Traveller Tuesday – Abby Tegnelia – Jungle Princess

Abby Tegnelia, a princess in any environment, is 35 and from the USA. She’s so far hit 31 countries and lived in various places! I met Abby just as she had moved to Vegas and was kind enough to be my guide. Good times.

Abby Tegnelia

Where is your favourite beach in the world?

I could never choose just one! Being near the ocean, any ocean, makes me so happy. I grew up mostly in Florida, so I think it’s in my blood. Now I live in Las Vegas. It’s the desert, of course, so there’s plenty of sand – but no ocean! When I need to slow down a bit, I go to the beach. I just got back from Panama, where I had a magical day on a deserted beach with clear, turquoise water and no one around, and Costa Rica, where I lived for a year. I’ll feel rejuvenated for awhile because of that trip.

Do you prefer to travel solo or with a friend?

With a friend! I’ve always enjoyed having company. After college, I backpacked with my best friend and wouldn’t change a thing. I like having someone to laugh with and share all of those special moments with. The trick is finding someone who the same spirit as you, who still wants to meet people on the road, almost as if you were travelling solo. I’ve done a lot of travelling alone, and honestly, I meet less people because I’m uncomfortable and perhaps even lonely. It’s all about being true to your own personality!

What’s the best tour you’ve ever done?

I will never forget the bus tour I did in Paris, because I loathed organized tours before that. It was so wonderful – you could get off the bus and take as much time as you wanted, and then grab whatever bus came next. It wrecked all of the stereotypes I had about tours! I got to see all of the “sights” in one day. I then knew what highlights and neighbourhoods I wanted to revisit and got to spend the rest of trip wandering, shopping, meeting people, and of course, eating and drinking wine.

Scuba or Sky Diving?

I loved sky-diving and am obsessed with free-fall rides. But not getting scuba certified is one of the only regrets I have from the year I spent living in Costa Rica. So I think I’ll do it someday!

Even on a budget we all have a luxury vice, what’s yours?

Air-conditioning in really hot weather. Otherwise I can’t sleep.

What book are you planning on taking with you on your next journey?

I’m six months into owning a Kindle, and I love it. I started Assassin’s Apprentice from the Oathbreaker series on my last trip and am almost done. It came recommended from other travellers off of Twitter, and it’s great for travel.

Have you had any brushes with border patrol/police/security/government officials?

I can’t think of any border patrol incidents, except for one in my own country last week. I was driving from Las Vegas to Colorado and got stopped just over the border into Utah. I got pulled over because the lightbulb was out over my license plate – but when he shined his little flashlight into my backseat, he somehow noticed the microbrew beers my friend was bringing to the people whose house she was staying at. We were told we were bootlegging! Utah has very strict alcohol laws, so you can’t bring anything in. Who knew?

After two years of travel and expat living in the jungles of Costa Rica, Abby Tegnelia now writes her blog, The Jungle Princess, from Las Vegas, where she works as editor-in-chief of Vegas magazine. Follow her journey on Twitter (@abbytegnelia) 

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