Featured Blogger: Sara from Just Saradipity!

Sara Schneider is the barefoot entrepreneur behind Saradipity Media and a freelance writer reigning from the Midwest but happily living out of a 5×10 storage unit for quite some time. She holds a BA in English and Art from University of Michigan and willingly follows serendipity as it has always led to unexplainable laughter and unforgettable moments. Sara can also be found teaching yoga and dance, hugging children, scaling cliff faces, learning to surf, and karaokeing country songs at dive bars around the globe.

First of all, what are your website and social media links?

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/justsaradipity
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justsaradipity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justsaradipity
Website: http://www.saradipitymedia.com
Blog: http://www.justsaradipity.com

2. How did you come up with your website name?

I would love to take all the credit, but it was really a collaborative effort with my awesome Aunt Viv. We were in her pool just throwing around ideas in a standard creative brainstorming session, when BOOM she nailed it. I think we were circling around discussions of serendipity at the time…

3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?

I’ve been writing forever. I have Young Authors books from elementary school to prove it. My blog is just an extension of who I am. I write articles for various other publications, but when you get paid for something, all of the sudden, your creative control goes out the window. My blog is a place where I maintain my stories in my voice. I write in all lowercase, and I completely disregard all the rules I paid my English professors to teach me at college. I have a tendency to ramble in fragments. My words are there for all who want to go a little deeper, beyond the all-too-common Buzzfeed listicle. It is a space to explore where serendipity, or rather Saradipity, can take you if you just let it…

4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?

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Hmmm. One that sticks with me is from my time in Kerala, India. I befriended a group of young boys fishing on the beach. The oldest two had learned a bit of English and started asking me questions about America. After sharing some of my stories, I asked them to share some of theirs. They proceeded to point to objects and teach me the Malayalam (local dialect) word for each of them. After my brain could handle no more new words, we practiced yoga together, then they showed me how you can use the juice from a certain flower to pretend-bleed all over. Before I was about to head back to my lodging, they asked one final question: “Do you know Gangam Style?” Ha! Of course, I did! They pulled it up on their phone, and we had an epic dance party on the rocks.

5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?

This is a hard question because my answers are purely based on the relationships and memories associated with each city, not so much the city itself. I often find myself daydreaming about Buenos Aires, and I would definitely put it up near the top of my list of favorite cities, but it’s because it was the first city I lived in outside of the US on my own as an adult. It’s symbolic of the beginning for me.

And least favorite? Oh come on, we all know that doesn’t exist. There is something magical about every place. It’s just all in the lens you choose to use for your exploration.

6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?

Probably some of the camping concoctions that people come up with at climbing crags. Where you don’t have a way to keep things cold, and the nearest grocery store is hours away, you start to get pretty inventive with your canned beets and tuna.

7. Who are your travel idols?

My Aunt Pupsi and Aunt Vivian. They are my dad’s sisters. One is her in mid-60s and one is over 70, and both have a lifetime worth of travel stories waiting to be made into an HBO special. My Aunt Pupsi even has her very own blog to let us all live vicariously through her epic adventures. I love these women and am glad I share their genes. 🙂

8. What’s your best travel tip?

My two most practical travel tips are: 1) pack less and 2) back up everything. You will never need as much as you think you will, and regardless of how much you pack, you will always end up needing something you forgot. So, just stuff the basics in a good suitcase and hit the road. Before you do that though, be sure to back up all your shit. I’ve had computers and external hard drives crash, credit cards and bank accounts fail, and identification cards disappear. To avoid any of these soul-crushing catastrophes, have back ups. Put it in the cloud, disperse your funds, etc. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written? Please provide a link.

I’m most attached to my India series. I spent a month in the country with my yoga teacher (a 65-year-old Delhi native), his American wife, and a fellow yoga student from Germany. I committed to blogging every day of the journey. Rereading the posts from that month instantly transport me back to the wonderment that is India. You can see the collection here: http://defineliminal.com/category/india/

From that series, I think this one is my favorite: http://defineliminal.com/2013/02/17/day-sixteen-stolen-heart-in-kerala/
It is the one from which the throwback memory above is taken.

10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?

Traveling is the only way to truly immerse yourself in another culture and meet others in their natural environment. It’s all about the relationships; those are what stay with you beyond your travels. Whether you stay in touch or not, the bonds you form abroad always come home with you and continue to impact your life.

All my clients have stemmed from people, activities, and organizations that I have been involved with. The climbing gym I attended, the yoga teacher I trained with, a fellow dancer’s specialty grocery store, an organization I volunteered at… Conversation is a powerful thing and building meaningful conversation around what you do and what you want to do can lead to some pretty serendipitous situations. My advice is to just get out there and connect with your community. Share your skills. And then write.

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