Hi! I’m Trisa – 28 year old serial wanderluster, self-taught photographer and creator of the travel blog, The Free Passport. I’m a global health advocate by training, currently working for a global HIV/AIDS organisation – but my true calling lies in visual storytelling. I launched my blog in 2014, originally as a personal place to showcase my pictures. I had hundreds of photos just sitting on my hard drive doing nothing, and the world is too beautiful of a place for pictures of it to be sitting and doing nothing! Two years later, it has since evolved into so much more than I had originally thought was possible. I love the space for exactly what it is – the intersection between my passion for photography, travel and global consciousness. I also love it for what it represents. It is the result of the current chapter of my life. The chapter where I had to rediscover myself in the absence of the things that once defined me. And I couldn’t be more proud of it.
Where are you based/located?
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Los Angeles, California, I now live and work in New York City.
What first sparked your love for travel?
I actually didn’t really enjoy traveling when I was younger – I’m not really sure why. But as I started to branch into the field of global health and international development, I began to really appreciate how truly amazing the world is and how you can’t take for granted opportunities you have to see it.
What are some of your favourite countries to visit?
There so many it’s hard to choose! Italy and Greece are two of my all-time favourites but I’m constantly updating my bucket list with new places so I’m sure I have dozen of ‘favourites’ yet to be discovered!
Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?
My work takes me to some interesting places – places that I wouldn’t necessary recommend, as they aren’t your typical ‘tourist’ destinations. But every place has something special to share and I think each traveller has to make their own decisions!
What destinations are on your bucket list?
Peru! Sri Lanka! Maldives! The list goes on and on..
Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?
Yes! Actually a few days ago my partner-in-crime and I booked our flights for a five-week adventure in Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. If anyone as any tips, please share! It’ll be my first time in the region and I’m so excited!
Do you do any research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?
Absolutely. I admit I’m a type-A planner, though I’m working on being more flexible and go-with-the-flow – because if you’ve ever travelled, you know that things don’t always go as planned! Google Flights, Kayak, and TripAdvisor are my go-to’s for travel planning. I also always buy a travel guide to have with me throughout. I enjoy reading the different recommendations and it comes in handy when you don’t have access to internet or for reading during long flights/bus rides.
What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels? / What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?
There are so many! But some of my favourites would have to be from the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and this one taken at the top of Trolltunga in Norway.
I did the hike to Trolltunga with my parents – who weren’t in the best shape (haha). It took us nearly 11 hours to do the 22km roundtrip but it was worth every minute of the view from the top. I was so proud of them!!
Which airline do you prefer to fly with?
No one airline company is perfect but I try to build loyalty those that prioritise their corporate social responsibility.
Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers / Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?
Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. That’s my favourite quote and the mantra I live by. Never be afraid to see more of the world. That may seem easier said than done, given that are very real logistical and financial implications to traveling, right? But in the end, making your dreams a reality will always be worth the investment.