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 55 countries, my list of places to visit keeps getting longer. Top priorities at the moment are Brazil and Portugal to support my Portuguese learning goal, as well as Mexico, South America, and Spain to continue maintaining Spanish.
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.
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 is my new 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 Guanajuato, Puebla, and Merida in Mexico.
Up next in spring of 2019: six weeks in Brazil. I’ll be taking three weeks of classes at a popular Portuguese-language school in Rio as well as traveling around the country. I’m currently doing self-study of Portuguese in order to reach a B1 or B2 level before my immersion experience in Brazil.
In August 2019 I’ll be attending the polyglot conference LangFest in Montreal, so if you’re there, be sure to say hi!
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 Afar, USA Today, BirdNote, and Outside. Follow me on Instagram or see my photos on Flickr.
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
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. (2018 blog outlays totaled 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. While I understand why other bloggers do this, 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!