How I Can Afford To Travel!

My most REVEALING post to date! If you've been wondering how the hell I've been able to last traveling this long, well here it is! All secrets are out in the open! This post tells you how I do it, and how YOU can do it too!

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Working On A Cruise Ship

I somehow managed to get myself a job working at a Cruise Ship. This post is an inside look on what it's really like to live and work below deck. You never know... You might be enticed to work for one too, and travel the whole world like me! Read on to find out more...

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Scotland: My Favorite Country In The World

I've been to many places in several different continents, and have seen spectacular beauty... But every time I visit Scotland, every other country pales in comparison. Read this post to find out why at this point, Scotland was and still is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on Earth...

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On Finding My Bliss In Italy

When you go on big trips like this, however cheesy it sounds, you always do end up 'finding yourself'. And there are moments... difinitive moments when you achieve clarity, contentment, and pure happiness. This all happened to me in Italy. Read my most soulful post to date, inspired by the full moon in Italia...

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On Being Featured In A Documentary

I somehow managed to get myself featured in an upcoming documentary about "Voluntourism". This may be the big break I've been waiting for! The trailer is out - and I'm in it! It looks so good, I'm so excited! See for yourself... watch it here!

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An Epiphany At Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is one of my favorite places in Italy. We hiked 5 villages in one day, and it was breathtaking! But something completely unexpected happened on the hike... An encounter with a complete stranger made me realize possibly one of the most important things I need to do with my life...

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My Ayahuasca Experience

Ayahuasca, is by far, the most INTENSE thing I have ever experienced in my life. I died and was reborn. It is both horrific and beautiful at the same time... I can't explain it in a few words. You HAVE to read my story to believe... I promise it will be worth your while...

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award

From what I understand after tremendous amounts of research (read: about 8 minutes of Googling), The Liebster Blog Award nominations are given to the bloggers who are awesome. I have been nominated twice. That makes me twice as awesome. 

Just kidding. I think I’m just the normal kind of awesome. :)

Ok here are the facts. Liebster means “darling” or “beloved”. It’s like the German equivalent of Million Dollar Baby’s “Mo Chuisle”. The Liebster Award was founded years ago to help bloggers support and promote one another by nominating 11 up and coming  blogs by asking 11 random questions, after posting 11 random facts about yourself, and answering 11 random questions from the blogger who nominated you. I have no idea what the significance of the number 11 is, but that’s the way this whole thing works, apparently.

It doesn’t matter. It’s fun, and I feel really special for being nominated twice. :)
So here goes… 

11 Random Earth2Eartha Facts

1. My first name is Lady. I was conceived on the month Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married. My mom, obviously, was really into the hype back then. 

2. I was also named after the late, great, Eartha Kitt. Although I can’t sing quite like her, I can sing.

Santa Baby
3. I was the Harry Potter Quiz Bee Champion of my University. This is one of my greatest accomplishments.

4. I play a few musical instruments, but my favorite is the ukulele. I looove my ukulele!

5. Remember the music video of the song, “Escape” by Enrique Iglesias? Remember Anna Kournikova and how hot she was in it? That was it. That was the reason why I grew my hair down to my bum.

Hottest couple! 
6. I have a special talent. It is called ‘Facial Recognition’. It allows me to spot Celebrities from miles away.  One time I recognized someone, and he wasn’t even facing me. I recognized him from his back (Tim Allen). I always come up to ask to take photos with them and 90% of them oblige. The other 10% are always nice about saying no. By the third time I’ve bumped into Adam Sandler, he was the one who recognized me. I have a Celebrity Encounters photo album on Facebook. I am not a stalker.

Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and Me!

7. I secretly enjoy (well, obviously not a secret anymore) going to the movies by myself sometimes. Not all the time. Just sometimes. It’s therapeutic.

8. You know that cups song that Anna Kendrick did at Pitch Perfect? Her audition song with the slapping of the cup? Yeah. I can do that.

