Meet Francesca. Photographer, creative and half of the duo behind The Compass Chronicles; Denver based wanderlust-ers who were so passionate about traveling, meeting new people and living new experiences that they created their own portal to share that passion with the masses. We spent a day with Francesca and picked her brain about places she's been, how she gets there and her best travel practices and stories. Without further ado...
Flight booking tips:
F: I always make sure to do a lot of research a few months before my flights and see what days the prices are the lowest. When I’m ready to book a flight, I either clear my history/cookies since flight-booking sites save your search histories and bump up the prices, or I’ll book from another computer entirely. My favorite flight-booking site is SkyScanner!
Favorite places visited:
F: I love Spain as a whole, especially Andalusia because there’s no place on this planet more magical! Also a sucker for Istanbul, Edinburgh, and Berlin; coolest cities I’ve seen so far!
Top 3 places you want to go:
F: Dying to go to South America in general, especially Colombia which will become a reality in January! Nepal, India, and Iceland are also high on my list… Along with New Zealand and Chile. Come on, how can I choose only three when there’s a whole awesome planet to explore?!
Tips on finding lodging:
F: When it comes to accommodation, HostelWorld is my go-to. I read all the reviews and look for a perfect combo of the cheapest place with the best atmosphere; it’s not all about comfort in my opinion. I’ve stayed in a $7 hostel in Essaouira, Morocco that was pretty rough but I had the best time ever. Occasionally if I’m feeling exhausted from the road, I’ll look for a hostel that has beds with curtains, lights, and outlets built in so I can be a recluse for a day or two.But if you wanna have a truly amazing time on your travels, just look at the atmosphere ratings.
Favorite travel sites/blogs/inspiration:
F: Can’t think of any blogs or sites (apart from The Compass Chronicles, of course) but a lot of my inspiration has come for the book 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed about a woman who embarks on a three month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. As a solo female traveler, you can see how this book speaks to me!
F: I’ve gotta have on average about 3 film cameras, a shitload of film, and my travel journal to document all the badass stuff going on around me!
Best uses for your CO.ALITION bag:
F: It conveniently and snuggly stores my most important travel items like my laptop, passport, cameras, wallet, book, adaptor, and journal; it serves as my carry-on so as not to risk losing it with other luggage if anything happens. I’ve traveled with this thing through Morocco, Mexico, the Scottish highlands, and a ton of other places; it’s literally always with me.
Most lost you've been abroad:
F: Wandering through the maze of Marrakech, Morocco at 10 PM on the search for good, cheap food wasn’t the coolest time ever.
Best foods you've had traveling:
F: Hungarian goulash, Moroccan harira, Turkish menemen, and Mexican pozole are all frickfracking good.
Sketchiest moment while away:
F: Once on our way to Fez, Morocco from a small town near the desert, my friend Dean and my bus stopped in a random town at about 12:40 PM. Our bus driver shouted to the bus “une heure!” in French and everyone got off the bus. Based off my basic half-knowledge of the French language, I confidently told Dean “Oh, we have an hour break for lunch!” We found a restaurant, chilled for about 45 minutes, then headed back to the bus station to resume our journey when we were greeted with a parking lot full of buses that didn’t include our own and a cloud of locals shouting high prices at us to try to take us to Fez. Turns out “une heure” also means one o’clock in French and in reality we only had twenty minutes to grab a snack and get back onto the bus. We spent the rest of the day scrambling, bartering, and arranging transportation to Fez where we arrived at midnight and crashed exhausted in to our shitty hostel beds. One of my fondest travel memories, actually (no sarcasm, I swear!).
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Check out their website here: thecompasschronicles.com