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Featured Friends: Michelle from The Wandering Queen


I'm so thrilled to introduce everyone to Michelle from The Wandering Queen for May's Featured Friend! Michelle has recently joined the Fly Away Friday community and when she reached out about becoming my next Featured Friend, I was so flattered. Michelle is a Texas native, a full time Engineer by day and Travel Blogger/Photographer by night and weekend. You'll see for yourself in a second but her photos are absolutely breathtaking. Especially if you're an outdoorsy person, Michelle is your gal! Trust me, I'm not much of an outdoorsy person but she's inspiring me to become one just from her photos.

Without further ado, get to know Michelle from The Wandering Queen! 




1. Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Michelle and I live in Dallas, Texas. I was born in Panama but my family and I moved to the United States when I was only one year old. Since moving, I have only lived in Texas. I currently live in Dallas where I have a career in Electrical Engineering. In my spare time, I love to travel, hike and camp. I also enjoy learning about photography with my husband Jameson.

2.  What inspired you to start your blog, Wandering Queen

Over time, I was constantly getting questions about my travels and all of my adventures. Adventure travel can be a bit intimidating, especially, if you have never traveled in such a way. I really wanted to help people get out and see the world, make their own adventure. So, I decided to start my blog. 


3.  I love that your husband is so involved as is mine! What are some pros and cons about working together on your brand?  

I love working with my husband! He is my Chief Photographer and Chief Editor. Funny enough, we learned photography together in September. His photography has improved immensely since then, so he became the primary photographer on our trips. This has really made my life so much easier. He always seems to capture so many moments perfectly.

I am a bit shy when it comes to my writing, especially when I first started my blog. I was scared to put my work out there and I even kept on pushing back the launch date of my blog. Jameson has helped me improve my writing which helped me become confident about it.

While we have helped each other grow, working together isn't always easy and relaxed. There have been times when it was hard to receive criticism from my husband and my husband receive criticism from me, regardless if it was plans, photography, or writing. Sometimes, I took criticism personally since it was coming from someone I live with. But, we continue to learn how to work with one another so we don’t end up killing each other.


4.  I immediately noticed that you're very outdoorsy! Share with us your 3 favorite places to hike/backpack! 

- Torres Del Paine in Argentina should be on EVERYONE'S bucket list. It has stunning glaciers, jaw-dropping mountains and the famous towers next to a glistening lake. To see all of this, we trekked a popular route called the “W Trek”. It was difficult at times but the scenery was very much worth every bit of pain.

- Panorama Ridge at Lake Garibaldi, Canada. The trek was probably the hardest hike of our lives. But in the end, we were met by a turquoise blue lake, surrounded by white peaked mountains. One reason why I loved this trek so much is that my husband asked me to marry him at the top of the mountain. No doubt, the happiest moment of my life. 

- The Havasu Falls 10 mile hike was long but relatively easy. In the end, we were met with a stunning aquamarine waterfall. Even though the water was freezing, I swam near the waterfall and basked in all its beauty.

Backpacking and hiking opened our eyes to all the magnificent beauty of the world. I had never hiked, camped, or backpacked prior to five years ago. Our early travels had many challenging times but definitely helped us grow as travelers and individuals. All of the hard times do make great stories and have all been worth it. I am happiest when I am out in the wild.

5. Where are 3 places that are on the top of your travel list and why? 

My top three places are Tanzania, Peru, and Nepal.

I really want to go to Tanzania because I want to attempt to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. Trekking through Torres Del Paine in Chile woke up my love for difficult treks. Just to be able to say, "I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro." would be such a magnificent feeling. We are going to start planning this trip soon so we can trek the mountain in January/February 2019.

Peru has been on my bucket list for a while now because of the world-famous Inca Trail. Five years ago my close friends were able to finish the trail without me. I had another trip planned at the time(Hawaii) so I am not complaining too much but I have been dying to go ever since.

Another trip on my bucket list is Nepal. I want to trek to the Everest Base Camp at a minimum. I have seen so many beautiful pictures and interesting blog posts on it. I hope I get the opportunity to complete the trek one day. I know I will never climb up to the peak of Mount Everest, but, I feel that just reaching Base Camp would be such an incredible journey.












6. If you had to live abroad for the next year, where would you move to and why? 

I would go to a country in South America like Ecuador. I am starting to forget the first language I learned as a child which is Spanish. Living in a country that speaks only Spanish will greatly improve it and Jameson could learn my native language as well. 

7. Since you're a Texan, share with us 3 spots in Texas you recommend people to visit, experience or eat? 

Austin would be the number one spot I recommend. It is the most liked city in Texas. It has its own unique weirdness to it but the city has a great nightlife, rolling hills, a picturesque lake, a river, and many more attractions. If I had to compare it to a more known city, it would be like Portland, Oregon. The first thing I would recommend eating is some Texas Barbecue! Austin is known for its tasty barbecue.

