Hey, thanks for visiting LightTraveling, where our aim is to illuminate the world’s beauty while moving lightly through. For the last four years, we’ve been traveling the world as digital nomads, but now, a new chapter begins as we put down roots in one of the world’s most beautiful places: Tuscany, Italy! (So many renovation stories to follow!).
Here’s a bit of background:
My husband Matt and I left location-rooted careers in the U.S. to become digital nomads, traveling around the world while writing about the experience (Jess) and cycling (Matt). This leap was long in the making. For most of our “adult” lives, we followed a traditional, privileged path…you know the route: college, careers, stress, overwork. Then, an experience occurred that changed everything. In 2004, during a dream trip in Thailand, we were floating in a long-tail boat off the coast of Krabi when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit. To say we are fortunate to be here today is an understatement.
When we returned to the U.S., we struggled to understand our existence and soon realized the path we were on wasn’t for us. We made a decision: In 10 years, we will quit our jobs, sell everything, and explore more of this beautiful world. A dream was launched and goals set. We worked to save money, bank courage, transition careers and acclimate family and friends to the leap.
In 2015, we embarked on this adventure and we’ve never looked back. As we journey, our philosophy on travel continues to evolve, as does the content we share. When we first began, we were moving to a new city or country an average of every five days – for almost a year, we pursued that whirl-winding pace. Sure, we enjoyed the adventure, but “ticking places off some list” wasn’t for us. We have found that getting to know local communities below the surface and slowly savoring day-to-day life is what motivates us. Parachuting in, as they say, isn’t our style.
Along the way, we’ve also experienced the joy of lightening our weight, both physically and philosophically. We have also become more aware and concerned with every passing day about the planet’s sustainability, so you’ll find we share many tips and stories about how we can each – Matt and I included – live and travel more responsibility.
When we first set out, we wondered what would happen if we found a place we didn’t want to leave. And, wouldn’t you know? That is exactly what happened. We fell in love with a beautiful town in Tuscany, prompting a new, big decision: In January, we purchased an apartment in 500-year-old building in the city center of Lucca!
In this new adventure, we aim is to share the weird, wonderful and beautiful with you and (we hope) nudge you – yes, YOU – into chasing a few dreams of your own.
Here’s the message you will hear echoing throughout LightTraveling:
Travel need not be far-flung to be meaningful. Grand discoveries await around every corner, even tucked into seemingly familiar nooks of an oft-overlooked hometown.
To travel is a privilege.
The opportunity comes with responsibility. To be open in embracing different cultures and backgrounds and willing to consider your impact on the places and people you encounter.
To seek and embrace the unknown, allowing curiosity and compassion to lead.
To happily move the lines of entrenched comfort zones. To connect with those not normally along your path. To soak in the world’s beauty through new eyes, if only for a short time.
To leave a place unaltered or better than you found it.
Here’s what we do:
Blogger specializing in travel and sustainable living.
I am a frequently published blogger and former full-time writer with 100+ bylines for Architectural Digest, Fodor’s, Mental Floss, Time Out Venice, SmarterTravel, TripAdvisor and Intrepid Travel, among other publications. My former bi-weekly “Travel Secrets” column for Paste magazine was one of the site’s most popular features. Areas of interest include cycling, running, food and wine tourism and sustainable travel. – Jess
Matt is passionate about sharing the mountain climbs of Italy, particularly in Trentino and Tuscany with friends and fellow cycling enthusiasts. Let’s connect on Strava and plan a ride!