You traveled during a PANDEMIC?

Sure did. I don’t expect anyone to understand, but I did travel during, and will still continue to travel. See, travel to me, is so much more than flocking to the beach, getting drunk and stumbling back to my room. Don’t get me wrong, I have done that plenty of times.

My life keeps handing me all sorts of surprises. I am actually a very private person, and rarely talk about any of my trials and tribulations. There’s a chance you lucky readers will hear about it someday. So many people go through such shitty things in their lives, I never ever take for granted any trips I take, even if its just down the street because I wanted to stay in a hotel to get closer to earning Hilton Diamond Status. So, if you think I’m selfish, or disrespectful for traveling during a pandemic, that is fine.

I hate pity, I hate attention and I really hate people trying to offer some empathy. When life gets hard, I don’t whine about it, (most of the time)I just travel. Travel is my escape, travel is my therapy and travel is the fuel that allows me to push on.

I had some fabulous trips planned before our good friend Mr. Covid arrived. I was going to explore the Washington State National Parks, A Scandinavian Cruise and was hoping to enjoy Edinburgh’s Hogmanay again. I rebooked the Washington trip for this year, you can read about it here. The Scandinavian cruise, will happen, in time, and for Christmas/New Years I will find something equally as fulfilling to do as the World learns how best to reopen.

As you all know travel was completely halted for months. This takes a heavy toll mentally when you are someone that’s current life purpose is just to travel. I working on that “life’s purpose” thing, cut me some slack.

JetBlue to the rescue. When travel started opening up a bit, I stumbled upon one of JetBlue’s flight sale emails. Some states were still closed, but I was determined to go somewhere, anywhere. Oh, hello $50 round trip to Chicago! Without a second thought, I booked it. The timing worked out so I could have time after the trip to watch for symptoms before returning to work. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going.

I’m not even a city person, so I didn’t spend anytime in the Covid hotspot of Chicago. Instead, I made my way east and spent some time in Indiana Dunes National Park and Cuyahoga National Park.

I’m not going to lie, travelling while the entire world was shut down, wasn’t the best of trips. The two best parts: empty flights and just being outside. My flight to and from Chicago was empty, the plane had maybe 20 passengers. My rental car was squeaky clean, there was no traffic in Chicago, and hotels were pretty cheap.

However, not a whole lot was open. Restaurants were take-out only, stores were closed, and the biggest bummer, National Park Visitor Centers were closed. They still made it possible to get park passport stamps, but I REALLY enjoy the Visitor Centers and the park movies.

At Cuyahoga National Park, it was a really long drive for a good 20 minutes around the park. Weather or construction had closed one of the roads, the Visitor Center was closed, the main hiking trail was closed and besides the three other people lurking around, it was pretty much a ghost town. I walked around by the river, and snapped some photos around the train tracks and decided that someday I’ll have to come back to fully enjoy the park and take a ride on that train.

Indiana Dunes was a different story. Again, not busy, no visitor center, but the beaches were open! I swam in that lovely water everyday. The temperatures in and out of the water were fabulous. Lake Michigan is so big, you feel like you’re at the ocean, waves and seagulls included. The beaches offered gorgeous views of the Chicago skyline, and I stuck around every night for sunset.

Overall, this trip was just what I needed. A little time away, some nature therapy, two parks checked off the list and a happy, Covid-negative heart upon return.

I’m not a monster, I tested before and after.

Stay tuned for my next pandemic trip and see how this old hag turned 40…..

~Kel

3 Washington National Parks in one Weekend?!

That’s right folks, one (long) weekend, and all three Washington State National Parks checked off. This was supposed to be a 5 1/2 day trip, but thanks to a last minute flight schedule change I lost a whole day. Sure, I was bummed. I would most certainly have to rush through some stuff and flip all my travel plans around. C’est la vie!

This trip was the maiden voyage for my new Away bag. I had been eyeing them for awhile. I was definitely influenced by my favorite you tubers. Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase. There is tons of room, it glides nicely and even has a portable power bank, just don’t forget to pull it out before you check your bag!

Safe travels lil buddy…

My trip begins with fabulous journey– Boston to Seattle via JetBlue Mint Class. If you get a chance, its totally worth it. I think this may be the only way I’ll get to fly “First Class” for awhile, but if you’re like me, just keep searching the deals are out there and this is the most affordable I’ve found! The Mint Class seating features drinks, full meal, lay flat seats, amenity kits, and priority boarding. I cannot sleep on airplanes, so these lay flat seats are game changers!

