Premise. 60 Seconds. Go.
The Travel Dispatch is a no-holds barred account of one expedition from beginning to end. Think unscripted travel-themed reality show – for your inbox.
Each year I, Kristen (the walking disaster, single-because-seriously-why-would-anyone, 30-something year old female protagonist) designates a specific amount of time and cash flow for one particular journey around the world.
Documenting the trip in real time, readers can follow along step-by-step, tuktuk-by-tuktuk via their email inbox with short, daily dispatches chronicling the trials, joys, tribulations, and comedic mishaps as they unfold live on the road.
The Current Journey
The upcoming route kicks off in Panama on November 15th and will showcase a classic “round the world” loop as I weave my way from Latin America to The Balkans, Eastern Europe to the Middle East, and Southeast Asia back to the US.
Running from Nov 15, 2017 to Nov 15, 2018, The Travel Dispatch’s first journey will last a full 12 months. Upon its completion, a 2 month break will commence in order to plan and prepare for the subsequent journey slated for January 2019.
How It Works
The Travel Dispatch traces one round-the-world journey in its entirety allowing you a glimpse into every aspect of the expedition; from the pre-trip planning phase, to lift-off, and to all the moments en route to its completion.
From local encounters to misadventures, unintended detours to planned activities, loneliness to romance, frustration to unadulterated happiness, the Travel Dispatch shares it all with a candid (and ofttimes humorous) mix of daily notes, weekly confessions, practical memos, and lengthy blog posts. No carefully curated photos or rose-colored glasses included – Transparency meet The Internet.
The Daily Dispatch
Under a 3 minute read, these brief anecdotes land in your inbox every afternoon for the duration of the 365 day adventure. The subject matter’s drawn from events transpiring earlier in the day, providing you with real-time updates ranging from notes on how to crash a father/son reunion in Scotland, travel warnings like never accept palinka-drinking challenges with Hungarians, advice on how to sail from Panama to Colombia, and much more.
Get Your Daily Dispatch Here!
The Weekly Dispatch
Prefer your updates weekly? Lucky for you, on Wednesdays we wear pink. This mid-week dispatch provides a categorical recap of the previous seven days’ travel highs, lows, WTFs, lessons learned, and more. Join the plastics here. Psst…if you’re signed up for the Daily Dispatch and suffer from FOMO, this is the same email that’ll hit your inbox on Wednesdays so no need to sign-up twice.
Navigating the Website
This page traces my “round the world” itinerary, showing you where I am currently and where I’ve been. Blog posts written about visited destinations are linked here and are searchable by country.
Updated weekly (or more often if productivity pays a visit), this page categorically breaks down every penny spent on the current journey, providing you a transparent glimpse on how much it actually costs to travel. Pssst: the launch of this page coincides with the commencement of the journey on Nov 15!
Travel bloggers typically list their favorite resources but fail to tell you when they actually implement them themselves. This page is updated as and when I use each booking resource and details exactly what they were used for on the current journey. I sound like a parrot butttt – the launch of this page coincides with the commencement of the journey on Nov 15!
Don’t much care about the journey itself and just want destination inspiration and stories? No worries, this page lets you browse every post ever written (even those dating back to the pre-Travel Dispatch era).
In another life, this site went by a different name and churned out many a travel post. Here you can browse every article written by country (not just those on the current Dispatch journey).
FAQ’s About The Travel Dispatch
Negative Ghost Rider.
This entire year long journey is paid for out of my own pocket.
This current journey features zero comped hotel stays, free press trips, travel freebies, or sponsored activities.
So far, I’ve been shying away from these opportunities. I beat to my own drum, straying off the beaten path and traveling at my own pace.
I’m allergic to set itineraries and am not a massive must-visit-every-tourist-site-ever type of person. I’m more interested in getting to know locals and immersing myself in new cultures. These are the narratives I prefer writing about. My stories develop organically and I never know what I’m going to write about until the moment it happens. The experience first, then the words.
Oft times paid trips come with preset notions tied to an obligation to write a specific narrative. Therefore a lot of sponsored trips don’t align with my personal travel or writing style.
That’s not to say I would never accept an opportunity in the future but it would have to be the right fit. Journalistic freedom in any content I produce is a must.
If I do ever accept a sponsored travel opportunity or any freebies, I will disclose it to you straight away.
I saved up to move onto the road full time while working in New York City and managed to tuck away $38,742 in 3 years.
$25,000 of this stash is what I’m using for this current journey – aka Season 1 of The Travel Dispatch. With the rest of the money, I paid off my debts ($8,742), purchased my pre-trip necessities ($2,000) and started a small nest egg ($3,000) for Season 2’s journey which starts in January 2019.
Longtime readers know I’ve dabbled in freelance projects over the years and I’m pursuing more of these opportunities as I carve out a permanent life on the road. I also currently make a small amount of money off affiliate sales scattered throughout this site (no worries – this comes at no extra cost to you and every recommendation I make comes from personal experience). Any income I generate will go towards the running costs of this site and all overfill will go towards the next journey.
I invited transparency to the party and she details any income earned on my Financial Breakdown page weekly.
Last but not least, I’m interested in picking up work abroad (i.e. in hostels, bars, horse ranches, circus schools, etc). I want to immerse myself in local culture and feel like this kind of work could help me discover a foreign city in a deeper way.
That’s up to you – the readers!
(well, mostly up to you – the financial gods may have a tiny say)
I want to go where you want me to write about so, provided I have enough funds to cover it, the next journey will be selected by you. As of now, it’s slated to begin January 2019 and will last 6 months. Ideally, I’d like to cover one specific region rather than do another full loop across the world in order to get a deeper understanding of said region.
It’s never too early to hear your opinion on where I should go next so fill out this super quick poll!
I’ll let some copywriter I hired on Fiverr answer that…
“Witty, intriguing, and at times laugh-out-loud-hilarious, The Travel Dispatch gives us an authentic, behind-the-perfect-Instagram-shot peek at the daily existence of a perpetual nomad. A travel blog for the new age, Sarra’s memorable email dispatches breathe life into the often stale, humdrum life of an inbox.”
Just kidding – I didn’t hire someone to write that.
I wrote it myself.
Follow on Social Media
While my body may be comprised of one part alcohol, two parts high fructose corn syrup, my social media is 100% real. No photoshop, no staring forlornly into the distance, no frolicking through rice fields in a ridiculously large hat, and for the love of God no cheesy quotes about wandering but not being lost.
— Kristen Sarra (@TravelDispatch_) May 10, 2017
The Dispatch Community
I have a fascination with people from all walks of life and love hearing personal stories about peoples’ traditions, customs, and travels – especially from my readers.
I also love getting mail.
So why not combine the two and have you send me your own dispatch! It can be in the form of a scribbled note on a napkin, a long letter, a short postcard, or even written on a lock of hair (just kidding on this one guys. For the love of all that is good and pure PLEASE do not send me a piece of your hair).
Seriously though, I’d love to hear YOUR story. Anything you feel like sharing! Whether it’s a memory from your childhood, a tale of heartbreak, an anecdote from your travels, a favorite recipe, or just a quote that makes you laugh. Mail your dispatches to the below address and not only will I respond, I may even share your story on The Dispatch Community Page – with your permission of course. Just include a note saying you don’t mind if I share it.
[Insert PO Box here] Pssst: Bear with me please! I’m still finalizing my new PO Box Address and will upload it here in due course.
Do you love getting mail too?
Good. I love sending postcards and small trinkets purchased on my travels to my readers! So if surprise gifts are your jam, fill out the form below with your name and mailing address.