Hi, I'm Leslie! I'm a pretty typical middle-aged woman from California other than that I'm obsessed with travel! Budget travel in particular. Travel has basically become my religion of sorts and I love to share it with anyone who's willing to listen and/or experience this wonderful diverse world we live in.
My goals are:
To inspire anyone and everyone to travel!
To bring the "over 40" perspective of budget travel.
To share with the traveling community tidbits from the places I've been.
To give myself a cool place to log my travels.
Aside from the fact that I love bringing travel snacks everywhere (even to hotels in Vegas!), they seem to sum me up in so many ways.
I don't even consider paying for the airline food. Why would I do that when I can bring some snacks? They are probably better than what's served and I can eat them whenever I want. Okay my sandwich might be smashed, but oh well.
Just like independent travel, right?! I get to bring what I want and as much or little as I'm in the mood for. I can bring candy or cheese or Koh Kae peanuts!
So yes, I'm a bit OCD. I like my things tidy and compartmentalized. Ziploc bags, like travel cubes, are essential on-the-road storage. They keep things clean, tidy, and organized.
Maybe it's kind of silly but you can sort of tell someone's travel style by how they feel about packing snacks. A friend of mine wants nothing to do with bringing her own snacks when she can pay for food in airports and on the plane. She does not have the mindset to be a budget traveler. Others might be okay with some snacks but only if they're fresh or would hit the spot. These people can be semi-budget travelers. The true budget traveler is the one who scolds me for bringing snacks into the room because it will attract mice in our cheapo bungalow! LOL
You can consider my stories and tips on this site like travel snacks. Pick through them when it suits you, hopefully you enjoy some (or most!) and set aside the ones you don't care for. The smashed sandwich is not for everyone! ;)
Just a little background on who I am.
I grew up with a mom who had to work hard to make ends meet and raise her kids. Having to work for what I wanted, I learned to really value things ... and to appreciate the value of money! By that I mean that I know what it can do for you if you are provident. I have always been pretty thrifty; sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity.
At age 30 and in the middle of the best part of my career, my boyfriend (later to be my ex-husband) and I decided to take a year off and travel the world! We were so green and had no idea what we were doing. When we first landed in Fiji, bus after bus just passed us by without stopping so we ended up taking at taxi. Turns out (as in many countries) that if you don't put your hand out to let them know you want on, they won't stop! Ugh.
The 13-month trip turned out to be more amazing than I ever could have imagined and I decided on my new life goal; to retire as early as possible and travel full time.
I have definitely had to find a balance between living life, getting as much travel in as I can, and saving saving saving!
Finding budget travel partners is not always easy. My BF now doesn't like to "sleep in the dirt" as he says so although we do vacation together, I get my budget traveling in with my best friend and have even found some online travel buddies.
I don't know how I'm not at the point where it takes me 30 minutes to pack for a month long trip but somehow it still takes me a month to figure out just the right combination of clothing for each location, in the meantime driving myself crazy! Also I have become a bit obsessed with lightweight packing which can be a bit of a problem in the whole scheme of saving money.
I'm only just now starting to consider how traveling might change as I get older. I'm now entering my 50s and although I'm not in the best shape of my life, I can still rough it okay. I can stay in a hut with no running water or electricity or sit on top of a clove harvest hitchhiking and genuinely enjoy it. Some hikes certainly put me in my place and I don't have the desire to party like I used to and I'm totally fine with that!
I'll keep on going and am so excited to see more more more of what the world has to offer. Happy travels everyone - I hope to see you out there!