Hi! I’m Trang – a curious kid from Virginia, turned backpacker, turned into full time worker now living in LA.
Oh, and I used to work abroad in Australia for a year.
After hitting 40+ countries and trying to figure it all out on my own, I noticed many of my friends had questions about my trip: How did you have the money to travel and fund it? How did you work overseas? Where do you even start without getting overwhelmed? Do you need visas? How about safety as a female?
That was just the beginning. And I get it. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. After helping some friends prep for their own trips, I realized I could help a LOT more people out there by sharing my first-hand experience and personal travel knowledge here on the web.
Thus, Travel With Trang was created.
It all started from a promise I made to three friends.
It was a hot and humid summer of 2011 when I met a Spaniard and two Brits at my college. They happened to have signed up for the same hang gliding trip as I did. Turns out they were students interning and studying abroad for the semester. I had just caught them during the last two weeks of their trip. In what felt like a short span of time with those three, a lightbulb moment went off in me.
If they could travel to the side of the world without dying, then I could. Right??? (Yes, that’s what I was actually thinking in my head at that time).
As I said goodbye to my new-found friends, I promised that one day I’d visit them. One year later after working two retail/hospitality jobs at near minimum wage, I saved up for what I hoped would be enough for a three-month trip in Europe. Keep in mind, even though it was only 5 years ago in 2012, the concept of traveling for more than a month wasn’t seen as “normal” or common. It hadn’t blown up all over Instagram or Facebook and not many people (that I knew of) had traveled.
Weeks and months leading up to that trip, a roller coaster of emotions flooded me: excitement, anxiety, nervousness, doubt. Fear of the unknown. It was my first SOLO trip for three whole months. It was honestly a leap of faith. You know when you read how people online are saying “Omg, travel changed my life”? Well, it did for me. I encountered people from all over the world, from all walks of life. People who were happy, who grew up from such different backgrounds, upbringing, and mentalities. It opened my eyes in seeing that there were different possibilities to live and that it was okay to break away from the traditional American work-work-work lifestyle.
In addition, a fellow traveler I met in a hostel tipped me off on working abroad when he heard me say “I wish I could just work a bit overseas and travel a little bit more”. Curious, I looked into what he called a “working holiday visa”. Eventually, I came home for a few months after my trip. Three months later, I told my parents I was going to Australia. (And that same wave of emotions flooded me all over again). Fast forward and off I went and wound up working there for a year. Then, using that money, I was able to save up and travel Asia for a whole entire year.
Looking back, I NEVER had planned to do any of the above. However, I realized because I saw real life examples of people traveling, it somehow inspired me to do the same.
In 2015, I came back home to Virginia and eventually moved out to LA. I am just like the many of you, holding down a full-time job while trying to take a vacation whenever I can.
I am so grateful for what travel has done for me and hope I can help you do the same – to inspire and build confidence and help you get out there – whether it be a short quick getaway or a lengthy gap year around the world!
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