July 31, 2020

 

Danielle Desir
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It was a pleasure to speak with fellow podcaster Danielle Des for this week’s interview. She is a fountain of knowledge on all things to do with traveling on a budget, be it finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, or places to visit on the cheap(er). How does she do it all, and still manage to keep a full-time job? Read on to find out, plus her not quite a surprise, but still romantic engagement.

Financially Savvy Traveler Danielle Desir

Financially savvy traveler danielle in coat and braids
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Financially savvy traveler danielle in coat and braids
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She started being financially responsible at an early age and has kept it up.

Danielle is a native New Yorker who grew up with two accountant parents. Connecticut is now home. One might say life with two such parents prepared her for a life of spreadsheets and google docs. She works full-time as a medical research administrator.
Since has an energy-consuming full-time job, one can’t begrudge her desire to travel as often as possible. In addition to all that, she also has on her plate, her podcast of five years, and leads a 2500 plus strong women of color podcaster group and created a financial Facebook group where she shares knowledge on affordable travel without incurring debt and getting rid of toxic loans that keep you from living out your dreams.

Highlights of the Savvy podcast include:

  • Growing up in New York
  • Her mom’s influence and ongoing money talks that actually influenced her more than the financial degree she earned.
  • Her passion for personal finance and travel.
  • Paying off her $63,000 student loan in four years.
  • Her quirky way of saving money, and automation.
  • Why she is not a big proponent of travel hacking, but admit it has its good points.
  • Not being a backpacker traveler.
  • Becoming the financially savvy traveler by combining her two loves.
  • Buying her first house at the young age of 27.
  • Her favorite country.
  • E-books and loving nature.
  • Madrid trip that she had been looking forward to, but was canceled thanks to COVID-19.
  • The marriage proposal happening anyway.
  • Her newfound love for exploring in her own backyard.
financially savvy traveler Danielle Desir
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financially savvy traveler Danielle Desir
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Don’t be fooled by that baby face. There is a lot of knowledge in those little gray cells in that brain :-)

It’s always great to chat with younger people who are living out their dreams of homeownership, travel, and working towards financial independence. It gives me hope :-). Points hacking is a relatively new phenomenon of collecting frequent flyer miles points, then redeeming them for luxury flights, upgrades, and/or accommodation for way less than what one would normally pay.
At some points since we started our immigrant life, I have been quite jealous of these hackers, but not anymore. We no longer have credit cards (having gotten rid of them when we left the states). They are just not used as a normal part of life in Spain. Debit cards and cash rule. It’s been great for not living above your means. Knowing myself, I might have slipped back into the old ways of spending needlessly. I would not be one of the responsible ones.
Her Amazon ebook:

Listen to the podcast below:

Other posts that might interest you:
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You can find Danielle Des on these platforms:

 

What’s happening in Valencia Spain:

plaza virgen Valencia Spain fountain in middle
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plaza virgen Valencia Spain fountain in middle
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I miss this sometimes. It is starting to pick up.

I think Spain is having a crisis. It was recently announced that travelers going back to the U.K after having been in Spain now have to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival back home. This is quite a blow as Spain really depends on the tourist dollars, it is a very popular destination for the British sun lovers.
As expected, travelers are very upset (especially ones who are already here on vacation). Some others have had to cancel their holidays because they can’t afford to take the additional time off work. I wonder if there is some sort of political power struggle behind all this. The numbers are increasing for sure, but one could argue that the infections could also be from the tourists coming in (the borders opened July 1 so we would be seeing the infection rates now). We know the U.K didn’t handle things too well either.
My personal opinion is that Spain, with an eye to recouping lost money, opened the borders way too soon. The sentiment of the people when the lockdown began was “okay, let’s do this”. They accepted, and forgave the mistakes the government admitted to making. This time, they are not quite as charitable, and l think there is a wave of growing anger towards the government, who still insists there will be no countrywide lockdown.
I have no desire to be stuck outside of the area, so we are staying put as I’ve said several times now. This coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, and l have come to accept the fact that our traveling will be curtailed. To be honest, I have no burning desire to visit any place, and l am so glad that we had traveled extensively so l don’t feel like we are missing out.
plaza Manises Valencia
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plaza Manises Valencia
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This is plaza Manises where a lot of government offices are (right and left buildings for instance. The middle one is now a hotel. This is where the protests usually take place.

The ability to shut down a particular area is now in the hands of the local government, so it is quite possible to be “stuck”, even inside Spain. I’m good for now :-). Everybody having to wear masks now is hopefully going to help prevent the spread. We’ll see soon enough.
How is the coronavirus infection counts in your area? Staying even, decreasing, or increasing. Are you happy at how things are being handled?