Broke-Ass of the Week – Travel Writer Kristin Luna
Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit'probably not.
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Jealousy and envy aren’t really traits of mine. Sure they creep in occasionally, but in general I think I’ve got a pretty amazing life. That being said, I’m totally jealous of Kristin Luna. Kristin is a travel writer. Yeah sure, I am too, but she does it the way I’d like to think I’d be doing it if I wasn’t so busy writing poop jokes about cheap stuff in New York and San Francisco.
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Kristin and I first met back when I was living in New York. We crossed paths on Couchsurfing.com and then met up for sandwiches in Bryant Park to discuss travel writing in general. Since then I’ve been following her excellent blog Camels and Chocolate and jealously reading her tweets. Now’s your turn to get hip to what she’s doing and gain some insight into being a broke-ass world traveler.
Name: Kristin Luna
Occupation: Travel Writer
What neighborhood do you live in?: On the border of Presidio and Laurel Heights, San Francisco
What are you listening to these days?: The Hope for Haiti Now benefit CD, though I usually listen to more of a hodgepodge of Sinatra-esque 40’s tunes (when cleaning and bumming around the house), Top 40 hits (when driving), hip hop (just cuz), and country (because I’m a Tennessee native, after all). My favorite local bands are the Gun & Doll Show and East Bay-based Lariats of Fire.
Best money saving tip: Ordering takeout from places where portion sizes are large enough to last you two meals. I figure I’d be spending at least $15 a day buying ingredients at the grocery store for three meals (produce is expensive, yo), so if I can stretch out a $10 noodle plate from Burma Superstar to last me dinner and next day’s lunch, it was actually the economical choice! Also, I’ve recently become obsessed with Groupon. I just got a $40 meal at Eos for $20 and painted $45 worth of pottery at a friend’s birthday party at Terra Mia for $22. Such a great concept.
What do you refuse to spend money on?: Bar bills. I’m not a big drinker, so aside from the occasional splurge at my favorite haunt Bourbon & Branch (where I’ll order two drinks max), I skip the booze. I’d rather save my money for plane tickets and good eats. And while I love to shop'”what girl doesn’t?'”I draw my line at designer shoes. Why would I spend $650 on Choo’s just for the label when a $40 pair of heels from Nine West look and feel just as good?
Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: A plane ticket to Rwanda (more than $2,000, eek!).
How’d that feel?: At the moment, my credit card’s buckling under the weight, but I imagine the trip next month will be more than worth it.
Favorite dive bar: Make-Out Room in the Mission.
Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I just booked my honeymoon ticket from San Francisco to Vietnam, first class, for a total of $60! (I finally found a useful way to cash in some of my airline frequent flier miles that were about to expire.)
Favorite free thing to do: I run a lot of races (half and full marathons), so you’ll often find me pounding the pavement along Crissy Field and the Marina waterfront. Running is the best free activity there is: You get to explore various nooks of this amazing city, and you don’t have to pay a pricey gym membership to get your cardio in.
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A summer home in the Algarve of Portugal! No'a private jet so I can see the parts of the world I’ve yet to explore! No'my own private island in the South Pacific! (I’m fickle'can you tell?)
Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Totally. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never make a fortune as a freelance travel writer. But my career affords me so many experiences on which you can’t put a price tag.
Do you own my book?: Duh.
Best hangover cure: Cupcakes. They’re kind of like duct tape in the sense that they cure everything. If there’s one thing that potentially matches my obsession with jetsetting, it’s my love for cupcakes. Anytime I’m hungover (or just plain down), I use it as an excuse for a trip to That Takes the Cake on Union Street.
Are you a hipster?: Not yet. But I’m marrying one, so surely that gives me some street cred, right?