Hi. I’m Juliana Dever and according to science I have some sort of “exploration” gene. Embracing this compulsion, I spend a lot of time hurtling around the planet in metal tubes experiencing other cultures and writing humorous essays about it. Enjoy.
Mom? Why are you interfering with my About page? Seriously though, I believe it has everything to do with exhilaration. Travel jolts you away from routine, forces you into the unknown and demands that you experience it.
When I travel, I like to dig deep and find the unusual, less touristy things to do in any given destination. I’ve crashed a Newfoundland wedding, and an Icelandic Christmas. I’ve left the 4:00pm champagne-house tour behind for the chance to learn how to open bottles with a sabre. I love to go in search of locals that will take me hunting for truffles with their Italian dog in a French forest, or learn how to make Middle Eastern dishes while staying with a family in rural Jordan.
Here’s why I know that if I can do it, you can: because I’m not fearless. Not by a long shot. I’m afraid of a lot of things: flying, heights, accidentally adding an apostrophe to a possessive word. My background is not remotely adventurous. We didn’t have much money; we never traveled, or even left our Midwestern hometown. I was taught to be afraid of most things and not to think too big. My first airplane ride was at 18 and that was because I started working for the airline. I’m sharing this with you because if there is a seed of adventure within you, nurture it, believe in it and hold it out in front of you until you can find a way to do it. My family still pleads with me to “be safe” and stay home. But I can’t. The world is too amazing.
My husband, Seamus Dever, is awesome. Like truly incredible. He’ll make appearances here whenever he travels with me. He’s my all-time favorite traveling companion and I hate leaving him when I strike out on an adventure that he either can’t or does not want to go on (Mongolia cough, cough). He supports me though, and I can’t ask for more than that.
My home base is in Los Angeles with Seamus and my two rescue dogs. I welcome time at home, resetting myself. But then I get that itch and I know it’s time to get back out there. When I’m not traveling, I’m acting. You might know me as Jenny Ryan on ABC’s Castle.
I enjoy everything from weekend trips to slow-travel. I lived in Russia while I trained with the Moscow Art Theatre and returned for a second round in St. Petersburg to learn to speak Russian. I was also lucky to live on the small island of Nisyros in the Dodecanese. I’m a host as well, and I’m always working on travel show concepts in the hope that one day my love of travel will intersect with my training in front of a camera.
I love languages, wine, vineyards, cheese, outfitting my dogs for holidays, and goats. Seriously cannot get enough of those spunky, springy, fearless goats. I think they are my spirit animal.
So whether you want to travel vicariously or are deciding to which country to buy that airline ticket, follow along and I’ll take you with me on my travels and introduce you to new friends. Consider this not only my travel journal and my recommendations, but a portal to see the world and discover how safe and friendly it really is. I hope I help you create some memorable experiences in your own travel planning. Thank you so much for being here.