9. I have a dog. Her name is Phoebe, after Phoebe Buffay from Friends.

10. My favorite country so far is Scotland. When I visited Prague in Czech Republic, it came close to beating Scotland that I was back and forth for a while. After seeing the movie, Brave, Scotland went straight back up to number 1.

11. I am sad that I’m only allowed to write 11 of these facts.

11 Questions from Traveling Ange and The Barefoot Beat (I chose 11 from both of their lists)  

1. What is your favorite word in another language, and what does it mean?

Cwtch. It’s Welsh for tight cuddle or affectionate squeeze. The closest definition is "safe place". I love a good cwtch!

2. What do your friends and family think about your travels?

About my up and coming RTW trip, most of my friends are very supportive. There’s one who thinks I’m crazy and has asked me not to do it – “Be responsible, Eartha. Save for the future. Don’t piss it all away traveling the world.” 
I think he means well.
My family is excited for me, but my dad took a little convincing. He was mostly worried, but I think he’s warmed up to the idea now.

3. Describe one place that’s still on your bucket list

I’m too lazy to describe it. I’ll just say what it is.

4. What’s one country you changed your mind about after visiting?

It might be Venice in Italy… not a country but a city. I had high hopes for it, and I had it pegged for one of my favorite destinations, but I was disappointed. It was too touristy, and I thought it was overhyped. I know… sad L It’s a beautiful place, just not what I had expected.

5. What’s your favorite piece of footwear while traveling?

My new Glagla water shoes!

6. Favorite foreign food?

Sticky toffee pudding? That’s a dessert. Does that count? 

How about marmite? Scones with clotted cream and jam? I am an anglophile.

7. Would you rather drink snake blood or eat dog in Vietnam?

I don’t think I can eat a dog. I’ll drink the blood. I watch True Blood.

8. If you were stranded on an island, what 3 books would you want to have with you?

9. Post your favorite wildlife photo.

This is a Tarsier from the Philippines. Is that considered wildlife??

10. Beach or Mountains? Lightning or Thunder? Savory or Sweet?

Beach. Thunder. Sweet.

11. Ever had romance abroad?
Yes. ;)

My questions for my top 11

What’s your favorite travel memory?
Where is your favorite destination so far?
What is your favorite thing to photograph while abroad?
Who is your travel hero?
Are you more practical or luxurious?
What are your best travel purchases?
When did you first get bitten by the travel bug?
Share your most favorite travel photo ever!
Have you ever met someone while traveling that you really connected with? Are you still friends?
Would you rather fly, sail, drive or walk?

My 11 Nominations

Andrea Reese @wanderingiphone
The Roamers @riseandroam
Iain Mallory @malloryontravel
Joya Anthony @joyaanthony
Suzy Guese @suzyguese
Tom Stockwell @waegook_tom
Andi Perullo @andiperullo
Rica’s Rucksack @ricasrucksack
The Sole Sisters @weRsolesisters
Desert Fox @diarydesertfox
Sabina Lohr @sabinalohr

Pass it on, awesome nerds! Keep me posted when you guys have done your own list, and post the link on the comment section below :)

Hi There! Have we met before? You look familiar! Those shoes look great on you, by the way! I’m Eartha and I recently decided to quit my job to travel the worrrrld! Join me in my adventures by checking back on my blog, and leaving me a comment or two!
  • Subscribe to my blog and get updated every time I post here!
  • Add me to your feed reader here!
  • Wanna be Facebook friends? Like my page here!
  • Are you as epigramatic as I am? Tweet me @earth2eartha
  • Do you have cool photos on Instagram? Check mine out too @earth2eartha
  • Or if you want to leave me a message or a limerick, email me here!

Come and visit me again soon! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Self Defense For The Female #WeGoSolo Traveler

#WeGoSolo is Badass

Hello! My name is Eartha, I am about to go on a trip around the world by myself, and I support the #WeGoSolo movement. :)

The recent tragedy involving Sarai Sierra, an American woman who was murdered while traveling in Turkey, caused an uproar in the online travel community, not just because of what happened (which really was awful) but because of the seemingly unanimous conclusion that women should never travel alone... That the murder would have been prevented, had she not been by herself.

