My partner and I have lived in Washington, DC with zero cars for the past five years. We've purposely designed our life to be car-free. Some people call us crazy, but we have our reasons.
It had been 10 months since we had seen my family, and with the holidays coming up the thought of waiting another year or two to see anyone in person was becoming more and more of a sad reality. I talked it over with my family and found a middle ground that worked for all of us. We decided to rent a car and drive to see my family in outdoor-only settings while booking lodging in a hotel. When we arrived, the outdoors-only and always-masking policy we all had agreed on prior to the trip fell apart almost immediately.
Toward the end of August I discovered that, to my surprise, my Capital One Venture credit card reimburses cardholders for up to $100 in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit. But should I really apply for a Trusted Traveler Program during the pandemic?
I can count the number of times in my life I've felt like a racial minority on one hand. I can count the number of times in my life I was discriminated against based on my race on one finger.
What most intrigues me about visiting a Latinx country is interacting with the locals. I count myself fortunate to have a decent level of Spanish to be able to converse fairly easily with native Spanish-speakers, which affords me the opportunity to travel to 20 countries without having to worry about communication (save for strong accents - the "ll" from the Río de la Plata region still throws me sometimes). Hispanic hospitality is not new to me - I spent five months backpacking around Ecuador and Perú a year ago - but being in the U.S. for a year had reoriented me back to the individualistic society of which I am so familiar. It was, therefore, highly refreshing and emotionally touching to have three specific interactions that strongly stand out in my memory. As it's looking as if I won't be travelling anytime soon, much less hopping on a plane, I'm taking the time to reminisce about the three Mexican boys/men who made an impact on a solita gringa like me.
COVID-19 has been on my mind a lot these past weeks, as it likely has been on the minds of others. In order to process, I wrote of my own experiences - losing a job, being a health care worker, seeing firsthand the detriment it has caused some.
During the 2018-2019 year, I spent roughly five months backpacking through two South American countries. Knowing I would be income-less before my trip and unsure as to the state of my finances afterward, my goal was to spend no more than $1,000 a month.
It's taken quite some time for me to write this post. Ten months ago, I was pickpocketed on a busy bus in Quito, Ecuador. At first I refrained from writing about the situation because I was still processing what had happened. In my experience, there was a certain amount of self-inflicted shame involved in being a victim of a theft.
The travellers were talking about their prior time in Quito and the adventures on which they embarked, such as hiking up Rucu Pichincha. They recounted that they had hiked with a large international group, and the only person who hadn't made it to the top was an American. Everyone looked pointedly at me, as I was the only one from the U.S. at the table. Well, that's not going to be me, I thought to myself, I know how to hike. Little did I know how wrong I was.
This past February I hiked 72+ kilometers over a period of 5 days to reach the infamous Machu Picchu, a modern wonder of the world. I completed the 5 day, 4 night tour with a group of 16 other hikers, as well as two guides who accompanied us until the end of the journey.