About Me

JMHi! I’m Jen! I’ve been traveling my whole life – mostly off and on. I’ve never lived anywhere but the US, and I’ve always had either full-time school or a full-time job (or both!). I have to fit in my travel whenever and wherever I can.

My parents took us on vacation every year when we were young. My dad specifically purchased a time-share week when they got married so that it would force him to take a week off from work. Since most of the destinations were in the US, and we didn’t really have money to spare for plane tickets for a family of four, we did a lot of driving around the country. He was also big on detours and side trips – that’s how we managed to make it through the 48 continental states by the time I got to college.

I remember buzzing with excitement the night before we were to leave for vacation – I could barely sleep! And I knew, the next morning, when my mom woke us up before dawn and carried us out to the car, we were in for an adventure. Even now, I equate the early pre-dawn hours with the unknown and the desire to explore the world.

And I got really good at travelling in moving vehicles. My dad didn’t want to deal with traffic, and didn’t want to waste any more precious daylight (read: sightseeing time) than necessary, so we spent many nights driving on the interstate, between one destination and the next. I got really good at sleeping in the car! And my mom taught me how to pack for a long journey – a mini cooler with some pre-chopped fruits and veggies; a few juice boxes and water bottles; some nuts or cheese or cookies; little sandwiches and lots of napkins.

Now that I’ve graduated college, gotten married, and moved to a new state (twice!), I take those same philosophies and apply them to my own travels.

  1. Travel cheap, but not stingy. Be creative with ways to save money on transportation, lodging, or food, and you’ll be able to travel more frequently than if you splurge on all travels. But be sure to spend the money where it is worth it (the cheapest motel might have bed bugs, the least costly tour might be a scam).
  2. Harness the night. While sightseeing between towns can be beautiful, it also can be pretty boring. I’ll take overnight flights, drives, or trains as often as possible to free up the daytime for better sightseeing. I can sleep on the plane pretty well, so why not take a redeye so I arrive at my destination first thing in the morning?
  3. Take detours. The tourist ‘traps’ are popular destinations for a reason – beautiful art, architecture, or scenery. But there are plenty of small towns and nearby destinations that can be as exciting as the touristy areas, and give you a better taste of the local flavor.
  4. Be prepared. My dad, brother, and I were all scouts. We learned that sufficient planning can get rid of 95% of the headaches you run into in a trip. Poor planning can cause problems to multiply. Have a little snack with you so you don’t need to pay the sky-high tourist rates when you get hungry, or have both a GPS and a map in case you get lost.
  5. Go with your gut. There are a few times in my life someone had an uneasy feeling and we decided to go with the gut. After a midnight bathroom break in Yellowstone almost turned into a ‘get chased by a bear’ break, I’ve learned to always go with my gut. If an area of town feels sketchy and makes you uneasy, get the heck out of there!

I’ve started to blog so I can keep track of my travels. I constantly have the urge to travel and see new places – I just want to wander the world. But I have a life to live here with my husband – and a job to go to every day – so I will wander, one day. In the meantime I just day dream and plan and reminisce!

47 replies

  1. Wonderfully written – your life is already a great story. Keep it up!

  2. I love your story! I remember going on trips with my mum when I was young and feel the same way. Sounds like you have the same bug as me. The TRAVEL bug! Thanks

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who is so nostalgic! I think some people travel because they fondly recall travelling with their family, while others travel because they never got the chance to do so growing up. Either way – you are right – we’ve all caught the travel bug!

  3. Josh here from the BlinkPack blog. I think your blog concept is excellent, and I am looking forward to reading more. We seem to share a lot about our travel philosophy; now that I am married, have a child, a job, and a non-profit org., it is difficult (to say the least) to find time and space for adventure. But knowing how alive it makes me feel, I am doing my best anyway. Please keep in touch, and I wish you all the best with your blogging and adventuring. Cheers!

  4. Hey!
    Theres a fun award, the liebster awards, going around so I nominated your blog. Check out this link for the info: http://eatsleepbreathetravel.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/liebster-award-nomination/

  5. So exciting to meet you via the blog world! We share a lot in common. And, although I’m traveling more as an adult than during my childhood, it’s all in due time, I think. It’s never a bad time to travel!!! http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

    • I agree – travel should happen all the time 🙂 Thanks for stopping by – I think I’m going to have to start following your blog so I can get ideas for places to visit in the US to fill in the gaps between my international trips!

