Where I’ve Been

Since I took my first week-long trip to San Francisco with a friend when I was 19, I have always known that travel is not only life-changing, enriching and fun, but it’s also easier than most people think. My first international backpacking trip was in the summer of 2008, when I traveled through England, Ireland France and Switzerland, and really seeing the world would only make the urge for getting out of my comfort zone through travel harder to scratch. Which I’m perfectly OK with.

amCharts (3) JORDAN

In my 27 years, I have visited 26 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. I love sharing the stories of what I learned, loved, experienced and tasted in these places, as well as how to made it from Point A to Point B and how I stayed comfortable and sane on the road. From camping trips with friends to six-month solo Euro-trips to falling in love on the road, I’ve done it all. I’m also admittedly a huge dork about, planning, plotting studying and preparing for my trips (in some ways this is just as much fun for me as the actual travel). My goal is to inspire others and pass along what I’ve learned.

I’m working on developing my archive here, so please be patient, but let me know if there is anything I can address first! Follow the links below for specific stories, country or experience highlights and advice:

Country Specific Advice & Trips

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I’ve lived in Duluth, MN, Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, Boulder, CO, Yellowstone National Park, WY and Pasadena, CA, and traveled to 30 US states.

Don’t see what you’re looking for, but think I might know something about it? Comment below, and I’ll do my best to help you out! 

2 thoughts on “Where I’ve Been

    1. That is the question, isn’t it? The most simple answer is I’ve made a lot of sacrifices and swallowed a healthy amount of risk to life this life. I’m not a trust fund baby, and I carry a pretty typical American-sized amount of student debt from my undergrad. But, I’ve earned every bit of money I use to travel, while living on my own.

      The long story is that for my big 6 month trip across Europe in 2014, I was in transition. I was leaving Los Angeles, moving to Minnesota and I decided to take a “life sabbatical” before settling into what I was sure would be “real life.” I spent more than a year saving money for that trip (and my bills while on the trip) and while I was on the road I used several alternative means to stay places for free: WWOOFing on farms or volunteering in a hostel in exchange for a bed. I came back home and did in fact get another full time, 9-5 job with benefits, but I had met an Italian man while in Europe and we were not willing to end the relationship just because we were on different continents.

      In the end, due to US immigration and his career field being more lucrative than mine (plus who doesn’t want to move to Italy?), we decided I’d be the one to come to him. In order to work and save more, I quit the 9-5 and took as many shifts as I could handle at two different restaurants (often opening one in the morning and closing the other at night) for an utterly exhausting year in order to once again have the money to live and travel long term – or for the 5 months my tourists visas will allow for now. It should also be said that in this current situation, I live with him and his family owns the home we live in, so cost of living is only bills and food. In the long term, marriage will allow me to stay here permanently and work here, should we choose to commit to this road for real, I suppose you could say.

      These are very personal answers, and possibly not super helpful. I do know a lot of people who live on the road and work for American (or home country-based) companies remotely so all they need is a WiFi connection. There is also the possibility of becoming certified in teaching English as a foreign language and getting a job and visa through this skill. This is super useful and workable in a lot of Asian countries. I have a certification, but it’s admittedly difficult to get a visa in Europe, unless you have been doing it a long long time. Most job listings tell you upfront they won’t consider you if you can’t already legally work here. You can also find an education program (language course?) that lasts more than 90 days and most European countries will give you a student visa, which will allow you to work up to 20 hours a week while you study.

      There are a lot of ways to stay on the road, and I’m constantly surprised at the stories I hear. Finances are never easy, though, and I will be the first to admit the things I’ve personally done to get here haven’t been easy, and are certainly not for everyone.

      Hope that’s a little helpful!
      Good luck!


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