Big Bend is one of two National Parks in Texas. It has gorgeous mountains with The Rio Grande River flowing right along the border with Mexico. Visitors have the chance to kayak, backpack or hike throughout the park. I do not recommend visiting in the summer because it can get extremely hot. In fact, I believe some areas of the park close in the summer but winter was pretty comfortable. Even though Big Bend is in Texas, not many of my friends have been. This National Park is far from any major city. My first time was this past January and it took us 10 hours just to get there!

San Antonio is a popular tourist spot in Texas. The city has a fun river walk where many go to eat and drink. I recommend eating at a Mexican restaurant on the river walk because Texas has the best Mexican food! You can also visit the Alamo which is located right next to the river walk. When I was young, my family never really traveled much. But, when we did, we would visit San Antonio. Great times!


8.  I saw that you travel nearly for free through credit card points! Tell us a little more about your best practices in order to take advantage of it? 

My number one tip is to sign up for airlines and hotels rewards programs. If you buy a plane ticket or a hotel, make sure you receive points for those purchases. Even if it is a small number of points, the points always add up.

My next tip would be to get a flexible credit card that can easily transfer to many hotels brands and airlines. The top three credit cards I recommend are The Chase Sapphire Reserve/Preferred, The Starwood Preferred Guest Personal Credit Card and The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Credit Card. I do not recommend starting out with an airline or hotel specific credit card, because your utilization of the points will be restricted to that specific brand. It is incredibly helpful to have options in the world of travel. Flexibility is key.

9. What do you hope to accomplish through Wandering Queen? 

I am hoping to inspire women to venture out and start their next adventure whether it is near a mountain, at a desert, or next to the beach. So many people tell me they can never do what I do because they don’t have the experience or the money. So, I created this blog to show everyone exactly how a full-time engineer can do it and save a ton of money along the way.

10. Share a fun, cool or random fact with the readers!

I am actually a huge NFL football fan! I listen to sports radio in the morning while getting ready for work. My NFL team is the Houston Texans. I love watching their games on Sunday while having a nice cold beer and some wings.  I will admit, I am a girly girl though. I love the color pink, dresses, makeup, and heels; but, at the same time, I love football, exploring the outdoors, and my career as an engineer (which is a career dominated by men). I don’t believe in women or men being labeled into one category which unfortunately is the way most people see it. I believe in being one's self and doing what one loves most in the world.



♡♡♡

A big thank you to Michelle from letting me share her STUNNING photos and fun interview on my blog! I know everyone is ooh-ing and ahh-ing over your gorgeous photos just like I was. Also a thank you to her husband for helping her with the photos and interview; my husband is also super supportive so I can appreciate his work and dedication! I can't wait to get to know you more through Featured Friends and beyond!         

Want to read other Featured Friends? Click here.  

Want to be the next Featured Friends? The next spot available is June, 2018! Due to overwhelming response on interviews, I now have a section dedicated to bloggers wanting to work with this blog. Click here to find out more. 

18 comments

  1. Holy cow! Your pictures are beautiful! I love following your journey on Instagram #flyawayfriday

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    1. Thank you so happy you like my pictures!

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  2. Hey Kana - Thanks for introducing us to Michelle! And Michelle, it's great to meet a fellow Texan (we're based on the Ft. Worth side). I love that you picked Havasu Falls as one of your top three. It's such a breathtaking area! We immediately went to your Insta to find and like that picture. :) Welcome to #flyawayfriday!

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    1. Thank you Rob and Ann! So great to meet fellow Texans especially so near me. I am so glad you liked my Havasu Falss picture and I look forward to getting to know you better at #flyawayfriday

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  3. Love the photos! :) I will surely check your social media accounts. ##flyawayfriday

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    1. Thank you so much! Looking forward to connecting with you!

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  4. What a fun idea! I loved reading about Michelle and you're right the photos her husband takes are lovely! Since starting my blog three years ago I've felt the biggest bonus has been meeting so many other great bloggers! #flyawayfriday

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    1. Yes that has been the best part of blogging. I love meeting all of these great people.

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  5. Thank you for this introduction! It's always great to learn more about other travel bloggers.
    #flyawayfriday

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    1. Nice to meet you and excited to get to know you more on flyaway Friday!

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  6. Thanks for the introduction to Michelle. Her pictures are amazing and I love her travel tips. Yay for using miles & points! Looking forward to reading more of her posts on #FlyAwayFriady!

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    1. Thank you, so happy that you enjoy my pictures :-) Happy meeting you!

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  7. I've started following all of Michelle's channels. We are an outdoorsy family who are raising our kids to love hiking and exploring the outside world. I love reading about other people who consider themselves outdoorsy people as well. #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. So glad to find another outdoorsy person as well. I will need to follow you in case we have kids anytime soon! Always great to follow families to give me inspiration.

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  8. Really interesting interview! Really looking forward to my turn on this! Love hearing from other bloggers - I wish my husband helped out with my blog!!! #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Thank you Tracy and I look forward to reading your future post :-)

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  9. Great to have you in the FAF family! Your pictures always inspire me to check out outdoorsy places. I too would like to go to Nepal.

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  10. Sweet! Adventure travel is right up our alley! And, yes, you do have some great photography!!! Thanks for sharing all these tidbits about you!

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