EXCLUSIVE: Traveling The World For A Living—Millennial CEO Angely Dub Shares 8 Lessons Traveling Has Taught Her
Having traveled to at least 50 countries (and counting!) in less than eight years, Angely's life of constant motion has instilled many important life lessons in her—all of which she wishes to share and most importantly, hopes to inspire others to explore more of the world we live in.
This girl boss on the (literal) move is none other than the 27-year-old founder and CEO of Access Tour and Travels Inc. It's a homegrown travel agency she established when she was in her late teens that specializes in crafting meaningful itineraries, the definition of which she generously explains.
According to Angely, any travel specialist can come up with an itinerary filled with dining suggestions, beautiful spots to visit, and for the Filipino traveler, the best places to shop for pasalubong, too. But when it comes to Angely, that's rarely ever enough when she sits down with clients to plan their trips, be they local or international vacations.
To her, the only way an itinerary breathes life into a trip is when it allows a traveler to care more about the lessons they can bring home, and much less about the pictures they're able to post or the material things they can purchase. A meaningful itinerary is one that has the power to change perspectives about the world as we know it, all thanks to the soul-enriching experiences that only traveling can provide.
This, she says, is the truest and purest way to travel, and certainly the only way that Access Travel does business.
It's therefore no wonder that Angely has become a favorite of the most committed travelers there ever were. She's satisfied anyone from families traveling abroad for the first time to groups of friends wanting to explore the Philippines' hidden gems, as well as honeymooning couples and even the country's biggest celebrities.
To make things better, Angely never suggests a city or country that she's never visited herself. She's extremely proud of the fact that all items on her itinerary are sights, sounds, and flavors she's seen, heard, and tasted herself. In fact, Angely even serves as her clients' personal tour guide if her schedule permits it; sharing the joys of traveling with those who wish to discover them is simply her vibrant life's motivation and purpose.
With this, Angely passes on some of the most impactful lessons she's picked up along the way in her years of traveling for a living. After all, when you're on the road for 10 months of the year, you're bound to pick up a golden nugget of wisdom every step of the way.
People are smaller than they realize.
People are smaller than they realize, and experiences are bigger than they ever imagined. When one is tucked away in the familiarity of a hometown, own country, or just a few cities, the tendency is to believe that we've seen all there is to see, and know all there is to know.
But when we travel, minds, hearts, and souls automatically transform into limitless repositories of knowledge, cultural exchanges, appreciation, and an understanding of the world. Traveling makes us more open-minded and reflective—those who have gone on life-changing trips and come home a different person will understand.
Traveling is a mastery of the art of simplicity.
Or as Angely humorously calls it, "the art of not caring and bothering to impress." What she means, of course, is to learn to travel for the sake of gaining new experiences and personal growth, minus the need to wow on social media, be the best-dressed person on the trip, or come home with the most expensive hoard. Those should be the offshoots of a trip, but never the sole reasons for one.
She uses herself as an example. Even with her Instagram made up of 3000 plus videos and photos, Angely explains that her feed looks as good as it does because she dresses appropriately for a location, learned to properly use her own gear without a tech team, and because she lives in the moment. Once in a lifetime moments—that's what she says traveling is all about, and if overshadowed by other concerns, they can be missed.
Do not use travel to trigger others' insecurities.
If there's one thing about others who have also made careers out of traveling that really gets her goat, it's how many of them use traveling to brew a terrible recipe of bitterness and envy. Ultimately, this is what sets Angely and her business apart; her agency was called Access Travel and Tours for a reason. She believes that beautiful traveling experiences should be made available to all, and never, ever, just a select few. The world was made for all of its inhabitants to enjoy.
She elaborates and says that in majority of her social media posts, both personal and professional, they always come with an explanation of the work it took to reach a destination and how her clients can experience the same. Angely has never made it appear that her travels are simply for leisure and without purpose. Her mission, she explains, is to open up travel opportunities, rather than foster a sense of exclusivity and intimidation.
The amount of money spent on a trip is not proportional to its meaningfulness.
It is incorrect to believe that one needs to break the bank to be able to travel—at least with Angely. Some Filipinos in particular have been conditioned to believe that a stay in luxury hotels and reservations in five-star restaurants are the only ways to experience a destination; it is only recently, and with younger travelers like herself, that they are learning that there is more to a trip than the expensive things.
