Well, hello there!
You’re probably wondering where I fit into the “Two Wandering Soles”… I guess you could say I’m the third wandering soul behind the scenes.
I started working with Katie and Ben in 2019 and have since become their Director of Content—managing just about everything that goes into running this website, from idea to publication.
Get to know Amanda
- My Travels
- Education & Career
- Travel Favorites
- Fun Facts about me
- Current Status
Things to know about me:
1. I’ve known Katie just about as long as you can know someone. We grew up across the street from one another in Minnesota.
2. I caught the travel bug early. My first trip outside of the U.S. was to Haiti when I was 14. I went with my mom and a group called Haiti Outreach to learn about the clean water initiatives and help build a school.
3. I couldn’t decide just one place I wanted to study abroad in college so I chose 10… more on that in my travels section below.
4. Before I started working for Two Wandering Soles, I was working remote freelance gigs and traveling as a digital nomad with a group called the Wifi Tribe.
5. The day Katie and Ben asked me to come onboard and work with them (in July 2019!) was one of the most pivotal points of my life. Working for Two Wandering Soles is not only my dream job, but also played a huge part in making my remote lifestyle sustainable long term.
5. I’ve been living as digital nomad without home base now since March 2018. I’ve traveled to over 45 countries in my lifetime and lived as a digital nomad in 17.
6. As the Director of Content for Two Wandering Soles and Go Wander Wild, I do a lot of the work behind the scenes. I have a say in what gets published and the strategy that goes into keeping both blogs running smoothly. I am always saying SEO is my nerd hobby and my friends are always telling me sharing travel advice is my love language, so I guess it’s a pretty good fit.
7. Outside of Minnesota (where we reunite on occasion), I’ve met up with Katie and Ben in Bali and Mexico to work and adventure together.
I’ve traveled to more than 45 countries in my lifetime. While I’m finding myself drawn more and more to return to the places I know and love, I will continue to keep exploring new places until I’m no longer mobile (may that day never come!).
2002: My first trip abroad in Haiti
I joined my mom and a group of other youngsters + chaperones on a trip to Haiti with Haiti Outreach. We visited for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Years to learn about the clear water initiatives and help build a school in a remote village.
This was my first time experiencing a different culture and helped shape my understanding of the world and where my privilege as an American put me.
2005: Family Euro-trip
When I was in high school, my family hosted an exchange student from Sweden who lived with us for an entire year. She and I were just 2 years apart and become very close—in fact she became very close with the whole family and we still call her our Swedish sister.
My family went to Sweden to stay with her family the following summer and we traveled around Europe a bit with our new European “family” as hosts.
- Malmö & Stockholm, Sweden
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Normandy, France (+ Paris!)
…and drove through Belgium and parts of Germany.
2008: Semester at Sea
I couldn’t decide on just one place I wanted to study abroad in college—I wanted to go everywhere! When I found out about Semester at Sea (SAS) from a friend, I was immediately convinced this was the program for me. SAS is a multi-country study abroad program where 700+ students live and take classes on a cruise ship that circumnavigates the globe.
During my 3.5 month-long semester, I took 16 course credits, aced my classes, all the while living onboard a cruise-ship-turned-floating-campus that docked in 12 different ports of call, in 10 different countries, allowing us to explore with complete freedom while in port.
To say that semester changed my life and my world view would be an understatement.
Our general itinerary looked something like this:
- Nassau, Bahamas (embarcation)
- Salvador, Brazil
- Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Chennai, India
- Penang, Malaysia
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Hong Kong
- Shanghai, China
- Kobe, Japan
- Yokohama, Japan
- Punta Arenas, Costa Rica
- Miami, USA (disembarkation)
2018: I become digital nomad
I was working in digital advertising while living in Denver, Colorado when I heard about this “program” from a friend where you travel with other remote workers all over the world. Long story short, fast-forward about a year and I’d quit my job, gave up my apartment, sold my car and put everything into storage to start traveling with the Wifi Tribe.
The plan was to go for just 5 months, live off savings, then return to Denver to “find a real job” and “get back to my normal life.” It took less than one month for me to decide I really didn’t want to return home at all and that this nomad lifestyle was in fact for me.
While I did return home to visit family that year, I made sure to buy my flight out of the U.S. before I ever touched down, and I’ve been living by that practice ever since.
My first year of “nomading” I lived in the following countries:
Outside of living (minimum one month), I visited the following countries:
- Costa Rica
2019: Digital Nomading
The following year was a lot like the first, with the added bonus that I began working for Two Wandering Soles in July and that gave me a steady income stream to sustain my perpetual travels.
I lived in the following countries:
- South Africa (WT)
- Panama (WT)
- Bolivia (WT)
Outside of the countries I lived in for one more or more, I also visited:
2020: Surviving COVID as a digital nomad
The year 2020 started off like any other. For me that meant I spent the New Years visiting a friend in Istanbul and then was off to Thailand and Myanmar for what was supposed to be a 6-week-long adventure.
Well we all know 2020 had other plans…
I was supposed to fly to Vietnam on the same day the boarders were closing. I made it all the way to the airport in Karabi, but instead of getting on my flight to Da Nang, I booked a one way ticket across the country to Koh Pha Ngan. I had friends staying on the island so I figured I would hunker down with them for a few weeks “until it all blew over.”
Little did I know, I’d be spending the next 6 months on Koh Pha Ngan, virtually shielded from the affects of COVID as the island had no cases and rules were fairly lax.
Once visa amnesty was coming to an end in August, I decided to high tail it across the globe to the one country that I knew would stay open to tourism, was close enough to home in case something happened, and where I wouldn’t have to worry about a visa for 6 months… Mexico.
2021: Travel comes back… but slowly
Fully vaxxed and armed with proof, I dipped my toes back into traveling slowly in 2021. Mostly, I just went where I knew would be safe and had plenty of friends to keep me company.
I spent most of the year in Mexico, but also lived in Guatemala for a month, Costa Rica for a month and did a 6-week stint in Turkey (in case you hadn’t caught on, Turkey is one of my favorite countries to visit and travel around!).
2022: The year of revenge travel
With travel back in full swing, I wasn’t going to let anything slow me down (that is until burnout set in and I realized I really needed to slow down).
In 2022 I lived in the following countries:
- South Africa
I also traveled around and visited the following countries:
2023: Slowing down as a digital nomad
With all of the “fast travel” I did the previous year, I was pretty burnt out by the start of 2023. I found myself drawn to return to the places I was comfortable and familiar with.
So far in 2023, I’ve lived in and traveled around the following countries:
- South Africa
- Singapore (short visit)