Interview and Written by Francesca Panzariello
Making the most out of every opportunity is an essential quality to have for travelers. It’s a skill that travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J), has perfected throughout her many worldly adventures. Through her blog, Sidewalk Safari, she helps encourage readers to take advantage of any opportunity or free moment to explore the world – even if it’s the world right outside their doorstep.
Jennifer caught the travel bug after finishing graduate school, but she sure has made up for lost time. After realizing her life goal was to live abroad, Jennifer set her mind to it, devised a plan, and made it happen. Without ever traveling to Ireland before, Jennifer and her husband were off to Dublin on a year-long assignment working for a popular tech company.
Thinking they were only living in Dublin for a year, Jennifer wanted to make the most of their precious time abroad. The couple took 23 overnight trips during that first year alone. Whether it was extending business trips or checking off places from their personal list, they were exploring in any way possible. Fast forward six years, Jennifer and her husband are still living in Dublin as if they only have a year abroad, still traveling to the fullest. Exploring places like India for work, jetting off to South Africa on vacation, or just coming across quirky places around Dublin. It almost seems as if they’ve been just about everywhere you’d ever want to go.
“Turn everyday into a vacation day – even if you’re traveling for work. So many people traveling for business only see their hotel, office, and the airport. If you’re in a new place, there’s always something interesting to see or do”
Originally, Sidewalk Safari was created as a way for Jennifer to look back on her travel memories. Since then the blog has evolved into much more. It has evolved into a model to show people that it is possible combine business with leisure travel. Sidewalk Safari inspires people to make the best of those business travel opportunities. As Jennifer puts it, “Vacation is a state of mind.” So why not turn your next business trip into a time to explore?
It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking, start small. Have to travel for a meeting Monday morning? Leave Sunday and explore the city instead. Wake up an hour early Monday, grab a coffee and blend in with the locals. Above all, Jennifer offers this advice: WALK, WALK, WALK! She believes the best way to experience and really see a place is on foot. On your next trip, if it’s walkable, forget public transportation and hit the sidewalk.
Everyone knows traveling can sometimes be overwhelming. Jennifer has the answers to all your travel stresses. Known for her organizational prowess, Jennifer brings those valuable life skills into planning her next trip with her husband. Planning a trip is like planning a project. Break things down into easy to manage pieces.
Keep a checklist, write everything out, and create reminders for yourself. It’s these simple and easy changes that can make all the difference when planning your next trip. As a result, Jennifer is able to live a balanced life, juggling a full time job, traveling and maintaining Sidewalk Safari successfully.
“You only live once, make the most of the time you have and do the things you love. Travel is a big part of what makes me happy.”
Jennifer inspires us here at Travel Italian Style because she proves that anything is possible when it comes to travel. Very often as women we feel there is a lack of time for ourselves due to family and work obligations. We have trouble finding that balance-- Sidewalk Safari proves the contrary.
While balancing a married life and full-time job, Jennifer has still taken over 80 trips around the globe during the past four years. She proves that staying organized is the key to a balanced and fulfilling life!
To read more about Jennifer, her travels (especially this post we love during her recent visit to Sicily) and to learn more tips for taking that dream trip, follow along on the Sidewalk Safari blog or on Twitter.
You may also want to check out Vacation Counts which is written by her husband Scott who blogs about how to keep a healthy work-life balance.
What tips do you use to stay organized to promote a healthy travel-work balance? What advice can Jennifer or the TIS team share with you to help you get on the next plane to Italia?
Francesca is an Assistant Travel and Media Coordinator for Travel Italian Style. As an International Relations guru, she brought her studies to After studying in Perugia, Italy this past spring. Here, Francesca developed a better appreciation of the Italian way of life (especially the food). Through her passion for travel, she wants to help others get inspired to start their own adventure.
Francesca joined Travel Italian Style to be part of a company that gives people the chance to experience an authentic Italian lifestyle and to spread the travel bug.