From a Naive NYC Girl to
Owner of a Popular Hudson Valley New York Blog

Jackie is a Cherry Orchard at Prospect Hills Orchards in Milton, Hudson Valley NY

Hi! I am Jackie

Welcome to Hudson Valley Explored

This Hudson Valley Blog and Website was created specifically for those who want to learn all about this beautiful region of New York State.

Several years ago I started this little website to help others with the information needed to explore more of the Hudson Valley.

Since then, it has exploded.

With multiple ebooks, free lists and classes and tons of articles – this is the one stop resource you need!

Join the HV Explorers Club and purchase the ‘Picture Perfect Adventures in the HV’ Toolkit – I’d love to see and hear where you’ve visited.

Here’s my story…

Born and raised in The Bronx, NY, this NYC girl grew up thinking that Hudson Valley New York was “Upstate New York”. Even Sunday shopping trips to Central Avenue, in Yonkers, was a trip “Upstate”.

My dad and I seated on a 1970's Chevy Nova in the Bronx
1974 – Bronx, NY

Although I loved exploring the city (and taking the 6 train to Astor Place), the Hudson Valley New York always held a special place in my heart. But what would this naive Bronx girl do in ‘Upstate New York’? Who was I to venture out of my tight-knit Bronx community?

My first step to “Upstate” living would be to apply to colleges in Hudson Valley New York, and I did!

That is the time in my life that changed my view of the Hudson Valley forever.

I initially thought that:

  • Hudson Valley New York was for the rich & elite only
  • Things to do in Hudson Valley New York were too expensive for me to do
  • I would get kicked out of places where this city girl ‘did not belong’
  • I would stick out like a sore thumb

I want you to know who I really am. Every ‘About Page’ I see talks about how great the person is and what they have accomplished in their business, but I’m just a simple gal making my little corner of the internet a little bit brighter.

My close friends and family have seen me on top of the world when I initially got married and had my children. They have also seen me mentally and emotionally drained dealing with a divorce, post-partum depression, my major depressive disorder and debilitating anxiety.

Although I loved exploring the city (and taking the 6 train to Astor Place), the Hudson Valley New York always held a special place in my heart. But what would this naive Bronx girl do in ‘Upstate New York’? Who was I to venture out of my tight-knit Bronx community?

My first step to “Upstate” living would be to apply to colleges in Hudson Valley New York, and I did!

That is the time in my life that changed my view of the Hudson Valley forever.

I initially thought that:

  • Hudson Valley New York was for the rich & elite only
  • Things to do in Hudson Valley New York were too expensive for me to do
  • I would get kicked out of places where this city girl ‘did not belong’
  • I would stick out like a sore thumb

I want you to know who I really am. Every ‘About Page’ I see talks about how great the person is and what they have accomplished in their business, but I’m just a simple gal making my little corner of the internet a little bit brighter.

My close friends and family have seen me on top of the world when I initially got married and had my children. They have also seen me mentally and emotionally drained dealing with a divorce, post-partum depression, my major depressive disorder and debilitating anxiety.

Me & Oreo
My bestest friend & loyal companion: My Princess, Oreo
Me & Hubby at Washington Headquarters
The man who makes me laugh ever single day: My Hubby

They have seen me pick myself up after a divorce, deal with my post-divorce life when I had to live, with my children, in my parent’s home for a year, through the joy of finding love again and through the uncertainty of leaving my stable job to begin a brand new career & business, in digital content creation.

My Hudson Valley New York Blog has gone from 0 views a day to thousands of views a day through hard work & perseverance.

This is my story and I hope that it gives you an idea of who I really am.

Jackie at Orange county Arboretum, Hudson Valley NY
Here’s Me enjoying this crazy life
My beautiful kiddies who fill my heart so much.

Childhood

As a kid, I was creative – dancing, singing and taking pictures were my first loves. Then it transitioned to baking.

I always wanted to create.

Living in the Bronx, there was not a lot of ‘outdoor play time’ and I treasured our Summer trips to Yorktown Heights and swimming at the public pool at FDR State Park. These trips ‘Upstate’ are in a special place in my brain that takes me back every time to these wonderful childhood memories.

