Below is a simplified timeline of my life. It highlights important events and accomplishments that I’ve had over the years which I think are worth noting and looking back to.
(This is going to be really long and I bet no one will read *laughs* but this is actually mostly for me since I wanted to summarize and document my life in a streamlined manner.)

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2016

GETTING BIGGER AND BIGGER!

September – My next biggest exposure: when Business Insider wrote about my life, my business, and this travel blog. The reach of this interview was insane and what followed were other trending articles from Travel + Leisure, Daily Mail,  Independent, UPSOCL and more!

I'M MOVING... AGAIN!

August – After a year of operation in Belgium, my business partner and I realized that even if Adalid Gear was doing great in sales, the economy and tax situation were not so ideal. Henceforth, we decided to move the incorporation back to Hong Kong — for good!

Because of this, we both had to leave Belgium and start living in the Philippines again. After everything stabilizes, I plan to move out again and base myself elsewhere.

VLOGGING

Around May – With the boom of  videos as well as with rising number of unused  video files of my travels, I decided to do more videos / “vlogs” on YouTube, hence iAmAileen.TV was born! This endeavour surely made me realize how fun it is to edit videos again (I used to do this in high school and university as a hobby).

2015

INCORPORATION OF ADALID GEAR IN BELGIUM

March 3 – In connection to my visa here in Belgium, and in lieu of the fact that my business partner and I made this country as our new home base, we decided to officially move our online company from Hong Kong to Belgium. After a bit of preparation, Adalid Gear is now officially a Belgian company: Adalid Gear BVBA!

BVBA stands for Besloten Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid (Limited Liability Company). You can see here our recorded incorporation with the Belgisch Staatsblad.

INCREASED BLOG EXPOSURE

As of March – This website slowly gained even more audiences worldwide and I am absolutely thankful for everyone’s support! ♥ To date, I have been featured in big websites like National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Lonely Planet, and more — I absolutely never thought that one day I would see my name and photos on these publications! I have even started partnerships with several big brands and scored opportunities to go on all-expenses-paid trips all over the world.

It has been truly amazing! (Please see this page for my press and media exposure). With all that said and done, I really can’t stop saying: thank YOU!

» If you want to stay updated daily about news on my adventures, please follow my Facebook page! I’ll see you over there!

2014

A New Home

December – I moved in to a nice apartment in a quaint municipal near Antwerp. Not too long after, I started to take Dutch formal classes (this was my 1st time to try and learn a new language!)

Launch of iAmAileen.com Travel Blog

September 5 – After all the trips that I took and after our online business became stable, I decided to start blogging again. I recovered this domain and relaunched it as a travel blog. At first, it was just a way for me to document my travels and share it with friends and family. But after some successful travel posts that went trending online, this blog started to gain so many readers worldwide.

Because of that and more… my goals have shifted. Not only was I blogging in order to record my life, but I started blogging in order to inspire others to know that a life of travel is certainly possible no matter one’s life circumstances (much like what happened to me)!

My ``Expat`` Life!

August – After arriving in Belgium, I realized that with the HUGE success of our online business, I wouldn’t really have the time to study. Therefore, I started to apply for a different visa.

My Studying Powers

February – It was sooo exhausting to go through my applications for a (1) student visa and (2) 1-year Master’s Degree applications. But I made it happen! And one of the noteworthy things that I did was when I managed to pass the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations; a test for those planning to go to business school) in March after just one day of reviewing! …Yep, I think I just took ‘cramming’ to the highest level!

This happened because I had to catch up with the deadlines, and the only available schedule was just a day away; naturally, I took it and reviewed for less than 24 hours (imagine… others do review classes on this for months!)

End of story: I passed, the University of Antwerp accepted my application for their Masters in Economics with Specialization in Marketing course, and I got my student visa!

The 2nd Home Base

January – My ex and I decided to make Belgium as our 2nd home and as the base of our business! Given that I have a limited passport, I researched that applying for a student visa would give me the best chance to stay at a longer period and it was also within my budget. I didn’t even mind studying — so! I did all the necessary steps to acquire such.
2013
2012

Going International

May to July – It was during this period that I started to be veeeeery outgoing as a way to relieve the ‘stress’ that I was experiencing at work.

By writing for a big online publication in Manila, I started to meet a LOT of people that are out of my comfort zone. Most of the people I met were foreigners (backpackers, nomads or entrepreneurs) and it was… absolutely refreshing. If I have to say so myself, this was actually a BIG turning point in my life.

By hearing abut their dreams, travels, and adventures, I started to aspire even more independence and financial freedom. From then on, I seriously reevaluated what I really wanted to do with my life.

A Random Milestone

November 29 – I was a part of a Guinness’ World Record! See here!
2011

GRADUATION & INDEPENDENCE

June 25 – After 4 years of studying, I graduated from DLSU. This time was also a breaking point for me, because it was in this period that I started to feel the need to be more independent.

Sometime before graduation, I asked my parents to let me live alone and I was very glad that they consented to it. It was scary at first, but I eventually got used to the flow of things like cooking for myself, paying the bills, etc. By the way, it’s not a common thing to do here in the Philippine culture so it was a big deal not only for me but for my parents.

UNIVERSITY LIFE

My involvements / extra-curricular activities and positions were:

  • Vice President – Creatives for the College Government of Business and Economics
  • Academic Core for the Business Management Society
  • Ambassador for the LaSallian Ambassadors
  • Activity Monitoring Team Staff for the Council of Student Organizations
  • Events Manager for the Student Artist Managers – Cultural Arts Office
  • Publicity & Graphics Designer for the Student Council, Office of Vice President in Activities

2009 - 2010

1st Overseas Trip

May 24 – I went on a long trip to Hong Kong and it was amazing. I evidently grew up in a small island; so naturally, I have always wondered what else is out ‘there’ for me to see. And as I explored this foreign country, I realized then and there that I would fill my life with a lot of travels!

Driver's License = Achieved!

In June, I got my driver’s license for manual cars after going through a total of 20 hours in driving lessons.

KA-CHING!

July 1 – I received my 1st salary as an intern. It was small (around $100 only) but I was already thankful for it!

1st Taste of the Corporate Life

Given my specialised business course in university, I was able to go through a year’s worth of training experiences in 3 different multinational companies: Siemens, Nestle, and Unilever.

It was very invaluable as it was also at this point that I started to realize how my hobby of graphic design could prove to be a really profitable skill in the future.

2007 - 2008

THE GREEN LIFE

I took up Bachelor of Science in Accountancy due to the guidance and request of my mom (I came from a traditional family; plus, I was very indecisive before of what I wanted to study).

Anyhow, accountancy was one of the best courses in DLSU so you could imagine how hard it was to get in, and even harder to stay in the program. However by 2008…

THE CITY LIFE

My family made the big move to Manila (meaning that we all moved from Batanes to the city) as I started my college life in DLSU.

It was a year of adjustments filled with the fear-of-the-unknown as it was an entirely new surrounding! Nevertheless, I loved this period because it made me learn the important life skills of flexibility and sensitivity to different people and environments. Plus, it even opened me up to new opportunities and experiences. It was awesome!

2004 - 2006
SOMEWHERE IN THE '90s

EARLY SCHOOLING

I was born in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, but I was raised in the islands of Batanes up until high school. For my early education, I started school a year early and graduated from elementary school at only 12 years old (a year younger than the average) with great marks. (You can somehow say that at a young age, I was already trying to make my Asian parents proud haha.)

SEPTEMBER BABY

Born at around 8:10pm in the Philippines. I’m the youngest in the family — with 2 siblings!