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.
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.
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).
Daydreams of world travel often feature champagne greetings, comfy first-class seats, romantic train rides with stunning scenery, moderate hikes to gorgeous vistas, and contemplative strolls through historic sites that connect your soul with antiquity.
But, yeah, you know where we’re going with this one, right?
Many times, when international travelers set out to explore Central America, they start with Costa Rica and Belize. Perhaps they check out the Tikal ruins in Guatemala and the beaches of Roatan, Honduras and Bocas del Toro, Panama. The adventurous wanderer might continue on to Nicaragua’s colonial city, Granada, or island beauty, Ometepe. Us, too! But many travelers overlook El Salvador. That’s precisely why we went and WOW!
We just spent four wonderful nights in the Galápagos Islands without leaving the main hub of Puerto Ayora. 🌴 It took us a while to plan a trip here because we mistakenly thought you needed to take a cruise or guided tour to enjoy the islands. But that’s not the case—we had a blast exploring everything Santa Cruz Island had to offer.
I used to try to find the cheapest room in the best location. After all, the room is only where you sleep while your not out exploring and adventuring, right? Like this room in Thailand was just fine for me:
I recently changed my mind about booking the cheapest room, because I realized I can actually save money by booking the better room. Now, this is definitely because my circumstances have changed. I used to be a young solo traveler and now I’m an old(er) married traveler. And the hubby and I happen to enjoy each other’s company.
So we’ve found that if we spend a little more money on the room with the view, we are more likely to have our morning coffee in the room or get a meal and a bottle of wine later in the day at the market (for way less $ than at a restaurant) and relax and enjoy it and the view from the comfort of our room.
It definitely depends on the cost of the upgrade, but sometimes it’s as little as $10-$20 per night. If you’re comparing hostel beds, that may be too much, but if you’re generally staying in hotels, it’s worth checking out!