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Welcome to Wanderstruck Ella

Are You Wanderstruck Too?

This site is brand spankin-new but I’ll be busily adding content in the coming weeks to help inspire, plot, and energize your travels. If you just want the Cliff’s Notes version of the who-what-why, pop over to the about page. If you’re curious to know more about what Wanderstruck means and everything you’ll have to look forward to, read on. Of course, you can subscribe too and receive notifications of new posts as soon as they’re published.

What is “Wanderstruck” Anyway?

Wanderlust: (noun) a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about

Wonderstruck: (adj.) experiencing a sudden feeling of awed delight or wonder

Wanderstruck is my terribly clever (so I like to think) newly minted word to best describe that inescapable pull that’s always present deep down. Whether a local day trip or a far flung destination terrifically different from home, there’s always something to discover.

What Will You Discover Here?

Don’t let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong way to travel. As long as you are kind, considerate, and curious it’s just a matter of your own style. Does stuffing a handful of essentials into a well used backpack and heading into the unknown with little planning speak to you? Wonderful! Perhaps you enjoy posh hotels in cosmopolitan cities, partying in clubs across the globe, eating your way through a country, or moseying through museums…. the possibilities are quite literally infinite.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Budget-minded travel mixed with special splurges because life is both short and unpredictable so ya gotta get as much out of it as you can
  • Lots of outdoorsy activities, mostly active pursuits like hiking or horseback riding, but I won’t say no to lounging on a beautiful beach
  • Food! From cheap eats to elegant multi course indulgences, fun grocery finds, and a dash of cuisine history
  • Tips, tricks, and helpful travel advice that will help you before and during your trip
  • Solo travel information and advice, especially for female solo travelers
  • Photography, both for visual inspiration as well as helpful tips and tricks. For in-depth travel photography learning visit my companion site The Wanderstruck Lens

Who is Ella?

Okay, talking about myself feels just plain uncomfortable. Talking about travel and everything related? Oh absolutely! But this site is called Wanderstuck Ella so here we are. This paragraph will be fairly brief because I’d much rather show than tell. However, I’d like to know more about you so perhaps you’d like to know a little about the person offering up her two cents (or more) on all things travel.

I grew up mostly in the [American] southeast. My dad is from Italy (born and raised) and mom is American. They met while she was studying abroad so perhaps travel is in the blood. We didn’t have a lot growing up but we ate well (Dad is a chef) and took local trips around Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina. We did live in Italy briefly but I was very very young and don’t even remember it.

After that, it wasn’t until I was 11 that I traveled abroad for the first time. Of course it was to Italy, and I was fascinated! It would be another 8 years until I got to use my passport again. It may be hard to believe, but yeah, Italy this time too. And the next. I dreamed of other places though, but it seemed out of reach and intimidating. Between 19 and 27 I made just a few international trips, always with others and with one exception (France), always Italy. Not that you’ll find me complaining!

Then life happens, challenges come and go, lessons get learned. My passport languished until 2015. I spent three weeks in Rome (I know, I know) and knew I had to figure this out. I couldn’t let another 8 years fly by while I wished and dreamed of traveling abroad. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that I crossed the Atlantic again, this time to Edinburgh. What a fantastic city! Scotland is high on my list of places I’d like to return to, especially to the western part of the country. After that I had the privilege of adding stamps from Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, and Romania to my passport. Plus lots of stateside jaunts to favorites like Savannah, GA and surprising gems like Philadelphia, PA.

I had BIG plans for 2020. After much scrimping and saving I was ready. Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, and finally a long-dreamed of Southeast Asia tour covering Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and The Philippines. Stars filled my eyes as I eagerly anticipated the varied scenery, culture, food, and people I would encounter. Obviously that went kerflooey, and as it currently stands, when I’ll be able to reschedule my 2020 adventures remains a sizable question mark. My hopes staunchly remain that the second half of 2021 will allow some of those travel dreams to come true. In the meantime, I’ll be discovering my own “backyard” – and America has a pretty good sized backyard. As I write this, I’m about to head off on a two month [mostly] solo road trip to explore the amazing landscapes of the American West.

I hope you’ll stay tuned and journey along with me here, on IG, and YouTube.

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