College Years

After moving up to Hudson Valley New York for college, I was scared to venture out. I was scared of getting lost (pre-GPS), scared of doing things on my own and I was shy and didn’t dare ask others to come along with me.

And where would I go? There was no internet and no way for me to research fun things to do.

So, I visited the same places in the ten-mile radius of school and continued that pattern through most of my adult life.

Most of My Adult Life

The pattern continued.

After remaining in the Hudson Valley after college, I still did not have the confidence to explore many areas and the craziness of life got in the way. I remained in the area that I knew and, felt comfortable in, and continued visiting the same places year after year.

I WOULD NOT step outside my comfort zone and this is when my anxiety got worse and worse.

Outings needed to be researched and the anxiety of going someplace new was sometimes debilitating.

After my divorce, getting re-married and moving to a 3-bedroom apartment in Yonkers, NY for a few years, we decided to buy a home, in the Mid-Hudson Valley, in 2013. It was 90 minutes north of the only place I knew.

What would I do? How would I know where things were located?

Fast Forward to 2013 

The pattern of seeing the same things over and over changed when we moved further North. The move from Yonkers, NY to rural Ulster County was what I needed to change my view on life.

I knew there was more to the Hudson Valley than the 10-mile radius I was comfortable with and moving to new territory FORCED me to drive further and see more (Thank you, GPS).

Even though, I still get anxiety, I work on strategies and make myself leave the house to see new places. I began doing research and seeing and doing more. I also began writing about my adventures on the internet in a simple blog that I had created on a free site. This inspired me to see even more places in Hudson Valley New York. And see more I did! 

2016 – Let’s take this Hudson Valley Blog to the Next Level

So with my hubby’s help, we bought a domain name and switched our free WordPress.com ‘hobby blog’ to a WordPress.org ‘professional Hudson Valley New York blog’.

Jackie from Hudson Valley Explored looking down at some pamphlets

And, here I am, several years later still exploring the Hudson Valley and taking you along for the ride.

I started by visiting 3 – 4 new places a year and now I visit dozens a year. If you want to know how I was able to see and do so much in such a short amount of time, then I recommend you read this post on how to explore the best of the Hudson Valley.

There are some really great tips that I’m sure you hadn’t thought of.

Here I am at the halfway point of my life. And if you would have told me that at this point in my life I would be teaching myself all there is to do, by myself, on my Hudson Valley New York Blog, I would have told you that were crazy. I still have some ‘down’ and ‘anxiety-filled’ days, but my goal is to continue showing you around the Hudson Valley.

Jackie and the Fairy at the New York Renaissance Festival

While helping thousands of people like you, I’ve discovered things I love in the Hudson Valley and things that I was not crazy about and that’s what makes my Hudson Valley New York blog so special: I am someone who lives here and not someone just passing through.

I have also discovered how to research and plan more efficiently and this has made a big difference in my life and in my adventures. If you want to know how I organize all my Hudson Valley New York information, then I recommend you check out my system here for seeing more & doing more with less stress.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story and I hope the story of your life is filled with bold choices, health, love and adventures.

Feel free to go here and send me a message. I respond to every email I receive.

I want to hear your stories. I want to know how else I can help you. I want the Hudson Valley Explored experience to be our experience, together. That’s how we all learn and grow together, including me.

I firmly believe that I’m not special, just a normal gal who enjoys what I do. In everything I do here with Hudson Valley Explored, I truly want to make this small part of the internet a better place.

Signature for Jackie at Hudson Valley Explored

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I afford to explore the HV so often?

Exploring the Hudson Valley does not have to cost a lot of money. There are many free & fun places to visit.

2. How Do You Get Around the Hudson Valley?

The easiest way is by car, but you can also get to many places utilizing the Metro North Train.

3. Is the Hudson Valley considered ‘Upstate NY’?

It really isn’t but I have a great article explaining why here.

4. Do you have an ready-made itineraries?

Yes! I have an ebook with 10 itineraries in 6 counties in the Hudson Valley (Westchester Co, Rockland Co, Putnam Co, Dutchess Co, Orange Co & Ulster Co). Get more info here.

Where I have been featured:

Jackie's Signature on Hudson Valley Explored

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