Hi there, stranger!

WE’re Jess and Justin.

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Adventure Junkies, Vegan foodies, and travel Enthusiasts.

But we haven’t always been world travelers! We grew up in proper meat-and-potato lovin’ families from the Midwestern United States that took the occasional road trip- but neither of us left the country until we were older (Jess when she was 18, Justin when he was 27!). After scrimping and saving for our wedding in 2017, we went on our first big trip for our honeymoon to Japan- and our wanderlusty hearts have been totally hooked ever since.

Since our fateful honeymoon, we’ve worked hard to incorporate travel into our busy lives as working professionals- figuring out how to travel in budget-friendly ways (and when it’s okay to splurge), how to have adventure travel experiences even though we aren’t REI models, how to immerse ourselves in a different culture if we’re visiting within a compact timeline, and oh so much more. And we started learning so many tips and tricks about travel, that we decided to start this blog, Uprooted Traveler, about it!

In late 2019, we moved after a lifetime in St. Louis, Missouri (that place with that big shiny Arch) to Seattle (that place with the building that looks like a spaceship on a stick from the intro to Frasier) for Jess’ job as a corporate attorney. This turned out to be such a blessing- our weekends have been busy exploring the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, from the stunning Northern Cascades Mountains to the craggy beaches of the Olympic peninsula to the cideries of Oregon. And in The Year That Must Not Be Named… er, I mean, 2020, our love for all things hiking and camping kicked up a notch. Our busy international travel schedule was, at the drop of a hat, replaced with road trips to national parks, sleeping on mountaintops, and lowkey backcountry meals- and it’s been kinda awesome.

And that aligns with the mission of Uprooted Traveler- to share practical tips and advice on how to roll with the highs and lows that travel may bring; to inspire you to get out there and explore this big, beautiful world, no matter what kind of budget or constraints you’re working with; and to be a mindful traveler, choosing our actions to ensure we’re leaving the world in a better place than how we found it.

Now that we’ve officially met, let’s be friends! You can follow our adventures in real time over on our Instagram.

You wanna know more, you say?

Well, shucks, we’re flattered!


Meet Jess

My day job is… a corporate attorney for a tech company. I say “lawyered!” more than I’d like to admit!

My favorite U.S. travel experience… seeing Sleep No More (a very quirky/sexy/spooky interactive theater experience where actors, performing a loose film noir version of Macbeth, chase you around an old warehouse for three hours… I PROMISE it’s amazing!) in New York City.

My favorite international travel experience… go-karting through the streets of Tokyo dressed up like Toad from the Mario video games.

My favorite hike… Heather Maple Pass Loop in the Northern Cascades of Washington state.

On a road trip you’ll find me rocking out to… CHVRCHES, Otis Redding, San Holo, and Francis and the Lights.

Place I can’t wait to travel to… Patagonia… er, I mean, Italy… and New Zealand. Do I have to pick?

My Favorite Things:

  • Travel (duh)

  • All the dogs

  • Cocktails which have, like, organic bitters and rosemary and other hipster nonsense in them

  • Podcasts

  • Feminism and social responsibility

  • Dancing at weddings

  • NPR

  • Hot springs

  • The Bachelor (it’s dumpster fire trash, I know, I know)

  • Justin’s Randy Newman impression


MEET JUSTIN

My day job is… a business systems analyst for a logistics provider.

My favorite U.S. travel experience… hiking to Grinnell Glacier Overlook in Glacier National Park.

My favorite international travel experience… eating grilled mochi and drinking amazake (a sweet non alcoholic drink made from fermented rice) at the 300 year old Amazake-chaya Tea House in Hakone, Japan.

My favorite hike… Reykjadalur Hot Spring in southwestern Iceland.

On a road trip you’ll find me rocking out to… Bon Iver, Kishi Bashi, and Alabama Shakes.

Place I can’t wait to travel to… Egypt

My Favorite Things:

  • Nice people

  • Displays of solidarity

  • Barrel-aged sours

  • Fluffy puppy tummies

  • YouTube videos of handy people building things

  • A good solution to a problem (see job description above)

  • Being blown away about a new fact

  • Japanese cuisine

  • Driving in a beautiful place

  • Jess’ face when she laughs


MEET JUSTIN AND JESS

In true elder millennial fashion, we met through the prehistoric online dating algorithms of OkCupid. Justin sent Jess a message clearly indicating he had actually read her profile and after a few messages back and forth about our shared love of Radiolab and hoppy beers, we had our first date at a fancy beer bar on December 2, 2012. Despite the fact that it was Jess' law school finals week, we hung out the following three nights in a row (please forgive her, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ghost!) and have been attached at the hip ever since. After our wedding (fittingly, in a brewery!) in 2017, we went to Japan for our honeymoon and have never stopped traveling together ever since.

Our Favorite Things:

  • Outdoor adventures

  • Spicy margaritas

  • Bougie coffee (and cocktails… and beer… and ice cream)

  • Mad Men, High Maintenance, and Alone

  • Campfires

  • Each other

Countries Traveled: 22

U.S. National Parks Visited: 37

Pizzas Consumed: Countless