Capturing Adventure: Anna's Tales of Self-Discovery, Road Tripping Tips, and Epic Cross-Country Journeys
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GAFFL connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

Anna
Anna is a travel blogger and photographer based in North Carolina who has a deep affection for small towns, outdoor escapades, and the pursuit of the finest culinary and beverage experiences in each locale she explores.
20th Jun | 9 min read

Table of Contents

    Anna is a travel blogger and photographer based in North Carolina who has a deep affection for small towns, outdoor escapades, and the pursuit of the finest culinary and beverage experiences in each locale she explores. With a focus on unheralded destinations across the United States, Anna's blog is a treasure trove of recommendations for activities, dining, and more. 

    From quick getaways to extended adventures, Anna's journey is a testament to the art of versatile travel. Whether it's a two-night escapade or a multi-week odyssey, she knows how to make every moment count.

    You can check out Anna's blog Stuck On The Go and Instagram to learn more about her adventures.


    Colorado

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    A Journey of Self-Discovery

    When I was younger, my family would travel around the southern states a good bit. I wanted to see so much more of the world though.

    When I got to college and had some extra money from a side job and time off school, I started taking trips that I had planned myself. I love having new experiences and exploring beautiful places - it’s what really makes me feel alive.

    I do a lot of solo travel so it’s also shown me how capable I am of dealing with issues that come up. I also love experiencing travel with family and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

    How Do I Prepare For My Trips

    My trips range anywhere from two nights to 3.5 weeks.

    If I’m traveling with my husband or other family members, then my trips are shorter. I typically drive everywhere, so if I’m alone, I try to explore an area for at least a week and a half to two weeks.

    For the last few years, I’ve only traveled in the US so preparing for a trip is relatively easy.I search on YouTube, Google, and Pinterest for things to do and restaurants, then save what I find in Google Maps. I create a list of each day that I’ll be there and 2 - 3 attractions I would like to see each day so I can stay flexible.

    The rest of my time I can use to just explore or check out things that locals recommend once I arrive. If I’m driving a long way then I make sure my oil has been changed, fluid levels are good, and tires look good.


    Everglades

    Work and Wanderlust: Anna's Unique Approach to Travel Exploration

    Since creating my blog and turning it into a business in late 2020, I have mostly traveled for work! Many of the places that I travel to are based on meeting the destination representatives at a conference. I’ve had some really incredible experiences this way and discovered places that I never would have thought of.

    When traveling for pleasure, I have a long bucket list of weekend trips that my husband and I are slowly working our way through. He still works full time, and his job isn’t remote, so we have to travel on weekends

    If we go together, I look at my list, consider the time of year and whether it will be crowded, weather, etc., and we make a decision that way.


    Badlands

    Epic Cross-Country Road Trip: 7,400 Miles of Adventure

    Since I focus so heavily on small towns, my remarkable adventures might be a bit different!

    Oconee County, South Carolina, is an amazing outdoor adventure destination with whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River, tons of waterfall hikes, and the beautiful Lake Jocassee.

    The State College area of Pennsylvania is another gorgeous hiking destination with adorable small towns. Gulf Shores, Alabama, is such an underrated beach destination too!

    One of my biggest adventures was a cross-country road trip where I went from North Carolina to California and back. I drove over 7,400 miles, visited nine national park sites, three State parks, and went through 18 states.


    Gulf Shores

    As for my bucket list, it is huge and constantly growing. I want to visit all of the US National Parks. I’ve already visited many of the East Coast National Parks!

    The first year that I ever traveled abroad was the summer I graduated college in 2017. I was supposed to go abroad again in 2020 but that was canceled. So I have many international destinations on my list as well. Iceland, Ireland, and the UK are some of the highest on my list.

    The Warmth of Strangers: Unforgettable Moments with B&B Owners

    This is one of my favorite parts of traveling, so yes!

    Within the last few years, I’ve started staying at bed and breakfasts more often, where I’ve met so many amazing innkeepers.

    In Bellefonte, PA I stayed in Bellefonte Bed & Breakfast, where the owners, Kathy & Phil, are the nicest couple you’ll meet. We hit it off as we talked about all the hiking opportunities nearby. The first time I visited, I was in town for five days, and one of the last nights I was there, they invited me to get ice cream with them and their daughter at Berkey Creamery at Penn State.

    We got ice cream and walked around the Penn State Arboretum to enjoy the beautiful weather that evening. The next time I was in town, they knew I was solo, so they offered to meet up with me for a hike!


