In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Jacob Fu and Esther Julee, the travel addicts and behind the travel blog Local Adventurer! We chat with them about choosing a new city to call home every year, what goes into picking a new city for them to live in, their five favorite things to in one of their favorite destinations, and much more. Check out their best travel advice and see where they’re headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
We both had the travel bug before we met, but our passion to explore locally was ignited when we both left Atlanta to move to LA in 2013. We realized that there were so many places we never explored in our hometown just because we gave ourselves the excuse that we would eventually get around to it. From then on, we vowed never to take our city for granted, and that blossomed into exploring our greater backyard of North America.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
Most of our travel happens in North America and we average 1-2 week long trips month. Then we do 2-3 trips internationally beyond North America each year.
Your travel blog, Local Adventurer, has quite an interesting premise around it. Can you tell us a bit about it and what it ultimately aims to do?
For the past six years, we’ve been moving to a new city to explore it like a local. We like having a home base, so that we have a place to decompress in between trips. Plus, exploring one spot for a year makes it short enough to get yourself out there, but also long enough to feel like a local and find local gems. We use each city as a launching point to explore the region.
The two of you currently live in Las Vegas. Beyond the world-famous Strip, what makes Las Vegas such a great travel destination? What do you suggest people do when they visit?
Not many people know this, but Las Vegas is one of the best home bases to explore the outdoors. Within a couple of hours, you’ll find yourself in amazing National Parks like Joshua Tree, Death Valley, or Zion. Even closer, there’s amazing hiking and climbing at Red Rock just 20 mins from the Strip.
What goes into choosing which city you two will call home next? What do you look for?
At the beginning, we picked cities based on where we wanted to go. As the blog grew, we started to add more criteria. Now we look at a city that has enough blogable content. It also has to have a major airport since we still fly quite a bit. Lastly, since we started rock climbing, we want to live in a city that has good access to outdoor climbing and a fun climbing gym for us to go to. The weather also plays a role. For example, if we had a rough year of cold, we tend to move next to a warm climate.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
We hope to inspire people to appreciate and explore their own cities, states, and country. Since we live in the US, we want others to know how amazing the various landscapes are here.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
The Oregon Coast:
- Go Crabbing at Kelly’s Marina – catch and boil up delicious crab!
- Marvel at Thor’s Well – amazing spot for photography
- Hike to Drift Creek Falls – fun hike to a beautiful waterfall
- Explore Samuel H Boardman State Scenic Corridor – so many good spots and it’s usually not crowded
- Stay at Tu Tu Tun Lodge – amazing lodge perfect for a big group
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Japanese, Korean, and Italian
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Masa in NYC. It’s a prefixe menu so the chef chooses for you, but if you like sushi, it will blow your mind.
What is your favorite travel movie?
Up in the Air – it also shows you the downsides of long term travel.
What is your favorite international airport?
Singapore. The amenities and layout is well above the rest.
Which city had the friendliest people?
Bonavista, Newfoundland. Everyone we met was incredibly welcoming and we even talked to other travelers who felt the same. People were offering to host you even after a short 5 minute conversation.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
Can we say each other? We actually fight a lot when we travel, but that’s also because we’re comfortable with each other so we know we can express our frustrations. At the end of the day, we wipe the slate clean and get ready for a new day of adventures.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Playing Pokemon Go! We actually like opening up the game and using it as a way to explore new cities. They have most of the landmarks marked with photos. If we’re not doing that, we’re most likely working on our blog.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Plan your trips, but don’t pack it in. It always helps to have a rough plan based on what you’re interested in but enough flexibility to change them up when you learn something new. We typically plan our trips around photography and food. Beyond those times, we have a list of things we want to check out but leave room to discover new spots from locals that we chat with.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Camera, Adapter Power strip, Flip Flops, Earplugs (you never know if you’ll have a screaming baby on the plane)
What is your ultimate dream destination?
What is your favorite travel quote?
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust (abbreviated version)
Where are you headed next?
Locally, California for a road trip up the coast. Internationally, Portugal for a river cruise.
Hi, we’re Esther & Jacob of Local Adventurer. Local Adventurer is a travel lifestyle blog that has been moving us to a new city each year. We picked one year because one year is long enough to find hidden gems but also temporary enough to motivate us to get out there and explore often.