Upon arrival, I headed over to Enterprise for my car. If you don’t know, there is such huge issues with rental cars lately. The staff were scrambling to find cars for every customer. I hoped they would let me snag that fancy Range Rover sitting over in the corner, but no, he managed to scrounge up a Dodge Journey. I do not recommend, but at least I had a car.

I typically don’t like to drive at night when I am travelling solo, but I had a hotel reservation and some time to make up! This type of travel isn’t for everyone. I don’t mind, because when its just me, I can stop and go as I please, and if I’m a tired grouch bucket, no one but me has to deal with it.

The first part of my route took me to North Cascades National Park. As I will soon find out, even in May the weather has not quite turned to summer yet. I drove the Cascade Loop around the park. The Covid restrictions were loosening up a little, so I was able to visit the Visitor Center, but it wasn’t completely open, which is a bummer, because I really enjoy learning from the Rangers, watching the park movies, and browsing the displays. Welp, at least I got to use the bathroom and collect my park stamp. The drive was gorgeous and there was still quite a bit of snow. Luckily all the roads were open.

After driving through North Cascades, I settled in for the night in the cute Bavarian town of Leavenworth, Washington. It is adorable. I grabbed some local cuisine for dinner, walked around the shops and grabbed some local chocolate for dessert. I’d like to come back around Christmastime. I hear its even more adorable. Or hey, maybe even make it to Oktoberfest–who’s coming with me???

Next stop, Mt. Rainier National Park. Now, this is where I probably should’ve done some more research. It turns out, that there were only two ways to get into the park this time of year, and neither road went through the park due to closures. Alrighty then, since I’ve been driving so much, time to get out and move my legs on nice little hike.

I chose the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail and took my new GoPro on its maiden voyage. This is a very easy hike a little over a mile long. The trail crosses the river via a suspension bridge. Now, I may or may not have PTSD from the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, but this one was a piece of cake compared to that one. As you may have read in previous stories, I’m not the most stable on my feet, however, I played it cool so I didn’t face plant in front of the young kids who were obviously professional bridge crossers.

Two parks down, one to go. Oh Olympic National Park. You are massive and beautiful. I knew before I started this trip, that I must visit the Hoh Rainforest. This is located on the west side of the park, so quite a bit of driving to get there. Luckily the views helped pass the time.

The Hoh Rainforest was the busiest of all my trip so far. I was really looking forward to doing the Hall of Mosses Trail, but wouldn’t ya know…it was closed due to trail maintenance. Womp womp. It’s ok though, instead, I took its neighbor trail, the Spruce Nature Trail. I spent about an hour walking the trails. Despite the volume of people, the trails were so quiet. I enjoyed reading the posted informative signs along the trail. There’s something really special about the rainforest!

Next stop, Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Here’s a pro tip: don’t always trust your GPS. A nice coastal drive, fabulous weather, blue sky, through the city of Forks, WA “In a half mile, turn right” Hmm, no signs that say “turn here for Hurricane Ridge” I consider myself pretty adventurous, so I trusted Mr. Waze.

Goodness, this was not a maintained road. It was steep, bumpy and through someone’s back yard possibly? Waze wasn’t recalculating, so it was leading me somewhere. After some white knuckle driving, I ended up IN the park. I snuck in, bypassed the gates. Now, before you get all huffy on me, I purchase an Annual Pass every year, so I guess I technically wasn’t sneaking in. There was no way that road is a very common way in though!

The drive up to Hurricane Ridge was so pretty. I caught up with some wildlife and enjoyed the fabulous views from the top. I met a couple from Chicago that said they were in the same spot 2 days ago and couldn’t see two feet in front of them due to a snow storm! Today was my lucky day, clear blue skies and mild temps.

My final stop for the trip was Bremerton, WA. Now, I didn’t know this at the time, but my hotel was right at the ferry terminal. I had planned to drive back to Seattle, but something told me to face my fears, and take the car ferry. Now, if you know me personally, you may know that I can travel the world by myself with no fear, but silly little things like car ferries and drive-thru bank tellers scare me. I know, I’m pathetic, leave me alone. One fear, conquered.

~Kel

Travel Booking Lessons Learned….

I used to have a strong desire to be a travel agent. One of the reasons I love travel so much is the planning process. I love fitting all the pieces together. I have helped so many people “just for fun” plan their trips. I spend hours on TripAdvisor, Google Flights and YouTube. My phone has running list of fun places to visit as I see incredible influencers like Kara and Nate, The Endless Adventure and The Bucket List Family travel the world.

With websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak, the need for actual travel agents has decreased. For years I would hop on board with whatever the cheapest package Expedia suggested. This burned me more than once.

At the start of my travels, I was on a very strict budget. Expedia always seemed to be the cheapest way to book. In my elder years, I have learned many lessons the hard way. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong using this method to book, its quick, convenient and can sometimes save you a few bucks. I recommend this method to many people who are just looking for a quick vacation where they don’t have to think about anything. Three strikes and you’re out for me though. Will I never use third-party booking again? I can’t say that. I have been known to hop on Hotels.com in a pinch. I will however, guarantee that it will always be my last option when booking travel.

The first strike came with Dollar Rental in San Diego. I booked the cheapest rental through Expedia. Car wasn’t the greatest, seemed older than should be allowed for a car rental, but all seemed fine until my rental return. The fine print in the rental agreement stated that the car could not leave “Southern California.” Sure enough, the GPS installed in the car showed that I left their zone and I was penalized hard. It was not stated what constituted “Southern California” but as it turns out. I drove THREE miles out of their zone. So because the car left the area I was penalized for every mile I put on the car, not just the three miles out of Southern California. $500 tacked onto my credit card. Because I booked through a third party the manager wouldn’t even entertain a conversation about it.

Lessons learned: read the fine print, become loyal to bigger rental companies, book direct.

“So Cal”

Strike two happened in the Jackson Hole, WY airport (gorgeous BTW). I just had an amazing bucket list trip through Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. I booked the trip through Hotels.com Vacations. Never, ever again. (Didn’t you just say you still use hotels.com?) Sure did. However, their vacation package unit is a separate service.

Jackson Hole Airport

Towards the end of my trip, I received a notification that my return flight was changed. Ok, whatever, I’m sure its fine, besides I have no other choice. Jackson Airport is small, and has limited flights in and out daily. When I arrived to check in for my flight the kind woman at the American Airlines counter said she could not check me in because I had an “impossible” connection. Confused, I said, I received a notification that my flight was changed yesterday. Why would they change it to an impossible connection? My favorite line once again: “Since you booked through a third party, I cannot change anything on my end.” Nothing against this woman, she was sweet as pie, and in the end out of sympathy, pulled some strings and re-routed my ticket that involved a sprinting airport connection and a lost day. When I called Hotels.com they also said it was out of their hands and the lady at the counter was wrong and a 20 minute connection was fine.

A lot of airport waiting….a lot of staring at my bag…

When I got home, I called hotels.com again to see if they would refund some of my trip cost because the whole mix up was technically on them. My phone call was escalated to higher management, and he said there was nothing they could do, they did nothing wrong and I should not have used profanity towards an employee. Not proud of that one, I promise I was super polite at first, but the guy WAS a dick. I didn’t say that to him, but I may have said “bullshit” in response to some dick-ish thing he said.

Lesson Learned: Don’t EVER use Hotels.com Vacations, American Airlines has horrible connections, book direct.

Strike Three doesn’t really count because it all worked out thanks to booking part of my trip direct. I was at Boston’s Logan Airport for a DAYTIME flight to Scotland. Those that fly to Europe from the United States East Coast know that daytime flights are few and far between. That overnight flight jet-lag is REAL, so I was so excited to start this trip a little differently. I was due to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas in Galway, Ireland. I had a hotel and flights lined up to get me from Edinburgh to Dublin (on a separate reservation)

Galway, Ireland

A text alert on my phone the evening before my flight, as I’m having dinner in the airport hotel, says my flight has been changed, and will now be an over night flight the following day. Shit. Immediately, my non-refundable hotel reservation and connecting flight (on a separate ticket) were lost.

One of the coolest things about flying a European based airline, is the existence of an EU law called EC-261. I learned about this by chance a few years earlier. The legislation says that any EU flight delayed more than 4 hours for almost any reason besides weather and incidents out of their control, awards the passenger compensation.

The airline must be EU based. The first time I took advantage of this I used a company called Airhelp. They literally do everything for you after answering a few questions. They do take a cut of your compensation, but not knowing any better, I didn’t care. You can receive up to $700 for your claim.

This trip, I was compensated approximately $600. This was enough to cover my hotel stay, my missed hotel night that was not refundable because I booked 3rd party, and my quick flight from EDI to DUB. This is why I don’t consider this real strike.

Who doesn’t love a Christmas Donkey?

