This week’s guest post comes from My Ordinary Legend. Jessica explains: ‘I have always been a voracious reader and writer and after a year and a half of working with nothing but numbers, I have decided to see if I can still manage to string together a coherent sentence or two and hopefully provide some entertainment for those of you kind enough to read what I have to say. Essentially my blog is a space dedicated to my perusals, quips, photos and adventures as I start my new life back in the US after living in Germany.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Jessica Devenyns. I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but I’ve lived all around the world. Currently I’m living in Austin, Texas.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I would say that I’m a part time traveller. However, I tend to move my home base about every year and a half to two years, which allows me to take weekend trips to different parts of the world and continuously see new things. This way I have the best of both worlds – I have a home base but I feel like I’m constantly travelling.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
For almost two years I worked at a high-tech corporation where I saved a large portion of my salary. I was lucky that I earned enough to have savings that allowed me to quit and pursue my desire to travel. Now, I write for a living, which allows me to be extremely flexible. It doesn’t pay as well, but what it lacks in economic compensation it makes up for in freedom!
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
This is always such a hard question! I could list any number of places and give great reasons why they’re fantastic, but for the sake of following directions, I’ll give one. New Zealand. If you ever want to feel like you’ve walked into a fairy tale illustration, then New Zealand is the place to go.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I would never say something was the worst place simply based on my experience, so I will rephrase this question to: Where have you traveled that you’ve had the worst experience? My answer to that question is: Thailand. Unfortunately, when I went there, I got so sick that in 2 weeks I dropped 30 lbs and was too weak to do much of anything. Even after I got home, it took me several months to recuperate my energy fully. That was not an experience I wish to repeat again any time soon.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Doesn’t everyone have a bucket list?! Mine includes: Japan, Colombia, and Poland.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
- A Pen – I’m a writer. I never plan to get an idea to get an idea, so when they come I don’t always have my phone or laptop handy to jot them down. If I have a pen, I can always find a piece of paper though!
- A Silk Scarf – I never know if I will have to tie up my hair, keep myself warm, or cover my head for cultural reasons. So I figure it’s best to be prepared for anything.
- Yellow Cross-body Bag – I always travel with this bag. It’s now been to six continents and is the perfect size to fit my essentials, including my camera. However, it’s not too bulky that I can’t hike dirt trails for hours with it.
8. What makes you happy and why?
Languages make me incomparably happy. I’m not sure that I can give a definitive reason as to why, but I do know that they drive my curiosity and creativity. I speak three and am working on my fourth. My partner is French so we speak Franglish at home. He is also working on Japanese so, inevitably that gets tossed into the mix too. Essentially my household communication is a wonderful mish-mash of all kinds of cadences and sounds.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I set up my blog about a year and a half ago. However, I didn’t start regularly posting content until about three months ago when I moved back to the US from Germany. I felt so out of place in my own culture that I needed to find a way to express myself and tell my stories. A blog just seemed like the natural platform to do that on.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
My blog is from the perspective of an ex-expat. I write about what it’s like to have one foot in two different cultures and how I navigate that balancing act. Also, every Thursday I tell a story about a debacle I got myself into during travel. I try to mix comedy and sincerity because I feel that it is a good reflection of what it is like to travel – a lot of imperfections in an otherwise perfect plan.
From ESLT – thank you Jessica for taking the time to answer our questions 🙂