Meet the Travel Bloggers: Jetting Around

This week’s Meet the Travel Bloggers interview is with travel blogger Pola Henderson of Jetting Around City Travel Blog.

When, why and how did you start your travel blog?
I published my first post in July 2010 after playing around with the idea of a blog for a few months. I had always been fond of writing. As a teenager, I contributed to several youth papers, and later published an essay about moving to the USA from Europe. My interest in travel and world cultures eventually led me to try my hand at blogging. Around that time, I also became interested in photography, which happened during a solitary walk-turned-photo outing in Toronto – that became the piece that solidified my decision.

travel blogger photo Pola Hepnderson

At Paris Saint-Germain soccer game in Paris, photo/Pola Henderson

How did you get that name and what does the name mean to you?
The earliest memory I have is that of sitting on a plane - I was not even 3 years old. From that moment on, I’ve been fascinated by planes and air travel, and I wanted the blog to reflect that. The actual name was inspired by a conversation I had with a former co-worker. She was asking about my weekend plans and noted that I was always ‘jetting around.’ When it was time to name the blog, I recalled the playful remark – the phrase was exactly what I was looking for.

You work in the corporate world. What is your job and how does that impact traveling and blogging?
My day job is marketing communications, and I am currently a freelancer. This arrangement allows for a greater flexibility and more travel time. When I had a 9-5 position, I learned to maximize weekends and holidays (e.g. taking two days off around a long weekend resulted in 4-5 travel days, enough for domestic travel or a short international trip). I would blog on evenings and weekends, cutting down on TV time, which wasn’t all that difficult. 

travel blogger photo Pola Henderson

Looking up at the John Hancock Center - Chicago’s 4th tallest skyscraper, photo/Pola Henderson

What is the thing that keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
Being able to share my finds with others and hopefully inspire their travel choices. A friend recently said that he gives me credit for encouraging him to travel the world. It’s the greatest compliment - and humbling at the same time. Also, writing and photography are my creative outlets and…  simply make me happy.

What excites you about travel?
Discovering what is out there: places, foods, ideas, culture, being on the move and the anticipation of good things to come. Also, living in the moment. When you travel, you free yourself from your cares, your past and even material possessions. All you need is what’s in your suitcase and in front of your eyes.

travel blogger photo Pola Henderson

Staircase inside Arc de Triomphe in Paris, photo/Pola Henderson

What kind of traveler are you?
I like luxury at bargain prices and, luckily, with so many deals out there, it’s possible to combine the two. For example, there are certain hotel amenities I could not do without (e.g. a comfortable bed), but I can have that at affordable prices. Whatever I save can be then used towards various meals or cultural events. When it comes to food, I believe you can eat well at any price point. I will often go for street food or midrange restaurants, and then have one high-end meal.

You moved to the US from Poland. Do you think that affects your travel style?
In the US, I am more likely to do road trips, because to me it’s an example of Americana. But other than that, I haven’t noticed a change in my preferences.

On the road, do you seek out some experiences more than others? Definitely. My list of favorite activities includes going to coffee shops and other neighborhood hangouts, attending performances or sporting events, and searching for books by local authors. I also walk a lot and like to take pictures from towers and bridges.

travel blogger photo Pola Henderson

View from the Giralda tower in Seville, photo/Pola Henderson

Is being in your comfort zone important to you?
To me, part of the thrill of travel is stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme though. For instance, one of my trips to Mexico happened back when I knew little Spanish. Yet, I refused to speak English and challenged myself to communicate only in Spanish. Locals seemed to recognize my effort and it opened many doors, plus I learned a lot of new vocabulary on that trip.