This lunacy is what prompted +Breathedreamgo to birth the idea of the #WeGoSolo crusade... To promote, encourage, and empower females to travel solo, and to shine a light on the real issue which is violence against women.

As a female about to go on a solo RTW trip myself, I fully support #WeGoSolo and everything they stand for. I think that there are so many ways women can stay safe while traveling if we just keep our wits about ourselves, stay smart, and prepare ourselves for absolutely anything.

Self Defense is one of the things I made sure I learned before going on this trip. I have been boxing on and off for more than 10 years, and recently just started Muay Thai training at my local gym, Punch Kick Grapple - so I guess you could say I might already have some of the "tools" to defend myself. I don't like to brag, but I have been told I have a killer right elbow. :)

My Muay Thai Class at Punch Kick Grapple

My right elbow. Haha

I do know that self defense takes more than a few punches and kicks, and training in the classroom is completely different from an assault in real life... So, I took the liberty of soliciting the help of a few of my trainers (who are experts in  Mixed Martial Arts, Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Boxing and Muay Thai) in simple tips and techniques I could use in keeping myself safe and away from harm while traveling alone.


Well obviously, I'm hoping that I never have to use my karate chop moves on anyone. If I can go through this travel year without any menacing incidents, all the better. I can't be naive though, and it's always better to be over-prepared than under. Females are easier targets for any form of violence than men --- but there are simple things that we can do to avoid having to deal with disagreeable situations.

1. Do not walk alone at night (in an unfamiliar territory)
2. Do not walk alone at night, drunk (in any territory)
3. Do not wear revealing clothing that might invite unwanted attention (especially in an unfamiliar territory)
4. Walk with purpose - head up, eyes forward, good pace. This makes you seem confident and less likely to be a prey.
5. Try to stay in public as much as you can
6. Do your research (seriously!) and make sure your accommodations (hotel, hostel, etc) is in a safe area.
7. Carry a rubber doorstop with you and wedge it on your hotel room door to prevent intruders.
8. If you are alone, as much as possible, try not to arrive at an unfamiliar location at night. Pay more for a flight/train/bus ride that arrives in the day.

Wedging a rubber doorstop inside your hotel room door.


If even after doing all the steps above, you still find yourself face to face with a potential assailant...
Be ready. Be alert. Be aware.

First thing's first. Run.

If you can't get away, remember that you have a really powerful weapon at your disposal: Your Voice. If an assailant is approaching you with a purposeful walk, yell out at the top of your lungs, "STOP RIGHT THERE", or "BACK OFF!" and hold your hand out in a "Stop" position. I was told that making a loud noise like that will ward off those looking for an easy prey. It could also signal help from people nearby, so warm up those vocal chords, ladies! Don't be afraid to scream and shout!

If what they want from you is money or your purse -- just give it to them. Throw it at them or throw it away from you, and run towards the other direction. NOTHING you own will ever be more valuable than your own life. 

If that still doesn't work, then it's time to pull some of the moves that my PKG trainers have taught me.

My personal PKG defense experts, Eric Steans and Jeremy Umphries


The first thing that one of the trainers, Jeremy Umphries, said to me was, "Kick him in the nuts". I laughed but he was being absolutely serious. A man's groin is the one thing that they can't 'condition', unlike say, the arms or the abs, therefore making it completely sensitive and vulnerable. I once watched my sparring partner kneel down and yell for his momma after I accidentally kicked him down there, and it wasn't even a strong kick! Imagine what kind of damage we could do if we attacked with conviction!
If you are grabbed from behind, you can aim for the groin too by bending down and hitting it with your elbow.

Me, kicking my trainer, Dominic, in the groin!

Eric Steans, another trainer, chimed in and said - "When you're close enough, remember these words: GRAB, TWIST and PULL!" It only took me a second to generate a visual of what he was talking about. It's brilliant! Ladies, may we never have to do this, but if we are close enough, just GRAB, TWIST and PULL! While they are down and crying from the pain, run for your life!


