I’m Samantha. My friends call me Sam and baristas call me “Sim” (I mean, how hard is it to understand S–A–M?). I am the social media producer for Matador Network, sing and act when I have the time, and occasionally try to build up the inspiration to write stories for the screen and stage. This blog is where I share my adventures as I traverse the world and enjoy the beautiful things it has to offer. I have an affinity for traveling the world, watching British comedy, making people laugh, dancing alone in my room, dressing fashionably, and attempting to make Pinterest crafts (usually with disastrous end results). View my portfolio and photography gallery or hire me for freelance work.
For the first 18 years of my life, I was stuck on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest and my family didn't travel at all. I mean, AT ALL. It was exhausting to convince my parents just to even take us on a day trip to Seattle, which is only an hour away from home. I finally convinced them to go to take me to another country when I was 11 and we went a whopping three hours away to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. Over the next seven years I revisited Victoria again twice (once for a school band trip and again after high school graduation with the family) because apparently that was the most foreign place I was allowed to go with my parent's permission. So it's clear why I was severely wishing for a chance to get away and explore the world.
Although my dream was to attend university in England, and I had even applied to a school and gotten accepted, my parents were not okay with paying for an experience of this nature, so from 2009 to 2011, I was at school only an hour and a half away from home. Then in September of 2011, my life changed forever, as cliche as it sounds. After years and years of building up my intense Anglophile obsession (mostly driven by Harry Potter and Jane Austen), I finally got a chance to study abroad in England. Those three months attending the University of Chester changed my entire life. While they were tough and I missed my home way more than I had anticipated, I got to experience a new culture and travel around Europe a bit.
After returning home, I knew my travel days were far from over. I had to do whatever possible to get back abroad and as a poor college student, the only way to do that was to enter travel contests and hope for the best. Due to a lot of free-time over spring break, all the contest entering I had done became worth it when I won two trips to Europe. After graduating college in 2013, a break-up gave me the inspiration to pack up everything I owned and drive down to Los Angeles to start a new life. I gave this city three months of my time before realizing it wasn't for me. There were lots of opportunities there, but I still felt Europe calling to me so I moved back to the Pacific Northwest and began planning my postgraduate experience abroad.
I researched schools and programs and finally settled on receiving a degree in creative writing at a school in London. I ended up getting $25,000 in scholarships and took out loans to cover the rest (big mistake, huge). In September 2014, I packed all my belongings and moved to London. I started this blog to report on that journey and have a place to showcase my trip content. I definitely made the most of time in Europe. I traveled almost every weekend and hit the majority of Western Europe and even got to my first African country of Morocco. I made some incredible life-long friends and learned London like the back of my hand.
I was supposed to stay in London for as long as my visa would let me, but as my program got close to ending, I started to realize that my dream of getting a job and staying there would be nearly impossible. I didn't want to get stuck starting a new life only to get sent back to America, so I decided to leave on my own accord and figured that New York City would be the best alternative. In April 2015, I moved to NYC to start my adult life as a person with a grown up job. I hopped between public relations and social media jobs (including working for a celebrity for awhile) before eventually finding my way into the freelancing realm and becoming a part-time digital nomad who spent equal amounts of time outside NYC as I did there.
As of 2018, New York City is still my "home," but I am taking on a full-time digital nomad lifestyle where I live out of a suitcase and spend time working around the world. As a social media content creator, this is extremely easy to do over a wifi connection and I am excited to up my country count and see more of the world as I make an income on the road. It's a difficult life to upkeep, which is why I don't anticipate doing it for the long term, but testing it out for a year in my 20s seems like the smartest thing to do while I still have the energy to make it happen.
My main goal is to see the entire world and keep my life as interesting as possible so I have no regrets when I’m old. I feel incredibly lucky to have been born into a time where, as a black woman, I am legally allowed to travel on my own with less of a likelihood of getting hurt or slurred at. My visibility as a female traveler of color is extremely important to me, and I am proud to step out into the world and be an ambassador towards making it easier for the next generation to follow in my footsteps. Come along for the ride, you won't be sorry.