[Unfiltered; ep.2] – Jennifer (Stewie Overseas)

It’s time for another episode of my new blog segment, Unfiltered: Unraveling Truths About Traveling, where I ask bloggers, vloggers, and the like questions about traveling in order to share with you their perspectives and opinions.

Without further ado, let me introduce to you all to the next guest on this blog segment:

Jennifer is the author of the blog Stewie Overseas. She is from Canada and is currently living in Nagoya, Japan where she has been for the last five years. After teaching English and doing a bit of traveling, she is now working on a PhD in International Development. She loves spending time with her husband on the weekends and dreaming about the next trip they can go on together.

Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to take part in this blog segment!

1. What has been the most surreal place you have visited? What made it so magical?

I loved the Grand Canyon. It is huge and colourful and ancient, and it left me speechless. It also left me breathless because I hiked down and back up.And the top of Mt. Fuji. This was another challenging hike, but so worth it in the end. I also went into the Himalayas for a few days in India. This was very remote and peaceful and a welcome respite from the craziness of India.

It seems that the places that stand out the most to me as being magical are the ones that I need to work for. The ones that require challenging hikes. I guess the times when I have had to push myself physically. I’m not an avid hiker in my spare time, but when I travel I seem to go on some pretty adventurous treks.

2. Should I travel to a place where I can’t speak the language?

Absolutely! This teaches you how to communicate with people. It might make travel more challenging, but that also makes it more rewarding.

You can pick up a few words or phrases, share you own language with people who might be interested, and sometimes it is just nice to not be able to read and understand conversations going on around you. At least for me, anyway. I don’t think a language barrier is a valid excuse to not go somewhere.

3. What has been your most memorable experience?

Probably my most memorable experience has been road tripping to the Grand Canyon. It was the first trip with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). We flew to Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove to the Grand Canyon. We saw the Hoover Dam and the beautiful desert.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazingly beautiful things I have seen in the world. On the second day, we walked down and then hiked back up. It was challenging, but it was the best way to experience the canyon.

We also went to Monument Valley and a few other places on this trip. But the Grand Canyon was my favourite. I was a memorable experience because the canyon itself was incredible, and because it was our first trip together. It was a lot of fun.

4. What is your favourite thing about traveling?

My favourite thing about travelling is learning about and experiencing different cultures. By culture, I mean things like food, clothes, music, language, traditions, festivals, ways of life, cultural sites, etc. It’s good to see different ways of life around the world and see that there is no one way to do things.

Travel is so good about opening your eyes and your mind to different cultures. It can be very humbling and very rewarding.

5. Is traveling safe? Should I go on a solo trip?

I guess travelling is just as safe as staying in your own country and town. Although I think tourists tend to stand out a bit by their clothes, behaviors, and language, but anyone could get mugged in their own neighborhood if they are not careful. You might need to take extra precautions when you are abroad, but I don’t think travel itself is dangerous.

I have travelled quite a few times by myself. I enjoy solo travel because I can make my own plans and change them whenever I feel like. Sure, I’ve had a few scary experiences, but nothing terrible has happened to me, and I think that’s usually the case.

Yes, you should definitely go on a solo trip at least once in your life. You learn so much about the world and yourself. You gain confidence, independence, courage, and return from it a better person.

6. Where is one place that you have traveled to that you would love to travel to again?

I would easily go back to any of the places I’ve been before. I don’t understand people who say they’ve “been there once for a week, so what’s the point in going back?” Surely there’s more that you can see and explore and eat.

I would like to go back to Myanmar though. I was only there for about five days, and I didn’t have any opportunities to do anything on my own. Something about the country and the people felt so kind and welcoming. I felt very safe and curious. I want to go back again, but this time bring my husband with me.

I also want to go back to India because it was so huge and diverse. I want my husband to come too. I think he would like it, and I would have more fun than if I was alone.

7. Do you ever feel burnt out when you travel? How do you deal with it?

I have never gone an any extended travel before. The longest that I have been away that would count as traveling would be three weeks. I’ve been gone for up to three months, but those times I have had a place to sort of call “home” (volunteering, homestay, etc).

I think I can feel a bit of burn-out though if I am moving all the time though. I don’t want to pack up my things every couple days and sleep in a different bed. I try to avoid this by not moving around too much. Instead of rushing from place to place, I prefer to spend a bit of time there.

I even have travel days where I don’t leave the hostel. Sometimes I need it though, so I try to convince myself that I’m not wasting my time. Sure, I could stay home and do nothing all day, but maybe I want to go to the Philippines and do nothing.

A very big thank you to Jennifer for sharing with us her perspectives, thoughts, and opinions!

 If you would like to keep up with her blogs, you can find her at:

Stewie Overseas

Interested in reading more? Check out segments from other guests on Unfiltered!