Dominic doubled over from the pain of being hit in the groin, giving me the perfect opportunity to punch him in the eyes!

"Poke him in the eye" was the next tip I received. Apparently, the groin and the eyes are your best shot at inflicting the most damage to give you enough time to escape. "Punch 'em, poke 'em, claw 'em with your nails", Eric continued. A good combination to use is a kick in the nuts, then when he kneels from the pain, jab him in the eyes, then run!


A blow to the solar plexus causes a psychological reaction that seizes the lungs, and makes it very difficult for one to breathe. If you are facing your assailant, give him a strong punch or upper cut on that area. If he is behind you, elbow it with as much force as you could muster. If you are of the right height, you can also strike it with your knee (like in the photo below)! While he is choking --- run!

Giving a knee strike to Trainer Eric to the Solar Plexus


Attacking the throat - which is another one of the more sensitive areas, could also prove to be an effective way to stupefy your assailant. Eric suggests a poke or a punch to the trachea or the windpipe. Doing this will close the air passage, making it difficult for one to breathe. The idea is for him to clasp his throat and gasp for air, allowing you the chance to escape and run away!

Looks like I'm shooting him on the throat

A good tip is to hold key or a pen, sharp side outward from in between your fingers while walking (like photo below)... This gives you an automatic weapon, and allows you to inflict more pain and damage should you need to punch an assailant in the eyes, face, solar plexus or throat! If you don't have a key, there's always some good old mace spray to fall back on! I'd always keep it handy!

Deadly Key Fist!

And there you have it, ladies (and gents, come to think of it). I hope these tips help keep you safe while you're on the road. The most important thing to remember is to always have a keen sense of awareness wherever you are. I still have a few more weeks before I go off on my journey, and I fully intend to make use of that time to keep myself strong and fit. If any of you guys are going off on a solo trip like me, I wish you all the best! Be safe, #WeGoSolo ladies... Travel wise and travel well... And may we never have to test our new defensive skills on anyone.
On the off chance that we do, we'll be ready. :)

Hi There! Have we met before? You look familiar! Those shoes look great on you, by the way! I’m Eartha and I recently decided to quit my job to travel the worrrrld! Join me in my adventures by checking back on my blog, and leaving me a comment or two!

  • Subscribe to my blog and get updated every time I post here!
  • Add me to your feed reader here!
  • Wanna be Facebook friends? Like my page here!
  • Are you as epigramatic as I am? Tweet me @earth2eartha
  • Do you have cool photos on Instagram? Check mine out too @earth2eartha
  • Or if you want to leave me a message or a limerick, email me here!

Come and visit me again soon! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Parisian Photo Essay: Valentine Special

In line with the current (fake) holiday, I have put together a collection of my favorite photos from Paris. It is Valentines Day after all - and is Paris not one of the most romantic cities in the world?

However, if you are expecting photos of lovers holding hands or couples kissing underneath the Eiffel Tower, then you better Alt + F4 this business now... I've never been a fan of the typical cheesy lovey dovey lalala with hearts and flowers and crap. I just think Paris is romantic in a less obvious sense. Sure it has the lights, and the tower, but it also has hidden enchantments, intrigue in the darkness, and subtle charm.

That's what I think anyway. :) Here they are... My fave photos from my trips to Paris.
May it inspire you to visit... for what was it that Audrey Hepburn (and my travel buddy, Karen) always said?

Ah yes... Paris is always a good idea. :)

An accordionist playing "La Vie En Rose"to a couple on the table next to ours.  Eduardo - the guy in black - sang along enthusiastically while he played (yes we became friends with them during dinner). It was amazing :)

A little boy having too much fun with gigantic bubbles! A man was selling  these huge  bubble blower things in front of a museum, and the little boy drew the crowd in. 

I remember just getting off the Metro when my friend, Karen, and I saw this. We were trying to find Champs Elysees and stumbled upon this little mound full of flowers. 

