“My name is Vanessa, and I’m from Denver, Colorado. I grew up in Denver, but moved away for college and grad school. I’ve only been back for about two and half years now. My favorite part of Colorado is the mountains, and I love going up on weekends to hike. In Denver, I love the downtown area with all the unique neighborhoods.
I lived in Milwaukee for college, and Chicago for about six years after that. Chicago is very special to me. It’s where I gained a lot of independence and met some of my best friends. It’s also where my husband is from, so we go back often to see his family and all our friends who still live there.
I also lived in Rome, Italy for four months during college. That city holds a special place in my heart because of all the memories made there, and the incredible places I got to experience.
My dad is from England, and my parents took me there to meet my family when I was one, and I’ve been traveling ever since. My parents always brought us along on vacation, and I think that made me appreciate the ability to travel, and instilled in me the desire to travel as much as I possibly could.
Travel has made me more appreciative of other cultures and traditions. It’s made me more open minded and accepting.
Getting out of your comfort zone is a challenge for a lot of people. However, I think the biggest challenge now is getting off the beaten path…and I mean truly off the path. People are traveling more than ever, and access to remote places is getting easier. It’s really tough to get away from the crowds and experience something genuine that no one else has seen.
Right now, I’m a very active traveler. I like to do active things (running, hiking, kayaking, biking, etc.) when I’m in a destination. I don’t think that will change much, since part of my message is being active on the road. However, I do think I’ll start incorporating some more relaxing trips in my future (beach resorts, spa weekends). I’ll probably need those kinds of breaks from activity, especially after I have kids. Not sure when that will happen, but I’m thinking that’s when the all-inclusive vacations might creep into my agenda.
HOPS ON THE ROAD
My blog, Hops on the Road, is a travel-focused blog that also brings in some fitness/active lifestyle and craft beer. It’s mostly about the places I travel, but I also provide some tips on staying active while traveling, and reviews of breweries I’ve been to.
I actually started a blog a few years ago, when I was in grad school, just for fun. I didn’t think it would grow into anything, and I didn’t do much with it. After a few years, I let it fizzle and die. It wasn’t until I went to the Women in Travel Summit in 2016 that I was inspired by all these amazing female travelers to start up my blog again. So, I revamped and renamed it, and decided to work this time to get a following and readership.
I’ll admit, it’s not as easy as I’d like it to be. I have a full-time job as a marketing manager, and I’m only given so much PTO time. However, I never leave any of that on the table. I make it my mission to go to one new, international destination a year (and more if I can fit it in), and I try to do shorter weekend trips to places around the U.S.
I absolutely loved Belize. I had wanted to go there for a while, and I finally visited back in 2014. The caves were incredible and the people were so friendly. I was really surprised how much I liked it. It’s one of the places I would go back to in a heartbeat.
SCARY TRAVEL MOMENTS
Snorkeling (pretty much anywhere). I’m not a fan of open, deep water and I get very nervous going into the ocean. I’ve snorkeled a few places, mostly because I feel like I need to push myself and get over the fear, but it’s still hard for me. I’ve thought about scuba diving, but my pulse starts racing at the thought, so maybe I’ll stick to activities on the surface of the water.
I always try to visit a local brewery or at least taste a beer made in that country or city. My husband and I also like to buy an ornament from everywhere we visit and decorate our Christmas tree with memories of our travels.
ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ACCESSORIES
My camera, a journal, a comfortable scarf and my running shoes.
WHERE TO NEXT?
I’m off to Estonia and Latvia in two days! And then I’m making a quick stop in England to see my family.”
-as told by Look at the World Around You
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