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.

A desire  to see what’s around the next bend landed me in unfamiliar territory for the bulk of my adult life.   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 gladly took half the clothes.  Exploring the world takes up the time I might otherwise trade for cash, so I  found 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.   In 2019, my wanderlust finally began to wane, and a desire for community grew.   While I might be transitioning to a more settled life, I hope to play servant to my inquiring mind until death do us part.

Want to know more?


  • August 14, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    HI Jema,
    Are you still advocating for a phone free life? I believe the future of the device is dark, social control, financial control, and even more. No one wants to talk about it though, everyone is completely in love with it.

    • August 18, 2020 at 5:44 am

      Am so! I’m also reading “How to Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell, which is an academic treatise on the attention economy and how to resist it. Highly recommend!

  • September 20, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Hi Jema,
    I read your article on Nomador. My girlfriend and I are the next authors and we are (fulltime) pet sitters too. I wanted to link because perhaps paths cross some day you never know. Keep up the good things you are busy with. Cheers Jandaan. (www.theperfectstrugglers.com)

    • September 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Great to hear from you! Looking forward to reading it 🙂

  • August 11, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Hey Jemma…
    I love reading your site! I’ve looked around but I don’t see any courses! I’m a blog coach who just so happens to be interested in becoming a travel blogger someday! The world of travel blogging still feels a bit elusive to me! I don’t understand how you manage to blog AND spend time traveling.
    As I looked through your site I realized HOW MUCH INFO you seem to have… that you’re giving away absolutely free…. I think you could organize this and show some step by step guides and create a course on becoming a travel blogger! I would absolutely take a course from you! Your ideas are fantastic. Just thought I’d mention it!

    • August 14, 2018 at 5:28 am

      Jodi! Hi! Your suggestions and encouragements are so sweet an appreciated. I checked out your site and really enjoyed a handful of your articles! I might do some courses soon on life-hacking and behavior change. Blogger -> teaching blogging is a trajectory I’ve witnessed but never been interested in myself. I do have a (free!) podcast for budding bloggers, though – it’s Ticket 2 Blog.

      Happy writing!

  • January 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    I Jemma! Are you planning on travelling to Europe shortly?

    • January 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      Hi Jorge – no plans at the moment, but I try not to plan more than about a month in advance. I know my schedule through mid-Feb (New Hampshire, climbing Mt. Washington, Philadelphia, and Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR.

  • December 29, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Jema, this is a fantastic introduction to a brilliant story. So happy I stumbled across your great blog.

    • January 1, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      You’re so sweet, Claire. Glad you’re enjoying. Happy journeys to you 🙂

  • 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!


  • 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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