I’m Jessica Festa, but you can call me Jessie.
Welcome to Jessie on a Journey, a solo female and offbeat travel blog.
My goal: to inspire you to live your best life through travel, as well as take your trips #BeyondTheGuidebook for active exploration, unexpected adventures and transformative travel experiences.
And here’s a little secret: you do not have to wait until you have a ton of money saved up or a travel partner — even if you’re a female — to do it. The best time to travel is now.
I created this blog back in 2011 in an effort to empower and inspire travel-loving women. Whether you’re working a full-time job, in a relationship, paying off loans, or just fear the unknown, I want to show you that you can still explore the globe and enrich your life with unique local encounters.
With a focus on solo, active and offbeat travel, I provide tips and guides even the most savvy travelers can appreciate. And for those wanting to learn how to become digital nomads themselves, you’ll find loads of FREE travel hacks, solo travel tips, offbeat city guides, adventure stories, e-courses and information on professional blogging, as well.
Just some of the MANY lessons you’ll learn from this travel blog:
How to master the art of solo travel
What essentials you NEED for the road
35 money-saving, point-earning travel booking hacks
How to start a travel blog (with homework you’ll actually WANT to do)
13 creative ways travel bloggers monetize their websites
How to never get pick-pocketed again
The secret to taking amazing selfies (without using a selfie stick!)
How to stay fit on the road (no gym required!)
What I Do
How can I help you
travel toward your best life?
Custom Travel Planning
Want to travel but not sure where to start? I’ve helped travelers like you plan epic trips based on my experience roaming the globe. You tell me your destination and style, I do the rest!
New York City
Go on a New York adventure that’s part photo shoot, part walking tour that includes a custom itinerary and professional photos of the day for you to keep!
Whether you’re looking for travel style accessories, safety essentials or trip gear to make life easier, I carefully curate my favorite travel items into one awesome online shop!
Blogging Courses & Consulting
I offer online beginner and advanced classes, as well as email courses, coaching programs and self-paced lessons. Blogging is great way to travel long term and make money!
The short version
Once upon a time there was a young woman who was told by society that in order to lead a fulfilling life she had to graduate college, get a 9-to-5 job and live a settled life with two weeks vacation per year (because obviously if you want anymore than that you’re just immature, selfish and lazy. Duh.)
Despite resistance from loved ones, she decided to go the “immature” route, waving goodbye to her short stint in corporate America, and starting a business called Jessie on a Journey that allowed her to get paid to be creative, be her own boss and travel however much or little she pleased. She traded suits for suitcases, and her “office” is typically the nearest coffee shop or an airplane tray table. She lives happily ever after. The end.
The Longer Version
Have you ever felt like the “right path” was the “wrong path” for you?
Yeah, I’ve been there.
Here’s the skinny: I was born and raised in New York — where I am also a certified sightseeing guide — and grew up traveling, mostly Caribbean cruises and North American road trips.
In 2010 I received my BA/MA in Communication & Rhetoric from the State University at Albany in New York, with the goal of getting into non-profit communications. By the time I graduated I had already had some inspiring travel experiences — studying in Australia, backpacking Europe solo, doing a homestay in Ghana, hiking my way through China and teaching English in Thailand.
You probably saw this coming, but I soon realized I wouldn’t be able to give up the complete freedom to travel. My travel experiences were what made me feel like I was truly living.
When I finally got a “real job” they wouldn’t let me have any time off for travel until I had been there for six months. And even when I got the time off, it was only two weeks for the whole year. I loved slow travel and really spending time in a place to get to know it, and knew in my heart the job situation was not going to work. I couldn’t stop thinking about how alive travel made me feel and how stagnant I felt working in an office. I was on someone else’s schedule following someone else’s rules; I wanted to live my best life and do things my way.
When I quit, my friends and family of course did not approve, but travel was something I felt really strongly about. I decided I didn’t care what they thought. If they loved me they would accept my choice.
I didn’t want to be one of those people that did the same thing everyday and lived a similar life to everyone else. I wanted to live my life.
So I started waitressing full-time until I could come up with a plan, which allowed me to work overtime while I was home to pay off loans and bills, but also request off freely when the travel bug would hit.
Then one day I stumbled upon a travel writing class (funny enough, I teach a few myself now) and signed up. I loved writing and loved travel. Meeting the other students and alumni and reading blogs, I realized it was possible — as in real-life-this-isn’t-made-up — to combine my passions and make a living doing what I loved.
Today I split my time at home in NYC and on the road. And even though I travel somewhere almost every month — mainly on my own — I still have a bucket list and things that make me nervous. But once you take one step in the direction of your dreams you’ll be able to take another.
Life is an adventure. I want to experience it to the fullest. And I want you to, too!
I see too many of my friends and family working jobs they’re unhappy in and living their lives in a way that doesn’t completely fulfill them. Even if you’re not in a position to take travel to the full-time level, it is still possible to enrich your life by exploring the world.
Check out the blog and find adventures you might be interested in having yourself and start planning the trip of a lifetime.
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