I was born and raised in the Philippines and had always dreamed of traveling and seeing other countries. When I was 21, I was given the opportunity to participate in an exchange student program in the US. I spent a year in Florida as a hospitality exchange student, living independently for the first time. This experience sparked a passion for travel and adventure within me.
After my internship, I returned to the Philippines and thought my adventures were over. However, my mother surprised us by taking us on several company trips to places like Australia, Japan, and Dubai.
After graduating from university, I knew that I wanted to continue traveling and living abroad. I returned to the US for another internship in Virginia where I met many wonderful people, including my future husband, and had many exciting experiences and adventures with them.
After completing my internship, I worked for one of the largest hotel chains in the world, traveling only when I had the opportunity. In 2020, the pandemic hit, and I was furloughed from my job. Instead of feeling sad, I was happy about this turn of events. I realized that working in the hotel industry was not my true passion, but I had been doing it for so long that it had become comfortable.
The pandemic made me realize that life is uncertain and that I should not put my dreams on hold any longer. So, I did what I always wanted to do: I adopted a dog and created “WithSunshineSol.” I brought Sancho home in June 2020 and, after years of fear of failure, I set my Instagram page to public and started my blog in July 2020.
After five months of being furloughed, I received a call to return to work. I was not entirely prepared, but I also did not want to quit. For several months, I managed to balance content creation, traveling, hiking, and working my full-time job. However, I grew increasingly unhappy with my job and found it unfulfilling. In August 2021, I made the decision to quit my job and focus on content creation full-time.
I wanted to take Sancho on as many adventures as possible, but many places aren’t dog-friendly, and there were travel restrictions due to the pandemic. So, we decided to explore our own backyard, Virginia. We began going on road trips, hiking, and adventuring all over the state. We are fortunate enough to live near a national park and national forest, which cultivated our love of the outdoors. Growing up, I didn’t hike or travel much, as my Filipino family focused on working hard to provide for us and we didn’t have the resources to travel. I didn’t take my first airplane ride until I was 21, and I didn’t start hiking until I was 27. Along the way, we’ve picked up some tips and tricks for hiking and traveling, and we’re excited to share them with you.
I have a deep love for hiking and camping in the Virginia mountains. The natural beauty of the state, with its rolling hills and lush forest, provides the perfect setting for outdoor adventures. I find great joy in exploring new trails and discovering hidden gems within the mountains. Whether it’s a challenging hike to a summit or a peaceful camping trip by a lake, I always feel invigorated and fulfilled by the experience.
In the last few years, my brand has evolved to include more group hikes and events. As I gained followers, I realized that many of them shared my love for hiking and the outdoors. I started organizing group hikes and camping trips for followers to join, and it has been a wonderful way for me to connect with like-minded individuals and share my passion for the outdoors with others. My followers have become a community of people who support and inspire each other, and I’m grateful to have played a small part in bringing them together.