This past month, I was so honored to be interviewed by Nastasia from Dame Traveler. She has become one of my close friends and I am continuously inspired by what she is doing on her Dame Traveler blog and Instagram. For those of you who don’t know what Dame Traveler is, it’s a blog that inspires women to travel more, experience more, and be more. It’s pretty darn cool.
So when she asked if she could interview me, I was so excited as this was my first time. She asked some tough questions, ones that made me put words to why I do what I do, why I love to travel, and what inspires me day in and day out. I wanted to share the interview with everyone here on Bon Traveler as it talks in depth about my inspiration for this travel blog and what motivates me. I also give a few tips for saving for travels, where I am excited to go next, and my favorite place in the world. You can see the interview below or go to Dame Traveler to see it on Nastasia’s lovely blog.
Thank you Xx.
Dame Traveler Interview
Hey everyone, my name is Jessica Wright and I am a 24 year old who resides in San Francisco, California (some of the time). I have a slight addiction to espresso, a good eclair, and of course a plane flight. I founded the travel blog Bon Traveler and spend my days writing, taking photos, and doing it most of it on the road. If I’m not curled up behind the computer working, I’m out on the move and headed to a new destination as I love to find myself somewhere new. I’ve had a passion for travel for as long as I could remember, and this past year turned it into a full time job with my travel blog. With passion for culture and food, it has inspired me to capture the world of travel and to stir others to follow suit. Everyday I wake up and feel blessed to call “travel” my job, though there are times when it can be stressful and exhausting, I love what I do so it never feels like work.
I started blogging a few years back but solidified the blog about a year ago. Bon Traveler is a place that highlights aspects of travel from calculated guides, travel tips, special experiences, and more — all with the purpose of inspiring people to “travel well and travel often.” I believe that we become exponentially happier and better people when we have the courage to open ourselves to the beautiful and inspiring experiences that awaits us in every corner of the world, so I aim to invite people into these stories.
When did you fall in love with travel?
I fell in love with travel at a young age, around 8 years old when my mother (being from France) took us back to the countryside of Poitiers in France to visit her family. I remember the rush of taking off in an airplane, landing in a foreign country, and being completely immersed in another culture – the same feeling I still pursue today when I travel.
What are some ways in which you help yourself make time and generate funds for traveling?
This is where I find myself being the most creative. Often people think that all the creativity is generated in my blog through photos and writing, but really I push myself in the area of funding the trips. My work affords me the opportunity to partner with tourism boards and hotels which relieves the stress of funding, but there is also my own leisure travel that is not work. I look for opportunity, whether it is a friend who has offered a place to stay, a travel deal, credit card points, and a cheap stay with Airbnb. As a full time travel blogger, time has to be balanced, realistically I could travel every day of the year as far as time goes, but then I also have to break up trips so I try to give a day or two in between. Something my father taught me was that it is better to have a bigger photo album then a bank account – obviously all in reason, but I believe making memories is important so I always prioritize travel.
We know this is a tough question but where is your favorite place in the whole wide world?
Annecy, France, one of the few places that I would return to time and time again. There are so many new places to travel to so I always find it difficult to go somewhere twice but Annecy is one of the most magical places in the world. Set between the Alps on a lake the color of the Caribbean Sea, it holds an old world charm. The village is set on a series of canals, brick roads, and a strong French culture of markets, little cafes and a lot of cheese. It’s the place that reminds me of my family’s culture of French food, being outdoors and in intimate places; not to mention it is one of the most romantic places in the world.
What inspires you most when you travel?
Falling in love and stories. I fall in love every time I travel through experiencing a culture, a new food, a new adventure, and a new destination. And when it’s time to leave, my heart breaks for I feel like I could stay in those moments forever. Stories, I search out what is the background, the history of a place and what’s the story today. Meeting new people is part of my travel story, I love talking to anyone and learning something new from a different perspective.
Where have you traveled to thus far?
A little of everywhere, but Europe seems to always be calling. Some of my favorite countries are definitely France, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Bora Bora, Italy, Greece, St. Lucia, and Sun Valley, Idaho.
If you could pick up and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? 1,2,3 quick!
Marrakech, Morocco. I want to see the colors and architecture, experience the food, and be immersed in the culture.
How has a life of travel changed you?
Every time I travel I learn a new lesson. It has shown me a part of myself that loves to explore, find something new, discover a corner cafe and be completely emerged with my surroundings. It reminds me to live in the moment, to soak in everything around me, and that we are apart of a world such bigger then our own home and city. My priorities have changed because of travel; what I use to care about most I no longer do. Travel has also pushed me to take risks, be adventurous, and live outside of my comfort zone. Just last week I got into a single prop plane, if you had asked me 3 years ago if I’d ever fly in a small plane I would have definitely said no!
What has been your most memorable travel moment thus far?
This is a tough one, there are have been many memorable moments from just 2014 alone and all so different from each other. But I think I will share about my experience in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. My husband and I found this town off a Pinterest pin a few months before our trip and we decided to put it on our itinerary last minute. The only room left in this small rural town in the Jungfrau region was the attic room that shared a bathroom with 3 other rooms. One morning we woke at the crack of dawn, took 3 gondolas up to 10,000 feet, which was equally stunning as terrifying coming up the side of the mountain. Watched the sunrise and then hiked all the way back down for 8 hours. Along the way there were little villages and homes, fresh spring waters coming out of the mountain everywhere, and cows roaming the hills. The Swiss Alps were breathtaking and we had no idea where we were going but down, the adventure part of it was the highlight. We later found out that the nickname of this place is the valley of 72 waterfalls, which made complete sense after our hike!
What’s your best advice for aspiring wanderlusters out there?
Do a bit of everything. Travel solo, travel with friends, travel with family, travel with your significant other. Stay in a 5 star hotel, stay in a bungalow, stay in an Airbnb, stay in a hostel. Eat from a shack on the side of the road, eat a fine dining 14 course meal, eat from a place you can’t read the menu, eat at a local cafe. Experience a hot air balloon ride, experience sitting on a beach doing nothing, experience hiking up to a mountain top, experience wandering through a city. This is what travel is about, not doing the same thing every day, but experiencing something new – breaking old habits, building new rituals.