About

Travel should be FUN.  Something that sparks your imagination.  Inspires creativity.  It's an adventure on which your inner child comes out to play.

I'm Victoria Shingleton.  A storyteller, photographer, and vacation-enthusiast.  Victoria on Vacation is a travel blog passionate about the design and sharing of vacations that evoke the kid at heart.

My adventures have taken me to new cities and countries, as well as returned me to places so familiar that I could call home.  One thing I've learned is that it doesn't matter where you go - whether it's someplace exotic and remote or a popular tourist attraction that millions visit a year - travel empowers you.  It offers a new perspective.  And whether you choose to channel that empowerment into meeting new people, becoming closer with your family, or experiencing new cultures is a decision that is entirely your own.

Victoria on Vacation is not a pretentious travel blog.  I remember reading in my tourism marketing class textbook of a great debate that has evolved of the traveler versus the tourist.  The issue arose because the 'traveler' believed himself to be better than the 'tourist' and didn't want himself to be classified as one of the fanny-pack wearers.... he was more distinguished, more learned.  Well, I'm here to say who gives a flying elephant?  Go where you want.  Do what you like.  And wear whatever you fancy.  Because the irony of it all is that no matter how you classify yourself, your tourism dollar is the same.  Why not just focus on enjoying how you spend it?

Welcome to Victoria on Vacation!

If you're new here, you can learn a little more about who I am, how I vacation, and my storytelling style through my trip reports.  Some of my most recent are:

2014 Disney Fantasy 7-Day Western Caribbean Cruise
2014 Carnival Breeze 8-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise
2014 New Year's at Walt Disney World (Waldorf Astoria)
2013 Christmas on Royal Princess 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Victoria on Vacation would be nothing without a great online vacation-loving community.  I'd love to meet and get to know more about you and your vacation style.  Join the community of kid-at-heart vacationers by commenting on any blog post!

You can also connect with Victoria on Vacation through Facebook, Google+Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  I can't wait to meet you!

Back when it all began....

I started Victoria on Vacation in 2009 for the sole purpose of sharing my family's spring break Las Vegas trip with family and friends.  For years, I had been writing "trip reports", sharing my Walt Disney World vacations with an online Disney fan community, MouseBuzz.  I really enjoyed storytelling and interacting with other people who enjoyed vacationing as much as I did, and I wanted to be able to extend that community to vacations beyond Disney.  So for not quite a year, my posts about trips to Las Vegas, Charleston, Destin, and Disney World were read by a handful of people.  And then I quit.

In 2010 on a spring break cruise with my family aboard the Serenade of the Seas, my table mates introduced me to an online cruising community, Cruise Critic.  After returning home, I joined the forum, and I wrote my first "Cruise Photo Review" of our Adventure of the Seas cruise in 2012.  I was humbled by the large number of Cruise Critic members who engaged with me and appreciated my writing.

The blog returned soon after in 2012, after I had graduated high school and moved to college, and was in the works of coordinating my sister's high school graduation cruise and other festivities.  That's when Google and Pinterest found me.  I was shocked as a few of my posts skyrocketed in page views and drove traffic to my blog.

Victoria on Vacation has come a long way since the beginning.  Since the relaunch, I've studied abroad in Genoa, Italy.  Traveled around Europe.  Spent the summer in New York City.  Became SCUBA-certified.  Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Clemson University.  And my newest adventure... I've moved across the country to Los Angeles to work toward my Master of Architecture at UCLA!

More About Victoria

In addition to travel, I've developed an interest in photography.  Writing this blog has really pushed me to improve my photography skills because I've visited many beautiful places and want to do the best job possible sharing their beauty with you.  The photos on the blog, unless otherwise noted, were taken by me.  While my photography has strengthened a lot over the years, I am by no means an expert, and I appreciate and encourage feedback, questions, and discussion of photography which you're invited to participate in by commenting on any post!  You can also learn more about my gear by taking a look inside my camera bag.

I'm an Architecture major and a Travel and Tourism minor.  My travel friends ask me why I am not pursuing a career in the tourism industry, and my answer is because I really love architecture.  My architecture friends ask me if I chose travel and tourism as a minor because it is easy, and my answer is no - I love travel and plan to be able to one day combine both of my interests and design for the travel and tourism industry (though sitting in a classroom among now pro athletes including Andre Ellington and Deandre Hopkins was an undeniable benefit from my minor selection).

While I enjoy traveling to a variety of locations, a few notable favorites are Disney parks and cruises.  I am an active member of three online communities - MouseBuzz, DISboards, and CruiseCritic - under the username LittleMissMagic because another important fact that I have yet to mention is that I was raised by Parrotheads.

And speaking of my upbringing, it is important to note that I would be absolutely nowhere without the love and support of my fun-loving parents, Boyd and Sharon.  Also always by my side is my sister and best friend for life, Rachel, who brightens every room she enters and never fails to make me laugh.  My family is my foundation, and I could never thank them enough for their constant encouragement.

Shingleton Family Selfie

~~~~~~Vacation, have FUN!~~~~~~