Portrait of a Thirty Something: Amy Adams

Our next Portrait of a 30-something is my friend and former roommate, Amy Adams. Amy is a world traveler as well as a travel blogger. She recently got back from an epic trip around the world where she went to Israel, New Zealand, Hawaii, Oslo, Turkey, Barcelona, and Athens all in the span of two months. She did it all for less than $4500 for TWO MONTHS away in over 7 countries including flights, lodging, food, and any tourist activities and souvenirs, so she’s a great person to talk to about going on an amazing trip without breaking the bank. Amy writes about her world trip and all of her travels on her blog, This Borderless World.

Amy formerly worked as a concierge in a hotel. She was also a flight attendant. She’s had travel in her blood for quite a long time. But this summer, Amy has been the queen of staycations. She’s walked almost every New York bridge from the Queensboro to the Brooklyn to the George Washington this summer, and she’s also constantly inspiring me by going out and exploring a new area of the city, or a new museum, or even a new cemetery! She just never stops!

Read more below about a 30-something who proves that life never has to be boring and that there’s always more to explore!

Name/Age/Location: Amy Adams/31/Queens,NY

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What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of in your 30s so far? 

When I was 19, I came to the US with no plan, minimal possessions, very little money and the most excited, motivated, positive and enthusiastic attitude imaginable! The possibilities were endless and I was tremendously excited about being in the country of my dreams.
In hindsight, I love that free spirited, fearless, independent girl who did what she wanted, listened to her own inner voice and was never discouraged. After almost ten years of living in the comfort and security that a traditional life offers,  I’m doing a complete 360 and wanting to revert back to that solo traveling, wanderlusting free thinker! I like her better than the make-up wearing, brand name clad, conventional girl I became. My 30’s reiterated in the clearest way possible that life is fleeting… so live your truest life. I’ve wholly embraced this new (or rather old) concept and I’m very excited about where this takes me.

What do you NOT miss about your 20s? 

My 20’s were exhilarating and thinking back on it now is exhausting but worth it! Circumstances lead me as far north as Vermont, and then to the Deep South for a few years. Then I lived up and down the eastern seaboard until finally landing in my dream city! I wish I had arrived sooner but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything in the world!

Looking back, what shouldn’t you haven’t been afraid of in your 20s? 

I’ve never had a nuanced existence- people either loved me or hated me. For the longest time I tried to reach this middle ground… which can only be described as “normal.” But I realized very quickly that I don’t do normal. Thinking about getting insurance or wondering when I should do my laundry or feeling the need to rush home and watch tv (instead of experiencing life) makes me sad. I was a risk taker in my 20’s and I miss that fearless, rebellious, and independent spirit! Everyone keeps saying you need a plan and you need a goal but I’m opting to live in the moment! No goals, no plans, no expectations, no limitations!

Any surprises about what your 30s are like? 

My 30’s have been incredibly edifying. I’ve been waiting for a while now to get excited about wanting adult things like a home, family, car, and a two week vacation. But I’ve come to realize that is not the life I want or the one I was meant to live. I’m one year in and I’m more optimistic and invigorated than I’ve been in years. I’m embracing my identity as a nomad. I feel younger, more energetic, humbler and psyched for a future unknown!

What do you find most challenging about this decade? 

At first I abhorred social media and believed it eliminated the possibility of establishing any type of relationship organically. Now I’ve come to realize it’s in fact enhanced the chances of meeting more people and making meaningful connections. It’s all a matter of perspective. Social media can be used for good or evil… which is empowering.

What are you most looking forward to? Be it tonight, next month or ten years from now! 

Living in the moment- every moment! And never ever letting other people’s ideas of a proper and perfect life affect my idea of my perfect existence. I also know there are like minded folks out there with similar unconventional attitudes and I’m excited to meet them!

What would you like to hear more about regarding the thirties? What articles would you like to read? 
I’d love to read about unique 30-something year olds who follow their own paths no matter what. I want to see people who listen to their hearts and drown out all the naysayers! I’m especially interested in those who “didn’t succeed” (according to societal standards) but are still on their own true path! I regard the persevering types as the most successful, interesting and inspiring. The most influential people on this planet died poor without a ton of support. They really are the wealthiest of all for they’ve truly taken ownership of their lives. That type of wealth can never be squandered!
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How to Save Stupid Crazy Money on Travel in Your Thirties..or.. Oh the Places You’ll Go..While Barely Traveling!

I love travel, but I love New York more. If I had to pick whether to travel and never return to New York, or whether to stay in New York and never travel again…I must admit, I’ve just stumped myself with that one…

Anyway…I’m lucky and grateful that I never have to decide between those two options. And I’m also lucky that I get to travel all the time for work, but during the summer, the work travel slows almost to nothing. And it’s during this time that I travel the most of all! But I don’t have to go anywhere! And I don’t have to spend any money.

I will explain.

I used to have a travel blog where I’d talk about traveling all the time. Ironically, I didn’t actually ever travel for pleasure during this time – only for work- because pleasure trips cost too much money for me. Since I’m still paying off my student loan– which I’m gonna kill dammit…soon..I save a lot of money by not taking vacations.But I found a kind of travel that costs me almost no money, is just as pleasurable as pleasure trips, and never takes up a lot of time. I go on staycations! I travel completely within New York, and see lots of exciting places..even ones I’ve somehow managed to miss during my 30 years living here!

My friend Amy does this best. She’s an expert staycationer who both staycations and travels the globe. No matter whether she’s exploring Greenpoint, Brooklyn, or wandering around Tokyo, she always goes alone. It’s pretty amazing and inspiring. She always finds great places to see and new experiences to have.

Amy recently walked the the George Washington  Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge in one day!

Amy recently walked the the George Washington Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge in one day!

So here’s how to save stupid crazy money on travel in your thirties and go on summer staycations instead:

1. Look for free or cheap summer things to do in your hometown

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I happened upon yoga in Bryant Park one day..I’d forgotten that it was a summer thing in New York. Pretty neat.

2. Find somewhere you’ve never gone in your city or hometown and go there.

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My friend Zach and I recently went to Governor’s Island- a little island off the coast of Manhattan- home to a bunch of museums, and gorgeous views and great picnicking areas. It cost me a grand total of $2.00 for the ferry.

3. Go to an area in your hometown/city you’ve been to but find a street or ave you’ve never seen before.

Saw fireworks on the boardwalks of Long Island City, Queens. Somehow I'd never been there before.

Saw fireworks on the boardwalks of Long Island City, Queens. Somehow I’d never been there before.

4. Go somewhere you’ve already been, but never appreciated as a vacation spot..and call it your vacation day!

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I love Fire Island beaches- and with 32 miles of beaches, there’s always more to explore.

5. Go somewhere in your hometown/city that just opened!

I went to the new Whitney museum off the Highline recently ..it's brand new!

I went to the new Whitney museum off the Highline recently ..it’s brand new!

6. Go to a place you’ve been to before but pretend you’re in Europe. Or Canada. Or America if you live in Europe or Canada. You know what I mean.

Ferry off the coast of downtown Toronto

Ferry off the coast of downtown Manhattan.

Ferry off the coast of downtown Manhattan.

7. Go nowhere, stay at home, and say you’re on vacation. Turn off your phone. Disconnect wifi. Call it ‘mental spa week.’

Ahhh, I’m starting to feel better already just thinking about mental spa week.

Doesn’t a summer staycation sound good? Give it a try! It’ll seem even better after you take a look at your bank account and still have all of your hard earned money left 😉

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