What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever and why?
Living for a few months in Algeria and going to a French-language school there when I was in my early teens. Everything was so different from home – language, customs, and holidays. It taught me adaptability and gave me some of my most beautiful memories.  I remember shopping at a local souk and can still smell the vegetables; visiting a friend’s villa and climbing on its roof to watch the sunset; and I remember looking at Oran and the Mediterranean Sea from a nearby mountain. Maybe this is where my fascination with views from above comes from… 

What’s your favorite place on earth?
The Main Square in Krakow, my hometown. It’s the biggest commercial square in Europe, filled with beautiful historic architecture, and a great place to stroll around, go to a café, shop, or catch an event. In the summer, I could spend hours in any of the outdoor cafes surround the square, just watching what’s happening around. No place I’ve been to has quite the same vibe… Plus, my favorite live theater is in the Square, located in the basement of the Town Hall Tower.

travel blogger photo Pola Henderson

Sukiennice - Renaissance merchants’ Cloth Hall - in the Main Square in Krakow, photo/Pola Henderson

Where are you off to next?
San Diego, CA and Mexico. I especially look forward to exploring the Baja California Wine Country – and practicing more Spanish.

What’s the biggest fantasy on your bucket list?
Touring the all of South America and then reaching Antarctica. The former fascinates me for a variety of reasons (landscapes, music, food, wine), and the latter seems so far away from anywhere I’ve been that getting there would feel like going to another planet.

Pola Henderson is the founder and editor of Jetting Around: City Travel Blog, dedicated to exploring cities and their culture. Her writing and photography showcases European and North American destinations. Pola grew up in Krakow, Poland, lived in North Africa, and has called Chicago home since 2002. Traveling internationally has been a part of her life since she was 3 years old. Pola can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Responses to “Meet the Travel Bloggers: Jetting Around”

  1. Pola (@jettingaround)
    November 29, 2019 at 8:56 am #

    Thank you for featuring me on your blog. This is a wonderful interview series with great questions, and I’m honored to be a part of it. I had a really good time coming up with my answers. :)
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: A street in Krakow’s Old TownMy Profile

  2. Raul (@ilivetotravel)
    December 1, 2019 at 6:52 am #

    Great interview of a great travel blogger! Pola, Antarctica is also on my list - probably the most difficult to attain place of my bucket list because I have to stomach the Drake Passage!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..The Other Castles in Transylvania, RomaniaMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      December 1, 2019 at 9:45 am #

      Thanks! We love our travel blogger interview series. Would love to do one with you!

  3. Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    December 1, 2019 at 11:53 am #

    Luxury at bargain prices.. LOVE THIS!
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Czech Please! Eating Out in PragueMy Profile

  4. Traveling Ted
    December 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm #

    Not only have I met Jetting Around, I had margaritas with her at a travel event a couple of weeks ago. She is the coolest, and I love her blog. Great interview.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..The New York City Airporter exports travelersMy Profile

  5. Pola (@jettingaround)
    December 3, 2019 at 12:05 am #

    Thanks everyone for reading the interview and all your nice comments! :)
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo Focus: Streets of MontmartreMy Profile

  6. Craig Zabransky
    December 7, 2019 at 9:49 am #

    Pola, So agree, when someone tells you you were the inspiration to travel,. I mean what bigger compliment can you receive in this type of work… great interview.

    Billie, keep these talented bloggers coming… love this series 😉

    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Postcard – The Buddhist Perspective from ThailandMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      December 7, 2019 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks, Craig! I love it too. I learn so much about my fellow travel bloggers from it. Thanks for taking part in it. Read Craig’s interview here: http://santafetravelers.com/guest-blogs/travel-blogger/

    • Pola (Jetting Around)
      December 9, 2019 at 7:00 am #

      Well-said, Craig. It just feels like ‘mission accomplished’ on the one hand, and it inspires you to keep blogging on the other. :)
      Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Tendillas Square in Córdoba, SpainMy Profile

  7. Jenna
    March 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm #

    I didn’t see this when it was first posted but am glad I saw it now. I love Pola’s energy and her great blog!
    Jenna recently posted..Point Lobos: The Greatest Meeting of Land and Water?My Profile

    • Billie Frank
      March 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm #

      Glad you found it!

      • Pola (@jettingaround)
        March 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm #

        Thanks for the kind words, Jenna! Your blog is wonderful too. :)
        Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Driving like it’s 1998My Profile

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