Welcome to SeeingSam.com
Here, along with my Instagram account, @seeing__sam, is where I document my adventures from around the world. My goal is to share everything I experience, the good, the bad, and utterly ridiculous, to help inspire your next adventure and encourage you to stop waiting and start exploring!
I’ve been to 18 countries, 5 continents, and 42 states and recently left a career in the corporate world to travel around the world solo.
Check back as I continue to update my site with stunning photography, comprehensive travel guides, stories from the road, and loads of FREE travel resources to help you plan your next bucket list adventure!
What is on your bucket list? You can view mine here.
Click the subscribe button in the menu above to sign up for the Seeing Sam newsletter and gain exclusive access to my resource library filled with printable one-page travel guides, packing checklists, and my latest freebie, “The Best Travel Apps and Websites,” straight to your inbox!
How it all started
Long story short, I always loved the idea of seeing the world, but it wasn’t until a trip to Iceland in 2017 that I started taking that desire seriously. Once back from Iceland, I immediately prioritized saving money for travel and planning adventures around my full-time job. Two years later, I had been to 9 new countries and 4 new cities (more than the previous 10 years) and could not wait to get to more.
After a layoff in early 2020, I knew I had to take a chance and start living the life I always dreamed of. So I decided to leave the comforts of home, fuel my wanderlust and SEE as much of the world as possible by embarking on my first long-term solo travel journey with a ton of bucket list experiences in mind….or so I thought.
When those travel plans took a back seat due to a worldwide pandemic, I found myself in new territory, enjoying the simple life with family in Upstate New York.
At the end of 2020, my wanderlust was still burning bright, so I decided I had to get back out there in the “safest” and most convenient way possible. I always wanted to camper van across the US, visit all 63 National Parks and explore all 50 US states and I thought now is the time.
In March 2021, I rented my condo, packed up my car, and left on a cross-country car-camping road trip. I am currently on the longest road trip I have ever taken, car camping from state to state in my 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. Follow me on Instagram for daily updates from the road.
Want the full story? Keep Reading
In 2007 I graduated college with dual bachelor’s degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. Always intrigued by the creative aspect behind fashion design, I set off to NYC immediately following graduation and set my sights on the fashion world. I envisioned myself running my own line (and still do). I worked 3-4 internships over the next couple of months (some paid, some not) while trying to find something that felt right…it didn’t happen. After some time in NYC, I moved to Chicago on a whim, convinced I would get a job with a luxury retailer I had been interviewing for. Fast forward to me boarding the plane to Chicago, I get a call from HR telling me they are going with someone more experienced. I totally didn’t see that one coming; I laughed the whole way there and thought-guess I won’t be needing that “Is it Friday yet?” coffee mug.
Not wanting to move back in with my parents, I landed in Chicago and ended up finding another job pretty quickly. I actually thought this one would turn into my dream job (designing a clothing line, managing a brand, producing fashion shows). However, fast forward a year later, I realized that wasn’t going to happen; the owners didn’t share my same passions. I ultimately moved back in with my parents because I was broke and visionless, but I never stopped working. At one point, I was working 4+ jobs (magazine stocker, retail associate, sewing bathrobes, hemming pants, and attempting to start an event planning business), trying to save money and find my groove.
Eventually, I took a job as a visual merchandiser and then worked really hard to get the same position at a luxury retailer. When I saw I missed a call from the recruiter, I called her back 6 times in a row, not realizing she had caller i.d. She finally called me back and said, “so I saw you called a few times.” I was bursting with embarrassment, but it had been three weeks, and I wanted to know if I got the job. Thankfully I did!
I was excited to start my new position as a visual coordinator, but I was only making $15 an hour with mediocre benefits. In addition, this was 5 years out of college, not what I had envisioned for myself.
I took another part-time position and worked these two jobs for about 6 months. I was then let go from my full-time job due to the store closing. I was recruited via LinkedIn only a few days after and wound up being offered another full-time position in the wholesale apparel industry. This time in Miami. New experiences are exciting for me, and I’ve never shied away from change, so I jumped at the chance to move to Miami, not knowing what to expect.
By May 2014, I had been in the same position for about a year and a half, and while I felt I had finally found a “real” job with all the benefits I thought I needed, it started to become mundane. Boredom set in. I did feel a sense of security knowing I had a steady paycheck and loved my co-workers; however, I still wasn’t making enough to live solo (had to have roommates) in Miami, which was disappointing.
After my 30th birthday, I had no debt, sacrificed many luxuries, and saved enough money for a down payment. I bought a condo overlooking the ocean (my mortgage is cheaper than rent), moved in, renovated a bit, and was offered a District Manager position at a new company. I thought this one would give me the satisfaction I was looking for, an elevated position at a hugely popular fashion house. Unfortunately, two years later, I started to get burned out and a bit disappointed with life again….I mean, seriously, how many times is that supposed to happen in one lifetime? I had big dreams of growing with the new company I worked for but quickly realized a 9-5 corporate desk job wasn’t my cup of tea. I decided I no longer wanted to pursue a corporate career that would take me back to NYC and opted to say in the field as a Wholesale District Manager.
In 2017 I bought a go-pro and tagged along with my parents and a few of their friends on a highly anticipated trip to Iceland. I had not been out of the country since I studied abroad in 2005 and was slacking a bit on the savings since buying and renovating my condo. As soon as I landed, I was like, “what have I been missing”? Immediately the travel bug lit up inside me, and I began plotting my next adventure.
Iceland was a phenomenal experience for me and really got me out of the little slump I was in. With a bit more soul searching and numerous thoughts about quitting my job, I realized quitting wasn’t an option financially (I now have a mortgage and all). I started focusing on living a more fulfilling and inspirational life by traveling and experiencing things otherwise unknown. Saving money to travel quickly became my #1 priority. I tidied up my spending and became excited about the future again.
Curious to know how I save money to travel? Read this post where I reveal 15 QUIRKY ways I save money to travel that you can do too!
Since 2017 I’ve been to 10 more countries and even more states while working a full-time job. I am thankful to have a semi-flexible position with a manager who encourages me to see the world and a fresh vision of what that can do for me.
I had been toying with the travel blogging idea for a while, but I always thought I didn’t travel enough, and self-doubt always crept in for several reasons. Finally, after about a year or more of back and forth, with some friend’s encouragement, a more flexible boss, and well nothing to lose, I said, what the heck, why not try! So I decided one weekend to start Seeing Sam, a collection of my bucket list adventures and experiences from around the globe. It’s a lot of work, but I know It will be worth it. While I’m just beginning my journey, I hope I will inspire you to start your own!
Thank you for reading my story. I hope you will (if you haven’t already) set out to pursue the life of your dreams!
Remember, in 20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
In early 2020, I was laid off from my corporate job. After I got the call, my position was no longer available; I called American Airlines to extend my upcoming trip to Greece and buy flights to Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Tonga. Unfortunately, before any of those trips became a reality, COVID hit, and I ended up canceling all my international travel plans and headed to upstate New York to quarantine with family.
In 2021 I decided to embark on a cross-country car-camping road trip. So I rented my condo, packed up my car, and hit the road in March. I am still enjoying life on the road, seeing as many states and National Parks as possible. I’m planning to head back to Florida this fall, enjoying my journey through New England’s best fall foliage. I am not sure what 2022 holds for me, but I am thrilled to find out. The journey has been amazing so far!