Native Daughter Reaches For Mantle of Travel Tastemaker
DATELINE EARTH- Psssst, hey Saratoga Springs High!
I have a nominee for your next alumni career day keynoter!
That would be one Valerie Joy Wilson. Val to her friends, she has carved out a niche that few enjoy – a pro traveler who searches the globe for hidden nuggets about topics like:
– FIVE BUCKET-LIST ADVENTURES FOR ADRENALINE JUNKIES
– THIS BANGKOK BUCKET LIST WILL TAKE YOU OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH
– TREKKING FOR ORANGUTANS IN BORNEO
– TEN EXPERIENCES TO HAVE IN PHU QUOC
All these and more can be perused at Val’s Weblog: Trusted Travel Girl (Link). In addition to on-location pieces, there are helpful travel tip posts that are useful even for occasional excursion-ers, those whose exotic points of call might be named Detroit or Cincinnati (for instance, “Three Essential Travel Items To Pack In Your Carry-On”.)
And before we get into Val’s guaranteed-to-make-you-jealous 2017 travel itinerary, let me disabuse you of the notion that she is some sort of trust-fund heiress or lottery winner. No, in the beginning she paid her own way to pay her dues. Today, 65,000 followers strong, she often is invited to travel to exotic ports-of-call AND gets paid to tell you where to go and what to do when you get there – an elite, limited club, indeed. And she doesn’t have a corporate machine behind her. All the arranging, logistics, even packing are basically a solo operation, save for the “invaluable” assistance she gets from Clemson (Val’s Alma Mater) student intern Ariel. Just those two, programming all the globetrotting…
Val’s site motto is “Off-the-beaten path travel advice and tips on traveling like a local,” and you don’t do that by looking at pictures online. You go places and take the pictures yourself – every one of the photos you see on Trusted Travel Girl is by Val herself. You will be treated to a melange of the awe-inspiring and quirky fun…
In town for the holidays, we had a rare opportunity to chat face-to-face. Before we met, I asked Val to send me her 2017 Travelogue.”I couldn’t believe it myself,” she said once the list was completed:
College FB National Championship – Tampa
Lake Tahoe Avalanche Course
KTLA segment – in Los Angeles, where she makes her home)
Cuba (interviewed Che Guevara’s son)
Carmel, California (racing cars)
Zion National Park
After her Holiday respite concludes, Val is next off to Switzerland.
There are many dimensions to explore here, such as the cost/benefits emotionally, and in other ways, that comes with the life of a solo-traveling tastemaker – but obviously Val has taken a road in which there are many bedazzling sights along the way. It’s my hope that this Blue Streak, now re-introduced to us as an adult in full flight, will stay in touch with us here at Planet Arthur from time to time, via “mini-postcards” that tout her latest escapade, as well as a more-involved posting on TrustedTravelGirl.com
And so, Bon Voyage, Val! Of course we will look forward to seeing you back here at Travers time…
ALL photos courtesy of Valerie Joy Wilson
January 7, 2018