Jessie Festa

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Taking you beyond the guidebook to live your best life through travel!

Member Since JULY 17, 2018
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Life may not always turn out the way you plan, but sometimes it turns out better, especially if you can go with the flow. ✨ After getting my Master's in Communication in 2010, I decided to do something crazy 👉 turn my passion for travel into a business. I had no idea what to expect - blogging was basically unchartered territory back then - but I do remember thinking that I wanted to travel forever, 24/7/365. I didn't care about money, romance, or having my own bed. The road was enough. ✨ I was also 22 and living with my parents still, so, yea. 😉 ✨ Over time, I've come to learn that I do care about money (it offers security), romance (I'm marrying my college best friend in July 2020), and having my own bed (❤️ NYC) - and I'm so thankful to have been able to create a life of passion and balance; where I can be my own boss and get paid to be creative, both at home and on the road; where I can spend a month in Nepal or a week in the Galapagos and then come home to snuggle with my loves on the couch. ✨ It may not be what I expected at age 22, but I'm so thankful for it at age 32. 🙏 #BeyondTheGuidebook ___ * * * #thanksgiving🦃 #thanksgivings #thanksgivingday #givingthanks #givingthanksalways #givingthanksdaily #gratitude🙏#gratitudepost #gratitudeposts #gratitudenpositivo #lifeisunexpected #loveyourlife❤️#myfamilymyteam #myfamily❤️#myfamilymylife #dowhatyoulovetodo #findbalanceinlife #dowhatyouloveanddoithard #thanksgiving2019

Malawi Cuisine: The Chef Redefining Traditional Food (+ Nsima Recipe)

LWT has been operating a research base with Conservation Research Africa further north at Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve since January 2017, and it was LWT staff who later recommended Emmanuel to a nonprofit organization planning to host “citizen science” volunteers at the Vwaza camp. Even though Malawians don’t eat a lot of meat – chicken is eaten occasionally and communities who live close to Lake Malawi enjoy fish – Emmanuel knew it would be a challenge to put together an exclusively vegetarian menu, especially one that was appealing to groups of tourists from different countries all over the world. As a vegetarian for more than 20 years, I can attest that he more than rose to the occasion, especially considering he was working in a remote area with limited ingredients, and cooking for about 20 people in a kitchen that’s not much bigger than the size of a walk-in closet. The base for lunch and dinner was typically rice or pasta, served with a tomato-based stew that included beans and vegetables like cauliflower.

Fall is the perfect time for a road trip, and I’m so excited to have teamed up with @KAYAK to share my favorite New York State road trip itinerary — link in bio. (p.s. If you haven’t checked out their My Guide feature you should, as it’s a great way to organize your itineraries!). / #ad 🍁 Look, while I love living in NYC, it’s imperative that I escape the hustle regularly. Luckily, there are tons of great destinations within New York State that are just a train or car ride away. 🚆 One of my favorite destinations is Oneonta. Not only is this fun college city full of restaurants and entertainment, it’s near loads of outdoor activities — like goat yoga at @gilbertsvillefarmhouse (pictured here). Actually, I did their goat yoga retreat once and loved it so much I’m getting married there next summer! 😍 By the way, Oneonta is just one of seven incredible places I included in my KAYAK My Guide. You can click the link in my bio (or this link below) to check it out. Feel free to use it for your next trip! 👇 LINK 👉 ___ * * * #KAYAKGuides #KAYAKPicks #BeyondTheGuidebook #GilbertsvilleFarmhouse #UpstateNewYork #upstatenewyorkphotographer #UpstateNewYorkLife #roadtripideas #mylifeooo #packingmybags #oneonta #oneontany #wheretogo #wheretogonext #goatsofinstagram #goatsofinstagram🐐 #hudsonvalleylife #hudsonvalleyny #animalshots_ #roadtripusa #roadtripsusa #roadtripusa2019 #travelnewyork #newyorktravel #newyorktravels

Gifts That Give Back l 9 Unique Presents That Pack A Global Good Punch

Closer to home, Spice Madam gives a portion of its proceeds to Café Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary facility that provides life skills, education, and employment to at-risk youth. Packed with Purpose is a corporate gifting company with a social mission to give back to individual communities around the U. S. Each Packed with Purpose gift box contains handcrafted products curated from non-profits and social enterprises that employ people with disabilities and other barriers to the traditional workforce. Cooper Street Cookies Cooper Street Cookies partners with Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) to employ adults with special needs or disabilities. In a joint effort with PUR Project, Alter Eco organic chocolate works with cacao partner, Acopagro Coop, to replant and conserve a portion of the Peruvian Amazon.

