Travel Blogger of the Month: On the Road with Jen
Meet On the Road with Jen who has been selected as the very first Travel Blogger of the Month! Who is Jen? Why is Morocco her dream destination? And what kind of product did she buy at Amazon which she considers her best travel tip ever? Find out more about this girl on the road in the interview!
1. Hi Jen! Tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Hello! My name is Jen and I am a 20-something year old Chicago based travel blogger. I was born and raised outside of Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University. After college I moved out of Michigan because I knew there were so many other cities I wanted to experience living in. After a short year in Omaha, Nebraska (thanks to my job) I relocated to Chicago where I have been happily living for the last 6 years. I love the city life but the winters here are as long and cold as you think so I always dream of making southern California my home someday!
I work as a purchasing manager for a food company downtown but outside of work and my blog my other hobbies including trying new restaurants in the city, working out and going to concerts and music festivals. Because I am just a part time traveler, I live for long-weekend trips but also love playing tourist in my own city. After 6 years here I still discover new corners of neighborhoods every weekend and try to base the theme of my Instagram page around the joys of my own hometown. I have the type of personality where I always need to be staying busy which motivates me to get out of my apartment and explore.
2. How did you become a travel blogger?
I had been following a lot of well known travel bloggers and travel influencers on my personal instagram account for years. I’ve always had a passion for travel and loved living vicariously through these others individuals. It also gave me inspiration for destinations to visit myself. One day as I was scrolling through the feed of one of my favorite bloggers I thought, why couldn’t this be me? I always enjoyed writing and photography but never fully dedicated myself to it. I decided to make a page strictly to share my travel experiences while keeping my personal page to share more private aspects of my life like my family.
“One day as I was scrolling through the feed of one of my favorite bloggers I thought, why couldn’t this be me?”
I’ve been working hard on my Instagram account for just over a year and started my blog page just over 6 months ago. I definitely underestimated the amount of work that goes into both outlets and can appreciate anyone who does this full time. On Instagram you constantly have to be sharing fresh content and staying engaged with your followers to keep their interest and with blogging it takes a lot more time and discipline to sit down and write about new ideas. You then have to promote your posts and drive traffic to it which is all very time consuming. Most people also utilize other social media outlets to help with this but I haven’t gotten into that just yet!
“I definitely underestimated the amount of work that goes into Instagram and blogging and can appreciate anyone who does this full time”
I never intend for my blog to take off so much that I could make it my full time career and quit my day job but I would love to get to a point of working with hotel brands on collaborations. Partnerships like these are not just about a free stay or the monetary payment to me but about creating beautiful content that inspires other people to chase their travel dreams too.
3. What is your ultimate dream destination?
It’s been such a cool thing joining this platform in the travel space and seeing all of the places that people travel to. There are cities out there that I had never even heard of that look absolutely beautiful – both aesthetically and culturally.
My bucket list has certainly grown a lot in the last year but my ultimate dream destination would be Morocco. It looks like such a culture rich country and think it would be humbling to remove myself from the daily grind of a hectic city life. I also think doing an overnight desert tour would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I mean seriously, when will you ever have the chance to do something like that again!? I’m hoping this is something I can experience myself in the next few years.
“My bucket list has certainly grown a lot in the last year but my ultimate dream destination would be Morocco”
4. Show us your three favorite travel photos…
The best hidden gem that I’ve been to is Rhodes, Greece. It is apart of the Greek Islands and I feel it is often overlooked for more popular destinations like Mykonos and Santorini which are also closer to the mainland. Rhodes has the best of both beautiful beaches and ancient history to see. My only regret was not spending a little bit more time here when we toured around the Islands a few years ago.
“The best hidden gem that I’ve been to is Rhodes, Greece”
6. What is your best travel tip?
My best travel tip to anyone who wants to take their Instagram photography or Blogging photography up a notch is to invest in a tripod! I take my tripod with me everywhere I go – even in my own city. I know there’s this awkward feeling about having to take your own photo in a crowded place with strangers watching you but it’s how I’ve gotten some of my best photos. Although it takes a few extra minutes to set up each time, you have 100% control over the framing and angles which allows you to be as creative as you’d like without having to ask your friends to take (or retake) your photo over and over.
“My best travel tip is to invest in a tripod! I know there’s this awkward feeling about having to take your own photo but it’s how I’ve gotten some of my best photos“