Solo Female Nepali Traveler: Vedica’s Journey from Chartered Accountant Career to Solo Traveling

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Society is mostly set on its standards. You study, grow up, start your work, build your career, climb the social ladder, retire, and pass the same wisdom onto your children. This is considered a safe life, doing what is expected of you and playing by society’s rules. This can also be an enriching life, and most people hold on to it.

Then, there are those who seek more than what is immediately in front of them. They want some more time for themselves, wish to explore more of the world, yearn for new experiences, and like to do things of their own accord. They have a different worldview and constantly find themselves on the other side of societal norms.

About Vedica Gajurel: Nepali Traveler

Vedica, who ventured out to travel solo in 2019, had a similar self-reflective period in her life. When she graduated as a Chartered Accountant, everyone was expecting her to make a grand entrance into the corporate world, to quickly claim her place and earn a fortune. But this path did not feel right for her. While she spent most of her time learning and mastering the world of accounting, something was not adding up in her life.

She constantly felt trapped, like she was being tamed by society to play the field as everyone else around her was doing. However, with much deliberation, she decided that this was not where she belonged. She quit her corporate job in 2019 to travel. She opened a YouTube account, bought the essentials, and ventured out to explore the world.

In this feature interview, Vedica will answer some questions regarding her life as a solo traveler and how her life has changed since she made the decision to quit the corporate world.

Short Introduction

Vedica: Hi, I’m Vedica. Academically, I am a Chartered Accountant (CA). I graduated in 2017 and worked for a few years in audit firms. I quit that life in 2019 because I felt it was not for me.

Then, I started traveling. My first destination was supposed to be Sri Lanka in February of 2020, but because of COVID, my plan was halted. Just when I thought I’d start traveling, COVID made the entire world go indoors. It was a difficult time. Fortunately, the stock market started booming, so I could rely on that financially.

On her decision to travel long term and inspiration behind it

Actually, in CA studies, we have a 3-year internship. During my internship, around 2014, I had already kind of realized that the corporate field was not for me. After entering CA, it was basically going to the office, studying, and then repeating the same routine. I felt like I was in a cocoon. The environment was too money-minded for me. I constantly felt like this was not the right company for me.

However, I didn’t know exactly what to do next; I only knew that I wanted to explore. So, I thought I would start traveling and then see what happens next.

I used to follow a lot of YouTube and social media content, and I would try to find myself through that. In 2013, there was a vlogger named Mark Wiens who came to Nepal. He is a vlogger from the US but lives in Thailand. I used to watch a lot of his videos and get inspired. I would also follow a lot of travel vlogs, female content creators, and watch solo-travel related movies, but I didn’t know that was what I wanted to do. I was just fascinated by all of that. So, I thought, why not start this way of life? And so, I decided to open my travel vlog.

On learning the basics of video-editing

I didn’t know anything about video editing before I started. I learned a video editing software for the first time after coming back from my trip to Bandipur. So, it was process-based learning. I would visit places, take videos, and learn how to edit them after coming back. Currently, I use DaVinci Resolve. I love its color grading option. Previously, I had used Filmora.

On her current income sources and if travel content creation is able to help her financially

I have been out of a corporate position for almost 5 years, but occasionally, I do work as a freelancer. My main source of income, however, has been the stock market.

Travel content creation has been of almost no help financially. Initially, when I started out, I was naive in this field. I thought I’d make vlogs, reach 100K subscribers, earn money, and fund my travels and livelihood. I was focused on the numbers game as it provided validation for me and, especially, for my family. Like how our parents need some validation to know what we’re doing is worth it.

Initially, I experienced good growth; people were watching and sharing my vlogs. I was obsessed with creating more and achieving greater reach. But later, I realized that I wasn’t actually looking for this. I didn’t want fame. The stock market was also booming at that time, so I focused on earning from the stock market and took travel vlogging slowly.

Vedica in Thailand

On her struggles of traveling internationally

Visa processing was the main challenge I faced during my travels. I had no idea how difficult it would be, as I had not been anywhere other than India before.

I went to talk to a travel agency. First, the staff said that immigration wouldn’t allow it. I followed up multiple times, saying that I wanted to go at any cost. Then, she said that she would set up the visa for Thailand, and I would have to return from Malaysia. That was as much as she could do. She explained that Nepal’s immigration tends to stop you if you say you’re traveling solo. She advised me to have a large bank balance and a letter showing that I am working somewhere in Nepal.

With all that information, I was really anxious while waiting in the immigration line. I was trying to call all my friends to request and accumulate as much money as possible and return it as soon as I crossed immigration. 

Thankfully, when I mentioned I’m a Chartered Accountant, the immigration staff spoke to me nicely, saying I’m the kind of person they might need, and cleared my immigration easily.

Read next: Visa free Countries for Nepalese Passport Holders

On Visa issues in foreign countries

I didn’t have issues in other countries, but I faced a major problem while entering through the land border into Cambodia. I noticed some discriminatory attitudes from the border staff.

I had heard about someone who had tried to go to Cambodia from Thailand and was sent back from the Cambodian airport. He had to spend almost $2000 for nothing, just because he had a Nepali passport.

