Tag Archives: year in review

Year In Review: Travel Highs and Lows in 2014


In getting ready to unplug for Christmas and other holiday fun, my last post for 2014 is about this year’s top travel moments. Here is a list of both my high points and low points with some takeaways.


  • Traveling across country by rail. In late August, I went to Germany with my cousin and we decided to use the Deutsche Bahn railroad system to get around. We started from Berlin to Hamburg, then on to Heidelberg, Cologne and Munich and then ended our trip in Lucerne, Switzerland. The overall experience was great and a money saver. Months before we went, I bought each advanced ticket online (my cousin gave me all the dates, times and destinations I needed to select) and printed out all of them to bring along with me. By doing this, I paid maybe between 35-55 Euros (roughly 40-60 in US dollars) per ticket. If I had waited longer, the prices would have gone higher. The D-Bahn is a very reliable service and it’s nice to be able to stare out the window while en route from one city to the other. I definitely recommend taking the train when traveling, especially abroad.
  • Going to my first TBEX. TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) is an annual conference season for travel bloggers of all types and levels that happens usually at destinations in both North America and Europe. This year marked my first time going. In September, I was at its North American conference in Cancun and overall I had a nice time. Many friends went, and some even spoke, and I got to meet well-known travel media pros like Johnny Jet and The Planet D. Next year’s TBEX Europe is in Costa Brava, Spain and there is also going to be a first-ever TBEX Asia in Bangkok. Some might debate about whether TBEX is worth going to or not but there are perks like vendor discounts and good networking ops. Plus, if you’ve wanted to go to the destination TBEX is being held in, now’s your chance.
  • Visiting Jamaica. Another travel first this year was going to the Caribbean. I got picked by Visit Jamaica’s tourism board to go on a Bucket list themed press trip in four quick but fun days. My media group ventured along Jamaica’s north coast and spent time in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. I’ll be writing about each part of it soon but overall our trip involved cultural, culinary and thrill-seeking activities. Like going on a bobsled ride.


  • Getting pick-pocketed in Cologne. I’m usually pretty good with nervously keeping an eye on my stuff. I messed up in Cologne when I kept leaving my purse open when I took out my camera or iPhone to take photos inside the Cologne Cathedral. I can’t remember how long it took before I realized that my wallet had been stolen. I probably was distracted or maybe it was a bump and grab move. Still, it sucked to lose my credit card, driver’s license and insurance card. Thankfully, my passport and extra Euros were still on me. I wrote about it here if you want to learn more.
  • Running out of money in Lucerne. Another thing I think I’m decent with is travel spending money and bringing enough with me. But I really misjudged prices in Switzerland. The Swiss Franc is higher than the Euro, so something as simple as a fast food combo order can equal out to 12 Francs. Or even an over-the-counter bottle of ibuprofen can cost 9 (And that was for the smallest size I could find). My cash stash ran out two days before I was to head home and I had no cards on me (I didn’t bring my debit card). My cousin gave me some money, which made me feel bad, but thanks to him I didn’t go hungry.
  • Discovering how (not so) far my dollars go. Being a freelancer for the past four years has opened up some cool travel media invites and opportunities for me. At the same, I’ve been spending more this year than I should without balancing out the difference. For 2015, I’m also looking more at closer destinations with shorter stays. As of now, my set plans start in May, as I’ll be heading up to Toronto for a weekend getaway. My goal is to get to Asia next fall (hopefully for TBEX), so in order to afford to do that I’m planning in advance now by cutting spending and cutting down on debt. And getting more work going.

Hope this year was a good one for you and that 2015 will be even better. Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Looking Back at Travel in 2013

Although my blog is maybe eight months old, 2013 has been a good year for me with travel. I got around quite a bit. From local jaunts to overseas destinations, I learned a lot, tried new foods, made new friends, and got better at branching out of my comfort zone.

Here’s a quick recap:



The New York Travel Festival will return to National Bohemian Hall this April.

I try to get to the annual New York Times Travel Show, held about mid to late February at the Jacob K. Javits Center. It’s a good consumer show for those who to get more information about different places. Sectioned off by continent and country, tourism boards, tour companies, hotels and major attractions man booths to talk about why you should visit them and offer pamphlets and tchotchkes. There are giveaways as well as performances, lectures and fun demonstrations.

In April, I helped out with promoting the New York Travel Festival, a new event for urbanites already seeing the world. It will be back again April 26 and 27 at Bohemian National Hall, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The festival features a who’s who of travel experts that present solid advice on various travel pursuits and interests.

Another new festival coming up this March is the Women’s Travel Fest. Organized by Go! Girl Guides, this one-day event is for the ladies that will help those who are hesitant to travel (even solo) with sessions on concerns female travelers often have.


Head upstairs and hang out in T4X's lounge section.

Delta celebrated the opening of its new T4 Terminal with a Popup shop in SoHo.

Through Meetup and other invites, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of awesome travel bloggers, vloggers and experts through Travel Massive and Young Travel Professionals (YTP). These professional/social groups hold monthly meet ups in their locations (I belong to the New York City branches). They are nice nights out.

Some of the events I’ve gone to this year include a pop-up place for Delta’s new T4 Terminal at JFK; a dinner held by Tourism Toronto; a visit to The Explorers Club; and receptions with tourism boards for Germany and the Czech Republic.


On a beach at an island resort in Fiji’s Beqa Lagoon


In July, I went on my first press trip. Just for the heck of it, I had put in my name in for a trip to Fiji, organized by Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways. And got in. For about four days, I traveled around Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island, exploring the town of Nadi and the capital city, Suva; took a cooking lesson; stayed at an island resort; and visited a cultural center.

Just two weeks later, I went from warm temperatures to cooler ones. I always wanted to go to Iceland, so I booked a spot on a nine-day tour with Gate1Travel. Our route started in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, and went along the south coast and back up north.

I want to thank every person or outlet that gave me the opportunity to go places this year. With 2014, my planned destinations include Spain and Canada, and there are potential ones coming up in the fall. Happy New Year and jaunt somewhere too!