After a grueling two months of studying and several days of test taking, I took a deep breath in and exhaled slowly. Everything was done. My law degree had been officially conferred. The bar exam was over. I just had to wait for my results.
Since I graduated a semester early, I had a few months off before I started my new job with the law firm where I had been a summer associate the year before. So I did what many other law grads of privilege do: I took a post-bar-exam trip around the world while I awaited my results.
China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia. This was my dream trip.
“Well, Australia sounds nice, but I don’t know about those other places,” a friend’s mom said to me at a dinner party.
As a world traveler, I am fascinated by culture and food and music and history. I am amazed by the similarities and differences that unite and divide us all. More than anything, though, I feel that we are all one tribe in this great big world, and all around the globe, we are each dealing with this pandemic that is keeping us physically apart. We can still be united, though, through technology and memories and optimism about the future.
Theo and I have said many times over the past few years that we wanted to travel like mad while we could, because you never know when circumstances will change and keep you grounded. Well, now, I am so happy that we followed through on our crazy travel agenda for so many reasons. We have a wealth of experiences together over the last seven years with memories that will last a lifetime. And during this time of isolation, we’ve also learned that we can simply be at home together 24/7 and enjoy each other’s company. Sure we bicker at times and need our own space, but we are really fortunate to have a solid friendship and comfortable life.
Comfortable or not, staying grounded isn’t emotionally easy. We all have fear or uncertainty and suffer from boredom or stress that we didn’t have before the pandemic. So to keep me from going too stir crazy, I’ve been posting some travel memories—one each day—from A to Z. I thought I’d put them all together and share them here.
Our trip to Guatemala exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Not only is it a gorgeous country with beautiful scenery and the most amazing ruins, but we also found the roads and infrastructure to be very good for travelers and the people to be super friendly and hospitable. As with everywhere, there are places to avoid, precautions to take and upsetting levels of poverty in some areas. We donated to a dog rescue that helps take dogs off the streets and get the care they need. In fact, we adopted our dog, Nico, from this program years ago.
Aside from respective stints in Europe during or after college, we visited more countries this year than any other year. There are many reasons that the stars aligned for us to travel so much in 2019, including the opportunity to work remotely—so sometimes our laptops and responsibilities came with us on the road!
Importantly, we found some amazing travel deals on airfare and Airbnb accommodations. We maximize the benefits from travel reward credit cards (Chase Sapphire Reserve is our favorite). AND we visited 5 counties in a 10 night European adventure. Note that sometimes this is a bad idea, but it worked out really well on this itinerary and was worth it for the cost savings on airfare!
The Big Easy is one of our favorite U.S. destinations because it has a cultural and food scene like nowhere else in the country—really like nowhere else in the world. You can easily get overwhelmed with all the food options, so we thought we’d share a few of our favorites. Here’s how we suggest spending a day eating your way through NOLA.
My friends know that they can tell me their budget, preferred destinations and travel style, and I’ll find them the trip of a lifetime that’s right for them.
Being able to travel is definitely a privilege. For many though, cutting back on a few frivolous expenditures each week can fund an amazing trip. Also, knowing what travel tools to use is key to saving money without sacrificing luxury.
My first trip to Europe in 1998 was an organized educational excursion for class credit. The experience was vastly different from my second trek, a year later, when I grabbed a backpack and a Let’s Go Europe book and took off into the world with my college boyfriend without a plan.
Well, we had a loose plan. I was living in Colorado and we were going to go to take a trip home to Philly, but we found $350 tickets to London and decided to purchase those instead. We also wound up with a $75 round trip ticket to Amsterdam and a rail pass that was good for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. We explored them all. But not easily. Here are the mistakes we made.
Of course, the answer is YES, but there are some things to consider. We just got back from a three night Caribbean getaway to the French side of the island. The island is claimed by the Dutch on the south side (Sint Maarten).