Hi, I’m Becky Pokora.
Way back in 2007, I found myself running around Europe for the first time, checking off “bucket list” attractions and visiting museums I didn’t care about.
All because a guidebook told me to.
Somewhere between a statue of a naked boy peeing and the thirteenth cathedral of the trip, a lightbulb went off. All my life, I’ve learned better by doing rather than seeing. Hands-on experiences, personal discoveries, and uncovering cultures and connections leaves me with longer-lasting, meaningful memories.
When it comes to travel, I believe interactive experiences are the most memorable. Now, I try to incorporate sightDOING on every trip I take.
Throughout my adventures, I’ve embraced opportunities to kayak among icebergs, bake croissants, and experiment with cupping therapy. I’ve made new friends through homestays, karaoke nights, and return visits to places I love.
These visits have taken me to 49 U.S. states, 51 countries, and all 7 continents. About half of my travels are solo, but I also travel with my husband, my sister, or other family and friends.
I’m Not All About Travel
When I’m not traveling, you’ll find me at home in Buffalo, NY with my husband Mike. I work full-time writing about travel rewards and credit cards at Forbes Advisor (it’s a dream job!) and carve out time to blog whenever I can.
I love cooking, hiking, and yoga, so you’ll find them woven into my free time. I also run when it’s nice out! Guilty pleasures include rainy day marathons of Top Chef and dinner out with my husband.
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This blog details my quest of interactive travel around the globe. I’m ready to get out and explore, and am looking forward to sharing tips and adventures with you!
28 thoughts on “About Me”
So I am a new reader, but am very excited to see that we’ve been to many of the same places! I love your “sightdoing” message and your backyard touring posts. It looks like we have a lot of things in common besides traveling, too! Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures!
@Katrina, I’ll be looking for your backyard touring adventures too. I love mini trips like that! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Ha! Was that you re-loading your RedBird at Target in Short Pump last week? 😉
Another fellow Richmond travel-holic.
@Kevin, I gave up Redbird when they stopped taking credit cards, but I’ll keep my eye out for you at the next easy MS opportunity 🙂
I have just found your website.
I am excited to see another happily married woman ‘solo’ traveling part of the time. I am in the same situation and none of my friends can understand why I would want to go or why my husband would be okay with me going but it works really well for us!
I feel more encouraged now to go!
@Lisa, Never stop traveling! Wishing you many more trips — solo or not — and many great experiences.
I know its an old post, but the same here. I have an itch t take off at least every couple of months. I speak 5 languages, and my Spanish is the weakest of all.After traveling to 40 countries, mostly Europe, i now found an excuse to travel almost every month to Latino America to “practcie Spanish”:) Going to Nicaragua in a few days. I love Latin countries and its people.
I was raising eyebrows on for a decade now by traveling by myself and being married. Very few people understand me, but its ok. They don’t have to. I will never stop as this is my passion, and noone can tell me how to live and enjoy my life.
@Yana, You’re going to have a great trip to Nicaragua and I’m glad I’m not the only married person who still enjoys traveling solo. Happy travels!
Just came back from NIcaragua. WHile i loved my trip, i suffered from lack of AC everywhere you go.
I ended up paying top$$ just to have normal rest at night.
It was a 102F some days.
Travelled with one small bag for 2 weeks, washed by hand everything. Next time will take even less clothes
I came across your website looking for help travelling carry-on only… Love all the great info… I’ve traveled carry-on only a few times, but always have to leave some stuffs behind … Not everything fits… I am average size… 5’6″, 140lb, size 10… Do you have to be mini size to be able to carry it all…
@Blizz, I am 5’4″ — things that help save space are rolling clothes instead of folding, using packing cubes (big help), and always wearing the bulkiest items. Hope that helps, but if not, make sure you are using the maximum size carry-on (my preferred bag is actually a little smaller).
Thank you Ayana for reaching out!
I’ve been in Japan visiting my daughter for the past two weeks and am off now to Indonesia for a month solo..my longest alone trip yet and most adventurous. I plan to visit Niceragua, Guatemala and ?? Next spring if you have any tips!
My email is: [email protected]
Let me know if you make it to San Francisco!
@Lisa, Japan and Indonesia sounds like a really cool combo. Talk about two very different places!
Next spring with Guate & Nica, the beaches of El Salvador make a lot of logistic sense or from Guate you might want to head into Belize, which feels like a very different part of the world. Have fun decididing 😉
Thank you SO much! I might be in touch in the planning stages for your wisdom ?
I found your site looking for DIY First Aid Kits. We are trying to minimally pack for 2 weeks so I want to take a small First Aid Kit. I am also happily married and have solo traveled a few times. My husband likes to do the same things I do(I guess that’s why I married him) so he goes along most of the time.
To Lisa- Belize!!!! It’s wonderful. Mainland Belize has so much culture and adventure and then there is Caye Caulkler which is backpackers paradise. We are headed to Caye Caulker in July… If you have Belize, Aruba or Puerto Rico questions…………
@Cecile, Sounds like a wonderful life of travel! I also try to pack minimally and hope that you found some helpful information.
And I so agree with your sightdoing! I’ve given people the definition of traveler and tourist, which are so different!
Your trips sound AMAZING!! Me and my friend want to take a semester off from college and travel. But we also want to save money, what would be a great cheap place to visit?
@Rebecca, The two regions with relatively easy logistics and low prices are Central America & Southeast Asia. If you have 2-3 months, I’d pick one region…if you have 4+, you could split your time (assuming you’ve got cash for the extra flight). You’ve got lots of choices within those regions, so even with a semester, you’ll probably still have to pick and choose your favorite spots. There’s never enough time to see it all!
My wife and I are heading for two weeks in Slovenia. I found your blog very helpful.
@Denton, Happy to help! Have a great trip.
Becky. Just found your blog and really like it. Another Richmoner here working at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and living out in Short Pump. Travel about 150 000 miles each year for work, but with my wife and boys when I can. Will be lecturing in Guatemala next week and leaving Tuesday with my wife. Just enough time to read what you’ve written!
@Bruce, Have a wonderful trip and hope you have a chance to see a little of Guatemala inbetween lectures.
Can you share about the last time you went through Panama Airport security,
did you bring your medication with you in the original RX bottle with label & 90
day supply. ??? Going to Panama end of Sept. 2019 Thank you
@Douglas, I don’t typically travel with prescriptions so I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of this. However, the over-the-counter medications I brought were NOT in original packaging and I had no issues.
“SightDOING”! I like it 🙂
I have friends who rush around checking things off a bucket list but I prefer not to travel that way. A lot of the time I just pick a direction, walk and explore.
Strangely enough, I often end up encountering the things tourists are “supposed” to see though a lot of the time I don’t know what they are. If they look interesting I do some research later so a lot of the time I’m doing things back to front.
@Steve, I hit a bunch of the things you’re “supposed” to see as well — and like you, often by accident/coincidence!