Bisa started her blog Myles to Travel in 2016 after she finished treatment for breast cancer. Although she loved to travel before her diagnosis, traveling became an essential part of her healing process and survivorship plan. When she is not working her full-time gig as an accountant, she is traveling and pursuing a career in freelance writing and photography.
She was kind enough to answer some of our questions about travel below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Bisa: I took my first trip out of the country when I was 31 to London and I was hooked. I've been taking at least one trip a year for the past six years. I created Myles to Travel two years ago.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Bisa: I share posts about my experiences as a cancer survivor, a minority, a plus-size and solo traveler.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Bisa: My favorite vacation was to Turkey because it was my first solo trip out of the country. It is also one of my favorite countries because of the history and culture.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Bisa: Top of the list right now is South Africa.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Bisa: I always travel with a pen and paper. I like to take notes and journal.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Bisa: Be flexible and don't over-plan and try to schedule every aspect of your trip.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Bisa: I subscribe to Airfare Spot and Scott's Cheap Flights emails and Facebook page. I also use Hopper App to track flights. The app tells you when to buy your plane ticket and how much you could save.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Bisa: I think most travelers worry too much about not knowing the country's language. When I was in Istanbul I got lost and don't speak Turkish. I was almost in tears but strangers who couldn't speak English went out of their way to help me. I met a guy who offered to walk me to my destination. I thought he was going to rob me and I ditched him. After another man guided me to the same location, I realized the first man was only trying to help.
TA: What's a travel scam travelers should be wary of?
Bisa: I was scammed by the taxi drivers in Istanbul. I didn't see the warning at the hostel until afterwards. The driver didn't use a meter and over-charged me. He also didn't take me all the way to the hostel. He dropped me off a block away and just pointed in a direction. I had to ask a store owner to give me directions back to my hostel.
I've also used Uber in Dubai and Mexico where the driver would cancel the reservation 5 minutes or less before arrival time and state it was my fault; in turn I was charged a $5 cancellation fee. I was able to dispute the charges but received bad ratings because of it. Travelers should be aware of these kind of scams.
TA: Which country has surprisingly good food?
Bisa: My favorite country for food is Thailand. It's probably not a surprise to people. My favorite dish to eat while I was there was the papaya salad. I never had it before in the U.S. and haven't been able to find it in any Thai restaurants.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Bisa: The most beautiful and affordable city I've visited is Chiang Mai, Thailand. I stayed four nights in a hotel for $134. The food is very cheap. My favorite thing about it is the combination of mountains and city views.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Bisa: I hate when tourists don't do their research about the customs of a country before they visit. When I visited the temples in Thailand, so many people came dressed inappropriately and didn't bring something to cover up. Although something can be provided for you, I think if they did research they would have known before arriving. Some places are so crowded that it would speed up lines if more people would come prepared.