What’s this all about?

Have you ever wished you could travel the world but perhaps are a bit lost about where to start, how to handle the logistics of it, or how to save enough money to make it happen?

Guess what. You are not alone.

I am Jackie, the founder of this blog, and for nearly half my life, I have been traveling independently overseas. I have done it all with my own savings and resources, and I am forever changed from immersing myself in other cultures, learning multiple languages, tasting foreign foods, and collecting friends all over the world. My love for travel has completely shaped the course of my life.

I can list all the life-changing things it has taught me and tell you about all the beautiful people, cultures, and countries around the world, OR…

I can invite you to go experience it for yourself.

My mission is to make travel as easy and accessible for you as possible, which is why The Budget-Minded Traveler exists. Learn from my mistakes, catch on to my budget tricks, live vicariously through the photos and stories on this site until you can’t take it anymore.

Then, go for yourself. Life is too short to live vicariously.

This blog is an invitation for YOU.

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Jackie Nourse, Founder

In 2003, I moved to Costa Rica to study abroad for a year, and my life changed forever. Not only did I fall in love with everything Latin (I’m often convinced I was born in the wrong culture), but I became addicted to travel.

In 2005 I moved to Italy to study abroad for another year to learn (and consequently fall in love with) everything Italian.

After finally graduating from college in 2007, I began my vagabond life, sometimes constantly on the go, sometimes living in one place overseas, always fueled by the mighty and endless power of wanderlust.

I am currently nomadic, and my favorite style of travel is finding new places to call home all over the world. In the last decade, I have roasted marshmallows in the lava of a volcano in Guatemala, studied Portuguese in Brazil, hiked (and lived) in the mountains of Patagonia, sailed with dolphins in Nicaragua, swam with sharks in Mexico, cave kayaked in Thailand, and skied the Swiss Alps, among many, many other adventures.

I have mastered the art of traveling and living on a budget, which is what allows me to continue on this path of constant travel. What bothers me, however, is the lack of US citizens traveling abroad.

I strongly believe that our society’s priorities are backward, consequently leading many to perceive their travel dreams as too expensive, time-consuming, or otherwise impossible. Yet travel – seeing the world and being exposed to other cultures – is a fast-track to tolerance, understanding, and education that this world, particularly the US, desperately needs.

This website, the BMT Communitymy podcast, and my online course represent my efforts to encourage and equip others, particularly US citizens, to get out and meet the world in a realistic, affordable, sustainable, and rewarding way. It IS possible, and YOU can make it happen in your own life. All you have to do is say yes.

Want More About Me? Read more about my story on my personal blog at TravelingJackie.com or see where I am now on Instagram.

Meet Our Team

The Budget-Minded Traveler audience is continuing to grow, and projects and opportunities abound. I have carefully selected other travelers and content creators with diverse experiences to share their talents with you to keep up. I’m honored to have these inspiring people on the BMT team:

Brittany Quaglieri, Content Manager

Brittany intended to be a travel writer by earning a degree in Geography and Journalism. However, she graduated during the recession, which led her to spend the next 8 years in the public service sector with AmeriCorps. Now she aspires to be location independent to pursue a life of slow, intentional travel and finally put her degree to work the way she always envisioned. Through her writing, she hopes to shine a light on how travel and mental health and wellness overlap to create personal growth and transformation. Brittany also loves maps, kayaking, photography, adorable kids, and Shia LaBeouf.

  • Favorite style of travel: budget, independent, slow travel, road trips
  • Website: She Goes With Purpose + Cape Cod Travel Tips
  • Favorite travel quote: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

Hayden Lee, Podcast Magician

Hayden Lee is the traveling son of a hippie and a biker. Originally from the UK, he is a punk rock musician and award-nominated Sound Designer who found that the answers to his questions lie in the hostels of South America, the floors of Vietnamese villagers’ kitchens, and elsewhere on the road. In hopes of inspiring more people to “go within by heading out,” he is also the producer of Travel Stories Podcast, where guests bring in inspiring stories from their travels.

  • Favorite style of travel: Unplanned, solo, rural
  • Website: Travel Stories Podcast (Jackie has been a guest on his show twice, look for her name to check out those episodes! Or get to know Hayden through a game show on the BMT podcast or that time he and Jackie talked about riding a Harley around Europe)
  • Favorite travel quote: “No such thing as spare time. No such thing as free time. No such thing as downtime. All you got is life time. Go.” – Henry Rollins
Hayden Lee

Lauren Rudersdorf, Digital Marketing Strategist

Lauren is an organic farmer, food blogger, and marketing enthusiast from the Midwest who balances her very rooted life in April-October with abundant winter travel during her farm’s low season. She began traveling abroad with her mom at five years old and hasn’t been able to kick the travel bug ever since. During the winters, she and her husband love to explore Europe and Latin America and take rambling road trips across America. She loves to adventure at home during the summers with weekend outings to new restaurants, trails, rivers, lakes, and country roads. Lauren believes travel and exploration are possible anywhere and loves honoring adventures home and abroad.

  • Favorite style of travel: active/adventure, slow, foodie, road trips 
  • Website: The Leek & The Carrot
  • Favorite travel quote: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” –  St. Augustine

Kristin Olivieri, Marketing Coordinator

Kristin fell in love with travel when she studied abroad in Rome, Italy, at age 19. She didn’t realize how bad the travel bug’s bite was until she returned home, and all she could think about was traveling again. While in college, she took every opportunity she could travel (mostly weekend getaways). She now holds a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Entertainment and Tourism, acquired a yoga teacher certification, and is looking to create a more travel-friendly lifestyle. She is a lover of all things Italian, rock climbing, outdoors, sustainability, mental health, and wellness.

  • Favorite style of travel: solo female travel, adventure/outdoorsy travel, sustainable travel, cultural immersion
  • Website: The Sustainable Explorer
  • Favorite travel quote: “I now walk into the wild” – Chris McCandless/Alexander Supertramp

Regular Contributors

Meghan Crawford

Meghan Crawford

New website coming soon!

Jenn & Steve Kurteck

 The Good, The Bad, & The Booze

Past Contributors

Chris Corbaz – @chriscorbaz on Instagram

Ruben Encalada – Enclada Turismo

Casie Frederick – Mostly Free Bird

Shalese Kocher – Shalese Danielle

Chris Luecke – Pubcast Worldwide

Kevin Martin – 30 And a Wake Up

Stephanie Mayo – The World As I See It

Julie Smith – Drive On the Left

Maddy Wolfe – @msilkwolfe on Instagram