This month we are profiling Jess over at Adventures Are Waiting! Jess focuses a lot on travel and all of the super fun things happening around WNY, so make sure to give her a follow!
How long have you been blogging?
About 5 years now! I actually just started writing as a hobby for fun. I didn’t expect to go anywhere and it snowballed from there. Although I have had blogs over the years, now I mostly do a lot of freelance writing for local publications in Buffalo like the Buffalo News, Buffalo Magazine, Buffalo Spree, and more along with some national publications like Thrillist, Wine Enthusiast, Cosmopolitan, and AAA World.
What made you want to start blogging?
All through high school and college I had a part-time job at Wegmans. One girl that I worked closely with that was new to the area would always ask me questions about what was going on that weekend, where to get a specific types of food, where to get the best margaritas in town, and things like that. I would always have a million suggestions for her! The one day after I responded to one of her questions she said “you know, you should really start a blog for people like me who are new to the area and don’t know where to go to get good food and drinks or what’s going on and in town.” Her saying that sparked my first ever blog which was a food blog called ”It’s Pop Not Soda.” That led to so many wonderful experiences and even was the reason I kick started my freelance work! Years down the road I was trying to break into travel writing, so to get some experience I started my travel blog, adventuresarewaiting.com (@adventures.are.waiting on Instagram). I started it because I feel like when I’m doing something new, whether it’s trying a new food, exploring a new place even if it’s just an hour away, or trying a new activity or extreme adventure, that’s when I feel the most alive. I wanted to inspire others to step outside their comfort zone and try new things!
What’s your favorite thing about being a blogger?
My absolute favorite thing is when somebody tells me that I inspired them to do something new, try something new, or visit a new place. That’s my whole goal and it makes my heart happy when I see that coming to fruition!
How did you decide on your blog name?
I wanted something that would really portray my message with the word ‘adventures’ clearly stated so readers and followers new what kind of traveler I pursue. New adventures are around every corner, whether it’s in your hometown, an hour away, or in a different country. Either way, a new experience is a new experience and a new place is a new place to be explored!
What do you love most about living in Buffalo?
The people! I love how everyone is friendly and supportive. It’s one big happy community and I feel like that’s the reason why people either don’t leave or almost always come back. You don’t find anywhere like here! Plus it always smells really good! I mean, you don’t smell Cheerios and Lucky Charms in the Florida air.
What are your favorite local restaurants?
It changes occasionally, but my solid favorites are Toutant, Kunis, and Casa Azul! Toutants food is just always outstanding and the quality carries through every time. They have the best brunch and I love the shrimp and grits for dinner. Oh, and the biscuits! Even their late-night menu is amazing! Kunis is just so solid if you’re looking for good sushi and sake. I also love this shot they have called the Uni Bomb with sea urchin, Japanese liquor, citrus, Sriracha, and some other secret ingredients… it’s so amazing! Casa Azul for Mexican is at the top of my list lately. I love the fun options like braised goat and the cricket brittle in the guacamole! You can be crazy and adventurous there or go old-school traditional with some chicken or beef tacos. Their tortillas are handmade and pressed to order so they always taste super fresh!
What are your favorite seasonal activities?
In the winter I love canalside activities like the ice bumper cars, the ice bikes, and ice-skating then grabbing a beer after somewhere close by! I also love all of the holiday markets and heading to Vidlers for stocking stuffers and candy, of course!
During the fall I love going apple picking with friends at LynOaken Farms and grabbing lunch at Mariachi De Oro. I also love the pumpkin farm and shooting a pumpkin out of the cannon, which if you haven’t done that yet, you need to!
When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, I love grabbing a lavender latte at Caffe Aroma before heading to Elmwood to check out the farmers market. I make a day of it by exploring some of the boutique shops along the strip and getting a light lunch at the CoOp!
When it’s finally summer in Buffalo, I love squeezing so much in! The Allentown Art Fest, Taste of Buffalo, the Erie County Fair to get taffy and watch the pig races! I also really enjoy all of the water activities like kayaking, the water bikes, and the free fitness classes at Canalside! This year the sailing school at Canalside and white water rafting at Zoar Valley are on my radar!
What is your favorite neighborhood in the city?
Elmwood and Hamburg! Elmwood has always been near and dear to my heart. I love all of the affordable shops, great restaurants, bars, and street art. I love that we’re close to the park. The area is always so vibrant and alive with people doing anything from juggling and walking the tight rope in the park to shopping and having lunch with their friends. The people watching alone is great! I’m also really starting to love Hamburg. I only really started to get to know the area after heading to the Grange a few times because I love their food and treats, but they have other really wonderful restaurants like and great shops like Molly + Kate. Also everyone is ridiculously friendly there! I can’t describe it, but you’ll know what I mean if you just walk around there for an hour, haha.
What are are a few of your favorite Instagram accounts that you follow?
@caralynmirand Have you seen her fashion tips??? She’s amazing and because of her, I now know how bras should fit lol!
@jbethjs She’s an inspiration and truly brave for opening up about her struggles with anxiety. Social channels need more authentic, positive with influencers using their following to spread messages of love and support like hers!
@buffalovebirds They’re adorable and advocates of all things Buffalo! One makes me want to start working out more and the other makes me REALLY want beautiful eyelashes, haha!
@stepoutbuffalo They ALWAYS have the scoop about what’s going on and have started some really incredible events in the area. I for one don’t know how we went so long without a Bloody Mary Festival and am eternally grateful!
What advice would you give to people who would like to start a blog?
Honestly, just do it! I spent so long trying to decide if I should and once I started it, the opportunities that came from my website still blow my mind. I never expected it to lead to me becoming a professional writer, working with the tourism industry, and being respected as a food critic. Even having the opportunity to branch out further writing about love, movies, product reviews, and more. Judging festivals! I’m just so grateful to say the least. If you have something to say, someone out there is going to want to hear it, so just go for it. You never know where life will lead you!