My Travel Tuesday blogger this week is Jessica, an Amsterdam-based American. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in Amsterdam and have an ex-pat lifestyle, just head over to Jessica’s blog A Wanderlust for Life.
So over to Jessica from A Wanderlust for Life to answer my Travel Questions:
Q1 – When did you become a traveller?
I got the travel bug at 16 years old. My grandparents took me on a river cruise through Europe and it was my first international experience. It made a mark on me. Funny enough, we flew out of Amsterdam on that trip, and now, my husband and I live in Amsterdam!
Q2 – What kind of traveller are you? Full-time? Part-time? Anytime?
I like the term “Anytime”! I’m a part-time or anytime traveller. For the last couple of years, we’ve travelled about 100 days of the year. But I have no desire to travel full-time. I love my house, I love my city, and I love the community I have in Amsterdam.
Q3 – Which country do you originally come from and where do you call home?
I’m from the state of Virginia in the United States. It borders Washington D.C. to the south. I grew up on a mountain, so this is all a big change from what I was used to!
I now live in Amsterdam, Netherlands and have been here for 5 years now. It’s home. It felt like home only a few months after we moved here. Now, we own a home, and I have a registered business, so I’d say we are settled for the long term.
Q4 – Is there anything you miss from home when you are travelling?
From the United States, I have recently started to miss apple cider, which is apparently not common outside of the United States. It’s a fresh-pressed apple juice that’s unfiltered and unpasteurized and usually with spices that taste like fall.
But, generally no. It’s very rare I get homesick for anything.
Q5 – What do you love most about travelling?
Being wow’d by the beauty of new places, the taste of new foods, being surrounded by the unknown (which I both love and hate, really). You learn so much when travelling…and often about yourself. I love having new experiences that you can only have in that place. I love knowing how it all works when I leave. I love meeting new people.
Q6 – And what is your pet hate?
People who take obvious things through security that they shouldn’t and people who don’t use the overhead bins properly. And generally, rude people.
Q7 – Tell us about your favourite trip or place to visit.
In general terms, Italy. We keep exploring new parts of that country and keep falling in love over and over again. One day we’ll buy a house there to live out our days (my husband has Italian citizenship, so it’s not too bizarre!).
I love views, I love lakes, and I love green, so anywhere that has those elements, I’m going to love. Bonus if it has amazing food.
Q8 – How do you prepare for a trip, are you a last-minute packer or days in advance?
Well, it’s 6:30 pm the day before a quick trip, and I still haven’t packed. What does that tell you?
Full answer: the day before unless it’s a complex or long trip, then two days before, so I can sleep on it for a night and remember what I forgot, the next day.
Q9 – What 5 things do you always take on your travels?
Camera, water bottle, adapter cube, small purse, small rubber therapy balls that save my feet after a long day of walking.
Q10 – If money was no object, where would you live?
Short answer – Amsterdam 🙂
Long answer – We’d have a home in a few places, including somewhere around Lake Como, London, and in the archipelago of Stockholm.
Q11 – Tell us more about your blog/YouTube channel?
A Wanderlust For Life is a European travel blog, but I also cover expat life in Amsterdam. There’s so much of Europe to explore that there is always a ton of inspiration! We focus on memorable experiences, foodie travel, and we are getting away from the main touristy cities in an effort to spread out tourism. Sometimes the smaller, lesser-known spots are just as beautiful and even more enjoyable because there are less people.
Our YouTube channel is also European travel with a focus on food and exploring new places. We typically get out a video each week!
Q12 – What three blogs inspire you?
heartmybackpack.com – Silvia has a voice that really shines through and I love to get her honest perspective on everywhere she goes!
I’m more of a vlog follower, so I’d have to add:
Flying the Nest – I don’t know what it is, but it’s addictive to watch their smiley, carefree, kind selves, travel the world. When either of them (it’s a couple) sees something new, it’s like looking through a child’s eye. They are full of wonder.
The Endless Adventure – Eric and Allison are so relatable and such a hoot sometimes. Even in tough spots, you feel their pain and admire how they push through and see the good in every experience.
Q13 – And your go-to travel resource?
If I have a blogger friend who lives in the area I’m going, I’ll check their blog and/or reach out. I’m working with a guidebook company, so if they have a book, then I check that (books are still handy!). Otherwise, YouTube.
Q14 – What advice would you give first-time bloggers?
Don’t pick a name that’s hard to spell or has different meanings/spellings. Start writing to see what you love writing about and then use keyword tools to help you narrow down what kinds of posts will do the best. Do those first to get traction with traffic and then expand to posts that aren’t all about keywords.
Q15 – Where are you off to next?
Gothenburg, Sweden for Christmas markets! Then we’ll be home for a weekend and will visit local Christmas markets. Then to Germany for the German Christmas markets. See a theme? 🙂
Quick lowdown of Jessica’s favourite:
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – I know it far too well
Favourite Mode of Transportation?
Train – Usually much more relaxing than most others
Window seat or aisle?
Aisle – It’s just easier
Amsterdam – It’s home and I love exploring it
Italy – Such a diverse country with tons of secrets. Plus, it has food and wine, so there’s that.
Backpack or Case?
Case – but one that’s easy to carry when rolling isn’t easy or possible.
Marco Polo – They have it broken down in a way that works great for me!
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” Saint Augustine
Thank you, Jessica, xxx!
You can keep up with Jessica on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aWanderlustForLife/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AWlustForLife
Instagram – https://instagram.com/awanderlustforlife
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/AWlustForLife/
YouTube – https://youtube.com/awanderlustforlife
and of course on her blog – A WA Wanderlust for Life
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Larch lives a semi-nomadic life. Her life changed 20 years ago when a silly accident left her with restricted use of her right arm and neck and was told she would never work again. She turned her life around, retrained herself and set up as a self-employed website designer. This allowed her to work wherever she was in the world. Her passion for travel led her to start up her travel blog The Silver Nomad, to inspire over 40s to explore new destinations and expand their horizons. In 2019 Larch qualified as a CAA Drone Pilot which she combines with her travels.