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Jessica Tejera: Family Outdoor Travel Blogger and Photographer (Tennessee)

Jessica Tejera, The Walking Mermaid, resting along rocky trail

Jessica Tejera is best known as The Walking Mermaid. It’s the perfect name for the blogger who loves the ocean as much as the mountains, and who delights children and inspires families with her outdoor tips and activity guides.

Today, the family outdoor travel writer and photographer lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, a historic town close to the Kentucky border. Originally, she’s from Puerto Rico. She was born in Arecibo**, which is a city located on the north-central side of the island. Considering that Puerto Rico is a mountainous island in the Caribbean Sea, it seems only natural that Jessica feels drawn to the beach and the mountains equally.

Jessica grew up going camping and hiking with her family since an early age. She credits her father for showing her what the outdoors can provide. Since she was little, her love for nature and our planet continued to grow.

Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. Photo by Jessica Tejera.

As soon as we discovered The Walking Mermaid online, we were impressed by Jessica’s creativity, passion, personality and outreach. Not only does she inspire people to connect with nature and each other, but she also motivates writers and photographers to share their adventures. A woman of our own nature- and creativity- and people-loving hearts.

We especially celebrate her focus on creating family travel guides in hopes to inspire families to travel outdoors together and reconnect with each other. “I feel that when you travel as a family or even on your own you can reconnect on a whole other level. A level of more personal and passionate reconnection.” This of course matches our theory to Help Your Kids Become Happier Adults: Take Them Outdoors!
Jessica Tejera also works as a freelance writer and photographer, pinterest manager, and e-newsletter writer. So don’t feel shy to reach out to her if your creative endeavor could use some assistance.

Jessica, Walking Mermaid, and her children chasing waterfalls.
Jessica and her kids chasing waterfalls together.

Jessica Tejera – what do you do?

I am a blogger over at The Walking Mermaid where I create family outdoor travel guides, gear reviews, and share conscious lifestyle and parenting tips. My goal is to inspire families to travel more outdoors together and connect through nature. 
I also help other bloggers and brands focus on their work by writing blog posts for them, editing photos, managing their Pinterest and Email Newsletters, as well as update small things on their websites such as creating landing pages and updating old content. 

Jessica Tejera, the Walking Mermaid, Stone Door Overlook, South Cumberland State Park, Savage Gulf, Tennessee
The Walking Mermaid at Stone Door Overlook in South Cumberland State Park on the Savage Gulf side, Tennessee.

Why do you do what you do?

I absolutely love what I do. It is something that I am very passionate about. I love taking photos and exploring new places, trying new restaurants, and chasing new waterfalls. When I travel I feel like I am connecting better with my kids and experiencing these new travels as a whole. Together we are creating memories that will last us for a lifetime. 
During my travels, I love to be creative and take tons of photos. I may take hundreds on a single hike. I feel that I continue to challenge myself on each trip we make. New angles, new ideas, new views, and new scenery. It helps my creativity grow. By taking many photos it helps me critique myself and also learn how to edit better than before. 

General Happier Place category?

Anywhere by the water or looking from a mountain top. Water is my main one though. I love going to the beach snorkeling and swimming. My favorite thing to do with my girls is collect empty seashells. We also love going to springs, lakes, and rivers to go kayaking and paddle boarding. If not we are looking for new waterfalls nearby to explore. Water seems to be what makes my family love the outdoors more and more. 

Walking Mermaid and daughters at waterfall in Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee.
Jessica and her girls at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.

Specific Happier Place locations?

Puerto Rico and Hawaii have a special place in my heart. There is just something about being able to climb up to the top of a mountain and see the sunset over the ocean. Puerto Rico however is home to me and I would always choose Puerto Rico first. The food criolla, the beaches, the bioluminescent bays, and the jungles will always have a special place in my heart.  

Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida, The Walking Mermaid
Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida. Also featured in Jessica’s blog post The Ultimate List Of Florida Springs.

What do you always bring out into nature with you?

My main essentials are water, snacks, a scrunchie, my camera, my Kula Cloth, and my pack. This also all depends on what type of trip we are doing. A camping trip, day hike, backpacking… 

Happier Place tips or hacks?

Oh yes. I always have to bring something to keep my little ones entertained and motivated. I actually make my own scavenger hunts (and other activities) for them to use when we go camping or hiking. 
Scavenger Hunts:
I also bring their favorite snacks on the trail. I always tell them that when we get to the next stop that I will give them a snack. My little one loves those dehydrated mangos and my oldest loves the Chocolate Energy Bites from Peak Sherpa which makes it easy to keep them going throughout the entire trail.  

