About Me

Welcome to my website! First and foremost, thank you for stopping by my page and following along as I journey, and far too often stumble, down this crazy road we call life. I use the term journey because for the last few years it’s been just that! I always loved writing but never imagined I would be making a career of it someday. I fell into this lifestyle just a few years ago, however, my passion for traveling has arguably started since…sometime around birth. This leads us to the beginning…

Born and raised in Long Island, this city girl currently resides on the Upper West Side of NYC. At sixteen years old, after a trip to Europe with my grandmother, I immediately caught the travel bug. I will never forget coming home from Italy, grabbing a paper/envelope, and immediately writing a bucket list. Would you believe, years later, I still have that list?

If you’ve been following my blog from the very beginning, you know I’m a firm believer in depth over distance. In other words, to me, traveling isn’t just about the number of countries you’ve been to….it’s about your experience and connection to them. My travel journey started back in 2010. After graduating from college in New York City, I began traveling around the United States as an actress working for an entertainment company.  When I booked my very first contract, I moved all my belongings into my parent’s house, packed up my old bedroom, and shipped off to Pennsylvania. It was there, in my old bedroom, that I found the bucket list from when I was 16. The very first item on my bucket list was, “Live abroad in a foreign country for a year.” In 2013, I lived in Germany for three years, teaching preschool on an army base for the US Government. During my stay in Europe, I would take a long weekend trip once a month and thus, a travel addiction was born. It wasn’t until I moved abroad that I truly found my passion for traveling and most importantly, travel writing. When I moved back to New York City, I started my blog for family and friends but decided to take it “pro” after I landed my first job writing for the travel and lifestyle section of CBS Local.

The biggest misconception I often hear about traveling? You need a lot of money to be a globe-trotter. I’m happy to report…that’s just not true. I started out staying in hostels, eating street food, and living off $50 a day. Nowadays, I prefer a little more comfort and leisure but I wouldn’t say my camping days are behind me. When I was working for the military I made $12 an hour and even on a small salary I would take four-day weekend trips. After my first trip to Paris in 2013, I made it my mission to visit a new city once a month. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing places. Although I don’t expect all of my readers to swim with sharks, backpack the Alps, or Paraglide, what I do hope you’ll take away from my content is a new profound passion for exploration and a healthy dose of tenacity for preserving all that is beautiful in this world. Whether that’s a national park in a foreign country or a locally owned coffee shop in your own backyard.

Throughout my travels, I’ve been pushed to lengths which, at times, never felt achievable. When I first started traveling, I had no idea how much I’d learn about myself through the process. When I look back, it’s almost unbelievable how much I’ve grown. I can now say with great pride, failure has been my greatest teacher in life thus far. I hope one of the most important lessons you learn from this page is to never be afraid of taking risks. To always bet on yourself. Constantly do things that scare you. Always be in the pursuit of adventures that feed your soul. Be kind, be selfish, be real, open up, cry, laugh, laugh at yourself, try new things, try old things, never settle, be bold, be brave, be insecure, and most importantly be yourself.

I believe that self-love comes from the inside out. In addition to loving who you are as a person, I believe you should take the time to treat your body with just as much respect. My self-love, health, and wellness journey came about when I started immersing myself in other cultures. You could say I became the Carmen Sandiego of investigative reporting desperately tracking down anyone willing to share beauty and wellness tips in efforts to find what was really working out there. Of course, it didn’t take long to realize the best answers were the ones found in nature and used in beauty regimens that had been passed down from generation to generation.

Back when I was in college, I desperately wanted to get Gwen Stefani’s platinum blonde hair, so I did what any teenager would do and dyed my own hair—only for chunks of it to fall out. Let me tell you, that shit was b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I began to loathe the local pharmacy for false promises of shiny hair and clear skin. At a young age, it became evident that the products that lined the majority of the shelves at CVS were filled with nothing but empty promises backed by a good marketing scheme. It didn’t take long before I started making my own skin and hair care products. Now, I am happy to report that my hair is longer, thicker, and healthier than ever, while my skin is glowing and acne-free—most days. In practicing healthy choices, not only did I start to notice a difference on the outside, I immediately started to notice the wonders they were doing for my self-confidence on the inside. I was empowering myself through the simplest of ways, self-love. My hope is that you’ll be inspired by my passion and always choose to invest in yourself. We may not have met in person yet, but I hope that you’ll entrust in me when I say, “You’re WORTH IT.”

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for following along, and never hesitate to reach out and ask me anything! To quote one of my favorite poets, “I took the road less traveled and it has made all the difference,” Robert Frost.

Check out my portfolio: merissaprincipe.com

Happy traveling,

1 Comment

  1. Hi Riss. Love your statement of Depth over Distance! Our PR agency represents a number of resorts and destinations that offer deeper connections with the destination, culture and people, rather than just an escape from everyday life. Would love to work with you and host you at our properties/communities. Please let us know the best way to share our client list and various experiences we offer.

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