Ah. Monmartre. Possibly my favorite area in Paris. We were fortunate enough to have a local Parisian take us around Monmartre at night, and I just thought that the cafe's and galleries along the cobblestone streets was absolutely entrancing. It gave me a feeling of nostalgia, like I completely understood Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris.

I never went inside the Moulin Rouge, but I don't regret it. Standing outside the  iconic red windmill at the foot of Monmartre was enough to make me happy. 

When you catch Paris on a beautiful sunny day in the tail end of winter (which is when this photo was taken), it's hard not to appreciate little things like sunbathing in front of the fountain at The Louvre. How cute are these two dudes? :)

I don't remember what street this was... but I do remember turning a corner, seeing this street, and going - "Wow". There was something about the contrast of the bluest blue sky with the vibrant colors of the building, including the trash cans that would catch anyone's attention. Beautiful...

Is there anything more awesome and romantic than a pastry shop in Paris?  Have you never tasted anything so .. so  sumptuous??? <3

A class picture of a bunch of Italian 4th graders in front  of the Eiffel Tower.  And if this wasn't already cute enough, instead of saying, "Cheese" - they were asked to say, "Spaghettiiiiiiii". Come onnnn!!! :) Too sweet!

And just to prove to you all that my heart is not made of stone, I end my photo essay with a photo of the Love Lock Bridge in Paris. So the ritual is, "sweethearts" bolt a padlock to this bridge and throw away the key to symbolize their "everlasting love". (Ulk) Personally, I think it's a waste of a perfectly good padlock - but a lot of couples buy into it. In fact I've probably seen about 5 love lock bridges all over Europe the last time I went on a tour. I just thought this was a pretty good photo because I managed to snap just as a couple was walking by... good shadows too :)

Voila, everyone! Bonne Saint Valentin!

Hi There! Have we met before? You look familiar! Those shoes look great on you, by the way! I’m Eartha and I recently decided to quit my job to travel the worrrrld! Join me in my adventures by checking back on my blog, and leaving me a comment or two!

  • Subscribe to my blog and get updated every time I post here!
  • Add me to your feed reader here!
  • Wanna be Facebook friends? Like my page here!
  • Are you as epigramatic as I am? Tweet me @earth2eartha
  • Do you have cool photos on Instagram? Check mine out too @earth2eartha
  • Or if you want to leave me a message or a limerick, email me here!

Come and visit me again soon! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My RTW Update: One Month Before Departure

So here I am, barely a month to go before I leave Los Angeles. I am a nervous wreck and emotionally unstable at the moment. I think I actually might have turned bipolar.

On the one hand, I’m really excited to just get up and go! On the other hand, I am freaking out about the stuff I still have to do, and the things I haven’t figured out yet.

OK let me backtrack a little, and give you an idea of my schedule.

My last day working out of my office in Beverly Hills is March 1. I asked for about a week off (March 4 – 8) to get my sh*t together, pack, say my goodbye’s to everyone properly, and sort everything out. Then I am leaving for Manila on March 9. I manage my company’s two vendor sites (call centers) in the Philippines, and I am headed there to train my replacement. I’m doing that for three weeks, and March 29 is my official last day at work.

Causes of Stress


One of the main things I need to be able to deal with is selling my car. I’ve had a few interested buyers, but none of them are set in stone. I’m not inclined to sell it RIGHT NOW because I still need it for the next few weeks, but at the same time, if I slack off, I might not find a buyer in time. STRESS!
Do YOU want a 2011 Honda CRV? Put me out of my misery? His name is Banksy by the way.


So you all know that I’ve moved out, sold everything, did a short stint in Long Beach, and am now living back in LA renting a room. Savings-wise, I could have done better. It’s just that there were so many unforeseen (EXPENSIVE) expenses that I’ve had to deal with that incidentally, all had to do with my car (accident, traffic citation, gas when I lived in Long Beach, car registration renewal, new tires needed). Paying for all of that was painful, and not to mention - put a huge dent on my savings. I’m getting a pretty hefty tax refund in a few weeks, thanks to my accountant, but it wasn’t as much as I had hoped. So basically, I am not where I should be – moneywise. STRESS!


