I have two cats, work in the travel industry in Paris, and spend a good deal of my free time looking for decor inspiration on Apartment Therapy (update: Apartment Therapy actually featured me recently and I don’t think I’ve ever fan-girled so hard). Instead of the whole “quitting my 9 to 5 job and becoming a full time nomad” thing, which seems to be what a lot of travel bloggers advocate, I like to travel only a few times per year because I like that contrast of home versus travel, and I love the feeling of being an outsider in a new place. I also really love having my own shower.

I’ve worn several different hats as a traveler — I’ve traveled alone as a backpacker, with friends as a backpacker, as part of a fancy tour group, as an intern, as a student, as a student ambassador, as a journalist, and as a masochist (20+ hour train and bus rides in non-reclining seats, over and over again, why).

I’ve also worn several different hats in the travel industry — I’ve worked as a travel consultant at a train company, an intern in the marketing department of a hostel, a travel writing intern, a travel journalist, and a freelance travel writer. I’ve planned press trips and led press trips. Once I also helped to lead a photography tour through Ireland in May 2014 (and by “helped to lead a photography tour” I mostly mean “helped to lead people towards bread pudding and Guinness”)

I’m the co-founder of the TalesOnRail Artist in Residence program at Rail Europe.

Basically, travel and writing are my two favorite hobbies, and I’ve tried to create a life for myself that allows me to do both of those things as often and as economically as I can. This means I’ve done whatever I can to find work and make connections in the travel industry, I’ve freelanced, I’ve figured out how to get airline miles super fast with my credit card, I’ve taken many a red-eye flight to make the most of a long weekend away, and I’ve rearranged my budget so that I can afford to put much of my money towards plane tickets and wine.

This blog is a means of recording my travels and life in Paris, and hopefully anyone who finds it can see that it’s definitely possible to balance an “at-home,” full-time-job type of life with one that also includes spur of the moment plane tickets and drinks on the beach in foreign places. And the occasional stomach parasite in Central America.

(This blog is personal and does not reflect the opinions of any of my employers, cool guys?)

*I don’t accept sponsored posts or press trips. Occasionally I do receive discounts or free products or sometimes a free tour, but this comes as part of my job working in the travel industry, because working in the travel industry is the best. You can find all of my posts about travel industry ‘job perks’ here on the blog.

Critical Acclaim:

“Jackie = pretty cool person with a lot of books.”
– Katie S, friend

“You eat donuts faster than anyone I have ever seen.”
– Allison B, impressed

“You look like the owl from the Tootsie Pop commercials.”
– Nikki D, sister

“Not an instant winner.”
– Diet Coke bottle cap, prophecy

“Jackie is the type of upstanding citizen I would want to only moderately injure with a flying kneestrike.”
– Amine M, acquaintance

“Jackie, you’ve gotta be in my top 3 or 4 people I enjoy Facebook-chatting with.”
– James W, Facebook friend

“Girl, your haircut is everything.”
– Starbucks barista, new best friend

“She’s smart, driven, resourceful.”
– Jamie S, wind beneath my wings