What could be better than a blog about travel? How about a blog about food?
Or, better yet, how about a blog that combines both food and travel?
Meet Jelitsa, a Registered Nurse from Chicago, Illinois as well as a blogger at Sip and Sample. This week’s Featured Female Traveler writes a blog focused on travel experiences and the food she’s fallen in love with along the way. Here, she talks about traveling with her husband and growing family, and gives recommendations for how to keep the travel excitement alive even after returning home from a trip.
Here’s Jelitsa’s Take…
..On Finding the right Travel Companion:
J: I’ve been lucky enough to have had several great travel companions in my life, but it’s currently my husband Zak. On our first date, we talked extensively about travel and went on our first trip together a month later. We have been traveling non-stop ever since!
..On Following Your Heart:
J: A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided to leave our jobs and move to Paris for three months! Our days were full of long walks along the Seine, drinking too much wine at cafes, and shopping at local markets. It was my own slice of heaven. At the end of our journey, I cried for weeks! I left a piece of my heart in that beautiful city.
J: Traveling will either “make or break” a relationship. Not only do you learn a lot about yourself, but you also learn a lot about the person you’re with.
When positive, it will create a bond that cannot be broken!
My husband and I always reflect on our travels and try to implement the experiences we loved into our day to day routine. We listen to music from our visits, we cook the cuisine we adored, and drink the wine we can’t forget.
Jelitsa proves that becoming a mother doesn’t have to stop her from pursuing other passions. In fact, at less than two years old, her daughter already has her own passport.
J: Within my personal circle of family and friends, I am the known traveler. Sadly, the moment I became pregnant, everyone said, “Well, no more traveling for you!” My response was always, “Why not?”
The idea that women are supposed to do certain things at certain stages is baffling. Single, childless Jelitsa can travel. Married, mother Jelitsa will not. That’s crazy! Traveling is very important to my husband and I and we decided right away that having this child would not change our lives. Instead, we will welcome it into the lives we already lead. We believe that travel will teach our daughter more than any book ever will. She is now 1.5 years old and has been to 4 countries and 8 cities!
Your life is what you choose to make of it. Never feel obligated to give in to external pressures!
..On Finding the Ideal Destination:
J: I would absolutely recommend Barcelona! The city is so full of life and offers a little bit of something for everyone. Listening to Spanish guitar or taking a self-guided Gaudi tour makes for an incredible day. The food was incredibly delicious and very economical. The wine, even better! However, what struck me is how confident the women were! They’re loud, beautiful, and appeared so comfortable in their own skin. It was inspiring to see that the “ideal” beauty was relaxed, effortless, and healthy.
..On Indulging in Local Delicacies:
As her blog Sip and Sample suggests, Jelitsa is a self-proclaimed foodie. “I choose destinations based on what I want to eat! I’ve been known to diet a week or two before a trip so that I have some “wiggle room” to gain it on vacation.”
India is at the top of her travel bucket list, and she believes that trip will mean non-stop eating in the best of ways, “I absolutely LOVE curries, naan, samosas, and rice dishes!”
..On Indulging in Local Adventures:
J: I’m definitely both an adventurous and budget traveler.
Although I no longer stay at hostels, I’d rather stay at an Airbnb instead of a hotel (the kitchen is a huge plus when shopping at the local street markets). I usually ask locals for food recommendations versus visiting the touristy restaurants, I never take a taxi and opt for public transportation, and I rarely fill my days shopping. Instead, I go to museums, festivals, or just walk around and take photos.
I’m definitely an adrenaline junkie! I have had trips that were filled with hiking volcanoes, white water rafting, and off-roading on sand dunes.
One of my favorite travel moments was riding a bike through Kyoto, Japan. We encountered gorgeous small temples, picturesque bridges, and some of the nicest people. It was also cherry blossom season and they were in full bloom! While attempting to find the Fushimi Inari Shrine, we met an older Japanese gentleman who did not speak any English. He led us to the gates (and another random group of travelers) through the weaving roads of Kyoto.
After, spending hours there, we rode to the Golden Temple and ended the day spotting geishas. It was quite incredible!
..On Making Decisions:
J: Go! Always go!
Make sure to connect with Jelitsa at Sip and Sample where you’ll discover places and cuisines from around the world. The site includes a section titled “The Palate Passport” where she “travels” via wine and cheese pairings and recipes encountered along the way! She’s also in the process of creating “A Perfect Day In…” where she crafts the ideal day in various cities. She says, “The itinerary is filled with sights and of course, food!” Additionally, you can follow her on Instagram @sipandsample ; Facebook: facebook.com/sipandsample ; and Pinterest: @sipandsample
Count me in!