Another year is coming to an end, which is really hard to believe. It is always fun to write up these end-of-year travel reviews to reflect back on the year gone by. And, what a wonderful travel year we had! As in years past, we believe it is possible to travel big without quitting our normal 9:00 to 5:00. This is part of what we showcase through By Land and Sea.
This year we traveled less, but the trips we went on were much grander in scale. In years past, we seem to have done one or two “big” trips, with a sprinkle of weekend getaways here and there. By the end of 2017 and into early in 2018, we were gone nearly every 6 weeks. Considering we are proud pet parents, both work full-time, were both in school, and have all the other trappings of adulthood, we needed a break. We put our travels on snooze over summer 2018 to focus on school, work on our house, and deal with our busy seasons at work. This allowed a good deal of anticipation to build up for the trips we did take this year.
Where We Went In 2018:
European Backpacking Tour
San Antonio, Texas
As mentioned above, we plan trips over weekends and holidays, schedule flights with evening departures/returns, and try anything else we can do to maximize time. This year we utilized President’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day holidays. Alone, this saved nearly one week worth of time over the course of the year, allowing us to use fewer actual vacation days by planning this way. It’s important to save up time off work where possible. Just like money, little savings here and there adds up to big end results.
Transportation and Accommodation
This was the year of meticulous planning on both these aspects of travel. We traveled this year by multiple domestic and international flights. Included in this was our first time flying on EasyJet and, dare I say it, we loved it! We also accomplished the rest of our travels via multiple subway systems, buses, rental cars and Uber, road trips, intra-European trains, and one cruise. To top off our transportation efforts, we logged 191.68 miles on my Fitbit during our 2018 travels. That’s a lot of walking!
Due to the nature of our travel year, our accommodation experiences were equally intense. The bulk of this years’ travels resulted in us finding budget-friendly hotels, arriving at them late at night, and crashing for just a few hours before heading out on our next early morning adventure. And, we accomplished all of this in ways that still met our needs. Managing this took substantial research and efforts. Trust me, this past year really wasn’t for the faint of heart and wasn’t as easy as it may look to some!
We had a great year of travel in 2018 and all of it was enjoyable. We’ve been “mixing it up” over the last few years, and that has been a very welcome change. I really can’t pick a favorite! We have seen some amazing places during the last 12 months, have had great experiences, and learned so much about ourselves and the world along the way.
By Land and Sea
This year, I was finally able to start down the path of affiliate marketing. We still ask our readers to consider booking any hotel reservations through our Booking.com site. It’s no additional cost to you, but helps us offset the cost of running this blog. If you’re in need of hotel recommendations, check out the newest page on By Land and Sea!
I’m also proud to announce that we have been honored to work directly with Six Flags Fiesta Texas this year. We will be working with another large tour company early in 2019 and I’m really excited about these opportunities coming our way. I’ve also been working on what seems to be a manageable social media schedule.
Master of Sustainable Tourism
Two things happened in 2018 regarding my Master of Sustainable Tourism degree.
- For the first time since I started working on my master’s program in 2016, it drove me to tears. The final thesis project was intense!
- I graduated! I cannot believe it! I am a Master of Sustainable Tourism!
Believe me when I tell you how very bittersweet this all is. There was a time in my life (when I was about 19) that I never thought I’d finish my associate’s degree. However, when I eventually learned to love and value education, I knew at some point I was interested in graduate school. I never imagined I would graduate from Arizona State University (ranked as the #1 school in the United States for innovation, also in the top 1% of the world’s most prestigious universities) with a 4.0 GPA in a degree program focusing on something that I truly, deeply love. The fact that this part of my life is over, that there are no more classes to take, that my work here is done, is a bit sad to me.
However, I look forward to sharing my knowledge with others through blog posts, presentations, and whatever else may come my way. I also look forward to having a bit more time to work on other hobbies – art, fitness, photography, all my other interests, and of course, this blog. I extend my thanks to everyone who supported me through this process!
As always, I’d like to thank everyone who supports my blog and blogging efforts. I truly enjoy your comments, shares, and the communities I’ve been able to join.
We are looking forward to our exciting 2019 travel year as well! At this point, we already have two trips planned, as well as several more ideas which are being thrown out there. I’m anxious to see what the year brings!
How was your last year of travel!?! Share in the comments below!
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This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we might make a little extra travel money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are our own.