A Mantra for 2019 for Writing, Travel & Life

First of all: thank you for visiting my site.

Second: thank you even more for wanting to learn about me and my blog!

Let’s start at the beginning. Hi, my name is Valerie! I’ve been privileged to live across the U.S. and even overseas for a year. Here are the basics:

  • I was born on the East Coast of the U.S.
  • I was raised in Alaska
  • I have lived in Indianapolis, London, and Seattle
  • I now live in Oakland, California.
  • I’ve traveled a fair amount, but I’ve stopped keeping track of how many countries I’ve been to exactly.

My favorite places to travel are the places I’ve lived: London and Seattle.

I have a travel bucket list and I set a list of 40 Before 40 goals I want to accomplish before 2027. Some of the places on my must-travel list are New Zealand, Japan, and Antarctica.

I started this blog in 2013 to share my travel stories after living in Europe and traveling most of my life.

The name Valerie & Valise comes from two things: me (Valerie) and the first bag I used to travel with (my valise). ‘Valise’ is a French word which means ‘a small traveling bag or suitcase.’ While I sometimes call my fiancé “Mr. Valise” or “Mr. V,” his last name is not Valise, and I’m the only person who writes/runs this blog.

In addition to writing here, I have a few other ways I make a living: I founded the site Space Tourism Guide. I work as the Managing Editor for Go Overseas. I’m a freelance writer and I contribute regularly to Lonely Planet. (You can see all of the freelance stories I’ve written on my Press & Publications page.) In short, I’m a full-time freelancer/blogger making my way in this big wide world!

Now that you know a bit about me, here’s what you can do next:

1. You Can Read More Blog Posts

You can find my most popular posts in the sidebar of this page, but here are some of my other favorite stories:

2. You Can Follow Me on Social Media

I’m active on alllll the social medias, even though I don’t love them equally:

  • I share recent stories and photos on my Facebook page
  • I tweet random ideas, stories, and other fun photos on Twitter
  • On Instagram, I share some of my travel photos and put random things on my stories
  • I pin beautiful pins about destinations around the world on Pinterest
  • I share short videos on YouTube if you want to see the stories I share here in video format

3. You Can Subscribe for Emails

If you’re really keen on staying up with the latest stories I share and getting travel tips by email, you can sign up below to get emails every two weeks.


I also keep comments open on any of my posts, so if you’re reading and have a question, let me know.

Thanks again for reading!