Since I booked my flight directly, the airline was able to switch my ticket and fly me directly to Dublin instead of Edinburgh (even though I had a separate ticket with a different airline) so I could make it in time for my Christmas Eve reservations. I was so appreciative of the ticket agent who despite being yelled at by a line of passengers before me, was still kind.

Lessons Learned: Book Direct, try not to book separate flight tickets, fly EU based airlines, and be kind to airline employees.

Plenty of time to learn Gaelic in the Dublin Airport

~Kel

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay!

Hell slap it intae ye! if you don’t visit Scotland during Hogmanay! Let’s give TWENTY THOUSAND people real flame torches and march down the Royal Mile? Let me tell you, this was the highlight of my trip!

If you are looking for a unique way to ring in the New Year, look no further than Edinburgh, Scotland. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year. This is a 3-5 day stretch of some pretty fun traditions! The festivities begin a few days before New Years Eve. Approximately 185,000 visitors attended the festivities the year I went (2019-’20). The center of ‘Edin-bruh’ is transformed into a holiday wonderland with a Christmas Market, rides, games, and a lot of food.

Tickets for the individual events must be pre-purchased through the event coordinators. I purchase my tickets the minute they went on sale, months in advance. I signed up for the Torch Procession, the Street Party and the Concert in the Park. Since I am a Hilton snob, I booked the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton hotel way in advance (these hotels sell out super quick!)

photo: Hilton.com

The hotel was the absolute perfect location. I did walk in circles(literally) for a good 30 minutes before realizing I needed to walk up a ‘top secret (not really) stairway’ to get to the street I needed. The hotel was right in the middle of all the action! I walked only steps to the torch procession, just a quick trip down the ‘top secret stairs’ to the markets and to where the concert was As an added bonus it was a 5 minute walk to the train station and the location where one of my guided tours left from (more on that soon).

The Scots use fire festivals to purify and drive away evil spirits. The Torchlight Procession during the Hogmanay was wild! Thousands of people carrying torches lined the streets of the Royal Mile (this is the road that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace) When it was time to begin our march, event organizers lit a few torches of the first people and we all lit ours from the groups in front of us. Very quickly 20,000 torches were lit, the bagpipes and drum bands started and off we went. Je suis prest.

Each year has a theme and this year’s theme was “Be Together” which is ironic because soon into 2020 we were anything but together! We all marched along the streets to the park at the end where all the torches came together to form an image of two people shaking hands. It was fun to be a part of. Fun fact: the torches are sort of like giant candles. You will be covered in wax by the end of the evening.

The next day I walked through the Christmas Market, drank a Hot Toddy or two, feasted on some Haggis,(you’ll want to Google that one) neeps and tatties, and toured Edinburgh Castle. The evening was shaping up to be an exciting way to ring in the New Year: a street party and a concert featuring Rudimental and Mark Ronson, ye ken?…the Uptown Funk guy!

Princes Street, which is the main road into Downtown Edinburgh was blocked off to vehicle and pedestrian traffic late afternoon. Only those with tickets would be allowed in the rest of the evening. The street party had so much going on. Food, drinks (a lot of drinks) and music stages around every corner. There were traditional dances, and performances going on for everyone to enjoy.

Druids Dance–Where my Outlander fans at?

The main event, that required a separate ticket, was well worth it. Mark Ronson and Rudimental entertained us for hours as everyone sang and danced along. When midnight approached, Mark Ronson had a pure dead brilliant performance of Uptown Funk to coincide with the fireworks that were set from Edinburgh Castle up on the hill. (not to be confused with Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the hill)

Couldn’t have asked for a better place to watch some fireworks

I froze my ass off, danced with complete strangers, (yes, I danced, stop it.) and had a fantastic evening. I went by myself, but I never felt alone. 10/10 recommend attending this festival.

Last year, because of COVID the festival went virtual. They had a 3 night drone show which was insane and still available to view each segment on their Facebook page. I think they may be in the process of re-structuring the future events, but I sure hope I get to experience it again.

Happy and frozen

Haste Ye Back!

~Kel

Things I learned during my Solo Van Life Week

Holy cow. Car rental prices have skyrocketed in the United States. One of my favorite parts of traveling in Europe is how easy it is to get just about anywhere using public transportation. In the US, its much easier to have a car to get yourself around.

While deciding where to continue my US National Park trek, I felt defeated and almost cancelled my plans while trying to secure a car rental. Prices in the the thousands of dollars IF they were available at all. Then, I discovered a company called Campervan North America.

I have been obsessed with Instagram influencers Keeping Finn, Divine on the Road and with Kara and Nate’s pandemic van adventures. I quickly sent an email to request a quote for my trip dates.

