Circus Goes Paper

Your Tuesday ticket to travel is coming to the Courier News, Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com.

If you met me, you would probably wonder if I’m tall enough to ride roller coasters and you would guess that I spend a lot of time at malls.

What you wouldn’t guess is that I have an insatiable appetite for travel that has propelled me to more than 20 countries, 40 international cities, 30 American metropolises and not enough times to the Jersey Shore.

Besides moonlighting as the MyCentralJersey.com and DailyRecord.com Social Media Editor five days a week, I’ve been blogging, backpacking, wandering and writing since before I had braces, a whirlwind of sometimes curious, yet always exciting, journeys.

Every Tuesday, I’m going to take you with me.

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I’m going to show you that your weekends don’t need to be made up of laundry, shuffling kids and paying bills and that you don’t need to be a celebrity to find the time or cash to take advantage of the wonder that travel brings.

As we’re all aware, New Jersey has never been known as a hub of tourism. Not only do outsiders think that our backyards are made up of trash-heaped landfills off the Turnpike, but Jerseyans themselves feel too busy, too overwhelmed and too overtaxed to see the thrills that could await them if they could only use up a few of their well-earned vacation days.

But you know it is possible, and so do I.

I’ll show you enchanting East Coast landmark restaurants, parks, historic sites and hotspots that take up less travel time than your morning commute. I’ll take you to hidden gems of cities and walk you through what to do during a weekend getaway. I’ll give you little-known travel tidbits that will transform you from tourist to local. I’ll take you to legendary corners of the world that may inspire you to use up those vacation days after all.

I want to hear what you have to say, too. If you have a travel question, a tip or destination that you think everyone should enjoy, tweet me at @JIntersimone or email me at JIntersimone@MyCentralJersey.com anytime. I care about your feedback because the point of this column is to get you out in the world — trust me, I’m already there. Travel is best enjoyed, and understood, with the echo of many voices and footsteps.

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So why should you listen to what I have to say?

I’m writing it because I’ve done it and I’m doing it now. Even if my days of spending a month in Europe on less than a grand are on hold, one is never free of the travel bug. I still spend my time jet-setting — actually, asking for rides — to every under and over appreciated destination I can swing on my off days.

Two years ago, I finally stopped to record all of the otherworldly places that I had visited on a blog, which I called LifeAboardTheTravelingCircus.com, a name that I chose to highlight the often absurd adventures that took place on my own “life aboard the traveling circus.”

Today, that blog is stuffed with over 150 posts, photos and almost 2,000 followers. It has been with me when I lived next to the Duomo in Florence for a few lucky months, when I unfortunately ended up in Istanbul alone, and when I met my family for the first time in Norway. It has been the launch pad for work I’ve done for travel websites, magazines and blogs. Now, your Tuesday ticket to travel is coming to the Courier News, Home News Tribune and MyCentralJersey.com.

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