Featured Traveler: Jessica Lancia of Traveltobealive.com

The view over the karst mountains in Xingping China

Jessica Lancia of Traveltobealive.com

Jessica is an Italian girl who really loves to travel. She considers herself as an easy-going, nature-enthusiast and a true blue pizza lover! She loves anything related to nature, such as trekking and open-air activities. She’s a slow traveler and she doesn’t travel to places just for few days with the purpose of filling up her passport with stamps, instead she tries to experience a country as much as she can before leaving for another destination.

A sunny day at Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
A sunny day at Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand

Learn more about Jessica by reading her answers to few of our travel related questions:

When did you started blogging, Why do you blog?

I started blogging one year ago, once back in my hometown after an incredible trip through New Zealand. I was moved by the passion to help other people like me with practical and useful tips about the places I had been visiting, so I decided to set up my own website and give it a chance. I love to give honest advices to other travelers and my blog is the place where I can do it without restrictions/filters and where I can also promote less known destinations that I believe deserve people’s attention.

Tell us more about your hometown.

Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about my hometown! I come from a small but beautiful town called Sarzana. It is situated in the north-west of Italy, exactly between Genoa and Pisa, really close to the world famous “Cinque Terre”. It’s a quiet and lovely place and what I love about it, is that it is close both to the sea and to the mountains. There’s a beautiful city centre filled with typical shops, narrow alleys and ancient churches. Pretty much everyone knows everyone, but we still have our bit of fun!

Hiking on the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand
Hiking on the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand

When did you start traveling, inspirations?

Apart from some really short trips around Europe, I had not traveled long term before turning into 19. As soon as Marco and I finished the high school, we moved to New Zealand where we worked and traveled for one year on a Working Holiday Visa. Many things happened during that incredible journey: Marco fell in love with photography and the two of us fell in love with nature and adventure. So actually, New Zealand has been our source of inspiration, the country where everything began for us. We left the country with the promise to come back one day and here we are now that I’m writing!

Once back in Italy, we already knew that what we really wanted to do was traveling. That trip marked us in the heart and now we can’t stop anymore. Again, we left our country last September 2015 and started a round-the-world trip which is now leading us to some of the most incredible places around the globe!

I guess sometimes it is good not to follow “your friend’s path”, as I like to call it. You need to find what you love in this life, because you won’t feel happy nor realized if you follow someone else’s dream. And traveling is a source of inspiration itself, you just need to find a little bit of courage and get into it. It doesn’t matter how long your journey will last, because even ten days into the wild can change your prospectives and vision about the world. I was first kicked to travel because I wasn’t sure about what to do, but I knew I loved to travel. And that travel, brought more travels on my side and made me understand what I love about life, so that I started crafting myself and followed my own path. Inspiration is around the corner, you just need to stand up and walk!

Lessons you learned on the road?

I learnt to be more respectful with other people (and with the environment as well). I learnt that despite the language barrier, there are many other ways to communicate. I learnt that passion and dreams are what keep people alive and what motivate me to go on. And finally I learnt how lucky Marco and I are, because we had the chance to work, save money and finally afford this trip.

Destinations on your Bucket List?

Many! For each one I tick, more come up in my minds. But the places I really look forward to see are: Argentina, Chile, Canada, USA and Iceland.

Having "more fun" in Bohol Philippines
Having “more fun” in Bohol Philippines

Beach or Mountain?

Can I say both? I love beaches, especially when they look like the ones in the Philippines or in Indonesia! But I also love mountains where I can enjoy trekking, beautiful diverse sceneries and tranquility.

How often do you travel by air / land?

I am currently on a long-term trip so the answer is: very often. We try to keep airplanes to a minimum and prefer to save money traveling by land, but sometimes it is very time consuming. At the moment, we are traveling through New Zealand with a van we just bought and love every day of our road trip!

What’s your favorite airport?

I don’t actually have a favorite one, but for sure I can say I love Pisa and Milan airports (in Italy), as both of them are the ones that mark the beginning of a new trip or the end of a journey back to my family and friends!

The view over the karst mountains in Xingping China
The view over the karst mountains in Xingping China

What is your favorite Hotel?

I don’t go often to hotels, but one I really liked was the “Golden Oriole” in Guilin, China.

What is your preferred Airline?

Fly Emirates is definitely my favorite one, but it is not cheap. I always try to save money using local companies when I move between countries where is possible to do so. In the last months we’ve mostly used AirChina to book all our flights within China, AirAsia, TigerAir and CebuPacific around South-East Asia.

How do you beat jet lag / Motion sickness?

Homeopathic pills are the way to go! You can find them in pharmacy and in some outdoor shops and work perfectly. Otherwise another good strategy is to make several stopovers of few days on the way to the final destination. It not only does help you beating jetleg… It gives you the chance to visit more places on the same trip!

Walking through the lavender fields in France
Walking through the lavender fields in France

What are your favorite travel gadgets?

I love my GoPro and all its gadgets, I’m still new to it but I’m glad I recently got one. And then I totally love Marco’s “JetBoil”, it is super handy, especially here in New Zealand. Basically it is a light, little and powerful boiler that boils water very fast. We use it during every overnight walk to make ourselves tea and cook dried food. It doesn’t add too much weight to the backpack and it doesn’t consume a lot of gas as it is incredibly fast.

Any Tips on how to travel light?

Just bring half the clothes and leave the other half at home. If you need new ones, you can always buy them! Also, if you plan your trip to destinations where the weather is similar, you can focus on the clothes you will need in that certain places. Warm destinations are recommended to travel light 🙂

Best Backpack Brand? 

I’m using an Osprey. While it is quite expensive, I’m happy with it and never had a problem. It’s comfortable and easy to adjust!

Top 3 Philippine Destinations?

Unfortunately I had not traveled that much around the country (that makes a good excuse to come back soon, right?). In total I visited 4 destinations so it makes it an easy choice: Sambawan, El Nido and Bohol.

Things you love about the Philippines?

The people. Filipinos are some of the most friendly people ever! I also loved the colorful jeepneys, the underwater life and of course the beaches.

Things you hate about the Philippines?

I didn’t quite like the food, but honestly after 2-3 bad experiences I didn’t keep trying. Also, tours are expensive and the public (and private!) transports don’t work so good. I had to wait 3 hours for a metered taxi at Manila’s airport!

What made you decide to visit the Philippines?

We were supposed to meet Marco’s family there, but unfortunately some issues occurred while we already had purchased the ticket. We had not much time to plan an itinerary so we just made our way around and visited as much as we could. The main reason why we chose the Philippines was because we wanted to get some rest from our journey and relax at the beach!

Top 3 International Destinations?

I haven’t seen many countries yet and apart from New Zealand (which I totally love), I’m sure that the 2nd and 3rd countries will be soon replaced. Anyway, for now, I would say Thailand and France!

Working at my blog on beautiful Sambawan Island Philippines
Working at my blog on beautiful Sambawan Island Philippines

Favorite Travel Quote:

I actually have many favorite travel quotes. But in the last days these two have appeared more often in my mind: “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” and “There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

Follow her on her social media accounts 🙂
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/traveltobealive/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/traveltobealive
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/traveltobealive/
Website: www.traveltobealive.com

  1. Jessica Lancia says

    Thank you for featuring me here 🙂


    1. Melo Villareal says

      you are most welcome Jessia:)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: