A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas & the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & regularly. The fact that we will rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
I was lucky enough to have been a part of a Facebook group chat for well over a year, a place where like minded bloggers and influencers came together to share our triumphs and struggles. We used the chat as a sounding board for ideas and opinions and even our own version of Google. From that chat I've had the opportunity to meet some of the ladies, which brings me to February's WanderWoman. Lindsey Messenger is the woman behind the blog/social channels of Seven Day Weekender. Not only has she become as great friend, but also an awesome travel partner, you might remember our meet up in Paris maybe? So here she is to tell us all a little bit more about her awesome self!
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
I am originally from the West Coast (grew up in Oregon and went to college and lived in Southern California). I now live in Queens, NYC, and have been here for about 4.5 years now. I try to travel somewhere overseas at least once a year, and try to make it up to Montréal (my favourite city ever) at least once a quarter. Eventually I am hoping I can get a visa for Canada in order to make my love affair with that city permanent.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I was born in Brazil. My mom is a single parent and adopted me when I was 1 month old, and my sister when I was three (she is from Peru).
Bonus fact: I played piano from when I was in grade school until high school and took private lessons for about 12 years. Even though I don’t really play anymore music has always been a part of who I am.
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
I think the moment that gave me the travel bug was when I did a Summer study course in London, 9 years ago. That was the first time I had been out of the United States (I don’t count going to BC when I was a baby, or going with my mom to get my sister because I can’t remember either of those). Once I experienced another culture that gave me the travel bug right away. I had always been fascinated with history, especially ancient European history, so once I did that I knew I needed to keep traveling. The funny thing is I didn’t go on another big trip again until I moved to NYC, and since then I try to travel overseas once a year.
(Malibu ,California Wine Tour)
There are very few Americans these days (from my experience) that are out there travelling as much as you. Why do you think that is?
I think there are three reasons:
They are too lazy to get a passport – sad, but true (I know a lot of Americans without one)
They think America is so great they don’t need or want to experience a different culture – also sad, but true
Or they are slightly scared to leave what is comfortable and probably can’t shake the underlying fear they have that the whole world hates us right now, especially this day-and-age – I don’t fully agree with this but I can see where they are coming from
How do you decide where to travel to?
As embarrassed as I am to say this, I usually book my travel based on flight costs. I’ll see what deals are going on and to where, and from there I’ll pick the most appealing place.
That is probably why I haven’t visited most of my bucket list locations yet (outside of Greece) – but I am really trying to think past the flight cost and try to tick off the destinations that have been a dream of mine since I was a child.
What is your travel style?
I always want to be able to travel with a friend, but a lot of the times my friends back here in the states can’t make the commitment to travel with me. I also happen to be one of the people out of my friends who lives on the East Coast so it makes it easier for me to just jet off whereas it’s harder for my West Coast peeps.
Because of this I have started traveling solo more. I just went on my first big solo trip to France where for a week and a half I was alone. Until I met up with you, fabulous lady. ☺
(Paris Meet up)
Because I have started traveling alone I tend to do things like accommodations on the budget side. I’m all about private rooms in hostels (I’m too old to do the dorm thing) and I like the social aspect of them (pending it’s not a party hostel). I’m hoping in the future to look into some group trips that allow for some flexibility and I have always been interested in yacht week.
Don’t get me wrong I would LOVE to stay in luxury places but my solo-traveler budget (especially as I don’t want to go years in-between each trip) doesn’t allow for that. Luckily my blog has made it possible for me to stay in nice hotels that I may not have booked otherwise!
You have a blog- what was the motivation/idea behind it?
Initially I started my blog because my friends on the West Coast were always saying things to me like, “you are always doing cool things,” or “you always find the most random things to go to,” “you should start a blog!”
That is kind of how I got started. My friends and family who are on the other side of the country always commenting on my adventures. I also thought it would be a good way for my mom to stay up-to-date on what I was doing. Unfortunately, I don’t think she has visited my site once. *face palm*
Now I see it as so much more than what it started as and I’m hoping I can connect with more people through it and also turn it into more of a business.
(Just hangin at the White House)
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
To stop spending so much money on crap like clothes, dinners and happy hours. I have never been someone that bought a lot of “things” other than clothes. But I have always loved fashion, and I’ve worked in fashion, so that was just a part of me. It has been since I was in middle school. But I would also tell that person to chill the eff out.
I also would probably try to prepare my pre-travel self about how expensive life in NY is. I think I half knew (everyone knows it’s expensive in NY) but the funny thing is, it’s not my rent or my subway pass, it’s the social aspect of the city. Which is 180-degrees different than what I was used to on the West Coast and something I have always struggled with since moving here 4.5 years ago.
Best & worst travel moment?
I would say my best travel moment was getting off the ferries in Greece and experiencing Mykonos and Santorini in real life.
The issue I sometimes have with social media these days is you can look up so many photos of a place on Insta, of FB or the interwebs that sometimes after you arrive it’s very underwhelming (which is exactly how I felt about Paris). But even though I have been inundated with Greece photos for yearsssss Mykonos and Santorini were two places that were just as magical and breathtaking as I could have ever imagined.
My worst travel moment literally just happened when I had to cancel on a quick getaway day of. It happened because of a whole bunch of cockups with the transportation, leaving me no way to get to my destination and making for a very unhappy and stressful day. But in the end I try to see the silver lining – in that what is meant to be will happen and that just wasn’t the time for that trip.
What’s next for you/the blog?
For my blog I really want to be able to offer downloadables, and to start guest posting. I haven’t done any of that before so I would love to start working with other bloggers and online publications in order to really make a name for myself writing wise. While also continually reinventing the blog and bringing in more readers.
I would also love to grow my Insta profile to the point where I can make some money from it.
Coming from the PR world and working with journalists for various publications, I think these days, bloggers (and really millennials) have this weird sense of entitlement that once they hit 20k or 30k followers they deserve to get paid for everything. That they can just quit their jobs without a plan and be a digital nomad like ‘that’ (finger snap). But I think to be a legit person in this digital world you need to actually work hard for things and build up a name for yourself FOR FREE – that is what every great writer has done. And that is what I continually try to motivate myself to do.
(Cesky Krumlov Castle, Prague)
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
If you see a flight deal, or a ticket become available for something (say like the Harry Potter Play in London) just book it. Don’t say “oh I don’t know what I’m doing yet.” That is the worst excuse. Of course you don’t know what you’re doing months from now. But if you book that thing you just saw online, you will know, and it will be an adventure to look forward to.
To find out what Lindsey has in store (think wicked travel guides & downloadables to come) be sure to head on over to her site https://www.sevendayweekender.com!
You can follow along with her posts & stories on Instagram @sevendayweekender
Never miss a beat with her up to date posts on Facebook @sevendayweekender
Keep your inspiration growing with her Pinterest boards Seven Day Weekender