We’re blessed for all the opportunites I’ve had to travel with someone as wonderful as Krista. Our first trip was in 2007 to Cancun, Mexico, and since then it seems like our next trip is always in the planning phase.
Some trips were less than we’d hoped while some hold a special place in our hearts. South Africa was incredible. It’s still hard to believe I retired from the Navy and that very night we boarded a plane to Heathrow, U.K., then on to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ecuador wasn’t what we hoped but we went there with the intention of someday living there so what we missed was on us. What we did see was a couple of beautiful cities but, if there’s a next time, we’ll head to the coast instead.
One of the first things we learned about traveling was to book your own flights and check foreign airlines,especially if there’s one from the country you’re going to. Krista used an agent once and he gave her 30 minutes to change flights from Rome to Halifax at Heathrow. That’s one of the busiest airports in the world and I doubt Usain Bolt could have made it.
We’re also exceptionally good at packing light. Two weeks in Iceland with only a backpack and carry-on to hold everything we needed. Both of us hate checking bags and waiting at the other end to drag them around. Sometimes I surprise myself at the amount of camera gear I can squeeze into a small bag.
Our Next Big Trip
We’re planning a road trip across Canada, into the United States, then on down into Baja, Mexico. So far we have almost all the camping gear we’ll need, we’re almost ready to buy an SUV, and we have our eyes on a nice rooftop tent.
You can read more about our road trip here.
What We Learned Along the Way
Anyone who spends time travelling can come up with a list of things they’ve learned. Here are a few tips from us:
- Book your own flights. We find doing this gives us more control over which airlines we fly with and how long our stopovers (if needed) will be. Nothing worse than rushing through an airport to catch a connecting flight.
- If possible use just a carry-on bag. There are lots of helpful videos on YouTube if you think it’s impossible. We’ve gone to Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Ecuador, etc., with just a backpack and a carry-on bag each. pack what you know you’ll need, then, if there’s room, pack what you want.
- Carry copies of your important documents with you and keep the hard copies locked up or hidden away. DO NOT carry your passport with you, it’ll be a nightmare getting it replaced.
- Dealing with theft while travelling is much easier if you’re hard to steal from. Don’t make yourself an easy target by looking like an easy target. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Are you being watched? Is the same person checking you out or following you? Is their friendliness out of place? Trust your gut, if you have a bad vib – change what you’re doing immediately!