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On this episode of the Edge of Comfort Podcast, Sophia Iaquinta (@smiaquinta) joins us during her exploration of Myanmar.
Originally from Nebraska, Sophia attended university in Minnesota to earn a dual degree in Nursing and Sociology & Anthropology. She stuck around Minnesota after graduation to work as a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) of a hospital.
Throughout two years in the MICU, Sophia often worked 12-hour night shifts for six to seven days in a row.
After deciding she didn’t want to spend her career in a hospital, Sophia looked for other alternatives. Particularly, alternatives that combined her love for traveling with nursing.
She applied to the Peace Corps and was accepted mid-summer 2017.
Starting February 2018, Sophia is spending the next two years in Guatemala working as a maternal and child health specialist.
After quitting her nursing job, she had a four-month gap between the end of her lease in Minnesota and the Peace Corps start date.
She decided to pack her bags and embark on a solo trip around Asia.
Exploring Myanmar & More
Sophia and I met in October 2017 while we were both in Hiroshima, Japan. We went our separate ways exploring Japan and other Asian countries.
Sophia went to Thailand where she saw the Lantern Festival in Chang Mai. She then went over to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) where she is during our conversation.
Myanmar is a country not many people know about or can find on a map (including myself). This makes sense considering the country only opened its borders back up to tourism five years ago after a 50-year closure.
The country’s appeal hasn’t hit the masses yet, which means it might also be the perfect time to plan a trip to Myanmar.
Sophia provides a lot of great information on Myanmar and what to do, as well as some of the history and layout of the country.
Some of the things we discuss in Part 1 include:
- Deciding to visit Myanmar despite high political tensions
- Surprising beauty and landscapes in Myanmar
- What to actually do in Myanmar
- Chang Mai (Thailand) Lantern Festival
- Being a “cultural” traveler
- Attempting a technology detox
I apologize for some of the connection issues at the beginning of the episode.
Nothing is wrong with your phone if you hear a few glitches or sped up audio. This only happens a few times at the beginning before clearing up.
If it’s bugging you a lot, hit the “15-second fast forward” button a few times.
Thank you for listening and enjoy!
8:00 – Exploring Asia
10:15 – Choosing to visit Myanmar despite heavy political tensions
18:15 – Landscape of Myanmar
27:45 – Lantern Festival in Chang Mai, Thailand
34:00 – Learning about new cultures
37:20 – Must-have apps for travel
42:10 – Maintaining well-being on the road
46:30 – Taking a technology detox
Want to hear from more travelers?
- Aqeel Karim – Listen to adventures and insights from 250+ days of travel. Aqeel explored India, Europe, Central America, and South America.
- Isa Lindberg – Learn how to work and travel in Australia for a year.