What is one travel moment that really WOWed you? 🤩 In this travel video, you will see the exact moment when my life became complete. It happened in the Galapagos Islands. 😍 A big thanks to @Andando_Tours for sponsoring my trip aboard @WildAid's M/Y Passion! 👏 ___ * * * #VisitGalapagos #responsibletravel #Galapagoswildlife #galapagosluxury #galapagoscruise #galapagos #galapagosislands #galapagos_islands #galapagosisland #galapagos🐢 #galapagostravel #ecuadortravel #ecuadortravel_ig #southamericatravel #southamericatravels #sealion #sealionsofinstagram #sealionselfie #sealionlove #wildlifevideos #wildlifevideo #snorkelingtrip #snorkelingadventure #snorkeling🐠#natureiscool

Wild Spirit: A Sustainable Retreat Along South Africa's Garden Route

Grey skies above damp forests was not the scene I had in mind for my road trip through South Africa’s Garden Route, a stretch of land spanning from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape. With a bit of help and some luck, Jenny found the property and shortly thereafter purchased the land that Wild Spirit stands on today, along South Africa’s Garden Route. By the way, the Garden Route is a 300-km stretch of South Africa’s southwestern coast, reaching from the Western to the Eastern Cape. Jenny has stood in defense of the land, the property, and the South African people, respecting the local culture.

Need a pick-me-up? Here is an adorable photo of a Galapagos fur seal covered in sand; taken on Genovesa Island. (#ad) 🥰 You’re welcome. 😉 A big thanks to @AndandoTours for sponsoring my trip to the Galapagos aboard the M/Y Passion! #BeyondTheGuidebook ___ * * * #VisitGalapagos #responsibletravel #Galapagoswildlife #galapagosluxury #galapagoscruise #sheswanderful #galapagos #galapagosislands #thetravelwomen #galapagos_islands #galapagosisland #galapagos🐢#galapagostravel #ecuadortravel #ecuadortravel_ig #southamericatravel #southamericatravels #genovesa #genovesaisland #galapagosfurseal #galapagossealion #adorableanimals #adorableanimalsofinstagram

New York City Winter Fashion Guide: What To Wear To Stay Warm + Stylish

How do you make sure you’re prepared for frigid temperatures, icy streets, and potential storms when you’re exploring the city? Choose a longer style for extra coverage — a necessity on long, cold days exploring the city. Now is the perfect time to break out that metallic coat you haven’t had a chance to wear yet, or those red faux leather leggings you found on sale. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the perfect photo opp with your travel companion.

SPOTTED: A rare pic of me *not* traveling solo. 😮 I am so grateful to have gotten to visit the Galápagos Islands with my fiancé, @pierrepilc. 🥰 If you’ve been a part of my community for a bit you know I almost always travel solo — which I love, as it gives me ultimate freedom over my trip experience and means I don’t have to negotiate my itinerary. 💪 But sometimes it’s nice to share those experiences and that itinerary with someone else. ❤️ From living like the rich for a few days aboard the M/Y Passion to swimming with sea lions and penguins to seeing animals only found in the Galapagos to hiking to stunning viewpoints to sharing delicious meals and wine on the ship, we’ve truly made memories to last a lifetime. 🍷🐧🎉 A big thanks to @AndandoTours for sponsoring my trip to the Galapagos! This has been a true #IAmSoBlessed experience. ___ * * * #VisitGalapagos #responsibletravel #Galapagoswildlife #galapagosluxury #galapagoscruise #galapagos #galapagosislands #galapagos_islands #galapagosisland #galapagos🐢 #galapagostravel #ecuadortravel #ecuadortravel_ig #southamericatravel #southamericatravels #romantictravel #travelromance #couplestravel #couplestravelgoals #couplestravelling

Bird-watching in the Galapagos is unlike anywhere else I’ve been. (#ad) 🦜 I’ve gone bird-watching in places like Panama, India, and the Amazon, which offer amazing opportunities; however, you typically have to search very hard and then only have a moment to photograph a bird. 🦅 In the Galapagos, though, the boobies, frigates, herons, finches, mockingbirds, and penguins all seem to want to just hang out and let you observe them in their natural habitats. Which also makes them very easy to photograph. 📸 Swipe right for a preview of this beautiful wildlife experience. 👉 A big thanks to @AndandoTours for sponsoring my trip to the Galapagos aboard the M/Y Passion! #BeyondTheGuidebook ___ * * * #VisitGalapagos #responsibletravel #Galapagoswildlife #galapagosluxury #galapagoscruise #galapagos #galapagosislands #galapagos_islands #galapagosisland #galapagos🐢#galapagostravel #ecuadortravel #ecuadortravel_ig #southamericatravel #southamericatravels #galapagosbeach #santacruzisland #maketimetoseetheworld #seabirdsofinstagram #birdsofinstagram #penguinsofinstagram #ilovepenguins #ilovebirds #galapagosbirds