Well hello there!
I’m so happy to have you here on my little corner of the internet, Organized Adventurer. My name is Sarah Puckett, and I’ve been traveling and writing about my journeys since 2013. When I’m not traveling, I’m planning my next trip. My adventures have led me to over 70 countries on all 7 continents, and I’ve organized them each myself.
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia in the United States, and have called Madison, Wisconsin my home for most of the last decade between multiple year-long international trips.
It all starts with kid-me
As a kid, I was always curious about other countries and cultures. I had a Sesame Street special about China on VHS and asked Santa Claus for a French dictionary when I was 5. My parents loved taking me and my brother on vacations during the summer, but we couldn’t afford big international trips. Our adventures spanned the east coast of the US, camping in Shenandoah National Park and swimming in the ocean on Emerald Isle in North Carolina. We even made a few big trips down to Disney World. Though we weren’t traveling far, my desire to experience as much of the world as I could was born.
When I was in college at the University of Virginia, I was able to spend a semester abroad in Lyon, France. This was my first overseas trip and the culmination of years of obsessing over French language and culture. I’ll never forget the moment when I first saw the Eiffel Tower twinkling in front of me. The five-year-old-me who sat on the couch listening to French language cassettes and reading the dictionary lost her shit in this moment! I’ve been chasing moments like this ever since.
When I graduated from college, I got a job as a project manager at a quirky software company in Wisconsin. The job required regular travel all around the United States. As my passion for seeing new places grew, so did my Type A personality. I began applying the same project-planning skills I used at my job to my travels.
And so the organized adventures began…
A few years into the job, I had a wacky idea. I wanted to take a year-long trip around the world, even though I hadn’t traveled out of the US since studying abroad in France.
I had no idea how to plan a big international trip, but I started with two books (Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World and Nomadic Matt´s How to Travel the World on $50 a Day) and a blank Excel sheet.
A few months and 8 spreadsheet tabs later, I had a budget and week-by-week plan for 11 months traveling to all 7 continents. I was going to leave in a year, in January of 2014. This gave me time to save up the money I needed to travel. I asked Tim if he wanted to join me, and even though he also had little international travel experience, and we’d only been dating for 2 years at that point, he said yes.
During this trip I mastered long-term travel planning. When we returned to the working world afterwards, we continued to travel, but for only a few days at a time. During this period, I became an expert in planning jam-packed weekend adventures to make the most of the time we had.
Fast forward to now. We married in 2017 and embarked on a 500 day honeymoon in 2018. We slow-traveled in some places (like Tasmania) and zipped through others (like our long layover in Ethiopia) depending on our desires and budget. In all cases, my organized plans allowed us to get exactly what we desired out of an experience, plus a few bonus surprises, too.
You could call it an obsession…
Planning travel can be hard, but I’m weirdly obsessed with it. I have spreadsheets and itineraries for trips I don’t even have intentions on taking yet. I also know that a lot of people don’t really like planning trips. It’s stressful to figure out where to stay, what to do, how long to spend there, how much it will all cost, etc.
That’s where I can help. Organized Adventurer exists to make travel planning easy and fun. I want you to feel the same excitement I do when you start to see your trip plans come together.
On Organized Adventurer, you’ll find mega-detailed itineraries for trips big (like our round-the-world honeymoon) and small (like a weekend in South Dakota), the real story on how we budget to travel (and how you can too), and a few freebie tools thrown in to pull your planning altogether.
Because who doesn’t love fun facts?!
- I love true crime podcasts like Up and Vanished and Someone Knows Something. If you have recommendations, please contact me because I’m always looking for more!
- I’m a very slow marathon runner. I´m blessed (or cursed?) with no speed whatsoever but a weird amount of endurance.
- Tim and I got married on Earth Day in the forest at Pocahontas State Park in Virginia. Tim and I love our state and national parks, and we hope to visit all US National Parks.
- I was one of literally dozen college students sued by the Record Industry Association of America in 2008 for downloading music on Limewire. If you’re old enough to even know what that was, you’re my people.
- I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was 25. You read that right.
- I’m obsessed with ethically spotting animals in the wild. Some of my favorite experiences were seeing an orangutan in Borneo, rhinos in Kenya, and polar bears in Svalbard.