When you are young, the world is your oyster. Your head is filled with these big dreams on traveling the world and to be provided with an education that only comes from experiencing new cultures, new cuisine and new people that might have not crossed your path otherwise. However, transitioning into adulthood eventually happens and makes you realize that keeping your #travelgoals is much harder than a younger you once assumed. The struggle between being financially responsible and treating yourself is a challenge in itself, proving that timing becomes ever so valuable.
In this digital age, it seems like everyone is curating their own blog and are sadly becoming a dime a dozen. Thankfully, every now and then a fresh take to online journaling pops up and in this case, it’s The Penny Perspective – a travel blog that is a new kid on the block but a stand out from the crowd. Owner and operator Sara De is an LA Native who is now based out of San Francisco, CA and her blog’s main objective is to help others invest their money by gaining perspective that only comes from traveling. She is a breath of fresh air when a lot of bloggers these days are more focused on the outfit than the experience.
FOAM – Can you share a little bit of your background with us? What brought you to San Francisco?
Sara De – I am a hardworking Los Angeles gal who got burnt out on my daily routine. Working office jobs to get by in my early 20’s was something I HAD to do, but it was not what I WANTED to be doing. Visiting San Fran as a teen, I became completely smitten with the city’s spirit. A place where art and culture were regularly celebrated. A place where love and self-expression were hugely encouraged. A dense city surrounded by breathtaking landscapes — sign me up!
Although LA will always be my “home” — the pull towards the “City by the Bay” was undeniable. I did not fight it. With just my determination, discipline and penny pinching — I moved myself to the city of my dreams.
F- Have you always had the wanderlust bug, or did you obtain it later in life?
SD – Summer time as a child always meant one thing for me and my family: road trips! (My parents must have been a little insane — 3 kids in a minivan for hours on end? Yikes!) I remember really enjoying our time on the road, but I would say that it wasn’t until I was about 22 that distance travel became not only a possibility, but a priority. Being able to travel is an absolute privilege that is attainable through hard-work, smart saving and daydreaming your ass off.
F- What inspired you to start The Penny Perspective?
SD – Once in San Francisco, I started not only traveling for work, but began planning my own trips. It felt like every few months I was off to a new destination. Through social media, I would share my new adventures and experiences. My peers would ask me countless questions, “How are you traveling with such frequency?” “What places have you loves the most?” “Do you have any advice on taking my first big adventure?”
It felt good to be able to share in the excitement and joy of all these young aspiring seekers! The questions and need to know advice became so regular, that I decided to take my love for travel, design, photography, writing and budgeting — live. I built The Penny Perspective with the sole purpose of inspiring my generation to get out and take the world by storm; thoughtfully and in a way that won’t bring them home broke. It is hard enough just paying your bills when you are in your first “real” job. We all need a break from that. With true discipline and a hunger for growth and new experiences, our bonds are limitless.
F- Where has your travels taken you so far?
SD – I have been to over half of the United States with road trips through the South West, Pacific North West, Southern music cities and more. I have also made trips to our more distant pals: Hawaii and Alaska. Abroad, I have spent summer months in Ontario, Canada and in Europe I have been to Rome, Florence, Paris, Berlin, London, Dublin, Budapest, Vienna and Prague.
F- Where do you want to go next?
SD– This is a loaded question. Truthfully — there is no limit to my travel dreams. I admire the fellow travelers, journalists, artists, volunteers, bloggers, seekers and adventurers that I see all over the world. I am inspired and hopeful to experience the entire spectrum of the travel experience.
As for the next travel dream on my list: South Africa. The beauty of its beaches is incomparable. Exploring the national parks and observing the wildlife would be surreal. Obtaining a deeper understanding of its political history and recognizing the still rippling effects of the apartheid, intrigues me. Africa is the nucleus of planet Earth and the overall human existence. I believe that Africa holds many of the secrets we seek and I plan to find them there.
F- What has been your favorite memory traveling so far?
SD – Oh gosh! I have many. Solo hiking on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai was pretty incredible. Standing directly under the peak of the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah was surreal. Kissing the skulls in the Catacombs of Paris ruled my life. Watching a springtime sunset overlooking Florence, Italy at the Piazzale Michelangelo was the best day of my life thus far. Meeting a German girl in a basement bar in Berlin, who lived around the corner from me in SF for 3 years. It was serendipity personified.
Something that all of these instances have in common is that they were all AWE-filled. A conscious traveler who takes advantage of the inspired moments, both natural and man-made, is doing it right.
F – What are some of the biggest tips on how to finance a trip like the ones you take?
SD – Create a separate Adventure Savings Account. Put an extra $5, $10, $20, whenever you can. It adds up. Having a tangible reminder of your goal really helps to put things into perspective. Using the Qapital app to create a savings goal is awesome. Do research on accommodations, tours and transportation in advance, this can help you forecast for optimum spending.
F- We noticed that you collect tattoos as a souvenir, can you tell us about some?
SD – I have a pair of binoculars on my arm with the word, “Seek” spelled out in the glasses. It was a time here I needed to be seeking the many opportunities in front of me, but wasn’t sure just how to tackle them. Binoculars are a helpful tool used to help seeing distance with clarity. This tattoo was done by Pauly Lingerfelt at Downtown Tattoo in New Orleans.
I have a 16th century diagram of human cognitivism tattooed on my arm from Michele L’Abbate at The Family Business Tattoo Shop in London. It was a very thoughtful time for me — get it?
I have a pair of interlocked hands also on my arm signifying the support I feel in my relationship during the intense moments. This one was done by Alba at One Love Tattoo in Prague.
F- What’s next for you?
SD – Travel is in my bones, so of course I am always dreaming up the next great escape. Although, recently, in having thoughtful conversations with my boyfriend, we have talked about the importance of feeling like we don’t need to “escape” from our day-to-day. I would like to take this next season to research creative ways to stay local, but feel removed. Stay-cations, overnighters and affordable ways to break the routine on a smaller scale, but equally necessary scale.
Photos Courtesy of Sara De