- What was your favorite travel experience? Driving through Quintana Roo, Mexico, towards Belize and arriving at my fishing village destination OR seeing millions of Monarch butterflies on their winter migration in the mountains of Michoacan.
- What is the best piece of advice you ever received as a traveler? Bring some cash.
- How do you stay fabulous while you travel? Pack clothing that is knit so it doesn’t wrinkle easily. Use pieces that mix and match with all other pieces. Use cosmetic products that also double for different uses, i.e. coconut oil as face wash, moisturizer, and teeth cleaner.
- What’s your greatest extravagance when traveling? Food.
- On what items do you prefer to save money rather than spend money when traveling? Cell phone usage bills – be smart and use wi-fi. Or leave the phone at home and enjoy.
- What’s your most important travel item? A good, versatile bag with various ways to carry it and that I can find things in easily so I am always ready.
- What characteristics do you dislike about yourself when you travel? Anxiety about not looking like a tourist.
- What characteristics do you dislike about others when you travel? Looking like tourists.
- What do you most value in a travel buddy? One who is laid-back and open to new things. Reasonable about the cost of things and how many destinations can fit into the travel time. A willingness to be as the natives are.
- What do you absolutely have to know before you go? How does transportation function and what do the roads look like? Google Streetview is my friend.
- What travel experiences are still on your bucket list? Ireland, Scandinavia, Turkey and the Mediterranean, Egypt, India, North and South Africa.
- How do you plan for travel, especially paying for it? Currently I look at a calendar for the year and plan time off work – how much and when. I compare this with airfare and lodging prices to see if I can afford certain places for a certain time and length of time. List all the possible expenses and when those need to be paid (which paychecks) up to and including the dog’s kennel, luggage fees, transportation on ground, airport parking, etc. Always round up. Then buy the tickets, and the rest follows!
SHEA BALANCES ELABORATE DREAMS OF TRAVEL WITH ENJOYING LIFE IN HER NATIVE ATLANTA AFTER A CAREER IN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE MANAGEMENT. SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TO DISTANT LANDS AND CULTURES AND GREW UP POURING OVER OLD ISSUES OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. SHE PRIMARILY WRITES ABOUT BEAUTIFUL MEXICO WHERE SHE HAS LIVED AND TRAVELED BUT HAS ALSO VISITED OTHER PARTS OF LATIN AMERICA AND WESTERN EUROPE. WHEN SHE’S NOT TRAVELING, YOU CAN FIND HER WORKING ON A HOMESTEAD PROJECT, PERFORMING TRANSLATION WORK, PRACTICING BIKRAM YOGA, OR SAVORING LIFE WITH HER SWEET HUSBAND AND STEP-SON.