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Featured Traveler: Kristy Halderman; The Ruby Red Traveler

Kristy Halderman; The Ruby Red Traveler

The Basics

1. Name: Kristy a.k.a Ruby Red Traveler

 2. Age: 28
3. Hometown: Parma, Ohio, USA
4. Favorite city traveled to: How do I pick just one?! Paris is my absolute favorite; there is no city like it! However, after visiting Mexico City this past year, it comes in close second. I love how it's not only rich in culture, but history, too. Not to mention the great food scene (and exchange rate). Viva la Mexico!
5. Most anticipated city to visit: I can't wait to go to Sydney. Actually, Australia in general! My next long trip I would love to explore Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.
6. Spoken languages: English, French, Spanish

Random Fun Facts

When did you decide to start leading a travel based lifestyle and what led you to that decision?

I just love to travel!  Perhaps it is something that you are born with - a 'wanderlust gene' of sorts.  Although, I did grow up with a dad who often took me on interstate road trips and an aunt who is a flight attendant, so I will give them some credit for my travel bug.  

There is something about the way traveling makes you feel; free, spirited, weightless.  I love learning about different cultures, meeting new people, and of course, trying tons of new cuisines.  In college I studied abroad twice and most recently, returned from an extended four month stay in France, with many trips in between. I just can't get enough!  

Finish this sentence with your own ending; “When in Rome…”

Eat lots of pizza! Oh, and if some guy dressed up as a Roman soldier in front of the Coliseum tells you he will take a picture for you, be prepared to give him 5 euros.

What is the strangest food you’ve tried to date?

Escamoles: they are a delicacy in Mexico City and are...ant eggs.

What is the one thing you do no matter what city you travel to?

EAT. Even if I don't see the sites I HAVE to go somewhere to get some good, local grub. 

What item would you freak out the most about if you lost while traveling?

Besides the obvious (passport, phone, wallet) I would say my travel journal. I write too much stuff down to lose it! 

Kristy's ruby reds have taken her far and wide, including extended stays in South America, Japan and France.

Visit Kristy's blog at RubyRedTraveler.com to see where the Yellow Brick Road of life takes her next.

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What kind of traveler are you; the “off-the-beaten-path”, the “let-the-city-find-me”, the “every-single-place-has-been-planned”, or the “point-me-to-the-locals” type?

I love getting to know the locals and all of their spots! That's mainly because they know the best places to eat. 🙂 

What do you usually do for entertainment during long travels in between cities?

I write, primarily. 

Is there a character (literary, cartoon, tv-show, etc.) that ever inspired you to visit a particular place?

I'm actually writing a story about a Baroque-era musician with a tragic ending that inspired my last trip to Europe. 

What was the scariest moment so far in your adventures?

Traveling as a solo female, you always have to have your guard up (and your mace ready). This past summer, I went to Bolivia and had an absolutely incredible experience. However, I had to wake up early (3am) one morning to catch a bus to Chile and as I was packing my things (I was in a dorm room alone), the owner, an older gentleman, was suddenly standing there. He didn't turn on the light, just stood in the dark doorway, demanding the keys to the room.  Even though nothing else happened, I was taken aback by my invasion of privacy.  I was also rather nervous walking to the bus station by myself, an obvious foreigner, in pitch darkness surrounded by drunks in the middle of nowhere, freezing cold Bolivia. 

What is your advice to others who wish to live a travel-filled lifestyle?

You should never (ever!) let your vacation days go to waste.  Even if you think you can 'roll them over to the next year,' who knows if you will still be working there in a year? 

Also, there is always a reason to take a career break. If you are feeling unfulfilled and/or burned out, take some time off. If will give you a fresh perspective on life and a new found drive and energy that you would have never found otherwise. You would also be surprised by how many employers ask about a sabbatical (and think it's cool!) in interviews. Just make sure you have a plan so that you have a cushion if and/when your adventure abroad ends.

Follow Kristy, The Ruby Red Traveler

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