This Worldwide Traveler Reminds Us That You Don’t Need A Sabbatical To See The World

Life & Culture Writer

When Elona Karafin, a 24-year-old cancer survivor, returned from her first weekend-long adventure to Dubai, she was greeted with a cacophony of voices, firing question after question. The queries weren’t particularly original, either. It was the same thing, over and over. As the weight of repetitious inquiry threatened to overwhelm her, a friend asked, “Why don’t you just put this up on a website?”

And, thus Elona the Explorer was born. The page has quickly become a hub for anyone looking to maximize their experiences in a minimum amount of time.

In addition to running a travel site, doing interviews about her weekender expertise, and capturing beautiful travel imagery, Karafin also holds down a legit, full-time jobby job. As a side gig to her side gig, she also established a charity, serving underprivileged children with cancer. The charity, Checkmate Cancer, has grown exponentially — helping its founder bring in hundreds of people to contribute, whether financially or by becoming blood and bone marrow donors.

In 2018, the blog and charity will combine, as Karafin takes one fortunate cancer survivor on an adventure with her. She’s working with brands to fund the trip.

This week, Elona took time to speak with us about her passion for short term travel. She talked about why the trips are so important (and trendy), and dropped some valuable tips to help people looking to get their wanderlust on.

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