Give us the lowdown: your names, where you’re from and what you do.
MISSADVENTURES is made up of four Canadian girls from Toronto: Ellie Geronikolos, Steph Chong, Hannah McLean, and Kathleen (Kat) Espiritu. We’re all 25 years old, except Hannah — she’s 24, the baby of the group. We graduated from Ryerson University: Steph and Ellie were in radio & television arts, Hannah was in political science, and Kat was in film. In the show, Steph is the bossy one, Ellie is the tall one, and Hannah is whiny. Kat puts up with it all from behind the camera.
Tell us about “MISSADVENTURES”. What inspired you to start it?
MISSADVENTURES began on an impromptu trip to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics that Stephanie, Ellie and Hannah went on. They were noticing that when they put up their videos and reviews of their time there, people were watching and asking for more advice. Kat joined soon after, and all together we decided that we could help women get over their fears of travelling. Through our successes and more often our mistakes, people can get advice on what to see and do, and have a laugh.
Of all the ways to share your travel experiences, why did you pick video as your medium?
We wanted to really show people what “real” travel is like. We found blogs helpful, but obviously it lacked the visual aspect. Plus we wanted to show off our dynamic together as a team – that would’ve been hard to translate if we chose to talk about our travels with blog entries. We wanted our audience to tag along with us on our trips!
Some of the topics you’re not afraid to talk about are things that happen while you travel that you don’t expect – “getting lost, not understanding the native language, a horrible hostel experience,” etc. What was one of your own epic “misadventures”?
By far our biggest “misadventure” was when all our items were stolen on a beach in Barcelona. We had just gotten off the plane and excitedly headed to the famous shoreline. Within 30 minutes of being there our bags were taken. In there were three cameras, an iPod, 400 euros and a pair of Kat’s pants.
What do you recommend women do when they get caught in a sticky situation?
Our number one tip for women is always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Even if you are a seasoned traveler anything could happen! Always have a scanned copy of your passport in your email and keep a photocopy in your bag. Utilize resources available to you – if you have a friend of a friend in the country you are visiting, keep their contact information handy, especially if you are travelling alone. Basically, use common sense!
What inspires you?
Knowing that other girls out there are taking our advice! Really, if we can convince girls to venture out and pick the road less traveled I think we’ve done our job. We’re always inspired when people learn a useful tip from us that they apply to their own travels. Recently, a solo female backpacker told us how she was hesitant on taking on Morocco on her own. But after telling her about all the incredible stuff we did on our own she went for it, and even stayed at the same riad that we did.
What do you want women around the world to know about you and what you’re doing?
We just want women to know that work, relationships, and a limited budget should never be an obstacle when it comes to traveling and that being a woman shouldn’t determine where you can and cannot travel. We also want them to know that we are just an email or a tweet away from giving advice!
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