JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Jen’s Random Travel Tips…

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I thought I’d share with you a few random tips that I’ve learned while traveling all over the Europe.

For iPhone users… In your Maps app….  If you pinpoint a location on your map while you are still in a wifi signal, and then DO NOT QUIT the app, you’ll be able to use the map even when you don’t have wifi.  It doesn’t use data roaming, I promise!  It just stores it in the cache somehow.  Not sure how it works, but it does.  I’ve used this little trick in every foreign city I’ve gone to.  Like right now – I just put Paris in my Maps app, so that when I get there, I can open it up, and I’ll be able to see where I’m going.  (But again, do not quit the app – you can use other apps in the meantime, just don’t quit Maps.)

Want to have all kinds of easy access maps for metro routes and Ubahns?  (And whatever else?)  Copy the map from the internet while you’re in wifi, then store it on your phone for when you’re not around an internet signal.  This keeps you from having to sort through frivolous extra info on the bazillion travel apps you can get out there.  Yes, it’s nice to know the top sites in each city (use the special apps for that), but sometimes you just need to quickly get the name of the Ubahn stop you need to take in Cologne, or Vienna, or wherever you happen to be.  My jpgs store in my Camera Roll, while the PDFs store in iBooks.  So when I need that UBahn map, I just open my Photos and voila!  For example, I have the Paris Metro map stored as a jpg in my Camera Roll for when I get there – right in the palm of my hand!

And my most important tip of the day?  Meet people and make friends!  Your soul will be richer, your life will be fuller, and many doors will be opened to you.  During my travels I have been SO lucky to meet many wonderful people – people who have become dear friends.  The worst thing you can do is hole up in a room somewhere and never get out.  Or decide you don’t need anybody’s company or help on your journey.

Because of meeting friends abroad, I’ve been able to learn things about the locations I travel to, have gained travel buddies, have places to stay in foreign cities, and found my key to getting EU citizenship.  Tell people about yourself, ask questions, don’t be afraid of getting personal!  Make friends on the train, go to events, find an expat group in a city and go attend a get-together.  And well, over a year and a half ago, I’m super glad I was open to meeting new people, as it resulted in meeting the guy who became my awesome boyfriend.

We live in a global community – a world that is linked not only increasingly by technology, but a common humanity that we all share.  My only frustration is that so many countries still hold on to a strict policy of border restrictions and difficult bureaucracy.  I include my own country in that list, of course.  As someone who is in a relationship with a foreigner, I am terribly frustrated at the difficulties we must go through just to see each other.  Fortunately I’m lucky in that I’m going to be able to have dual citizenship because of my late grandparents, which will eventually allow me to stay and work in the EU.  But not everyone is so fortunate.


So in conclusion…. for those of you traveling out there – seize the day!  Go out and explore!  And for those of you who aren’t – get off your butts and get out there!


The Paris Metro map that I saved on my iPhone...

The Paris Metro map that I saved on my iPhone…


Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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