About The Dining Traveler

Who is  The Dining Traveler?  Jessica van Dop DeJesus is a Washington, DC – based travel media specialist with a focus on food and attainable luxury travel.  She began traveling as a young Marine almost 20 years ago and has been to 45 countries on and off duty.  She spent most of her post-collegiate years overseas, starting with a tour in Okinawa and most recently spent 6 years in Belgium (with a year in Germany in between) from 2006-2012.  She keeps her ties to Europe fresh as her family by friendship and marriage live in Northern Europe.  She comes from a bicultural upbringing as she grew up in Puerto Rico and Western NY State. All of these experiences gives her broad perspective on food and travel. In 2012, after many years away from the United States, melancholy crept in and decided to repatriate to the United States. She currently lives in Washington, DC where in addition to her travels, she blogs about the local food scene and explores the best attractions the city has to offer.

Dining Traveler at Kouri Island Okinawa
Dining Traveler at Kouri Island, Okinawa

In 2006, she left active duty military service, became a weekend warrior, and moved to Brussels to pursue her MBA.  Given her experiences, she has been fortunate to view the world in many different angles.  She has fed elephants in Thailand, hugged Koalas in Australia, fished in Dakar, sang schlager songs wearing a Dirndl in Munich, and loved every minute of it.  Currently on her bucket list includes more discovery of the new world, especially South America.

The Dining Traveler Blog
Jessica in Budapest

Why blog? She began chronicling her adventures as a diary for friends and family while she was living in Brussels on a blog called Adventures of a Puerto Rican girl in Brussels. There, she shared everything from her travels around Europe to her adventures in international dating. Upon returning to the states, she felt it would be great to continue to blog, hence Adventures of the Repatriate was born in 2012. The blog evolved as a travel and food blog and she decided to change the name to The Dining Traveler in October of 2014.


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What does The Dining Traveler offer? For leisure travelers, time is of the essence.  Jessica runs a digital marketing business, is a freelance travel/food writer, and also serves as a Marine Reserve Officer. Her goal is to find and share efficient travel experiences.  She’s a pro at turning a business trip into Leisure Travel.  Some travelers believe they are not able to experience a city or country during a short 24-96 hour period. Life is short! Take a weekend trip, whether it’s across the Potomac or a getaway in Spain, and maximize your precious vacation days!

For Jessica, travel and food are intertwined. You get to experience a lot of culture through food. When you find a local, off the beaten path place to dine, you can get a perspective how people live.  Jessica loves living in Washington, DC where there is an exploding culinary culture.  She feels fortunate to live in such a vibrant and diverse city.  Her mission is to inspire others to travel, whether it is to an Austrian vineyard or a museum in Washington, DC.

Want to work with Jessica? Send her an email jessica (at) diningtraveler.com