Traveler Tuesday – Jenna of This Is My Happiness

Traveler-Tuesday-on-Misadventures-with-AndiThe AFAR Ambassadors are scattered all over, writing from every corner of the world which makes them great sources of travel advice and local experiences. Some ambassadors I have known awhile, like my pal Lindsey in Paris, some I have met in the last year like Charu and still others I have known quite awhile as we have crossed blog-paths a lot. As I begin to get to know these extraordinary people and bloggers more and more I am determined to meet them as opportunity arises and that is exactly what I did with Jenna of This Is My Happiness when I spent a few days in the Sacramento area.

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I had a week off between jobs and spent part of it being a tourist in San Francisco and the other exploring Sacramento (posts to come on the great food tour I went on). Jenna lives in Sacramento and as soon as I knew I was coming up for a few days I reached out to her to meet and have brunch before my tour. We hit it off immediately. If it wasn’t for the fact that Jenna had to get to work and I had to catch my tour we probably could have spent all day in that restaurant!

Jenna devotes her blog to writing about deeper, more enriching travel experiences, taking a look at art and culture and off-the-beaten-path locations that make for a more quality travel encounter. I was so pleased to spend a few hours with her and wanted to learn more so I was thrilled when she agreed to be part of my Traveler Tuesday series. Now we can both learn a little more about her together.

Traveler Tuesday – Jenna of This is my Happiness

[1] When and how did you become a traveler?

My first trips abroad were with my father at age 12 (to Vancouver), age 16 (to Italy), and age 16 again (to France and England). Those trips ignited my curiosity, but I really fell in love with travel at age 21 when I studied abroad in Italy. I was hooked and pledged that I would make travel a part of life from then on. The year after, I spent three months traveling in Europe, and just a month after I got back, I moved to the Czech Republic.

[2] What is travel to you in 10 words or less?

Experiencing cultures, people, and places to learn about the world.

[3] What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

Trains for two reasons. First, like many other people, I have a romantic view of train travel, with long rides through the mountains of Europe where I can get a glimpse of local life from the train window. I love train stations and feel a rush just thinking about train cars, the sound of trains, and exploring train cars. However, I also love trains for practical reasons. To me, it’s a comfortable and practical mode of travel, especially in Europe and Japan where train travel is fast, convenient, and reliable.

[4] What do you typically do while traveling by plane?

It depends. If it’s a daytime flight, I usually divide my time reading books and magazines, watching a movie, and catching up on work. If it’s a night flight, which my husband, two kids, and I always take during our annual trip to Brazil, we make sure the kids are fed and ready for bed and then try to sleep for a few hours after they fall asleep.

I love having an iPad on flights because it has just about everything I need: a place to take blogging notes and edit photos, books, games, language learning apps, and more.

Traveler Tuesday – Jenna of This is my Happiness

[5] What is your favorite travel memory involving food?

It’s hard to choose because I love food and have had some great food experiences while traveling, especially in my home state of California.

My recent trip to Florence is probably my favorite because I had many long meals with new friends, and all the food was fantastic. Among those experiences, my choice for both favorite food and atmosphere is La Cucina del Garga. A must-visit if you go to Florence.

Traveler Tuesday – Jenna of This is my Happiness

[6] What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?

I actually wrote a whole post on this topic because I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. My biggest tip is to get help with the technical side, and get your site looking and working the way you really want to as early as possible. I waited way too long to o get self-hosted on WordPress.org and get a header professionally designed and wasted too  much time figuring out how to do all the behind-the-scenes tech stuff.

Traveler Tuesday – Jenna of This is my Happiness

[7] Where to next?

Two small trips to off-the-radar wine country destinations in Northern California: Alexander Valley and Lodi. Then it’s off to Brazil again in June.

Thanks Jenna!

Jenna runs This Is My Happiness, a blog about culture, art, and travel. She also writes for Travel Mindset and is an AFAR ambassador. She enjoys writing about what makes places unique in an effort to provide a deeper look at travel destinations. She lives in Sacramento, California, where she works as an English teacher. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

11 Comments

  1. Jenna
    May 14, 2013

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to be featured on your site. It was such a pleasure meeting you, and I agree with what you said above–we could have stayed there all day chatting if it wasn’t for our schedules that day! I hope to do it again with you soon 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      May 15, 2013

      @Jenna, me too!

      Reply
  2. Abby
    May 15, 2013

    I have always admired how Jenna balances family, travel, and study — and still has time to blog about it all. I couldn’t agree more with the tech stuff! I also waited way too long and still have so far to go.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      May 15, 2013

      @Abby, Jenna is a great example of balance! Everyone moves along their technology timeline at their own pace. Only you determine what is right for you when!

      Reply
  3. TheWanderfullTraveler
    May 15, 2013

    Love Jenna’s site and writing.
    I too waited a while to figure out the technical aspect of blogging. I’m still not sure I actually grasp it.
    I am hosted by a local company who helped design my site when I first switched from blogspot. They have made it so that I can’t really change certain things but have to ask them which is how they make their money. Not sure if this is “normal”. Would like some feedback on this if Jenna or Andi has any.

    Murissa

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      May 15, 2013

      @Murissa, no that is not normal. I have a developer who helped me implement my designer, I have been using her for years, she helps me do tweaks only because I don’t have the time or inclination to do it myself, but the few times have wanted to do something to my blog, I’ve done it on my own without relying on my developer. It is your site and you should be able to control it. I would consider finding someone else to help you who is more open to working with you and not necessarily against you. I would send you to my awesome developer but she is not taking on new clients, but I am sure there are others out there if you ask around.

      Reply
  4. Jenna
    May 18, 2013

    Abby, thanks so much for the kind words. I actually don’t know how I do it all sometimes, especially after having the 2nd child, which is so much more work than just 1…except that I get so much vacation time every year. That keeps me sane. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      May 18, 2013

      @Jenna, you do a very good job of making it look like you keep it all together 😉

      Reply
  5. Jenna
    May 18, 2013

    Murissa, I agree with Andi that you should have more control over your website than that. There are people out there who really know blogging and can make easy changes that make a difference in the speed and appearance of your site. I can give you some advice and a recommendation of the person who’s been helping me. Send me a message if you’re interested.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      May 18, 2013

      @Jenna, thanks for offering your help to Murissa!

      Reply

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