The kind people at Campervan North America responded so quickly and even amended my quote multiple times the same day for my indecisive ass. As luck would have it, the van I wanted was available for my travel dates starting and ending in Denver.

KNOW WHAT’S INCLUDED AND NOT INCUDED IN YOUR RENTAL:

This was a piece of cake thanks to the detailed quote I received. Things like bedding, towels, kitchen supplies, bathroom, mileage, insurance, fuel are typically not things you need to be prepared with when staying at a hotel and renting a traditional rental car.

With this rental, for $60, I was able to add on the “All the Basics” kit which was perfect. It included a kitchen kit, bedding, towels, a cooler and cookstove. In hindsight, I only really needed the bedding towels and cooler, but with better planning I would have used every piece of that kit.

I also learned that supplemental insurance for “RV’s” is different than car rental insurance. Typically, I would just decline added coverage and use benefits from my credit card, or in a pinch my personal vehicle insurance. The folks at Campervan North America gave me additional information on purchasing some affordable coverage for my trip. This cost about $100 for the week.

A lot of camper van rentals will charge for mileage over 300-ish. Lucky for me, there was a promotion for the vehicle I rented (Edelweiss) which was $30/night for unlimited miles. I knew this was going to be a huge driving trip, so I added that on.

My vehicle did not include a bathroom. For the most part, this was never an issue. Except in the middle of Wyoming with no gas stations, restaurants, stores for MILES. Spoiler alert: I had no accidents (of any type)

For this trip, my total cost for the rental and add ons was around $630 for 7 nights. I have no idea how much I spent on gas, but this little beast could go 500 miles per tank.

FIRST STOP: GROCERY STORE:

I do this on most road trips I take. Before hitting the road, go to a grocery store and stock up on the essentials. I always pick up a case of water, ice, snacks, and some quick easy meals. This is a fabulous budget trick so you don’t spend your well earned money on overpriced park café meals, and fast food.

DO YOUR RESEARCH ON WHERE YOU CAN PARK OVERNIGHT:

When I booked my van, I had the best of intentions to research and plan where I would stay and how many miles I would drive each day. Totally out of character for me, but I said %&@* it, and went with the I’ll just wing it approach.

There are so many benefits to this approach. You can leave your itinerary totally open and drive more or less depending on how your days play out.

Of course this approach goes out the window when you travel during the busiest season for National Parks (perhaps EVER, thanks COVID). On this trip, I visited 5 National Parks (Badlands, Wind Cave, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes) The only park that had camping availability in the park was Mesa Verde! Also, this was my favorite campsite and favorite park of the trip.

With the boom of van-lifers in the past year and a half, a lot of places are cracking down on where you can and cannot park overnight. In a bind, most Walmart’s are open to overnight parkers, National Forest land and BLM land is also another good go to. Plenty of influencers are also open to sharing their top free spots. Being a solo traveler, I felt more comfortable this trip staying in actual campgrounds.

There are tons of apps and websites that can help with finding camp spots. I really like the Roadtrippers App. I use this when planning just about all my road trips. This helped me find all my stays during my trip. Full disclosure: when I wanted a really good shower, I stayed at a Hilton one night, and I did use the ole faithful Walmart parking lot one night also. The award for super clean and safe feeling stay went to Cool Sunshine RV Park in Alamosa, CO. I believe this is a fairly new facility. There were gate codes for the entrance, the common area building, the bathrooms and the walking path to town.

Next time, (there WILL be a next time) I think I will plan my stays better. I think I relax better under a little more structure.

AVOID DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:

Ok, so I know that this is not necessarily van related but this was my third time to DEN and I have never had a great experience there. My flight arrived (delayed) at 1:30AM. No hotel shuttles running. My only two options were Taxi and Uber. I did research this during my delay, so I know it wasn’t a random demand price increase, but either option you chose to get pretty much anywhere outside of the airport grounds will cost you $60. My ride was 15 minutes, it hurt a little. TSA is VERY busy so arrive early! (thank god for TSA Pre ✔) Also, DEN has tons of weather related delays year round.

BRING A PAPER MAP:

I know, this is so 15 years ago. Very often I found myself with no cell service. This never ended up being a problem for me thanks to my OCD about filling the gas tank when it hits 1/2 tank (Thanks, Dad). Along my route I would drive for hundreds of miles, with no idea where or when the next town would pop up. A paper map would’ve been helpful. (insert “I told you so” from Miller here)

I generally choose not to drive at night when I am by myself and not familiar with the area, but one night after an early evening visit to Carhenge in Nebraska, I had 150 miles to my evening accommodations and my tank got to 1/4 before I found an open gas station. I could have driven another 150 miles on that tank, but I don’t like playing gas light chicken.

