The above quote is from my sweet next-door neighbor.
She's right. We travel.
We are away from home about as much as we are at home.
As we move forward in life we decided to "get it while the gettin's good."
PLUS, we are REALLY fortunate that we CAN travel.
So WHY am I transitioning into a travel website?
It's not REALLY a travel website.
Travel IS one of the great joys in our lives AND because we travel worldwide we have amassed a TON of information about travel.
All kinds of travel.
AND we have experienced so many facets of travel...
retreats with meditation, water sports, nature, wildlife, soaking in hot mineral water, dealing with health issues while traveling, visiting friends and family, making new friends, cuisine, culture, the arts, history, language, traveling with a service dog, eating right, exercise, and the delays of travel.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. (And by the way I just saw a mind-boggling number of icebergs in Alaska recently. Get yourself to Alaska, if you can!)
I was chatting with another writer friend yesterday and he said the subjects I can write about embodied in travel are practically limitless.
What better to write about than the things you enjoy the most AND the things that affect you the most, coupled with expeditions?
I've taught meditation and Qigong while traveling, had singing gigs, percussion performances, taken care of family, rescued lost, injured and displaced animals and made sure, on many occasions, that families on the street got a decent meal.
We have connected with interesting and unusual people.
Not the least of which, we have benefitted from it all with a world view. We see life beyond the four walls of our little town. THAT helps us to understand others and be more global citizens.
That being said...
You don't have to travel the world to get a bigger view of life.
Start in your town or city, then within your county, state, and region.
The U.S. has a myriad of discoveries waiting for you.
Some cities don't even feel like they are in the U.S. They have wonderful foreign influences. New Orleans is one of those examples.
There is a lifetime of travel in the countries that border the U.S.
It's not difficult or bank-breaking to get to Canada. Unless you are traveling to Vancouver, THEN you may need to break into the piggy bank. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Vancouver. I lived there for nine years. But it's cheaper for me to spend a month in Thailand than a week in Vancouver. Sorry, Vancouver.
South of the U.S. there's Mexico, Central America, and South America. Gratefully, my limited Spanish goes a LONG way. ("Learn more Spanish" is on my list.)
A flight from where I live in Florida to Costa Rica is cheaper than a flight from Florida to California!
Keeping an eye on airfare has become a hobby and we have reaped the rewards by booking airfare to Europe with a combination of points and lower flash sale prices.
Do you have a credit card? Most of them offer airline miles:
Chase Sapphire, Capital One Venture, Citi AAdvantage (we use this card), and Alaska Airlines Visa (we also use this one) just to name a few. (By the way, NO airline, restaurant, town, or business has paid me to recommend them.)
On the flip side of travel: We have seen unimaginable wealth and unspeakable poverty. We have come face-to-face with a worldwide homelessness issue.
Everything I have been addressing in my topical "human interest" writing I have also experienced through our travels.
We have learned to cut corners when necessary without EVER feeling we have cut corners.
We BOTH are also VERY "go with the flow."
We know so little is in our control that we don't get crazy about challenges that crop up in our travels. (Ok, sometimes maybe a little. And by that, I mean me.) It pays to keep your cool.
We have a family member who travels constantly and it never ceases to amaze me the compensation received for inconveniences, mistakes, bad service, bad attitudes and out and out bad business. There is a way to complain and a million ways not to complain. Freaking out gets you nowhere except with a headache, stomachache, anxiety attack and possibly escorted out of the building or off of the plane, banned for life. (I've seen it!)
We have stayed in lousy to luxury accommodations. We prefer somewhere in between.
It doesn't mean we don't treat ourselves. We do.
However, we don't take advantage of the higher end accommodations in certain extremely expensive cities or countries. It doesn't make sense for us.
I will talk about that in future posts.
I have "intel" on our personal explorations. Some of the information came easily and some required a little blood, sweat and tears. Again, somewhere in the middle works best for us.
We shop deals and do a ton of research AND have the benefit of military perks since my husband is retired Navy.
By military perks I mean being able to stay at some military resorts throughout the world, and staying in incredible lodging on bases. A cottage in your own cove in Hawai'i? YES! Saying "thank you for your service" is nice, however, the perks are even nicer. My husband earned it!
When our schedule is really flexible, we can fly military flights to destinations all over the world. For free. (That's a lot more planning and flexibility and SO worth it!)
Not to mention we are frequent flyers with 4 airlines.
We watch websites like hopper.com , www.airfarewatchdog.com and the airline and cruise line websites.
We monitor them several times a week.
As far as cruise lines we have sailed with three and our favorite HANDS DOWN is Celebrity. www.celebritycruises.com
We highly recommend getting on a repositioning cruise if you can. We took one Transatlantic from Miami to Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, France and Italy. It was reasonable and a great way to get a taste of several countries. The upside was a beautiful cabin with a veranda, incredible food and peace and quiet. The downside was a freak storm from the Arctic that brought with it 30 foot waves. As dishes crashed in the dining areas the band played. A moment out of Titanic. My husband showed me where the life vest was, gave me a sleeping pill and I slept through it waking to a beautiful, storm-free day. I was a bit anxious, but I'd do it all over again knowing we were on a ship engineered to handle rougher seas. Again, kudos to Celebrity!
In a nutshell, although I'm focusing here on writing about our travels, I will include human interest, holistic health, tips, ideas, feedback, reviews, recommendations, photos, videos, and more.
I hope you enjoy traveling with us and that you, too, can hit the road in some way.
Regardless what I say - go and see it for yourself.
As always, thanks for reading.
I'll be writing next week from Colorado!!