I am a Southern California-based traveler, explorer, color enthusiast, and ramen snob. I often have people tell me, “I wish I could travel like you, but I don’t have time/money/anyone to go with” – and it makes me sad.
The thing is, I’m just a normal girl with a normal life and a normal budget (no trust fund here!), but I take advantage of every single opportunity I have to travel as much as I can! I’m here to show you how you, too, can travel – even if you have a limited number of vacation days, limited funds, or even if none of your friends seem to have that insatiable desire to travel like you do.
I want to help you add more adventure into your life – whether that means ticking off all of those epic bucket list-worthy trips, finding all the cool things you can find close to home, and everything else in between.
I may no longer have a 9-5 (I’m lucky enough to be able to share all my travels with you on this blog as my full-time job!) but I want to help you maximize your time + budget to help you see + experience as much of this as you can!
I grew up as a sheltered, awkward AF only child. I never had lifelong dreams of traveling the world, per se, or never really had that much of a desire to travel until I was well into my 20s. In fact, traveling the world seemed like this unachievable dream for most of my life.
So how did it all start, you ask? It all began when I booked a solo trip to Seattle to see a Jimmy Eat World concert (don’t laugh – but I’ve seen them live something like 12 times). I had asked one of my friends if she wanted to come with me, but she was being indecisive. After a little bit of hesitation, I decided to go anyway.
And guess what? I had the time of my life. I loved the process of planning the trip, discovering the most unique spots, and finding all of the best food in the city. And I had SO MUCH FUN. I was hooked. And thus, slowly but surely, I started on this new quest to explore the world.
Traveling was no longer this unrealistic thing – I just had to figure out how to make it happen. And I want to show you how to make it happen too!
Traveling has helped push me out of my comfort zone to become more independent, and more confident. It’s helped me to help me discover and find my true self (I know that sounds super cliche, but it’s so true). It’s also taught me to be humble, to live in the moment, and to appreciate all that I have. Most importantly, it has helped me feel ALIVE – and I want everyone to be able to experience that feeling. So, here we are.
I want to show you how to maximize your time, where to save, when to treat yo’ self, and how to explore the world fearlessly. I want to show you where and how to have those unique, meaningful travel experiences, and what to skimp on, so that you have the most epic trips!
For me, sometimes that means eating in a Michelin-starred restaurant while staying in a hostel. Or, flying to Barcelona for just 3 days because I found a $250 plane ticket and couldn’t pass it up, even though I only had a handful of vacation days left. Or, that time where I stayed in a 5 star resort in Bali that I hardly left because I loved it so much.
And sometimes that means taking little day trips or going on weekend getaways to explore my own backyard here in California because I spent too much money on cute yellow dresses, boba, books, and snacks at Trader Joe’s – my other obsessions (or, you know, because we were in the middle of a global pandemic or whatever).
I want to help you embrace your inner explorer and to find adventure, all while showing you where to eat the best food, find the most colorful photo spots, and to help you discover those unique experiences that make a trip memorable!
Back in my past life, I was an award-winning scrapbooker and was published over 200 times in various scrapbooking magazines and books. It’s actually how I got into photography, blogging, and traveling in the first place – I wanted to take better photos to use on my scrapbooking pages, so I bought myself a dSLR and spent all my free time taking pictures of anything and everything so I could learn to use it. I started a blog so I could connect with the scrapbooking community and showcase my work – this blog went through several iterations before I finally decided, once and for all, that I would call it a travel + lifestyle blog. Somehow along the way, I discovered my love for traveling and exploring the world, and I decided to combine all of my passions together to create Pictures & Words.
Ok but seriously, I basically plan my trips around food. I’ll put a city on my bucket list if I hear that it has amazing food, and then spend all my time researching where to eat – and then I’ll plan everything else around that. I’ll also spend my weekends at home discovering new places to eat in San Francisco. I especially love all things sweet (gimme alllllll the dessert), noodles (especially ramen), and Mexican food (because hello, I’m a true California girl, duh).
Like, for fun (well, sometimes it’s fun). As of 2019, I’ve run 12 half marathons all over North America – and am looking to run more destination races in the near future! I started running to spite my friends, who all said I would never do it (I’ve also got a little bit of a competitive streak going on, can you tell?!). I also ran my first full marathon in Toronto in October 2018. I said I’d never run another ever again, but I’m starting to get the itch to train for another (it would be a destination marathon, of course).
So much that I started taking adult figure skating lessons. I’m on a quest to skate at as many ice rinks as possible. Speaking of which…I also made my boyfriend plan our anniversary trip based on the availability of outdoor ice rinks.
Thanks for stopping by!