But I was determined to go, as I was already so close. I had taken the required e-Visa, so I was hoping they would let me in. We entered the border in a van. They let everyone in, and initially, they let me in, thinking I was from India. But when they saw my Nepali passport, they sent me back to the gate.

Vedica in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Next to me was a Chinese-looking French girl who was frustrated and panicking. She kept saying that she was not even from China. The staff took her inside and kept her for a long time before allowing her to cross the border.

Seeing all this, I also started to worry. One of the staff took me into their office, saying that I could not cross the border and my passport had no access, and that there was no Nepali embassy in Cambodia. I showed her my e-Visa and said that entry from this border was granted on the visa. She stood firm in her decision and kept saying that I couldn’t enter. They made me wait for almost an hour.

I was secretly recording the audio the whole time. Frustrated in the end, I took out my GoPro camera. They asked me if I was a YouTuber, to which I replied, “kind of.”

Later, they asked how much money I had. I had carried a significant amount in cash, as advised by previous travelers. I did not know it at the time, but they were expecting me to give them some money to enter the border. Then, they asked me for a bribe of $100. I bargained a bit and managed to enter the border by paying them $50. It was a very anxious experience.

While leaving Cambodia for Singapore, I had a similar experience. They only let me go just a minute before my flight took off. These experiences made me feel very humiliated. But in the end, it worked out. Singapore was the easiest, though. Very smooth process.

On her travel cost breakdown in Southeast Asia

Singapore is the most expensive out of the different countries I visited. 

Flight costs depend highly on the destination and the point of departure. Normally, there is something called “South-east Asia Backpacker Budget” of 30 dollars per day. It covers food, drinks, and accommodation. Some days you exceed that budget while some days you spend less. Overall, it’s the right benchmark.

I normally stayed in hostels, in bunk beds. Hostel life is very well managed and maintained. There are a variety of hostels with different styles. It’s also a great place to meet fellow travelers from all over the world.

How scary does it feel to travel to foreign places?

I felt safe in most countries, and the nightlife was better so I never really felt unsafe.

However, in Cambodia, I did feel a bit uncomfortable being alone. Whenever I went sightseeing in Cambodia, I would always join hostel groups to ensure I was never alone. A Japanese traveler told me that people had tried to snatch his purse multiple times. We were also warned in hostels to keep our belongings safe and to be cautious in Cambodia.

Overall, perhaps I was lucky, but I honestly never felt too unsafe.

Vedica with fellow backpackers in Cambodia

On how girls could overcome the fear of solo travel

Solo travel can be intimidating in the beginning, because it has a lot of uncertainties. To anyone who wants to travel solo, I’d suggest starting by visiting a place you are familiar with and have already been to. This will boost your confidence. Additionally, it plays a huge role in winning approval from your family and friends.

Also, just appear confident wherever you are. I remember I would fake calls to appear confident. So, trying different techniques like this and properly researching ways to stay safe while traveling could help you be more courageous.

On the air and road travel safety concerns in Nepal

To be honest, I have not taken any domestic flights since the unfortunate plane crash in Pokhara. The roads are also a problem; they are not that good. Commuting is the main issue in Nepal. But the good part is that people are very nice and warm. If I just share my problem, people are almost always kind enough to find ways to help me. That is what I love about traveling in Nepal.

However, it’s unfortunate that commuting is such a big issue, as Nepal has many beautiful places that deserve to be seen. It is manageable, though.

Read next: Ultimate Nepal Bucket List: 101 Must-Do Things in Nepal

Trek to Annapurna Base Camp

On her current travel involvements

Lately, I’m slowing down on my travels. Last, I did a trek in October to four destinations in Nepal. I have grown from the mindset I had back then, when I would just pack my bags and go out to visit everywhere.

Currently, I’m more into spirituality and yoga. I just became a certified Yoga instructor and I am loving this life. I feel blessed that I have a lot of time to explore the things that I want and love taking things slow.

You might like: Traveling to Beautiful Ghandruk Village from Pokhara

One improvement she wishes from the Government

Better roads. Commuting is the major issue in Nepal and if that is resolved, I think Nepal tourism can improve much more significantly.

On her favorite destination

I would choose Georgetown, Malaysia.

It is located on the northern side of the country. I resonated very much with that place. It was a small town, radiating country vibes. It’s a very artistic place, and the people were very warm and welcoming. I had the best Indian, Mexican, and Thai foods in this small town. I absolutely loved this place.

Her favorite city: Georgetown, Malaysia

Her three practical advice for women who want to travel more

  • Think ahead. Plan your finances and create a solid plan so you’re aware of potential situations and can be prepared.
  • Don’t think “Once I’ll get ready, I’ll start”. That time never comes. 
  • Take in a lot of information. Research a lot on the internet. Seek information from multiple websites; don’t completely depend on one. Be cautious. Don’t trust everyone blindly.

You can follow Vedica and her travel journey on her YouTube channel.


I love traveling and I love writing about it. It's my sincere hope that through my content, you will find some helpful information and inspiration for your own travels. :)

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