This is where Angely's expertise steps in and also why she insists that she and a client plan a trip together; she's often visited a city more than once to get to know it inside and out and to be able to provide a breadth of itinerary options tailor-fit for what a client can afford. Regardless of budget, traveling can always provide new and memorable experiences, as long as one knows where to go, what to see, and what to do.
Traveling makes you more compassionate.
Feel totally blessed when work takes me to places like this and meeting new extraordinary people. Can't find the right words to say thank you to the people behind Kenya Airways and Safari Trails for including @accesstravelph in the group of best travel companies in the Philippines for their first ever familarization trip to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Bostwana, despite always being the youngest in this industry. ?? #Accesstrips #AccessxKenyaAirways #Kenya
This is especially true for Angely and other career-driven individuals like her. It's easy to get swept away by success, fame, and status without looking back at one's roots, or thanking those that lent a helping hand in the journey. But with exposure to different people and cultures, traveling softens one's heart and constantly reminds one of the most important things in life.
For Angely, it's caring for her employees by treating them fairly and rewarding those who deserve it. For the local communities she's visited, this means giving back even in the simplest of ways with barangay-wide food drives. In her industry as a whole, it's her next business venture: a digital marketing agency that will provide in-demand services at extremely competitive rates. For Angely, it's not only a second income generator, but another opportunity to provide employment for people and a significant way to shine the spotlight on the Philippines' talented, yet still emerging, photographers and videographers.
Know the difference between real and curated on social media.
It's a lesson many of us have been taught time and time again, but somehow fail to remember. It's the accompanying lesson of never using travel to make others jealous; but this time, it's learning not to be jealous.
This has become important to Angely as she credits Instagram to her massive success. Hence, she makes sure to present her travels in the most authentic way possible. She lambastes those who painstakingly edit, filter, and digitally enhance a travel photo to get the most likes.
"That's not real. That's not what traveling looks like, and that is not what clients will see when they travel," she says with a much sterner tone.
While she has nothing against curating social media feeds (she does so herself), what she's worried about is destinations turning into unreal fantasy lands. This strips them off their natural beauty and warps expectations of excited travelers. She advises that the next time one sees a perfectly cleaned up Instagram photo that makes you wish you were there instead of here, be smart about it!
No matter what anyone says, traveling really does insist on one having a certain amount of courage to do. It's having the courage to speak to strangers, to face the unknown, to explore a foreign land, to acknowledge that there are tons of things to see and do in this world, yet so little time to do it all.
But with each destination traveled, one fortunately becomes a little braver, one city at a time.
There is no place like home.
Traveling can be an escape for some, but for Angely, it's simply a gift to bring home to her family. It's her way of connecting to them, of bonding, of giving them pride. Even after exploring the likes of Turkey, Iceland, Bhutan, Peru, Zimbabwe, and Portugal, with Cuba, Iran, and Chile next on the list, Angely always looks forward to the time when she is home with a book, her dogs, her mom and her siblings.
They were and still are, after all, her biggest supporters from day one. In spite of the awe-inspiring things that traveling the world teaches you, being away also magnifies the importance of home and family—two things you should never forget.
These days, no one can really tell where Angely is headed next. Surprisingly, a huge chunk of her personal trips that she uses to develop new itineraries are not planned ahead. It's anyone's guess where she is right now, but new and existing clients need not worry as she is forever online and constantly replies to inquiries herself, no matter what continent she's in.
She will, however, be home for an important talk that she's pretty thrilled about. She was recently tapped by Forever 21 to present to a group of students this month whom she'll teach one and one thing only: pick a career, any career, and fall in love with it. Do it for you, and never get carried away by "passion fads" in the job market. When it comes to success, leaving a personal mark—and not following the herd—is your greatest weapon.
It'll be easy to teach as Angely has herself as her greatest testimony; with nowhere else to go but up, she's bound to conquer the world, and gives us hope that we can, too, someday.
Photography by Mark Chester Ang
Makeup by Muriel Vega Perez
Hair by Erika Glendro
Shoot assitant: Cheska Santiago
Shot on location at Bulb Studios