There should be no excuse not to travel, but we hear them all the time. Travel or stay home? Everyone has a reason not to go traveling and usually they’re things we tell ourselves to put off stretching our comfort zone and exploring the world. Most people find the time to go on vacation – trips to the beach or relaxing in a resort – but travel is a much different beast.
Should I go traveling? When I say travel, I mean immersing in another culture including the food, language and history. Travel isn’t always easy or glamorous, and sometimes it can be a sensory overload like walking the streets of Delhi, India or navigating through the Souk Bazaar in Marrakech.
It seems like every few months there’s an unfortunate story of someone being kicked off of a plane in the United States. Most widely publicized is the 2017 United Airlines incident where a passenger was bloodied and forcibly removed from a flight. Sometimes these removal stories appear to be for valid reasons while other viral stories are just bizarre. If you do a quick Google or YouTube search for “Passenger removed from airplane for…” the results will give you a list of reasons from “body odor” to “fat shaming” to “yelling at a Trump supporter” along with wild stories and videos. There was even the time a woman was denied bringing her emotional support peacock on board a flight. Now we can add “woman kicked off plane over vomit”
Ridiculous stories aside, this morning I learned about a serious one involving a Frontier Airlines flight out of Las Vegas that appears to have a lot of unanswered questions. The incident resulted in a mother being removed from a plane and arrested in front of her 14 year-old daughter who was placed in child protective custody. YIKES!
The alleged reason behind the arrest doesn’t seem appropriate for the outcome and it got me thinking about why these unfortunate incidents happen so frequently in America compared to the rest of the world and how my flying experiences vary greatly in both regions.
We began our Easter Holiday travels with two nights in Tallinn, Estonia and we were not disappointed. In fact, we left feeling that everyone should visit the capital of Estonia and we had discovered a hidden gem of Europe. Here are 13 reasons why:
At times, I think about what I would do differently now that I’ve been living in Denmark for over two years. Being an American expat in Copenhagen has been thrilling. Mike and I often describe it as “really high highs and really low lows”. There’s a lot more than what you see on House Hunters International. Expat life is intense! Most of this adventure, I would never change but there are still things we could have done better. One of those is something we look back on and call “the travel trap.” Here is some expat advice on how to avoid the travel trap.
We left Agra early and cold the day after visiting the Taj Mahal and Red Fort of Agra. The city was crowded, but by this point we have started to get used to chaotic traffic and the constant blowing of car horns. We left the hotel around 6am and were dropped off at the bus station to take the local bus to Jaipur, India. Jaipur is known as the Paris of India. A six hour ride on the local bus was a hip, no-frills way to travel. Riding through the small towns and villages was something we would have missed out on by train or plane. Dotted with small produce stands, crowds of people and animals moving in every direction – rural Indian towns were exciting to witness up close.
The day started early as we met in the lobby of our hotel at 4:50 am. Here, we prepared to leave New Dehli for Agra, India. We were off to visit the home of the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Needless to say, we were all a bit groggy in the morning. Still, the excitement of our first full day was more than enough to overcome the pre-dawn start time. We made our way to the train station and boarded Indian Railways for the two-hour ride to Agra.
This Easter, Mike and I decided to spend the holiday visiting Istanbul, Turkey. We didn’t know precisely what to expect in Istanbul. Still, the adventure was one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever had together. Istanbul packs a lot, which makes sense because it’s the economic, cultural and historical center of Turkey. The city also connects Europe to Asia both physically and culturally.
We experienced it all, from dazzling sights and delicious tastes to a stunningly unique culture. Visiting Istanbul is tremendous! Read about surprises we encountered along the way and a breakdown of our must-see attractions and how to do them right. Here’s some idea of what to expect.
I’ll be writing about the Napoli, Italy trip that we’re taking this week in stages and I’ll start by describing the itinerary we have lined up for a fun-filled, sun-filled mini-vacation to The Amalfi coast of Italy.
Our friends are planning a visit in September. Our original plan was to bookend their trip with time in Copenhagen and hit Oktoberfest for the weekend. A little into the planning process, we realized that an Oktoberfest trip takes considerable more preparation and we looked for other options. We settled on Stockholm out of interest and economy – $88 roundtrip tickets are pretty persuasive. This is not my first time to Stockholm, I was there just a month ago, but this trip should be pretty different because I won’t be traveling alone. Yes, I traveled alone for the first time when I went to Stockholm in July. Mike was away on business and I found a flight even cheaper than the previously mentioned one so I booked it.
Traveling alone for pleasure wasn’t scary to me, as I am more of an extravert. It also wasn’t the religious experience that some people make it out to be. I never saw Eat Pray Love, but I watched the trailer and it wasn’t like that either. Don’t let having to travel alone keep you from seeing new places. It was more enjoyable than I anticipated and here’s why.
“Can you be in Copenhagen on Monday?” – that was how this whole adventure started back in November 2016. That’s when Mike was asked to go to Denmark for a business trip on almost zero notice. After being briefed on the trip, he called me that Friday afternoon to ensure we didn’t have anything else going on during the weeks he would be away. My reaction was, “who cares?! GO!!” I didn’t know it then, but our expat life was about to begin.