Who is Emma Hicken and what is her travel story?
Name? Emma Hicken
Homebase? Vancouver, Canada 🇨🇦
Day job? I quit my job in March 2018. I was an armoured guard and had risen to as far as I could go in the company, training road employees and had no interest in a management position within the industry. I felt trapped and exhausted all of the time (working long hours and my days off full of errands) with very little time to spend with friends or family. I basically felt I was working to pay my bills, with only 3 weeks off per year. I was not living my best self, I knew there was more to life for me.
Solo or group travel?I typically travel solo (but of course meet lots of people along the way) so I never am really ‘alone’.
Favorite airline? ANA ‘All Nippon Airlines’.
How many countries have you visited? 12 (however many countries multiple times, such as USA, Mexico, Thailand & Peru).
Favorite city and why? To date, I would have to say Lisbon & Portugal in general (it’s where I am currently and extended my stay from one month to three months!).
Top bucket list destination? Kenya specifically Nairobi (I would like to stay at Giraffe Manor, where you share your breakfast with Giraffes, through the windows of the manor!)
Airbnb or hotel? I’ve stayed in both and although I do appreciate a five star hotel once in a while, I prefer Airbnb’s because I like to stay like a local and get a sense of what everyday life is like in that city/country.
When and why did you first get the travel bug? I’ve always wanted to travel for as long as I can remember, I took travel & tourism as an elective in school but ended up having a child at a young age and was unable to travel much due to the responsibilities that come with that. I’m making up for that now that my children are adults and independent. It feels wonderful knowing that they are happy for me and fully support my decision to travel and explore a new life for myself.
Most memorable trip? Thailand: In 2012, I went to Koh Tao Island for a month to take my Scuba Diving Certification. I stayed, for the first time in my life in a hostel and met 4 lifelong friends. However 2 weeks was enough of Hostel life and the other 2 weeks I spent in a villa – hosting several of my new friends 😉
Best travel advice for new travelers? Pack light, you never need as much stuff as you think (plus it’s not fun travelling around with lots of luggage). I would also suggest researching things to do before you go to have a bit of a game plan but also leave lots of free time to explore and experience the unexpected.
What’s your secret to affording the ability to travel? After quitting my job, I sold practically everything I own…including my condo. I figured I would travel and worst case scenario I will return and find another job. Things fall into place and after just a few months other ‘income’ possibilities have already arisen. I’m excited where my journey will take me!
Do you have a travel blog we should check out? I am working on starting a travel blog but for now I share my adventures and travel tips on Instagram: www.instagram.com/charmednomad
Upcoming travel plans? Currently in Portugal and then returning home for a short period mid Jan 2019. From Vancouver: Peru in February, Nashville in March, Mexico in April & then somewhere in Europe (undecided as to where yet, probably more than a few!!!)
Anything else you want us to know? It’s never too late to start travelling! Sure, you don’t need to quit your job and sell everything. However, traveling expands your view on the world and the experiences that I have had have changed me into a better version of myself. I am in love with my life now and getting to know myself in a whole new way, with nothing holding me back…
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