About Me


Bare foot with toes covered in obsidian rocks

These boots feet are made for walkin’ explorin.

As a little girl, I drove my mother crazy with my insatiable curiosity.  As a woman, I sheepishly apologize for it between interrogations aimed at loved ones, co-workers, bus drivers, storekeepers, cashiers, fishermen, and other citizens of the world.

The everlasting desire to see what’s around the next bend continues to land me in unfamiliar territory.  Common advice for this affliction is, “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and money.  Then take half the clothes and twice the money.”

A minimalist at heart,  I’ll gladly take half the clothes.  Exploring the world takes up the time I might otherwise trade for cash, so I’m finding ways to do without twice the money!

In 2010, I left the U.S. for New Zealand and said I hoped I could be a nomad for at least a year.  Now, it’s been 4 5 7 years, and my wanderlust continues to propel me.  Maybe someday I’ll want to stay in one place 95% of the time, “put down roots,” as they say.  But… I doubt it.  I hope to play servant to my inquiring mind until death do us part.

Want to know more?



12 comments

  • September 26, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I’m so happy i found this blog jema… now to find some guts and start my own adventure 🙂

    • September 26, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Awesome! You can do it, hey. What are you most nervous about? Did you see the courage builder here? I also like “Travel Excuses Not to Make” from Jessie on a Journey – she’s a badass!

      I just landed today in “the murder capital of the world” (San Pedro Sula in Honduras), and I admit I was a little nervous. People on a travel forum claimed that I wouldn’t be safe walking alone anywhere in the city. However, I’m pleasantly surprised to find it feels safer than many cities in South America, the U.S., and Europe. In fact, it feels like Southern California!

      Good luck on your future adventures!

  • August 18, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Great article rating the housesitting websites. Could you let me know if the information is still current. Meaning, when did you write it and has anything changed for you as far as ranking, likes/dislikes, etc. Thank you for your candid reviews, I can’t wait to embark on my housesit journeys. Cheers!

    • August 19, 2017 at 1:54 am

      Hi Aimee – thanks for your question (and for helping me realize commenting was turned off on that page. I’ve moved your comment there as well.)

      Yes – the article is current. I just updated it a few weeks ago, actually. Good luck with your house sitting – it’s a blast!

      Cheers,
      Jema

  • April 2, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Just want to say THANK YOU!!!!! for your blunt and short reviews of housesitting sites. Its just what I need. I also appreciate that you trust the readers to ‘get’ that this is all your opinion and that yourmileagemayvary etc disclaimers -yawn. Great site. Best wishes, Al

    • April 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      Hey there, Al – you’re welcome! Glad you found the site helpful; thanks for the feedback. 🙂

  • July 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Great advice on packing with less, really helping me to plan my trip beginning in September, until February! I have travelled a lot in the past but never learned the art of going with less!

    • July 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Jason! Glad you’re going to try out minimalism. Hope you’re one of the many many converts to the brilliance of traveling with less. September is a great time to start traveling, too – the crowds are gone from all but the most intensely touristed places, but the weather is still great no matter what hemisphere you’re in. Have a great trip!

  • April 10, 2016 at 2:18 am

    I love this blog! In planning mode for a six month adventure around SE Asia , Oz and Central & South America starting in June. So much great knowledge and advice on this site. Keep her lit! E

    • April 10, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      So glad you’re finding the articles useful. Let me know if there’s something you’d like to see. I have a to-write list that’s about six years long. It’s helpful to have input about what to put at the top!

  • December 14, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Excellent site! Keep it up. Your attitude comes through on these pages.
    Maybe you could build in the option for someone to share what they see here on social media. Could get you more publicity that way.

    • December 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! It’s on the list, but the prompt to prioritize it is really helpful. Cheers!

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