Hey all! In an effort to make my blog more personal I’ve decided to start adding seasonal updates on my travel plans and current projects to keep you in the loop as to what to expect. The thing with this blog is it isn’t always chronological (although I do try to post articles and photo essays from trips within three months of returning from somewhere). This blog also isn’t written in a journal format with live updates, mainly because my goal with the site has always been to create informative and quirky guides and stories based on my experiences for you to emulate, not to tell you every thing I did that day since I woke up.
While that’s still my goal, I’m going to try to find a happy medium adding in a bit more live journal type posts, updates and reflections to help you get to know the real Jessie on a Journey a bit better.
And I’m starting with this one, a travel and life update.
Fall Travel: October
The past few months I’ve slowed down a bit with traveling, mainly because I love summer in New York and wanted to take advantage of all the fun and free activities happening around the city. After staying put almost all of September — although I did take a day trip to Bear Mountain and a weekend road trip to Buffalo, NY — it’s time for me to hit the road, beginning with a 10-Day trip to Germany — Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig to be exact. Hamburg and Leipzig will be completely new for me, while Berlin I visited during a solo backpacking trip six years ago. I’m excited to return, especially as my last visit was when I was 21 and more into the drinking scene than really getting to know the place, mainly via bike and on foot.
Also in October is a trip to California with my boyfriend (yes, the non-traveler) for a wedding. We’ll be road tripping, beginning in Temecula Valley for the wedding (and to explore the local wine and artisan offerings) before heading to Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking adventures. Then it’s off to Palm Springs for…well, we’re not sure yet, but we heard it’s nice. Open itineraries are always my favorite, so it should be exciting. Any recommendations are welcome in the comments below!
Fall Travel: November
November is the trip I’m most excited for: a two-week backpacking junket through Colombia — including Cartagena, Medellin and Bogota — with two local NYC friends and fellow travel blogger Seattle’s Travels. We don’t have too much planned yet aside for camping in Tayrona National Park. And I’d love to learn to salsa like a local. I took a tango class when I was in Argentina and my instructor told me I “seemed to have Latin blood.” It was hands down the best compliment I’d ever received. I also really want to chow down on some Bandeja Paisa, the national dish of Colombia, which apparently has rice, beans, plantains, ground beef, chorizo, morcilla, fried pork rinds and fried egg (talk about protein-heavy!) not to mention avocado and arepa. We’ll be traveling by bus, and undoubtedly having some unexpected adventures along the way.
If you’re wondering why I chose Colombia for my backpacking adventure, there are two major reasons. One is that on my solo South America backpacking trip two years ago I ran out of time and didn’t make it to Colombia as I had originally wanted to. Two, airfare was only $406 round trip on JetBlue from NYC. This is similar to what I paid earlier this year to fly Delta roundtrip to and from Guatemala. Basically, for New Yorkers on a budget, Latin America is a pretty sweet destination.
Along with my private blogging consultations I’ve always wanted to teach an actual blogging class. I finally got the chance to when a proposal I sent to the writing school Writers.com was accepted. I’ve officially started teaching a ProBlogging course with them, and am so proud to be a teacher at such a well-respected online school. Semester 1 started September 29, while the next semester will begin in March 2015.
I’ve also taken my photography beyond paid work shoots and my Etsy Shop to offer NYC photo safaris and photo follows, where I follow a group of visitors around with my DSLR taking candids and staged shots and then giving them a folder of all the images at the end of the tour. I’ve already done a few and it’s been a lot of fun, especially as people really seem to appreciate impromptu photos of them and their loved ones having a great time in a new place.
Like wine? Me too! That’s why I decided to become a professional drinker. I’ve officially graduated from the Sommelier Society of America and attained by sommelier certification. I don’t actually want to work in a restaurant or distribute wine. To be honest, I just wanted to enhance my wine writing skills on Epicure & Culture — and be able to enter a wine shop without breaking into a panic and just dashing to the $10 rack. Not saying I don’t buy $10 wine anymore (I do), but I’m a bit better at discerning what’s good and what isn’t.
On a non-travel related note I’ve started playing soccer in NYC on a friend’s company team. So far we’ve lost three games and tied one — go us! For me it genuinely isn’t about winning or losing — although winning would, of course, be nice — but about being on a team again. I played soccer in high school, often on multiple teams at once, and was on the dance, softball and track teams, and really miss that feeling of camaraderie that naturally forms between teammates. So often in our adult lives we don’t have time to join teams and clubs, and instead throw ourselves into work and spending time with our family. While these are both important, having some “me” time is, as well, and so far this has allowed for that. Oh, and I’ve lost about six pounds from all the running. Always a plus!
Stay tuned for more travel and life updates. And feel free to share your own in the comments below. I always love to know what’s going on in your lives, especially as it related to travel!