About

Ingrid at a tapas bar in Madrid, Spain

At a tapas bar in Madrid

Hi, I’m Ingrid. In 2016, I took early retirement from software engineering at age 43 to pursue my passions for language learning, travel, and photography. This site is called Second-Half Travels because at my age I optimistically estimate I have half my life left. My goal is to spend as much of it as possible doing the things I love.

Although I’ve been to more than 50 countries, my list of places to visit keeps getting longer. Top priorities at the moment are Mexico, South America, and Spain to support my Spanish learning goal.

At the Cascada de Texolo, Veracruz, Mexico

At the Cascada de Texolo, Veracruz, Mexico

When not traveling, I hang my hat in the US desert Southwest. I love the low cost of living, relaxed pace of life, and Hispanic influence there.

Keep up with my adventures!

Language Learning

Language learning has always been a passion, but I was only able to pursue it on a limited basis while working full-time. My goal is to learn a new language to at least conversational (B2) level every two years. Over the last two years, my focus has been Spanish and I’ve been able to advance to a level of C1. I really enjoy Brazilian culture and am fascinated by Portugal, so Portuguese will probably be my next learning project.

I love combining language learning and travel. For me it’s been the best way to forge a meaningful connection to the places I visit. I’ve studied Arabic in Cairo and Spanish in Argentina; Uruguay; Spain; and GuanajuatoPuebla, and Merida in Mexico.

Up next in fall of 2018: six weeks in Germany, Finland, and Russia. I’m learning the Cyrillic alphabet and some basic Russian before my trip, as well as brushing up on my German.

Photography

Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania

Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania

All the images on this site were taken by me, unless noted otherwise. If you would like to use an image, please contact me and we can chat about it.

I use a combination of an nine-year-old Nikon D90 with an 18-200mm VR zoom lens and my Google Pixel 2 phone camera. My images have appeared on sites like AfarHuffington PostUSA TodayBirdNote, and OutsideFollow me on Instagram or see my photos on Flickr.

Featured In

Tongue taco, Mexico City food tour

Tongue taco, Mexico City food tour

How to Plan for a Long Trip – The Definitive Guide – Amateur Traveler
Filming Locations in Morocco for “The Time In Between” TV Series (guest post) – Maroc Mama
18 Romantic Places to Travel to in 2018 — Roamaroo
Food tours around the world – Siddharth and Shruti

What’s With the Annoying Ads?

Ads are annoying — I couldn’t agree more. But consider that I spend thousands of hours creating content that I hope will be useful to you. Running a blog also has many associated costs. (My blog outlays for 2018 so far total more than US$1100.)

To improve your experience, I keep ads at low density: 15 percent on desktop and 24 percent on mobile. Just to compare, print magazines have an average ad density of 50 percent!

There are many ways to make money from blogging. From the beginning, I decided against accepting sponsorship like pay or freebies. I don’t judge other bloggers who do this, but I prefer to avoid feeling any kind of subtle pressure to put a too-positive spin on my reviews.

Fortunately, the awesome Mediavine ad management company, much beloved among bloggers, provides enough income to cover my blogging costs as well as most of my travel expenses.

Note that while I don’t accept pay or freebies, I may occasionally add affiliate links that generate a small commission at no extra cost to you, or referral links when they offer my readers a benefit such as a credit. All affiliate and referral links are clearly marked as such. I only recommend businesses I love and use myself.


Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or suggestions. I love hearing from my readers!