  6. I’ve nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Congrats =) I hope you accept. You can check out the nomination here: http://pennilesstraveler.com/2013/01/06/kreativbloggerblogonfire/

  7. Hi Jen. Thanks for visiting my blog. I really like your stories about the postcards and I hope to catch up with more of your posts. WE love travelling. And my typing human says writing about them will help to remember all our little adventures in years to come. Best wishes 🙂

  8. hi there, great photograph u’ve had
    thx for sahring…
    your st.kitt cloud foto is one of my fave……

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by and liking my blog post Jen! Your photos of a flooded Venice are great but terrifying… Lots of potential for rainy day photography in Scotland too 🙂 It’s a lovely place to visit! Greetings from Edinburgh

  10. Greetings from Australia Jen
    I loved reading about your childhood experiences; that made me smile. I also love travelling, especially to Europe which I find fascinating. However one day I’d love to photograph the beauty of North America, it looks absolutely stunning.
    God bless

    • Thanks for stopping by! I hope one day you get to visit NA, just like one day I hope to visit Australia! I’m sure both places are similar in that there are nitty-gritty cities and awe-inspiring natural landscapes – but either way it is awesome visiting other countries!

      • Well spoken Jen, very true indeed. I think I’d prefer to visit the smaller American cities and towns and experience the “traditional country culture” of the US, as I’m not a fan of the “Hip Hop, rap” culture at all. For myself there are so many more beautiful aspects of the American culture and your amazing natural landscape which is breathtaking.

        • Don’t forget that there are other cultures besides inner city hip hop and southern country! There’s also the salty, seaside New England culture and the sunny, laid-back West Coast culture. But I do agree – the natural landscape is breathtaking!

          • Now you’re talking Jen. I couldn’t find the exact words for what I was thinking, “a happy medium” but you described them perfectly, and if I ever get to the US then……West Coast, New England and yes even…..Southern Country banjo playing blue grass strumming, cowboy countryfolk “here I come”. 🙂 Sounds great

  11. Nice words and pictures. Enjoy your travels.

  12. Hey, just wanted to say thanks for following, also I was just having a look in your postcard section and I love it, what a brilliant idea 🙂

  13. Hi Jen,
    We have really been enjoying your excellent blog, so we wanted to let you know that we’ve nominated you for The Shine On Award. It highlights bloggers who are shining stars in the vast array of available blogs. We think your blog brings smiles to all who read it!

    Please see your award and details on our site. We think it’s a great opportunity to introduce your wonderful blog to more readers. They’re gonna love you!

    All the Best,
    Terri & James @ Gallivance.net

  14. An award for you here Jen !
    http://emmahicks76.wordpress.com/

  15. Love it! I’ve been traveling all my life too.. all over the world and lived in 5 different countries so far. I love the Go with your Gut, I have never gotten in trouble (some call it luck, I call it instinct.) love the blog, I’ll be sure to follow your adventures 🙂

    • It definitely is about instinct! We didn’t evolve over the ages by ignoring our gut instinct, that’s for sure. If I feel something is “off”, I’ll trust my gut even if it turns out nothing was wrong. It’s better to feel silly over nothing than to be sorry you didn’t pay attention! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I really like how you’ve organized your blog. Nice work!

  17. Jen, you take some fantastic shots! Love your work…

    Skip

  18. This is exactly the way i would travel.. tho I haven’t yet started to do serious travelling! Love your blog!

  19. Wow. I have seen 18 states in the US so far. All of them were very special. I’d like to see the rest though too 🙂

  20. Hey, I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award because I love your blog! 🙂

    Award guidelines can be found here: http://truetravelings.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  21. Your blog is wonderful! What a great resource. How long have you been blogging on here?

    • Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’ve been blogging since fall 2012 (so 8 months total). I took a little break in November and another one again in April when life and my career got in the way, but I’m definitely glad to be back at it. I’ve got some great travel planned for the rest of the year, including the upcoming trip to Europe, and another trip in the fall to Puerto Rico.

      I see your blog is fairly young (though already prolific), I’m glad I found it! I’ll definitely be using it as a resource for our upcoming trip 🙂

  22. A mother/daughter trip soon…how lovely…my mother and I travel to India every year together 🙂

  23. Jen, we’re in your old stomping ground and loving it. We’re camped at Buttermilk Falls State Park, and we roamed around the Cornell Campus yesterday. Ivy League all the way. The Johnson Art Museum was also great, and what a nice small collection. We’ll be in the Fingerlakes for another week. ~James

Trackbacks

  1. About Me | Halina's Blog
  2. So, how many unread books do I have? « Stacy's Books
  3. Things To Think About Before Travelling | My Sicilian Home

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