Jess Wandering


Welcome to Jess Wandering! Your home for bucket list destinations, captivating visuals, and all things travel. These are the moments that stay with me long after I’ve returned home.

Kalalau Beach Hawaii.jpg


Some places always feel like coming home. But for me, home has never been a box with rooms, a yard, and white picket fence.

I tried to fit my life into that box. I really did. Not that long ago I spent my days behind a big desk, in a small office, with nothing on the white walls except for the law degree that I thought would define my future. Instead, I felt nostalgic for a life I wasn’t living, and probably never would.

Growing up I wanted to be a doctor. Then entomologist, photographer, journalist, veterinarian, conservation biologist - I could go on and on. Point is, at no time do I remember wanting to be a lawyer. And all those paths I didn't take, they haunted me. So when fortune handed me a get out of jail free card in the form of a layoff, I happily embraced the opportunity.

I didn’t look for another job as an attorney. I didn’t look back. Instead I focused on the big stuff. The what’s, and especially the why? I definitely don't have it all figured out. But this time around I’m determined to be the author of my own story. There are no blueprints for this life. No instruction manual. And that’s okay.  

When I feel particularly lost I try to remember who I was before the world told me who I should be. I can feel little pieces of that person returning when I'm on top of a mountain, swimming in an alpine lake, or wandering down a dirt path. For me, that is home. That's where all the world's distractions and expectations quietly fade into the distant background and I'm able to finally see the forest past the trees. And it is where my story takes place.