Hello, and welcome to my travel blog – it’s good to have you here!
My name’s Vicky Malakoff, and I’ve been an incorrigible traveler my whole life. I blame this on my genes – when I was one year old, my German father and English mother packed up our belongings in Frankfurt, Germany, and moved us to Nigeria. Because, why not? Four years later, we returned and thereafter limited our travels to vacations, but the first chance I got, I was off again. As an adult, I have lived in Germany, the UK, France, and since 2005, in New Jersey. So far, I’ve been to 28 countries on 5 continents.
My travel style has always been very independent. While I’ve rarely traveled alone, I’ve always made all travel arrangements myself – flights, transfers, accommodations, activities – you name it, I’ve organized it. I’ve certainly seen my fair share of the inside of hostels, but over time, I’ve come to enjoy my creature comforts and would now characterize myself as a budget-conscious luxury traveler. I’ve found that with the right planning, you can go on some pretty amazing vacations without breaking the bank.
These days, my favorite travel companion is my husband Stu. Our employers’ generous travel policies have allowed us to spend considerable time each year not just visiting friends and family in Germany, but also exploring the rest of the world.
Why do I travel?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the way we’ve been traveling recently has been connecting with locals all over the world. Whether that’s by cooking with them, sitting on the back of their motorbikes as we scoot around the city, or having them guide us around their favorite nightlife spots, it gives you a whole new appreciation of what it’s like to live somewhere else. You connect with a place in a completely different way when you’re not just checking tourist hot spots off your list.
Oh, and then there’s food … I love food. My level of excitement about visiting a certain country is directly correlated to how much I like its cuisine. Throw in some good wine, and I am one happy camper.
What do I write about?
I do tons of research while planning every trip, and share my insights from this on the blog. Once I’ve been on the trip, I write about the best (and worst) aspects of it – hotels and restaurants I liked, activities I enjoyed, the occasional thing that went horribly wrong. I hope you are inspired by my successes to travel yourself, and learn from my mistakes.
I also share useful travel tips, and how to travel in the style you aspire to without breaking the bank. If you have any travel-related questions, please reach out to me, I’ll happy to answer them.
Lara Wiz’s love of wine was sparked on a Caribbean cruise, where she took a Wine Tasting 101 class led by the ship sommelier. She has a particular affinity for Finger Lakes wine, an interest in developing more knowledge of France’s different regions, and a firm belief that “New Jersey” and “fine wines” can and do actually go together!