Jessica Tejera, The Walking Mermaid, sitting on a long in the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois
Jessica Tejera, The Walking Mermaid, in the Shawnee National Forest, Illinois.

A dream destination?

Oh my bucket list is very long. Some of the top destinations that I really want to go to are Switzerland, Croatia, and Spain. 

Words of inspiration?

Oh this one is so hard. I always share quotes on the majority of my Instagram posts just because I have so many that I like. One that I recently shared on Instagram and is very high on my list is:

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.
I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of the flood, the storm, and the avalanche.
I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.

John Muir

I believe that this quote describes me perfectly. It is exactly what I want my life to be. 

Find Jessica Tejera, The Walking Mermaid, online:

Instagram: thewalkingmermaidblog 
Pinterest: walkingmermaid 
Facebook: thewalkingmermaidblog 

Pin one of these images to Pinterest to save the post + share it with others.

Jessica Tejera, The Walking Mermaid, Family Outdoor Travel Blogger and Photographer

All photos courtesy of Jessica Tejera.

Let’s inspire each other!

What do you prefer: Beach or Mountain? Or both, like the Walking Mermaid? What a clever name, right?
Have you been to any of the places mentioned by Jessica Tejera or featured in her photos?
If you’re familiar with The Walking Mermaid already, please tell us which of her guides is your favorite.

Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share or ask…

** Arecibo also happens to be the name of the Brooklyn car service company we used for over a decade. While it has nothing to do with Jessica, we can’t let this go unmentioned, as a nod to the ol’ Brooklyn fam. “5 minutes…”

17 thoughts on “Jessica Tejera: Family Outdoor Travel Blogger and Photographer (Tennessee)

  1. I love her outlook in life. She is passionate in her work and I am so happy that she takes her family everywhere she goes. It is a great experience not only for her but for the children as well.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kristine. Sharing outdoor fun with your kids is probably one of the best things you can do for them to ensure a happier future. We’re so glad we can introduce Jessica to new people this way.

  2. Great bio! I’m like you, I love both Mountains and the beach. I live in a place now with neither and it hurts my soul. Someday I hope I can find access to both again!

  3. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. The picture of the water fall captures the serenity of the place. Great post and thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Marjie. Jessica is a great photographer – and she knows how to find some beautiful spots out there!

  4. What a lovely introduction! Jessica seems to be an amazing person. I always admire people that appreciate and love nature but also connect with it. I live close to the forest and I go often for a walk to recharge and get my peace of mind restored.

  5. It was great to know more about Jessica. Her story is indeed inspiring and I totally support her advocacy of inspiring families to go outside and explore the world.

    Checking her blog right now as I could also use some tips on outdoor activities.

  6. Jessica is absolutely inspiring me! I’ve always postponed all my hiking trips just because I went on one and oh my! I got so exhausted and my muscles were craving; thanks to never doing exercises. I should give it a try because the outdoors can be so exceptional! Just look at those falls and the Rainbow Park! So beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Dalene! Great to read that you find Jessica and her photography as inspiring as we do.Too bad you had an early hiking experience that was simply too much. I think that can happen with all physical activity: if you do too much until it hurts the first time, you don’t want to do it again for a long time. Maybe you can go for a few chill nature walks to build up to a full hike. As long as we get outside and move around, we’re already a bit happier and healthier IMHO.

      1. I will definitely hike sometime later…lemme first work on my fitness routine. I wouldn’t want to miss the beauty of nature!

        1. I love going to nature place. All the clicks are amazing. I would love to visit here sometime

  7. Such a great feature! I always take my camera into nature! I love to snap a few photos of nature.

    1. That’s wonderful! With a camera in hand, we often pay closer attention to our surroundings. 🙂

  8. What a lovely interview I really enjoyed reading out Jessica and am now off to find out more on her blog x

    1. So glad to know you enjoyed reading her interview. I’m sure you’ll find lots of inspiration for your kids and entire family over on Jessica’s Walking Mermaid blog!

  9. Thank you so much for featuring me. I had a lot of fun working together on this interview.

    1. Thank you so much for doing the interview, Jessica! You were already such a wonderful inspiration. It was a delight to get to know you better. Thank you for what you do to get families outdoors to feel more connected and happier!
      xx Luci

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