I’m Jenny, and I love to travel. I’m not even sure how it happened. I just kind of fell into it, took a trip and just kept going not really knowing at the time that this was going to become my lifestyle but now I’m completely unable to stop!

 

Hsinbyume Pagoda, Burma

 

My parents were travelers (still are!). Not in a big way at the time, as they had many children to look after so they kept our travel to family camping trips and vacations to Disneyland and Mexican resorts. But in the past, long before us little ones came along, they had spent a year traveling the world. I grew up hearing about their adventures in India, Nepal, and Pakistan, about working in Australia and freezing in New Zealand, about having guns pointed at them by Czechoslovakian border guards.

 

Periodically they’d give a slideshow (yes, slides!) and I would see images of much younger versions of my parents in places that seemed so exotic; Mom looking terrified holding a snake or Dad with his big bushy travel beard. An Australian friend who’d been on much of the same trip with them came to visit several times, and regaled us with tales of Australian ranching and South Pacific islands.

 

Jeonju Market

 

I read Nevil Shute’s ‘A Town Like Alice’, which my parents had read on their tip and takes place partly in Australia, and then all the travel books I could get. I watched Lonely Planet on TV, thinking how lucky the hosts were to have a job that let them travel all over. I went to a travel trade show and filled my bag with brochures, which I spent hours poring over. As time went by my need to see the world became stronger and stronger.

 

Stonehenge

 

Finally the desire to explore overtook everything else. After working at a resort in the Canadian Rockies for a long season, I had saved enough money and put myself on a plane to New Zealand for three months, then spent a year in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. I had an amazing time. I tried abseiling and scuba diving and sand boarding, and went on hiking, cycling, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling trips. I saw penguins, kiwis, koalas, kangaroos, spiders and snakes. I worked in a hostel, a restaurant, a hotel and a coffee shop. I learned a lot about the countries I was in, as well as about myself and other people. I was hooked.

 

I wound up back at home, in debt, without a job or a car and living with my mom, longing for the adventurous life I’d left behind. I remember during a job interview the woman looked at me and said ‘But you’re just going to leave again’ and I had trouble convincing her that it wasn’t so, when I knew deep inside that she was probably right.

 

At the end of 2004, after working in a crappy job for a year and a half, I did leave again. I boarded a plane to Seoul, TEFL certificate in hand, terrified and excited. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was only the beginning, and I haven’t lived in Canada since. I’ve visited more than 30 more countries, several of them more than once, and lived in South Korea, Scotland, and Vietnam. I’ve had some amazing experiences, met some fascinating people, and seen landscapes that have taken my breath away. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

 

Jeonju students

 

I believe in slow travel, in experiencing a country and its people and seeing how they really live, rather than just visiting the touristy places. I take my time, wander back streets and alleyways, sit in parks and just watch. I often find that when other travelers say you can ‘do’ a place in a day, I can keep myself quite busy for three or four days, or if three days are required, I want a week.

 

I like to live in places, because then I can really get a feel for life in that country. I can immerse myself in the culture more, meet the people, and even try cooking my favourite local food. It’s amazing how much more I can get to know about a place just by staying a while.

 

Staff class cooking

 

I have nearly always traveled solo. Though perhaps I meet people along the way and spend a day or a week with them, I like always having the freedom to do what I want, when I want. And being alone gives me more opportunities to interact with both locals and other travelers.

 

I like the person that I am when I’m traveling. Not that I don’t otherwise, but I feel like my traveling self is the best version of me. The challenges that travel often presents make me feel more confident and clever. I’m more active, and generally just happier when I’m on the road. I realized at one point when I was living in Korea that I would always feel a little bit down if I did not have a trip I was planning for!

 

Wadi Rum, Jordan

 

So there’s everything you need to know about me. Any questions, just ask!

 

11 Comments

  1. Hello Jenny – Lovely to read about your travels, you’ve accomplished a lot for someone so young! I really enjoyed looking at the pictures you have posted, can I ask what type of camera and lens you use? It is typically hard to capture a sense of vastness a place can have, but you’ve done a brilliant job of it. I know most of that is attributed to having a “photographic eye”, but what we can’t do by talent, we can hopefully come closer to by technology.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Quinn! Thanks for your lovely compliments! I’ve worked hard on improving my photography skills over the past year or so, so it’s nice to hear that it’s paying off! My main camera is a Nikon D3100 and I’m still using the 18-55 kit lens that came with it, along with a Sigma 70-300 for the zoom shots. It’s a pretty basic entry-level DSLR that I’ve had for about four years now, and I’m starting to consider upgrading soon, but I don’t know to what yet. There’s definitely some luck in having a ‘photographic eye’ but learning to use the camera and all of its manual settings (and I still only really know the basics) has been a huge boost to my photos. Are you thinking of getting a new camera?

  2. Hi Jenny you responded to a IG picture I had of Hue. I like your blog and will keep with you and what is happening. We are in Chiang Mai until the 28th of this month then start a big circle from here to Myanmar, China, Mongolia, S Korea, Japan and the Phillipines before heading back to E Europe for a year or so. We are retired and have a small pension that lets us travel. If you have any tips about S Korean emails through our blog at aroadtotravel@gmail.com

    John and Laurel Rodgers
    Las Vegas, U.S.

    • Hi John and Laurel! Thanks for following! You’ve got a lot planned for the next while. I’ve been to all those places except Japan so if you have questions, just ask! I’ve had a look at your blog and I really like your photos. Keep in touch! 🙂 Jenny

  3. Hi Jenny,

    I work for the website ExpatFocus.com and recently included your blog in an article I wrote recommending expat blogs for our readers moving to or living in Oman (the article is online at http://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=3324/articles/oman/oman—recommended-blogs/).

    In addition to letting you know about the above I also thought you might be interested in completing one of our short “expat experience” interviews (by email) for publication at the site (previous examples can be found at http://www.expatfocus.com/expat-experiences-latest). These are a great way of introducing yourself to our membership and in addition to promoting them via the usual social media channels of Twitter, Facebook etc. we also include them in our monthly email newsletter. If the above sounds of interest please let me know and I’ll be very happy to send the questions through.

    Kind regards,
    Emma

    • Hi Emma,

      Thanks for featuring me! I hope to be writing a whole lot more about Oman in the coming months. I’m sending you an email about the interview.

      Jenny

  4. I chanced upon your website when I was googling about travel blogs on Luo biao hanging coffins.

    It seems there aren’t many well written blogs written by Caucasians that focuses more on local authentic experiences in sichuan.

    While there are many blogs written by Asians who focuses more on urban & touristy experiences like shopping or eating, those doesn’t interest me (even though I’m an Asian myself).

    Like you, I like to travel off the beaten path & go for the more local authentic experience. As with many occasions, it’s the interactions with the locals that are more memorable than the attraction itself (like your hanging coffin post).

    I look forward to reading the rest of your blogposts. Keep travelling & keep writing 🙂

    • Hi Michelle! Thanks for reading! I think not many Caucasians (or any people, really, but there are always more Chinese tourists than Westerners) go to out-of-the-way places in China. I guess there are just so many places on the tourist trail that there isn’t much need for most people to go off it. But I like seeing how people actually live, the countryside, and the more obscure attractions like the hanging coffins! And often in China people are really much friendlier in smaller places than they are in the big cities.

      I’m glad you liked my post! 🙂 Feel free to share it around!

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