Playground Earth is an online publication covering experiential travel, culture, food and architecture with a unique focus on long term travel independent. We look for sights, sounds and stories from the most beautiful places on earth. As we travel we stay longer, see less and experience more. Our articles and stories aim to encourage readers to do the same.
It takes a lifetime of dedicated effort and local exposure to produce travel guides that stay current and relevant. This is why we don’t produce travel guides like hundreds of blogs and other travel publications do. The web itself is the best travel guide. The best travel resources are the official city guides produced by each country’s travel boards. They are fully dedicated and have the resources to promote their cities, describe historical information accurately and include local details and events that are fresh and current.
Instead, we offer you a description of our unique experience in the places we visit with relevant tips for long term stays and original travel stories to inspire you. For your convenience, we include links to the official tourism board websites or city guides that we have used.
Now more than ever it is easy and safe to travel on your own. The internet is the perfect resource to research itineraries book flights and hotels or Airbnbs, find trains, buses and ferries schedules or rent cars. The benefits come for the flexibility to go where you want to go and discover interesting places that are just a bit off the beaten path. It is way more affordable than traveling with organized groups and it is safe. We have done just a few organized trips to know the pros and cons on that side. We will always promote the benefits of independent travel. These articles and stories will focus on mature adventures and tips to travel comfortably, set and manage a travel budget, design your own intineraries.
As we travel we will share our lessons learned along the way, from booking accommodations, budgeting, packing for a long term journey, travel insurance, moving around, travel writing and mobile photography tips. In short, we will share tips and ideas as well as solutions to some of the mistakes we have made along the way. We will also share good the ideas!
Based on the number of steps tracked by our walking app we could have walked around the world twice. We love walking. Naturally, we will cover stories about the amazing hikes we enjoy along the way. We are safe but curious hikers who may not summit the highest mountains or even summit at all on every hike but we can go some decent distances appropriate for our age and level of fitness. We adore long walks along rivers and canals as well. These are easy on the body and rewarding for our souls and are easy enough for anyone to enjoy. Our focus uses a storytelling approach instead of the technical description of the hikes. However, we will provide links to sites with all the appropriate information on trail and walks.
A section covering stories about the foods we enjoy along the way as well as the purveyors, farmers, mongers that provide these foods to the local stores and farmer’s markets. As we travel we look for small cottages, apartments or rooms with a kitchen. This is easy to do thanks to Airbnb and other online booking tools that allow us to keep our budget in line with long-term stay discounts. We love cooking fresh food starting with the “hunting and gathering” as Jim calls shopping. This means searching for local fishmongers, cheese stores, and local produce markets. The food is not just great but the experience is wonderful when we engage with the people who work in these stores and farms.
Ultimately, the chef’s corner will offer recipes, cooking tips and suggestions to prepare simple and healthy meals while traveling.
Founded in 2002 Playground Earth started as an online travel company. It was actually a sandbox for experimenting with new technologies while tinkering around with code and design and learning the economics of online travel. With time experiments took shape and the concept of Playground Earth was created.
The name Playground Earth came up during a long hike in Hawaii. We were celebrating that we lived in an amazing playground. Each vacation offered us unique experiences and fascinating travel stories. They were just never long enough. We started taking notes and creating journals. With time we found that travel writing was our passion. Writing encourages refection and this, for us, included conversations about our future. As we started discussing life after work we realized that there is a clear distinction between an occupation and a vocation and that planning for retirement was not only a financial exercise but a life planning project.
We felt that we, and most people, work hard to maximize bank accounts and save money for a secure and comfortable future. Meanwhile, our time accounts inevitably decreased. Most professional people, like us, build a quality of life on the backs of our full-time jobs. It is hard to let go of a comfortable lifestyle. Even more difficult to let go is the sense of security that steady incomes and health insurance offer. The cost of this sense of security is time. We saw the equity between the value of our time (time spent at the office) and the value of our free time shift.
The questions we asked were not how or when to stop working but how to free up time to travel more. We have the energy, passion and desire to continue working, creating and producing value, but on our own terms while creating our own opportunities. How can we travel more, travel slowly and longer so that we can discover new places and write about new experiences?
Finally, after 2 years of planning we left our jobs, sold our home, cars and all our belongings and took off to find the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth.
This is the foundation of our vision for Playground Earth Media.
Founder / Web and Content Development
Travel Writer and Photographer
Fernanda has a background in film production and cinematography and 20 years in product management working for various internet, telecommunications, and media companies. During this time she has developed and managed technology products including e-commerce, voice, and search.
Her experience managing internet and search products has given her the ability to understand SEO at a technical level to enhance her web development, UX and web design skills and build a content platform that is fast and well optimized for humans and for search engines.
Co-founder / Business Development
Travel Writer and Photographer
Jim brings his expertise to Playground-Earth after a 31 year career in the apparel industry where he specialized in Marketing, Business Development and Account Management.
During his long career Jim worked with a wide variety of companies and nonprofits such as The North Face, Timberland, Patagonia, GAP, Banana Republic, Esprit, Juicy Couture, Malibu Shirts, LACMA, MOMA, MOCA, Southwest Museum, JPL, NASA, Panavision, ONE.org, American Rivers, Oceana, Rails to Trails, The Cousteau Society and many others.
Jim’s personal and professional approach to Account Management, Sales and Business Development were essential to opening, growing and maintaining long term productive relationships with clients as well as industry partners.
Contact Jim via Linked In to explore advertising, partnership and sponsorship opportunities.