Grow With The Flow: Growing Through Challenges, Vulnerability & Transformative Travel

I’m so excited to feature this little ray of sunshine! Christina is the most positive, supportive, loyal, understanding, hilarious little globe trotter with the biggest heart. She’s been through a lot (and I mean a lot) in her 25 years, but her relentless pursuit to living a life of service, trust in the universe, purpose, and adventure inspires me daily.

I met her through the blogging community and when we both had planned to attend a marketing conference in Vegas last year she offered for me to stay at her house in San Diego before we’d even met each other. Naturally, we got along like a house on fire and I consider her family my San Diego family.

Where did you grow up? How old are you? Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hi! I’m Christina and I’m 26 years old. I grew up on the sunny beaches of San Diego, California. From a little age, I always tested the boundaries.

How far could I swim? How long could I hold breath… you get the drift.

Lucky for me, that sense of adventure and the yearning for personal growth has only been amplified as the years passed.

What are 4 things you’re grateful for today?

  1. Grateful for the love I have for myself. Faults and all. It may sound weird at first, but it has taken years for my self-love to evolve to what it is now. I am comfortable with myself, my journey and all of the things that are Christina. And that takes some guts. GO ME!
  2. I am grateful for my unwavering support system. I have the BEST friends and family. I may be a little biased, but without them, I have n0 idea where I would be.
  3. I am grateful for travel. It has changed me into this amazing being I never thought I could become.
  4. I am grateful for the sunshine! It always makes me happy! Wherever I am, I can close my eyes and feel the rays hit my face…ahhh, one of my most favorite sensations.

Where has your curiosity taken you so far? Where to next?

Hahahaha. I think the question should be where HASN’T it taken me?!?! Hahaha. Curiosity has not only taken me to various parts of the world like Thailand, Peru, and Albania; but it has also taken me deeper into my consciousness and forced me to look at WHAT makes me who I am and WHY I do the things I do.

When and where did you start off on your wanderlust journey?

I first started my wanderlust journey in July of 2014. Randomly picked to spend 10 days in Thailand, 5 days in Bangkok and 5 days in Chaing Mai. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Where are you based now and what’s the best thing about where you live? For now, I’m back at home in San Diego, CA. I can go on and on about why I love where I live, but one of my favorite reasons is being able to get to the snow, the mountains, the big city, farmland, the desert or a beautiful beach within 2 hours of driving. And the weather is always perfect.

Top 5 on your bucket list?

  1. Visit all 7 continents 2. See the Northern Lights 3. Go on African Safari 4. Sail the Nile River 5. Swim with whales Where is one destination you feel most like yourself? Belize! 100% I love love love the water, marine life and exploring. Belize had that and SO MUCH MORE ! Mindset is a hot topic on your blog…

Who or what inspires you?

There’s not really one person that inspires me per se. Rather, I’m inspired by all humans who go through some shit and are able to stand back up and keep it together. Life is hard. Mindset is VITAL.

How has solo travel changed you? What personal development skills has it taught you?

Well, I went on my FIRST solo trip not too long ago and I can’t believe I waited so long to do that! Such an incredible experience! It changed me in so many unexpected ways! For starters, I became comfortable with being completely alone. That’s a huge one for me! It also taught me to slow down and take time to just be in the moment. I listened to my body more (since I knew no one else was looking out for me) and I became surer of my intuition and my decisions. Solo traveling saved my identity.

You do an amazing job of sharing your wisdom through storytelling… What inspired you to start your blog?

Aww thank you! Well, it’s kinda funny. I didn’t really get into the whole blog thing on purpose. When I started traveling in Jan 2016, I wanted to share my experiences with my family and friends on a platform other than Facebook. So I started up a simple site and just started sharing. I would write in the notes on my phone every day, even if it was just a sentence. When I was leaving a country I would post my “notes” on my site and leave it at that. Typos and all. I thought no one was reading it. Then I was in France for 3 weeks with no Internet and when I got reconnected, I had quite a few messages asking me where my stories were! After that people kept asking me about my travels and experiences and it kind of blossomed from there!

What was your process like from start to where you are now?

Put something out there and hope for the best. Hahaha. It’s kind of like that still now… except I’m a bit more fine tuned and I know why I post what I post haha. I also am far more educated in the entrepreneurial/ digital-world than I was “way back when”. But I’m still learning and growing with each day!

What does creativity mean to you?

Oh man! Such a hard question. Creativity means so many things to so many people and I have tried to tackle this word before but, for the sake of this interview I’ll keep it short haha. Creativity to me, is the ability to think outside the confines of tradition and normality.

What’s been the coolest experience of your travels so far?

Riding an elephant through the Thai river and into a neighboring village.

The craziest thing that’s happening to you, or you’ve witnessed on your travels?

Two international emergencies where I almost lost loved ones. The first, a white water rafting accident with my mom. The second, kidney failure and medical evacuation with my travel partner.

Favorite travel hack?

Bringing Ziplock bags for all the things. Especially to keep food in and save money on travels.

Apart from traveling, what are you passionate about?

Living the best life I can. And helping others to achieve that as well. And shoes, I love me some good shoes.

What’s your biggest fear?

Letting people down… even worse, letting myself down.

What is your purpose?

I believe this answer is always changing haha. Like getting something added into it hahah. Like this! Oh, and this! And wait this too!!! Hahaha. But really, tho. My purpose, as of now, is to show others how to grow through what they go through. How to push life back and show the universe you’re a force too.

What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring travelers?

JUST DO THE DAMN THING. And don’t think too much about it.

Favorite quote?

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” – Pico Iyer

Favorite books?

Haven’t met a book I haven’t liked. I’m a huge book worm! Love travel, thriller, self-help books and biographies.

Favorite podcasts/shows?

Being Boss, Serial, the Black Tapes… a few fave podcasts

Airbnb, CouchSurfing, Hotel, Van or Hostel…what is your travel style?

Hostel for sure. I love meeting people From all corners of the world. But always love myself a getaway at a gorgeous air b n b! All depends on what type of trip I’m taking and with who!!

What are your essential traveling items?

Headphones. A comfy sweatshirt. My Canon T5i and GoPro.

What are the three most important things travel has taught you about life?

  1. The world isn’t as scary as people want you to believe
  2. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place
  3. You’re always where you’re meant to be. If you had one week to live how would you fill your last moments? Traveling to every place I possibly could, with everyone I loved, while eating everything I wanted, with all the money in the world.

What pieces of advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

You are enough.

Where can we follow your journey?

Blog- www.growwitheflow.com

Instagram (lifestyle)- @secretsofsunshine

Instagram (travel) – @christinamariesolis

Last but not least, what is your definition of success?

Waking up every day loving the person you are and the world/life/vision/fill in the blank you have created for yourself.

 

By | 2018-02-08T17:05:38+00:00 August 30th, 2017|B L O G, Travel & Experiences, Wild Heart Collective Series|4 Comments

About the Author:

Life Learner. Vagabond. Visionary. Creative. Curious. Philanthropist. Dreamer. Thinker. Doer ☮

4 Comments

  1. Laurie August 30, 2017 at 6:38 am

    This Post Makes Me SO Happy! Love Both Your Gorgeous Souls!!

    • Sarah Paynter August 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Naw thanks Laurie! So happy we all got to meet and stay in touch. Can’t wait until we next cross paths 🙂 xx

  2. Brigette Gregory-Slayter August 30, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Loved this!!! Love you both!💜
    I feel honored to have met the two of you in Las Vegas!😀

    • Sarah Paynter August 31, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      We loooved meeting you too Bridget!! Such a fun conference spent with special people xx

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