This weekend we have the first travel blogger to be featured in this series, and I am EXCITED!
The blogging community is a neat place because bloggers can really get to know each other while sitting behind a computer or phone and reading/commenting on each others’ content. No questions asked, if I ever got the chance to meet today’s featured blogger, I can picture greeting each other with big, warm hugs and chatting about all the things we already know about each other, all while sipping a glass of wine.
Julie is supportive, confident, kind, and so much fun. She has single-handedly introduced me to so many unique places around the world that I’m not sure I would have ever heard of otherwise. Her travel posts feature the most incredible content! If you’re even a little bit of a wanderlust, you’ll absolutely swoon over Julie’s blog, Jewels Wandering.
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about who you are. 🙂
A: Hi, I’m Julie! I am a third culture kid from Brazil but raised primarily in the USA and Europe. I’ve carried on living the expat lifestyle and I’ve been living in Singapore for the past 5 years – it’s the perfect launch pad to go and discover off the beaten path destinations in Southeast Asia and beyond!
Q: When did you start blogging and what do you primarily blog about?
A: I started blogging 2 years ago on a whim and have since been using my blog primarily as a scrapbook of my travels and also musings on life as an expat in Singapore. I end up taking so many pictures; why not showcase them in a blog?
Q: You’ve traveled and lived all over the world! Where was your favorite place to live and where was your favorite place to vacation?
A: Each place has a special place in my heart, but if I had to pick, I would say New York City. I moved to NYC to attend NYU and was thrown into life of the big, bad city. I had just spent 2 years in boarding school in NH where we had Saturday classes and curfew each night into NYC living, where no one cared where you were or how late you stayed out. It was a huge adjustment, but one that really forced me to grow up really fast in more ways than one. It definitely gave me the courage to be myself and go after all that I want.
Q: Where are three places you’ve visited that you think everybody should visit if they had the opportunity?
A: Good question! I’m not going to answer with specific places, but 1) a place that completely takes you out of your comfort zone and not a Western country per se but one with a different language and religion so that you experience a different reality and see how other people live; 2) one with amazing history to learn from our past and 3) one with amazing landscape to experience the beauty of the world we live in. For me right now, I’m dying to get to Iran to learn more about their culture and see their beautiful mosques; I would also love to go see the Silverback Gorillas in Uganda; and I need to get to Antarctica to see the penguins and the glaciers. One day!!
Q: What resources do you use to find flights, lodging, food, etc.?
A: Definitely Skyscanner to find flights. It’s a great tool to see which airlines are flying into your destination and at what times. I’ll then go to that airline’s website directly and book from there as its easier to deal directly with the airline if your plans change, etc then dealing with a 3rd party website.
I love, love looking for wallet friendly and unique hotels to stay in. I am not a massive fan of the big chains and I love my boutique hotels. I start off with a generic Google search of boutique hotels in that location, like “cheap boutique hotels in Hanoi” and cross reference it with reviews from TripAdvisor and travel sections of newspapers/magazines. Once I have a few in mind, I’ll look to see if anyone has blogged about them. Lastly, I trust my friends and their recommendations, so I also hit them up, or I reach out to my expat networks and travel bloggers FB groups.
As for restaurants, definitely through of word of mouth! Living in Singapore, friends are always traveling extensively either for pleasure or for work and they’re the best source for recommendations on where to eat or drink. Otherwise, I will ask a local once I’m at the destination for their recommendations.
Q: You always take the most beautiful pictures! What kind of camera do you use?
A: Waah, sadly I have been taking my pictures through my iPhone 6 and my proper camera has been gathering dust. That camera definitely takes crisper pictures, but then I find that I don’t have the time to properly edit them, etc. I definitely need to step up on my photography game!
Q: What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I am currently obsessed with F45 – functional 45 minutes of a super intense HIIT class. It’s not only an amazing workout, but there’s a great community around it so it’s also got that social element. What can I say, I am known to be a bit of a social butterfly! 😉
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
My most popular post, which has nothing to do about travel! After an Abdominal Myomectomy
And knowing me is knowing that I have a thing for doors… Haha – Doors of Marrakech
And just for fun…
- Hair worn up or down? Living in Saunapore, my hair is usually up!
- Steak dinner or pasta dish? Both? But ok, pasta, especially if I’ve had a stressful day.
- Mixed drink or glass of wine? Nothing like a cold glass of white 🙂
- Facebook or Instagram? Instagram for all the lurvely pictures!
In case you’re new to Whimsical September…
Hi! I’m Erica! I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in late 2017 and would love to feature you! Email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM to get in touch.
Whimsical September Email List
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo