Alice Teacake is one adventurous lady. After a chance encounter with a girl just returned from teaching English in India, she decided to quit her job as a psychologist, her apartment and her relationship to travel the world solo. She’s never looked back.
Since then, she went biking across Vietnam, learnt martial arts in China and was a burlesque dancer in Shanghai. Her motto? “If it scares me, I do it!”
Alice’s all about girl power and pushing boundaries to reach your full potential. On her blog, Teacake Travels, she inspires women to travel solo to see what they’re truly capable of. She’s the friend who encourages you take the leap, gives you practical tips on how to travel the world on a budget and shares her amazing adventures with you.
In this interview, Alice shares how she got started on her travelling adventures, what challenges she faced along the way and how she deals with fear and self-doubt:
1. What is your dream and how are you currently living it out?
To challenge myself and fully know what I’m capable of. I’m so passionate about travel, as it is my vehicle and answer to truly knowing myself and understanding the world around me. My motto is ‘Face your fears and push your boundaries to reach your full potential through solo travel’
2. What steps did you take to get started in the beginning?
Sometimes life will throw a spanner in the works. It will present something to you that you need to seize. I was living in the UK with a great job, a lovely boyfriend and a really cool lifestyle…but something was missing for me. I just kept saying ‘Is this it?’. I met a girl on a train who had just got back from India teaching English. She fired me up so much about what was possible in this lifetime, that the rest of the steps were easy. I quit my job, I sold everything, and I bought that one way ticket. Sometimes you just have to dive in and do it. Life is too short.
And when it comes to the travel blog…My friend asked me to write an article for her about teaching English in China. As soon as I did, I was hooked on blogging. I started my own blog, tapped away on the keyboard passionately…and it just so happened that people liked what I was blabbing about. So much so that I decided…’Right, I’m a travel blogger now’.
3. What challenges did you face to pursue your dream and how did you overcome them?
Money. It is certainly possible to travel on a budget, but you still need some money. I really didn’t have a lot of money when I left England. Yet going to South Korea to teach English enabled me to throw myself into a completely different culture and earn money doing it.
The other challenge is other people. People will tell you that you can’t do something if they essentially believe they can’t do it themselves. Leave their doubts behind. Believe in yourself. That’s all you need to focus on.
Blogging is also a tough business. It takes a long time to build your brand, readers and reputation. Don’t start a blog if you want to make lots of money (and quickly). Write because you love the hell out of it.
People will tell you that you can’t do something if they essentially believe they can’t do it themselves. Leave their doubts behind.
4. What mindset shifts did you have to go through to turn your dream into a reality?
You are possible of doing anything. You just need to ask yourself, ‘WILL I do it?’. I love writing, creating and travelling…but turning my blog Teacake Travels into a business has taken a long time. All my professions before this have not needed me to be a businesswoman…and putting that hat on has been a challenge for me. I am still very much learning how to pitch, negotiate and stick to my guns. I wake up every morning now with the full belief that my blog is my business and I treat it as such.
5. How do you deal with fears and self-doubt?
Ruthlessly, with a lot of love. You won’t achieve your full potential if you don’t believe in yourself. I say to myself sternly: ‘Come on Alice. Get your s**t together. You’ve got this’. I would hate to pass away not being happy with what I’ve achieved. So everyday, I push myself, so I can go to bed happy in what I have done that day.
6. When did you realise you had made it?
I haven’t made it. Nowhere near yet. That is what keeps pushing me forward. Once you’ve climbed one mountain…you go and climb another right?
- Fave personal development/business book: Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
- Inspiration: Trisha from P.S I’m On My Way, Jessica from Comfort Is For Wimps, Kristin from Be My Travel Muse
- Mantra to live by: Face your fears. Push your boundaries. Reach your full potential.
- Breakfast: I intermittently fast for health and productivity. I eat lunch and dinner and skip breakfast.
- Fave app: Goodtime (it’s perfect for the Pomodoro technique)
7. What personal characteristic helped you the most in achieving your dream?
Dissatisfaction. For better or worse, my gypsy blood doesn’t like the feeling of being comfortable. If I’m feeling comfortable, I’m bored.
8. Do you have any daily habits or rituals that have set you up for success?
Set your goals for the day ahead the night before. Drink water. Drink coffee. Meditate. Tell yourself you’re awesome and visualise yourself actually doing and achieving what you want. Do yoga. Read. Pomodoro technique the hell out of your working day.
9. What are three lessons you’ve learned on your journey?
If you’re going to say no, say it as early as possible.
You’re capable of so much more than you think you are.
A cup of tea can solve a lot.
10. What advice would you give to other women who want to start their own travel blogs?
Know exactly who you are writing for and what your brand is. With so many blogs out there, having a clear focus and purpose for what you are writing about will make it easy for your readers. If they can immediately see what you’re about, and you are offering a solution to their needs, they’ll stick around.
Thank you, Alice!
Over to you, now. What’s the most powerful insight you’ve learned from this interview? Share it in the comments below.