Scarlett of Petitesuitcase is sharing her top 5 places to visit on the Amalfi Coast!
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.
Interview and Written by Halie Taylor
Read one women's story about passion for travel and the change it is bringing to the world!
Over the years, we are seeing more and more of the travel industry giving back. Those who use this privilege of traveling to inspire, motivate and help others with this same dream. We are lucky enough here at TIS to be surrounded by many just like this--Erica Virvo is one of those amazing, generous and bright spirited people.
Erica had gone into college to study interior design in Virginia, her thoughts were to lead an average life in an average town.
It wasn't until one day that she woke up realizing she was set to do something special in this world, something bigger and she wanted to do this through travel.
Her immediate thought was to join the Peace Corps. However, with a desire to complete her degree, she chose an alternative option. Instead she packed her bags and moved to Qatar, a location where she can continue her university credits and also learn about the world.
"Traveling to Qatar changed my life and was one of the main things that set things in motion for me as a volunteer and a traveler."
From here Erica was more inspired than ever. Soon after her move to Qatar, Erica took a spring break trip to Cambodia with a volunteer group.
Falling in love with Cambodia, Erica then tried to take up residency in the country and teach English. However, with this desire not working out she was left with the question that many of us face when plans don’t work out, “what’s next?”
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Instead of giving up when she didn't find a job in Cambodia, Erica lived her dream by venturing to rural Thailand to live with host family and volunteer teaching English to high schoolers. Then eventually she found herself in South Korea teaching English as a job. After traveling half way around the world at this point, she came to a realization.
She was not just traveling, she was learning and growing with others. Erica was loving every minute of this experience and knew she needed to take this gift of hers to the next level!
The adventure that followed South Korea was what changed her path. The money saved by teaching in South Korea was put towards a program with an international learning center located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
In this program, Erica spent 6 months in the Caribbean learning and living the culture of the town. Experiences ranged form working on a farm, cleaning up beaches, teaching in local schools and most importantly how to live in an area without running water or electricity.
These 6 months were all preparation for the time Erica spent in Zambia, where she traveled to next. In Zambia, life started to make sense. Everything she learned was bursting through with passion, love and light.
She was finally able to use all the skills developed over the years of travel to be a change of world to these people. And by people we mean, those of all ages, from 4 to 94 years. Erica was now one with the community!
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away"
Although her time ended in Zambia, she knew what had to come next--find an organization to continue to help her new family. An organization that would give them hope and light, even if she was back home--this is when she found Charity: Water.
charity: water is a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Founded by Scott Harrison in 2006,this organization has helped fund 19,819 projects in 24 countries, benefiting over 6.1 million people.
An amazing factor of this organization is that not only is it helping those in need, it is also changing how the charities work. Their ability to bring about fast, lasting, measurable results, recruit reliable and honorable volunteers, as well show authentic love for the cause, is what makes Erica so proud to support and encourages others to donate to this foundation! Best part: 100% of every donation goes directly to the field (they have consistent private donors that cover the organization's overhead), they primarily rely on local experts and partnerships, and they prove every project (you get an email with the GPS coordinates of the well you contributed to so you can see it on Google maps - or go visit it yourself!)
This tribe is what brings Erica to life!
"We are told so much about how life is, but if you don’t see thing for yourself you don’t truly know."
Erica continues to purse her passion of travel within her career as she currently holds the position of Director of Global Operations with Nomadic Matt. The wonderful part of her job is that she also gets to give back by working on Nomadic Matt's non-profit Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education, which sends American high school classes on educational trips overseas to bring their learning to life. You may be familiar with them because we at TIS partner with FLYTE by donating 2% of our profits to the foundation!
Erica is one of those amazing women that will continue to inspire others to believe that if you can dream it, you can do it and when you do it--give back to those in need!
Point to take away: Live with passion and see how life only gets better each journey at a time...
If you would like to be a apart of Erica's journey we encourage you to donate to charity: water on her behalf!
For her upcoming birthday she is raising money for to bring clean water to rural areas of the world. She was inspired to do this after she learned that her wonderful host family just lost a very special member of their family. Shaddy was just 4 years old. To contact Erica or to get more information on donating simply click on this link for more information.
Halie is the Travel Marketing Trends Coordinator for Travel Italian Style and is currently a senior at College of Charleston in Charleston, SC where she is majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Living in Charleston, Halie developed a love for beautiful scenery and unique culture. This love led her to her passion for travel which allows her to discover beautiful scenery and unique cultures in places all over the world. When she is not daydreaming about her next traveling adventure she can be found redoing warn out furniture found on the side of the road, writing fiction and attempting Pinterest crafts.