Hi, I’m Jamie. I am a travel Vlogger and Entrepreneur from the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, I moved to Los Angeles to work in television. It was an exciting industry, but ultimately I decided that digital is the future, and I didn’t want to wait around for someone to make my dreams come true, so I decided to do it myself. I am currently growing my travel Vlog on Youtube (Jamie Banks Travel), and am launching my written blog and online business very soon!
TPM: What kind of traveler are you?
JB: I try to find hidden gems and places that the locals go. I would rather go somewhere with little money than not go at all. I am okay with sacrificing comfort for travel. For instance, I will take a $5.00 bus ride for 8 hours in a cramped space or a flight on a budget airline and just bring my backpack in order to afford the trip. I can stay in a hostel with crammed bunk beds and 12 people because I am just happy to be able to be there. I will also try and save money on food, and skip eating out and just eat my tuna and tortillas that I threw in my backpack.
TPM: Why did you decide to start travel Vlogging?
JB: I am so passionate about travel that I wanted to document my adventures to share them with others. I want to share recommendations and tips to help others plan their trips, and also show them places that they might not be able to go to themselves.
TPM: What’s the one place you have been so far that has made the biggest impact on your life?
JB: Studying abroad in Italy was very impactful. In addition to being instilled in Italian culture and being able to see a lot of the country, I was able to travel all over Europe. It was my first opportunity to really travel on my own.
TPM: Where in the world is your favorite place to visit? Why?
JB: It’s hard to compare different places especially on different continents, because they are so unique. One place that I fell in love with is Spain. I have only been to Barcelona so far, but I want to spend more time there, and explore all of Spain. There’s something about it’s laid back yet romantic vibe, it is just so relaxing and unique, I love it.
TPM: What do you think is the biggest sacrifice you have made for the sake of traveling?
JB: A sacrifice I have made for travel is making it my top priority. I would rather spend my money on travel than on clothes or material possessions. To me, this is not really a sacrifice. However, I have decided that a life of travel, happiness and freedom, is more important than making a lot of money in a job that society thinks is normal or desirable.
TPM: How many countries/states have you visited?
JB: I have been to 16 countries and 24 U.S. states. My goal is to visit all 7 continents and all 50 U.S. states. Some people don’t like traveling to smaller U.S. states, but I believe every state has a distinct culture and is worth visiting.
TPM: Have you had any scary moments while on your travels?
JB: Ironically, my most scary moments have occurred while in America and not abroad. I have felt more scared walking around my hometown of San Francisco at night then I have in a lot of foreign places. In foreign countries, I have felt scared crossing the busy streets and riding in taxis that don’t have seat belts. I would encourage others that may be nervous about traveling for safety reasons to not let that fear hold them back. You have to be street smart in any city in the world, and traveling is no different.
TPM: Where is your next travel destination going to be? Why?
JB: Soon I will be going to Costa Rica. I love wildlife and I have heard it’s very beautiful, and I am excited to see it for myself. I’m most excited to spend a few nights in the rainforest at Tortuguero National Park!
TPM: How has travel changed you?
JB: Every new place that I visit makes me want to see more of the world. I’ve seen so many different cultures, and I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone. Traveling by myself has also helped me develop my independence, now I don’t mind doing things by myself, and sometimes I prefer it.
TPM: What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about becoming an “Travel Vlogger?
JB: Start with the equipment you have. If you have a smartphone, use that to begin. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on camera equipment. You just have to tell a story.