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INTERESTING WOMEN

Travel tales

ANKENY MOM BLOGS ABOUT HER LOVE – AND KNOWLEDGE – OF TRAVELING THE WORLD WITH CHILDREN By PATT JOHNSON Photos by DAVID PURDY

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s a farm girl growing up near Greenfield, Jody Halsted says her family was the kind of poor that vacations and travel weren’t a part of their vocabulary. She graduated from high school, studied cosmetology, moved to Minneapolis and began bulking up her savings so she could fulfill a fantasy. Traveling became her quest. “I just wanted to see things,” says Halsted, 41, who lives in Ankeny. She went to the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, Pennsylvania and Canada. For someone who had never traveled, every trip was a wonderful adventure, she says. She traveled with friends and alone. She ventured outside the United States and many spots within its borders. Halsted has turned her love of exploring new places into a business. She writes blogs for a number of travel sites and for her own family travel site. She also is a freelance magazine writer, focusing on travel. She is constantly posting, tweeting and linking all things travel. She gets free trips from companies offering hotels,

8 Des Moines WOMAN | February 2012

attractions and events, and in turn she talks about them on her blog. She takes her family, which includes husband Doug and daughters Brenna, 7, and Caelan, 5, along on adventures when it’s feasible. Otherwise she travels alone, sometimes speaking at travel conferences, other times

visiting out-of-the-way bed and breakfast inns or luxurious hotels with kid suites. “I love roaming the world,” she says. “There is always something new around every corner.” When she was 30, Halsted

realized a longtime dream and visited Ireland. “I had a rental car, a map and a list of B&Bs,” she says. “I decided I would go wherever the road would lead me. It was a journey of discovery and I thought, ‘This is what I want to experience all the

Des Moines Woman | February 2012  

The magazine for women in Des Moines and central Iowa