For the latest installment of the Talking Travel series, I decided to interview Jennifer Johnson, known in these parts as jennylynn. Jennifer lives in Seattle with her husband and she's been busy over the past few months blogging about trips around her local area and further afield. Her easy-to-read writing and wonderful eye for photography make for a great blog, which I can heartily recommend.
In this interview, Jennifer shares a little more about her passion for travel, photography and more.
Jennifer at the Pyramids of Giza.
Why did you decide to start a blog?
In the past as I traveled I kept a series of hand-written travel journals. They now sit on a bookshelf and collect dust. I would often send emails back home to friends and family updating them on my journeys, but essentially I was rewriting everything from my journals. It just didn’t make sense and was quite time consuming. I started my blog primarily to share my journeys with the people who know me best, but as time goes on I have received lots of positive feedback from people all over the world. Now I write with the goal of inspiring others to travel. Visiting foreign places, exposure to new cultures, and learning from new people promotes compassion and understanding and breaks down stereotypes. Additionally, I want to express to readers that travel is accessible to every one. I reiterate this frequently on my blog, but we are capable of making great discoveries right within our hometowns. Often the most memorable journeys are the ones that have a special meaning or purpose, and these can take place right within your neighborhood!
What inspires you about travel?
I am inspired to travel because the world is completely accessible and available for discovering. In my life I want to utilize every opportunity to learn everything I can about this amazing place we call home. I can read every history book or guidebook, but nothing truly compares to walking through the streets where locals live and work in some obscure city on the other side of the globe. I want to look back on my life one day and know that every moment was lived to its fullest and no opportunity was missed. The world is literally our playground for discovery and knowledge, why not conquer it all?
You recently went on a cruise up to Alaska. Was that your first time on a cruise?
On my recent trip to Alaska my husband and I traveled by cruise ship for the first time. I can’t say that it was the highlight of the trip. There are definitely benefits to taking a cruise, but personally I found it difficult to be trapped on a boat as we are passing by beautiful scenery. I would have rather been on the shore, exploring by foot. When stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway we were only given a limited amount of time in each location and I found that difficult to work with. Travel is essentially freedom, freedom from work, chores, and life in general, and I definitely felt that we lacked a lot of freedom on the cruise. On the other hand, we could have never reached as many places if we traveled in any other way. Alaska is so enormous that we could have spent weeks exploring on our own and never gotten as far.
One of the things I really love about your blog is all your photos, which add a lot of colour to your entries. What kind of camera do you use?
Photography for me is a love hate relationship. Although I love capturing moments on camera, sometimes I wish I could just leave it at home. Then I could stop worrying about fiddling with aperture and shutter speed settings and just experience the moment without all the hassle. Recently when I was traveling in Greece, a taxi driver saw me messing with my camera settings and he said to me, “The greatest photos are not taken with a camera, but are made through your eyes.” I definitely identify with that notion, but at the same time when I upload the photos and one stands out, I feel a sense of accomplishment that makes it worth all the fuss. That being said, I use a Canon Rebel XT with an 18-55 mm lens and a Canon Rebel XSi with a 55-250 mm lens. I always carry my trusty tiny Nikon Coolpix camera in my purse as it has proven itself very useful when I least expect it.
You blog quite a bit about Seattle, where you live. What are some of your favourite places in Seattle?
I absolutely love Seattle. The diversity ranges from the grungy University District to the artsy Fremont to the rich and wealthy Microsoft Executives living in nearby Redmond and Bellevue. There is literally a neighborhood to meet every need. Discovering each of them is just part of the fun of living here. My favorite areas of Seattle include Queen Anne Hill (the views are breathtaking), Pike Place Market, and the communities of Ballard and Fremont (so many yummy places to eat at!). I blog a lot about Seattle because I enjoy discovering the many quirks of home and consider this a form of travel. Although I may not be trekking around the globe nearly as often as I wish, I can still make travel a part of every day.
Do you have any more trips planned for 2009?
My next trip is in October. My husband and I are going to Maui and Kauai along with a dozen or so of our closest friends and family to renew our vows on the beach. We had such a private, small ceremony when we got married that we thought it would be fun to celebrate in style! Other than that, we have small trip planned to the Olympic Peninsula and lots of weekend getaways up our sleeves. I am also known to make last minute travel arrangements, so who knows where I could end up!
Check out these past interviews in the Talking Travel series:
- Talking Travel with Sander
- Talking Travel with Rob and Pol
- Talking Travel with Michael Johnson
- Talking Travel with Izzy and Marisa
- Talking Travel with Marlis
- Talking Travel with Gretchen
- Talking Travel with Andrew and Courtney
- Talking Travel with Purdy
- Talking Travel with Maria
- Talking Travel with Niels
- Talking Travel with Amy and Wim
- Talking Travel with Hien
- Talking Travel and HIV/AIDS in India with Dave Reidy
- Talking Travel with Utrecht