“I have no special talents; I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein
Hola- I’m Michelle Weigold, a Kentuckian with a love for photography, cats, grilled cheese, and genealogy. I am also a high-school Spanish Teacher- and proud alumni of The University of Kentucky & Xavier University Cincinnati! When I’m not busy lesson planning, I’m probably planning my next trip! I am a firm believer that travel is the absolute best way to learn, and that one cannot have a narrow mind with a full passport.
Why the Website?
Travel is my passion, and I want a way to share this with friends, family, and anyone else who shares in this love too. People are always asking me, “How do you afford it? How do you plan it? How do you decide where to go? What do you do when you get there?“, and I thought a blog would make an easy way to answer some of these questions! I also heavily rely on blogs and advice for my own trip planning, and love the idea of helping other travelers make their trips go more smoothly.
How do I afford it?
Contrary to what you might think, I don’t have a secretly wealthy relative who funds my travels. I don’t get paid by companies to travel. I don’t work for the airlines. I have been able to afford my travels over the years by simply making it a priority. I’ve never had a very high-paying job, I’ve never had a free flight in my life, and I don’t cash in on frequent flyer miles. I travel so much because it’s important to me. Plain and simple.
In my younger years, my travels were usually part of study-abroad programs. I paid to take University courses abroad, and traveled around from there. This was essentially part of my tuition bills. I studied abroad in 2007 and again during my Masters program in 2014. After graduating college, I funded backpacking trips and other 2-3 week international trips by saving up money while I worked. Living with my parents was a choice I made so I was able to put aside more of my income. I set up a separate bank account specifically for travel, and any extra cash I had went in to that account. I was able to afford it by traveling inexpensively. I also pick destinations based on current airfare trends. I stay in hostels, and do my own research so that I can keep things as cheap as possible.
For example- In 2012, I had saved up enough money to be able to quit my real-estate job and move to Spain, and while there it was very affordable to travel throughout Europe using low-budget carriers. For my African-safari honeymoon, we set up a honeymoon registry for our wedding guests, so that trip was partially funded in that way. When I spent 2 months in Costa Rica, I had won a partial scholarship. There are lots of creative ways to make travel affordable, but the main way is to make it a priority. My motto has been (and likely will be for a while) WORK, SAVE, TRAVEL, REPEAT.
Where Have I been?
Ever since I was 14 and went to London with babysitting money I’d been saving up in a shoe-box called “TRAVEL” for about three years, I’ve known I wanted to see more of this great big world. My studies in the Spanish language have allowed me to have many long term immersion adventures, and I am also a huge advocate of backpacking and budget travel. So far, I have been blessed to have visited 47 countries, and stepped foot on 5 continents. There is still so much more to see though!