Meet Our 2014 Travel Lady Lennia Jennifer Jedda

august2014cover-copy-231x300This August we have the pleasure of featuring an inspiring and well-traveled woman to recant her journeys abroad and give us first person advice on how to travel. Jennifer Jedda grew up in Montana and attended college at St. Catherine University in Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in International Relations and Spanish. She has visited 35 countries and lived in Paris, Mexico, Spain, USA, and Costa Rica. This August she is traveling again to Bolivia but we are so excited and grateful to have her as a contributor for the month!
Jennifer currently opened a boutique inspired by her travels that showcases curated, handmade jewelry, accessories and home accents from around the world that you can explore at www.JJCaprices.com. You can keep up with her exciting journeys across the world at www.onegirlsadventures.com. 

How old are you?

39 (but I turn 40 in July! Eeeek!!)

Where do you currently reside and how many different places have you lived?
I currently live in beautiful Bellevue, WA.  I have lived in Paris, Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica and our great country, USA :)
To date I have visited 35 countries and will be traveling to Bolivia and Peru in August.
What do you love most about traveling? 

I love the discovery and enrichment that travel brings me.  It is a thrill to experience new cultures, meet new people, listen and speak in different languages and learn about the vibrant differences across our world.  I also love the sense of freedom travel brings and the lesson that no matter what continent we were born or live on, we as humans all strive to live the same…healthy, happy, loved and pursuing our dreams.

How do you budget when you travel to these different places?

Of course it depends on the destination! For Europe I always need to save and plan to spend more than trips to lesser developed countries.  However, I always strive to make my travel budget go as far as possible by researching well in advance safe, comfortable and charming places to stay, using miles or points were possible and prioritizing activities, dining experiences or shopping based on my budget.
Have you picked up different languages on the way or did you learn them on your own first?

Besides English I speak French and Spanish. I minored in Spanish in college because I desired to speak it fluently after visiting Mexico for the first time as a freshman in college.  I was so captured by the culture and people during this first visit that I wanted to be able to communicate with them in their own language. French I learned because I lived in Paris for 2 years.  I went there not knowing any (maybe un, duex, tois :) ) but committed myself to learning it while I was over there. Knowing a local language (sometimes just a phrase) enhances any travel experience.

Describe your most memorable/favorite trip. 

Always the hardest question to answer! :) But definitely one of the most outstanding travel memories I have was my visit to the small village of Kalabougou in the West African country of Mali. My experience there was one of the most fascinating that I have ever witnessed in my life.  The heat was staggering yet all the women in the village, clad in the most beautiful and colorful traditional wear and some with babies strapped to their backs, worked around hot flames to bake the clay pots that their village was famous for.  The most striking aspect of this weekly endeavor was that this work was left completely to the women (the men sat under trees during the effort as their contribution to the village economy was to create jewelry).  I learned that if one was born as a girl into this village, her only choice in occupation was to a clay pot maker. Boys became jewelry makers.

What is the biggest piece of advice you’d share with female lovers of travel?
Go do it! And don’t be scared or nervous to do it on your own. Some of my most memorable travel moments are from adventures I set out on all by myself….and some of my dearest friends that I have today are those that I met while traveling sola :).
What will you write about for the blog?

I would love to share some of my tips for solo women travels, favorite destinations that I have experienced thus far, favorite spots in Paris and how I am combining my passion of travel and discovery help create a life and business that is in line with my dreams.

Do you feel you can inspire women in their 20’s and 30’s? If so, how would you go about doing this?
To me the most inspiring women are those that are living a purposeful life in line with their talents and passions. Women who are willing to take risks, fail and have the confidence to get back up and push forward. Women who recognize there is no one “right” way to live this life and find beauty in all our different paths to happiness and success. Women who support other women and encourage them to be their best selves because doing that strengthens us all.  This type of woman inspires me and this is how I try to model my life.  If other young women find inspiration in this, it humbles me.
What does Lady Lennia represent to you?

Lady Lennia is a strong, ambitious, talented young woman who realizes she has the world at her doorstep and she is ready to get out there to make her valuable, unique mark in it.

What makes you a great Lady Lennia for the August edition?

Travels not only allows one to discover new places but it allows one to discover new things about herself. There is much power in this and I hope my story encourages women to go experience all the riches that these journeys will bring her.