Hi, I’m Stef! I feel alive when I’m off traveling, connecting with people around the world, and then sharing those connections and experiences with others!
I took my first flight, from Frankfurt to San Francisco, at just three weeks old. It changed my life forever! And, it was a little taste of the future.
Because of my dad’s job, we moved every couple of years growing up. By the time I turned 20, we’d lived in Greece, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Arizona, and on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Talk about getting travel ingrained in you from a young age! I have no idea what it’s like to grow roots!
I feel grateful to have grown up in a loving family who instilled in me an appreciation for — and who enabled me to see — the beautiful diversity of our shared world.
77 Countries and Counting
My first stab at “adulting” was when I left Hawaii on my own at the age of 21 to go study Psychology and German Language & Literature in southern Germany. After four-plus years in Deutschland, I spent some seven years working on cruise ships. I got to sail around the world, you guys! Five times! Working at sea gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to explore places I might never otherwise have had the chance to visit.
I just wish I’d kept a blog of my adventures in 77 countries! It wasn’t until I settled back down on land and began working as a Travel Advisor for Rick Steves’ Europe that I got serious about travel writing.
I published my very first blog post in September of 2016, and it’s been an epic journey that’s continuously unfolding! Through my Spotlight Traveler series, I’ve been able to connect with other travelers who have their own stories to tell. And a year ago — forty years after that very first flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco — I hopped on yet another plane.
This time it was to Morocco, with the address of my birth father and a hope I’d find out more about my roots.
Most travelers are familiar with Mark Twain’s oft-quoted words: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Well, his words are oft-quoted for a reason!
I truly believe in the power of travel to broaden minds and teach new perspectives. The theme of my blog – connecting across cultures – is a tribute to the idea that we’re all one. And we’re all in this together. So let’s connect and learn from one another! Let’s build bridges, not walls!
You can find me hanging out here quite a bit: www.postcardsfromstef.com.