Tag Archives: Travel Inspiration

Travel Interview: Part Time Traveler

Anne PT Travel1

If not traveling, what is your 9-5 life like?

My 9-5 life just went through dramatic reconstruction!  Prior to April, I spent five years in a full-time job as a sales representative in a Fortune 500 company, the perks of which were many (including setting my own schedule and four weeks of annual vacation) but the negatives eventually outweighed the positives for me.   After five months of full-time travel I am uncertain what my 9-5 will look like once I make my next career move, but I know it won’t look like it did before.  I have thousands of pictures and pages of notes from my trip to fifteen countries, so you can be sure I will be blogging!

How have you changed your life to travel more?

In order to travel more or at all, you need only two things: money and time. (Only!) While holding a full-time job, it came down to saving up for both, and then making it a priority to spend my saved money and time on travel.

For the money side, I regularly take stock of where I am spending and what is really important to me.  It helps to think about how far that five dollars you’re not spending on a coffee will go when you’re halfway across the world. I also maintain a separate travel savings fund that I contribute regularly to.

As for time, I would always opt to purchase vacation (unpaid time off) when available, but it was always a challenge to convince my manager to let me take off all the time at once.  I find it useful to focus on the importance of travel to my overall happiness, job satisfaction, and productivity upon return.

How has travel changed your life? (The good, the bad and the ugly!)

The good: Travel has brought so much beauty into my life.  It challenges us to think differently, take risks, trust strangers.  It makes me appreciate life and its complexities on a much deeper level. Yet, it has made me want to live much more simply.  I believe it has made me more tolerant, understanding, and even loving of others and of myself.  And…I’ve gotten to eat some amazing food along the way.

The bad: There’s so much more good than bad, but travel has made it more difficult for me to sit still.  I find that it’s easier to get bored staying in the same place, and sometimes I feel it makes me always want to be somewhere other than where I am. I am working on that!

The ugly: Have you seen what happens when I don’t shower for three days?  Or have access to a laundry machine for five months? Even this becomes positive because I learn to appreciate who I am without focusing on my exterior.

Who, or what, inspired you to travel the first time?

I grew up in small, very conservative community in Northern California with little to no ethnic or cultural diversity.  The world became infinitely bigger when I enrolled in a huge university in Los Angeles.  It was there that I began to discover (and cherish) other cultures and backgrounds.  Simultaneously, I began taking classes in Global Studies and becoming engaged in world issues.  I think I was finally sold when I studied and lived with a family in Barcelona, Spain.  The proximity to so many other cultures and languages in Europe…it was like somebody had opened up a window to the world.

What is your main purpose/goal of your travel blog?

The main purpose of my blog is to inspire.  From what I’ve seen online, the majority of travel-focused material is based on an all-or-nothing approach.  I want to encourage–what I believe are the majority of us–those seeking balance of travel and home or career, and who may be unsure of how to do it.

This or That:
Backpack or rolling suitcase? Backpack, no question!
Cities or Open Spaces? I always thought I was a city girl, but two of my favorite countries are all about the open spaces (Nepal and New Zealand.)  I suppose I want the best of both worlds, but for me living in a city and visiting the open spaces is optimal.
Salty or Sweet? Salty! I’ll take a savory treat over a sweet one any day (I have a weakness for French fries…) but I’m not opposed to sweets, especially macaroons (mmm…Paris.)
Sandals or Snow Boots? Always sandals.  I am a beach girl through and through.  I live in my flip flops, and shy away from snow and cold.
Comedy or Drama? Well, who doesn’t love a great comedy?  But if I had to choose, it comes down to drama.  I most enjoy a film or a novel that makes me think differently about the world, or that has the ability to move me to tears.

Bungee Jump

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Travel Interview: Travel? Yes Please!

Travel Yes Please
(Rhonda answered the questions on behalf of the couple below)

If not traveling, what is your 9-5 life like?

When not traveling, I (Rhonda) work as an elementary school substitute teacher. I also have a portrait photography business and love to go the gym in my free time. Mike works as a forester and reclaims oil well sites. He likes to watch football and go fishing in his free time.

Who, or what, inspired you to travel the first time?

My parents both have a love of traveling so travel has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my parents were always taking us places, even if it was just camping for the weekend. My first trip to Europe was in eleventh grade and that’s when I absolutely fell in love! I loved Paris so much that I might have teared up a little when I had to leave. I’ve been passionate about travel, especially Europe, ever since.

Mike had not traveled very much until he met me. Hearing me talk about all the places I love and seeing all my photographs has made him excited to start exploring the world as well.

How have you changed your life to travel more?

Mike and I live a modest life so that we have more money to travel. We aren’t big shoppers and don’t need to have the latest and greatest gadgets, fancy furniture etc. We collect Air Miles as well as Aeroplan Rewards to help finance our travels. We’ve been able to pay for flights, cruises, tours and hotels all by cashing in our reward points. Mike also works a lot of overtime and banks his hours so that we can take more time off for vacations.

How has travel changed your life?

Travel has made Mike and I more well-rounded, knowledgeable individuals. Travel has sparked a curiosity in us and every time we visit somewhere new, we become more passionate about traveling and learning about our world and its history. Travel has also taught us a lot about ourselves and each other. Travel is not just about discovering new places, but it’s about discovering your own self as well.

What is your main purpose/goal of your travel blog?

Mike and I hope our blog first and foremost, inspires people to travel. We want to show people that the world is a fascinating and beautiful place. Secondly, we set out to inform people, whether it’s explaining the historical significance of a place or giving some helpful tips for visiting a destination, we want our readers to learn something new every time they visit. And lastly, we hope people think of our site as travel planning resource they can trust.

This or That:
Backpack or Rolling Suitcase? Rhonda: Rolling suitcase, Mike: Backpack
Cities or Open Spaces? Rhonda: Open Spaces, Mike: Cities
Salty or Sweet? Rhonda & Mike: Sweets
Sandals or Snow Boots? Rhonda & Mike: Sandals
Comedy or Drama? Rhonda: Drama, Mike: Comedy

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A Wall Hanging with a Southern “Twist”

When wandering the streets of Charleston, South Carolina I noticed beautifully intricate wrought iron everywhere – on windows of homes, fences, garden gates and balcony railings. Each design was precisely welded and appeared strong and sturdy, yet the designs were soft, curving and pretty; the perfect blend of masculine and feminine.

Travel Inspiration:

Wrought Iron Window Covering Charleston South Carolina

Now, as the story goes, Charleston’s wealthy residents insisted on the real deal for the window decor. No cast iron for them. Only the best – wrought iron. But, for me and my purposes, and wallet, I needed a lighter weight (ahem! cheaper) option. My search for a wall hanging led me to this beautiful cast iron wall hanging from World Market – Cost Plus ( I flippin’ love that store).

The piece is very light weight and is held up with only one nail. This is important because I will have to fill in and paint over these holes if, or when, I move the piece. “The more the merrier” does not apply to the number of holes I bang into our walls!

Cast Iron Wall Hanging

Travel Inspired Wrought Iron Wall Hanging

There are no “procedures” or “materials” lists for this project. I mean if you can shop you’ve got the hardest part down! All you’ll need for the installation is a hammer and a common nail. Make sure you use a common nail, or a nail with a larger head, not a brad. Brad’s are nails with much smaller heads and since weight and gravity can allow the wall hanging to slip down or forward a bit, the large nail head will prevent any falls.

Charleston Inspired Decorative Iron

Florida is in the south, but is rarely considered “Southern” so I love that I can bring in a little southern charm to our home. What city inspires you?

Wrought Iron Wall Hangings