    Pennsylvania

    The Power of Small Steps: How I Built a Life of Travel on My Terms

    I don’t travel full-time as I have a home base in North Carolina, and my husband still has a job that he isn’t able to do remotely.

    However, I do travel very often and take 2–3 trips per month of varying lengths. The longest one was my 3.5-week road trip. I made the decision to pursue a different lifestyle when I realized that I would never be able to have the freedom that I wanted at my previous job. It’s not as difficult as people think because if you just take small steps toward your goal, eventually that leads to big changes in your life.

    I knew what I wanted, so I started learning as much as I could about building a blog and quitting my job.


    North Carolina

    The hardest part is persevering through the small failures and the beginning when you can’t see the results from the work that you’re putting in.

    The biggest compromises that I’ve had to make are with my time and seeing friends and family as much. Instead of watching TV at night or just doing something fun on the weekends, sometimes I have to work instead. And with such a busy travel schedule, I miss a lot of family events that I would have previously gone to.

    Cool Travel Experiences That I Can Share

    I’ve had so many since starting my blog; sometimes I really can’t believe this is my life! The coolest one by far was getting to drive across the country to California and back while stopping at many National Park sites.

    A few other memorable experiences: I was able to take a beginner surf lesson at Waco Surf in Waco, TX. My husband and I took a tour of Lake Jocassee in Oconee County, SC, where we saw some amazing waterfalls that flowed right into the lake. I’ve also gotten to see dolphins while kayaking in Gulf Shores, AL.


    South Carlonina

    Turning Passion into a Career: My Journey from Engineer to Travel Blogger

    To be honest, I started my blog because I wanted to be my own boss and leave my engineering job. I chose travel because it’s a subject that I love, and I feel like I have helpful tips from planning my own weekend trips while working full-time. I help my readers make the most of their limited vacation days and help them see that you don’t have to travel far to have the most amazing adventure. You can plan a weekend trip that’s two hours from your house and recharge for a couple days.

    The mission of my blog is to help busy people incorporate more travel into their lives by teaching them how to efficiently plan trips and giving them inspiration on where to go.

    Budget Travel Tips: How to Get More Adventures for Less Money

    Managing costs during my trip is mainly about prioritizing what matters most to me. For example, when my husband and I travel together, we don’t spend much time in the room because we are usually out and about.

    So we either look for budget accommodations or opt for camping. Experiences and eating local food are the most important things for us, so that’s typically where we spend most of our money. If we want to stick to a very tight budget, then we will usually cook our own food.


    Custer State Park

    How I Manage Work & Travel

    When I’m traveling, I mainly just worry about keeping up with social media. I also try to create my article outlines before I visit a place so I can keep detailed notes in the correct section.

    If a trip is longer than a week, then I try to incorporate full work days where I find a coffee shop and have at least 5 hours that I can dedicate to working. This way, I’m not swamped when I get back home!

    Skills That A Full-Time Traveler Should Have

    I think the most important skills you need to pursue an “alternative” lifestyle are adaptability, persistence, and willingness to learn.

    Success won’t fall into your lap; you’re going to have to work for it. The first few things that you try may not work out either. When I first started doing this full-time, I tried social media management, freelance writing, and a few other paths.

    I even had a subscription box business for a year! It took some time to figure out the right way to set up my business, and I had to deal with a few “failures.” You have to be willing to fail, though, and figure out what doesn’t work so that you can move on to what does work for you.


    San Franscisco

    GAFFL For Travelers

    I’ve never personally used GAFFL but it seems like a great way to find travel buddies and split costs with other people!

    When I’m traveling I use Roadtrippers and Google Maps to find nearby things to do or places to eat. Upside is an app I use for cashback on gas. I use All Trails to find and record nearby hikes and my Hilton and Marriot apps if I need accommodations for a night.

    Advice That I Can Share

    I would say start learning and gathering information now, but don’t get stuck in the learning phase. Figure out different ways you can make money on the road, choose the one that’s the best fit for you, and then just start. Apply for that remote job or start your own business. You never know what will happen, and in my experience, so many doors opened to me just by starting this journey.


    Kansas City

    Things I Wish I Would Have Known When I First Started

    I wish I had known it was going to take a lot longer than I expected to turn this blog into a profitable business. But that’s okay, because I’ve learned so many valuable lessons along the way.

    Through traveling, I’ve learned to be a lot more flexible and not get so stressed about things not going exactly as planned. I’ve also learned that there are some truly amazing people in the world, and God truly directs our paths even if we are confused in the moment.

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