Joy is a travel enthusiast and new blogger whose personality matches her name. She went from a fellow traveler that I knew remotely to someone that I traveled with and now I consider her a good friend. I’m proud to have her involved in the Know Thy Traveler series.
What is your name?
LaJoya Rush-Jamal, but everyone calls me Joy.
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I’m from a small city outside of Detroit Metro Airport, in Michigan and I reside in Metro Detroit, MI.
What do you do for a living?
I am a residential property manager with a realty company.
What countries have you traveled to and which was your favorite?
I’ve been to France, Japan, and The Netherlands. So far, my favorite has been Japan.
Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone and why?
I’ve only traveled alone, internationally. I don’t mind at all though. I love meeting new people in the cities I’ve been to. I’m not opposed to traveling with someone on future trips.
How would you describe your life before you started traveling?
My life was good. I’m a wife, mom of three, and a full time employee, so my day to day is a little hectic. I have not always gotten to travel often, and when I did it was only in the United States.
How has traveling changed your life?
Traveling has made my life so much more adventurous and exciting!! I am always looking at what country I am going to next and anticipating my next adventure. Now that my kids are a little older, I am able to travel more frequently, which has been exhilarating!
What is your favorite aspect of traveling?
My favorite aspect of traveling is researching something I want to do and then actually being able to do it when I get to my destination. For example, when I went to Japan I researched going to Shibuya and Shinjuku, Tokyo and doing a photo shoot. Once I got to Tokyo, and I was able to meet with the photographer and his group, I was ecstatic! I realized I was making one of my dreams come true and I couldn’t have been happier.
Where is your next destination?
I have two places I am looking at going to next. The first is Seoul, South Korea and the second is Rome , Italy.
Have there been any moments while traveling when you felt in danger or uncomfortable? How did you get away from it?
Thankfully, no. There have been times I didn’t get back to my hotel room until 2-3 am and I’ve never felt in danger.
What pre-cautions do you take for the safety of your property and yourself?
I send my flight information and hotel information to my husband and other family. I never leave any valuables out in my hotel room, everything is locked in the hotel room safe. I also carry a crossbody purse that zips, so my wallet/passport/other important items are right in front of me in plain sight. I don’t go with people I haven’t’ prearranged meeting up with, and although I love meeting new people, I do not give out my phone number. I am willing to exchange (MUST be an exchange, no exceptions) email addresses or social media information. Because I travel solo, I have my location turned on, on my phone and Apple Watch, and I share my location often with my husband. Especially if I’m out at night.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a frequent traveler?
Don’t make excuses for why you CAN’T go, find a reason you CAN go. Time waits for no one, so its best to travel, make your dreams come true, and do what makes you happy while you can! JUST GO!!!