I still have that potential job lined up for me… something I can do “from home”, or in my case, from anywhere in the world. Again, it’s just not set in stone yet. I won’t know till I sit down and interview with the big boss --- and that can only happen when I am in the Philippines already, free and unemployed. In the meantime, I have been browsing through websites like e-lance and odesk, and even craigslist for freelance gigs. However, I couldn’t commit to any of the jobs yet because they require so much time and effort, which I currently cannot provide because I am still working! AARGH! Everything is up in the air! I can’t do much yet, and being this helpless is killing me. STRESS!

Let’s all take a cleansing breath, and do an OM in 3…2...



Right. It’s not that bad. It’s all in my head. I should just relax, calm down, and believe that things will work out. Someone will buy my car for sure. I’m not selling it for profit… I just want to get rid of it nice and clean. The money I have is fine. I won’t pay for board and lodging, remember? I can make that last… And about the job --- I’m sure I will blow them away at that interview. And when I do, that takes care of the money issues I have, because then I can still keep earning while I’m on the road! :) Everything will work out because the Universe is on my side!

(Bipolar endrant)

Anyway… just to give you guys an update… I have purchased a portion of my RTW ticket. Thanks to the amazing customer service and powers of Airtreks, I was able to book these multi-city destination tickets for around $2,800. 

I also have purchased my RTW Backpack – The Osprey Farpoint 55! It came highly recommended by a few travel bloggers, I went to the store and tried it on myself, and I think it’s perfect. I will talk more about it as I get closer to leaving. I know in the photo it looks cute and green --- well in real life it’s not. It’s murky and it looks like the color of mud. I actually picked out the ugliest color on purpose because it’s cheaper, and it wades off potential thieves. No one will want an ugly swampy looking backpack, right?

I’m currently obsessed with reversible clothing. I’m basically on the prowl for anything I can wear in different ways to save on luggage space. For instance, I got this magic skirt that you can wear a hundred different ways. I’ve been seeing these things at random kiosks for yeaaars and never thought I’d have any use for them till now. That should save me the trouble of figuring out what to wear, right? 

I’ve also purchased these awesome lightweight quick-drying travel shoes. They are called Glagla. I know. Awesome name, right? Seriously, I can run in water wearing these and they’ll be fine. They barely weigh anything so that’s awesome for my feet and for my back (when it’s in my backpack). 

So yeah, I’m almost there. I’m really anxious. It’s like there’s a knot in my stomach that won’t go away. I’m stressed out even if I know I really shouldn’t be. And every now and then, I get these moments. Moments where I feel --- not sad, but a little melancholy? Maybe because I’m going to miss LA and my friends and my life here SO MUCH. The closer I get to my launch date, the more real it feels. I’m trying to hang out with as much people as I could, as often as I can… that way when it’s really time to go, I won’t have any regrets.

I know I sound like a complete lunatic, ranting about how stressed I am, then consoling myself right after… I’m hoping this is just a phase. It’s no fun being unhinged like I am now. I think I always just have to remind myself… that anytime things get too overwhelming, when I get tired from all the stress and want the earth to stop spinning for a second… All I gotta do is slow down, and breathe.

I'm nearly there. Wish me luck! :)

Hi There! Have we met before? You look familiar! Those shoes look great on you, by the way! I’m Eartha and I recently decided to quit my job to travel the worrrrld! Join me in my adventures by checking back on my blog, and leaving me a comment or two!

  • Subscribe to my blog and get updated every time I post here!
  • Add me to your feed reader here!
  • Wanna be Facebook friends? Like my page here!
  • Are you as epigramatic as I am? Tweet me @earth2eartha
  • Do you have cool photos on Instagram? Check mine out too @earth2eartha
  • Or if you want to leave me a message or a limerick, email me here!

Come and visit me again soon! :)