Hi, I am Elle! I travel the world, sometimes solo, sometimes with a partner in adventure, and now frequently with children. I delve deep into local cultures in search of the meaning of it all, or at the very least, in search of the best kept secret corners around the planet. Have a look around at this cabinet of curiosities – and join the conversation!
About Toddle Yonder
intransitive verb tod·dle \ˈtä-dəl\
of a young child : to walk with short, unsteady steps
: to walk along in a slow and relaxed way
adverb yon·der \ˈyän-dər\
: at or in that place : over there
Toddle Yonder is a travel blog that I write from my ever-changing home. And sometimes from the closest café. Toddle Yonder features destination guides, tips for solo and family travelers, travel inspiration from the mavericks of the historical past and present, and personal stories of life on the road. Nearly all posts are accompanied by original photography.
Toddle Yonder is for all explorers-at-heart.
Inexperienced and veteran travelers, weekend warriors, solo nomads, family caravans, armchair travelers, daydreamers, the wide-eyed youth and the wise elders – anyone dreaming of adventure, culture, and unique off-the-beaten-path experiences.
My goal is to inspire your wanderlust and provide practical guidance to make your own journey a little bit easier.
I am Elle, the lady boss/bon vivant/indentured servant/secret-explorer-at-heart who steers this ship.
Now, I spend as much time as possible traveling the world with the endless curiosity of a modern-day lady Magellan.
Before I ever began this journey, I was following a much more traditional path. After university, I went to graduate school twice (once to become a doctor, once to become a diplomat), attempted a corporate career in management consulting once, and worked on multiple side projects mostly in research and not-for-profits.
But much to my surprise, when I left New York City in 2007, I was unknowingly setting out on a voyage that would take me across the planet. In the process, I have learned a lot of lessons the hard way, about life and about travel.
I try to give you the best of these lessons here – the good, the bad, the drama, the adventure, the wacky, the weird, the beautiful, the mysterious, the humor, the full picture.
I “go with the tide” and follow my instincts, travelling anywhere that seems beautiful, interesting, or just plain unusual. Most of the time, I opt for slow travel, spending anywhere from weeks to months (and on occasion, years) in a location, and using it as a base to explore the surrounding areas in-depth. I mostly live in rented apartments, and experience life as the locals do – waking up in the same neighborhoods, taking the same public transportation, going to the same grocery stores, and living with the same rhythms of life as the society around me. I am interested in what makes places and people tick, and so I keep up with current events, and familiarize myself with the language, culture, and history of a location in great depth.
My primary goal in travel (and beyond) is to experience life authentically. I travel in the moment, feeling the zeitgeist of the place and time. Sometimes this means that I miss the perfect photo opportunity, because I would rather just exist than capture every second on film. But it also means that I take the time to fully immerse myself in a place, to feel and to learn the secrets that the many unique people and corners of this planet make available to those who look and listen carefully.
That, after all, is the key to life and to travel.
This Is Where You Come In!
I am brand new to this blog. I have worked incredibly hard to get it up and running, but there is no doubt that I am a newbie around these parts.
That is what makes you readers even more important – I would love to hear from you! What topics do you want to read more about? What destinations fascinate you most? What inspires you? What practical tips do you want to see? I am open to any and every kind of (productive) feedback you have, so keep it coming!