sustaining. Often I’m wearing more than one hat.
If quick money is your aim, it’s definitely easier to get a job and get paid an hourly wage. The joy of travel blogging has to be your passion before all else.