EMBRACE THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

My favorite thing to do when I parked the van was to open as many doors as I could to let the fresh air roll through. In this van, the back doors opened and locked open, and you could open the two sliding doors on the sides for optimal breezes.

In the Wall Drug parking lot, I opted to use the installed fan instead of the open door technique as I took a quick nap before heading to Mount Rushmore. In one RV park, I opted for one slide door and the back two doors open to keep the creepy neighbors to the left blocked off while the friendly dog people to the right made me feel like I was camping with their group. You can almost always trust dog people.

Van life allows you to access and snooze in some of the most beautiful places in all the lands. Take the roads less traveled, just make sure you never miss an opportunity to fill your gas tank!

I hope this post will inspire you to give van life a try. I loved the flexibility this smaller van rental gave me. I didn’t need to worry about not being able to fit into certain areas, parking was never an issue, and I felt completely in control driving this vehicle the 2300 miles I drove on this trip!

~Kel

Where it all started…

March 2003. I had an opportunity to visit Ireland with a group of students from the college I attended. Sure, I had been to just about every Carribean Island and Florida more times than I’d like to admit, but I wanted more!

When I learned of this opportunity, I knew I had to jump on it. A new country, and IRELAND of all places! I quickly applied for my very first passport. As departure day came closer and closer….still no passport. Shit. About seven days before I was set to leave I receive a letter in the mail, without a passport. Apparently my birth certificate was not legit enough to grant me access to leave the country legally. I was so sad, but refused to give up hope. I did so much research and learned that there are passport agencies that can whip up a passport in 24 hours or less if you visit in person.

I grabbed my new birth certificate (which for future reference you need to have a “raised seal” on) and headed to the Boston, Massachusetts passport office. By some miracle, I had my passport in hand 2 days prior to leaving. Note to everyone: leave PLENTY of time to get a passport or renew a passport!

The Emerald Isle was in my grasp! Since I only knew one of the leaders on this trip, I was paired up with a roommate. Sweetest girl, and her very first plane ride if I remember correctly. On international flights, most airlines serve a full meal. This was my first experience getting more than just bag of pretzels and a Sprite. About 4 minutes into dinner, my new friend/roommate wasn’t feeling so hot. Let’s just leave the details out, but neither of us were able to finish dinner. It’s fine, we’re fine. The lovely flight attendants were so kind and let us move seats.

Jet lag was a bitch. I’d like to consider myself a resourceful person, so I was prepared for this. The best advice I’ve learned about switching time zones is DO NOT SLEEP when you arrive. It’s important to get your body onto the new time pattern, and if you nap, you’re screwed. So, I did what you were supposed to do in Ireland, bellied up to the bar and ordered a Guinness.

The people of Ireland are some of the kindest, happiest people. Their night life is a family affair. Young children joining their family in the pubs ’til the wee hours singing and dancing.

What a fantastic trip we had! Our home base was in the cutest town of Killarney. From here we went on day trips to the Ring of Kerry, Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, Blarney castle, and yes! I did kiss the Blarney Stone with no side effects following.

This may have been my first “solo-ish” trip, but I knew it wouldn’t be my last. The wanderlust bug had bitten. (and the beer in Ireland was fantastic)

First timer here…

Greetings Friends! This is my first try at Blog Life. Mostly for my own memories, but since I travel solo 96% of the time, I’d love to share my adventures with all of you.

I travel whenever my bank account and job allow me to. I love being anywhere and going everywhere. The journey to the destinations is almost more fun for me than the destinations themselves.

I hope to capture your attention with all sorts of fun stories from the roads less (and frequently) traveled. Did you know, the sidewalks of London in front of the Prime Ministers house will give you a phenomenal forehead bruise, but only if you fall flat on your face just right… If you trip in a dramatic fashion outside of the ever popular British Museum you will meet the kindest people who will pick up your phone that catapulted out of your hand on your way to the ground. In Copenhagen, if you get lost in the streets at 6AM with all your luggage, (good thing I travel light) just as a torrential downpour happens, you’ll meet the sweetest hostel host who cracks a joke about the weather in Denmark to make you feel better about looking like a drowned rat. I hope to relive more of these memories of travels past with you and create more memories in future travels.

Bear with me as I get the hang of blog life. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

~Kel