Geraldine DeRuiterGeraldine DeRuiter knew she was going to get laid off.

Her boss told her to go to Italy with her friend on a trip they had planned. While she was there, a coworker told her the entire office was being let go. She finished her wine and told her husband, who was back home, preparing for a work trip to Iceland. When he asked if she wanted to go, she said yes. This was in the spring of 2008. She hasn’t stopped since.

After a year of traveling with her husband who travels regularly, Geraldine “was bullied into” to start a travel blog by friends. She wrote about the things she did on her own during their trips. She quickly discovered blogging made her happy. Today, thanks to her training as a journalist and ability to infuse her writing with her witty personality, Geraldine’s blog, The Everywhereist, is one of the most popular travel blogs on the internet.

Quotes from the Explorer:

“Even a miserable travel experience can make a good story. When things go awry, I remind myself this will be funny eventually. And I’ve found that most things are.”

What we cover:

  • How being laid off gave Geraldine the permission she needed to travel the world nonstop.
  • Why planning too much on your travels can set too much of an expectation, and not result in the most remarkable experiences.
  • Why the authentic world is largely undiscovered.

The Everywhereist’s Travel Advice

  • The first step: Getting back to your hotel is only a cab ride away. Remember that, and I think you can extrapolate that to, “Home is always a flight away.” You can always get back.
  • Money saving tip: Don’t buckle to the pressure of having to eat out every night you’re traveling. Try a local grocery store, market, or bakery. It’s a great way to expose yourself to a culture and save your funds.
  • How to find cheap airfare: Try not to obsess over it. At some point, you’re going to be willing to pay $30-40 to NOT wake up at 3am to catch a flight.
  • Packing tip: Do laundry so you can pick from everything, and not wind up having to dress like a clown!
  • Favorite travel book: Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe, by Bill Bryson
  • Favorite travel gear: Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Cube Set
  • Weirdest food ever eaten: Geraldine grew up eating plenty of entrails. “I tried guinea pig in Peru and it was wonderful.”

Music Credit: Moth’s Wings (Artec Remix), Passion Pit

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I’m a lifelong international traveler, the host of The Travelers podcast, and founder of Holocene, a framework and community for writing the story of your life using travel and creativity.