Jessica is the writer and the owner of one of the latest blogs that I’m following called Ways of Wanderers. Jessica together with her boyfriend, left their home in pursuit of a year (or more) of travels and adventure. She shares her personal insights about the places that she’s been to which I really like reading.
She also writes a lot of helpful travel tips that you will definitely find useful in case you visit those places. Jessica also taught English for a year in Thailand and wrote a lot of tips for those whoe are thinking of doing the same thing.
Learn more about Jessica and follow her adventures at Ways of Wanderers.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Jessica.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“It evolved slowly for me. I didn’t grow up with a family that traveled, but it was always something I knew I wanted to do. After my boyfriend, Brent, and I graduated from university and worked for about a year, we began to realize that we were at a point where we could either settle down, or finally just go for it and travel. Our first stop was in Paris, and the moment I stepped out of the airport and took in the new sights, sound, and smells, I was absolutely hooked. I have been ever since.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“I’ve had my share of mishaps, but the worst was probably when Brent and I got separated at Osaka Station in Japan. First, we couldn’t find our bus stop and we missed our bus; then we managed to lose each other too. The station is this enormous, crowded maze, and we didn’t have cell phones, so we had no way of finding one another. We spent hours wandering around looking for each other, and individually harassing people to borrow their iPhones. It wasn’t my finest moment.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“One of my favorite travel experiences was the two weeks that we spent traveling through Northern Thailand and Laos. When I’m traveling, I find it easy to get caught up in planning and rushing from place to place, but everything seemed to slow down in Laos.It felt really good to embrace the relaxed pace of life there. We ate amazing food, met some incredible people, and I learned about some of the wonderful things that can happen when I chill out and just let the experience unfold.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“Traveling has taught me a lot about who I am. There are so many extreme highs and lows when you’re traveling, and a huge amount of self-discovery comes from facing yourself at your best and at your worst. Being on the road has really pushed me to overcome my insecurities, and showed me that sometimes I’m stronger than I think I am. Traveling has been like a second adolescence for me – I feel like I’ve grown up a lot.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“It comes down to variety for me. When I fall into a routine and everyday becomes the same, I feel like I’m missing out on so much. We only have so many years of life to see, experience and do as much as we can, and traveling makes me feel like I’m making the most of those years.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“I’d have to say Leonardo DiCaprio. Titanic came out when I was a very impressionable age, and I have a long-standing crush on him. I have no idea how he would be as a travel partner, but I would owe it to my 12-year-old-self to find out.”
Where’s your favorite place in this planet and why?
“Italy. It’s a country that is often romanticized, and for good reason. I love the musicality of the language, and I definitely ate some of the best meals of my whole life there. It’s one place that Brent and I always talk about going back to someday.”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveler?
“Get rid of the checklist. We all have one – those places we’re “supposed” to see in a particular city, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Coliseum in Rome. See what you want to see. I think you get more out of your trip when you tailor it to your unique interests. The famous sights aren’t for everyone; it’s not a “one size fits all” kind of deal.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“We were staying with a host family in Spain, and they suggested that we might want to borrow their moped sometimes to drive into town. Brent went for a quick ride on it, and then everyone encouraged me to try it out. I was reluctant at first because I tend to be a bit of spaz with motorized things; but then I started imagining myself coasting down Spanish country roads with the wind in my hair, and against my better judgement, I said yes. I revved the bike so hard that I lost control, and ended up crashing into our host’s car. It was horrible at the time, but awkwardly funny in retrospect. Luckily, the damage was minor and they were very forgiving!”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“I think that the same common sense you use to stay safe at home applies when you’re on the road. I always try to get informed about the places I travel to, but there’s a difference between being knowledgeable and being paranoid. Other countries aren’t more dangerous just because they’re unfamiliar, and in the end, I just trust my instincts.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I’m eternally awkward, and I tend to be kind of shy when I first meet a person. However, once I feel comfortable (which might happen over time, or just after a drink or two), I’m wildly weird and outgoing (perhaps too much so!).”
“Ways of Wanderers is about slowly discovering the world as a budget traveler and expat. My boyfriend, Brent, and I seek out work and volunteer opportunities wherever we go, typically staying in each country we visit for a few months at a time. My goal with Ways of Wanderers is to provide the inspiration and advice to help anyone who has ever wanted to see the world, actually go and do it.” – Jessica Dawdy of Ways of Wanderers
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Jessica.