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A Little Recap & Plan…Ah, Saturday

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a Saturday Review post – and that’s pretty slacker-ish of me because there is a lot going on – and by a lot, I mean I am heading back out on the road and back to traveling the world.

So, without further ado.

Travel Plans and Site News!Booty Statue in Florence, Italy

I head out at the end of this month from Florida and have three weeks in three US cities (NYC, Sacramento, and Los Angeles). But, I digress. That’s not the exciting news! After LA I head briefly to Cancun for a quick flight to a forbidden island…at least it’s forbidden to me. Remember that pondering I had a while back? Well, thanks to the gentle persuasion of Lauren’s latest travel series I’m going and I’m meeting a South African friend (remember Louise from my volunteering experience in Nepal?!).

After the forbidden location (seriously check out my post if you’re wondering…I feel like I’ll jinx my luck if I talk about it much before I go…is that crazy? Am I good to talk/blog or should I wait?) , I head for several months through Central America, a quick stop into Peru to meet a group of friends at Machu Picchu and back to the states for a wedding and TBEX!

Ok. That’s my exciting news  :-)

  • I also feel I should tell you all that I have a lot more video planned for the site on these next travels and some more stories from last year’s RTW until I’m back on the road.
  • Up next week starts a three week guest series from a round the world traveler who hasn’t take a flight yet, and he’s been on the road for more than a year. He’ll share some flightless travel tips.

Travel Community Highlights

  • Got Passport has really stepped up this week in response to the disaster in Haiti – head over to Haiti updates page and leave a meaningful comment and they’ll donate $2 to relief efforts in Haiti.
  • Meet Wandering Earl if you haven’t yet. He’s a one of my favorite newly discovered travel blogger. He augments his  travel stories with context about how that story and circumstance taught a lesson or reconfirmed a belief – fun to read if you haven’t popped over there yet!
  • Travel bloggers need to check out How to Use the Jedi Force for Search Engine Optimization..  A hint: check the byline if you’re wondering how I paid for my RTW trip.

Many thanks to the new travel bloggers out there who I’ve recently met in the community! Check out my Other RTW Travel Blogs page and let me know if you’re not on there so we can exchange!

Also, since Cuba (oops, I said it…) is next on the list, I would love any targeted tips and suggestions :-)

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  • nomadicchick

    Shannon, sounds like more exciting travels and changes in the future for you. After photos, videos do seem like the next step.

    Look forward to reading more. :)

    Peru is definitely on my list.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks for the tips on the casa particulares – that's what I've heard as the
      places to stay on a budget – plus, you're right, it sounds a whole lot more
      interesting than the tourist hotels and resorts. Did you encounter any
      problems entering/leaving as an American when you *weren't* there? :-) I'm
      pretty psyched!

  • ShannonOD

    I am really torn about Peru – the way it is shaping up right now in my
    travel “plans,” I just don't have the time to really see the country
    well…and that makes me sad! But I'm still excited that I'll get a little
    taste of it for Machu Picchu :-)

  • http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/ Audrey

    Shannon, I'm so excited for you to visit the forbidden island in the Caribbean! My only piece of advice is to stay in casa particulares (if they still exist – we were *not* there in 2003) – much more interesting than staying in a hotel and the food with families is usually much better than what you can get in restaurants. Other than that, just enjoy the diversity and spirit of the place. Oh, if you can get on a train that's a pretty interesting experience as well.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks for the tips on the casa particulares – that's what I've heard as the
      places to stay on a budget – plus, you're right, it sounds a whole lot more
      interesting than the tourist hotels and resorts. Did you encounter any
      problems entering/leaving as an American when you *weren't* there? :-) I'm
      pretty psyched!

      • http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/ Audrey

        We flew directly from Paris (we were living in Prague at the time) and when we got close to US territory the pilot got on the intercom and said that someone had been smoking in the lavatories and if it happened again he would down the plane in New York to find the person and press criminal charges. We were freaking out! Fortunately, the smoker managed to control his urges the rest of the trip!

        All the stamps were on our tourist/visa card instead of our passport. I do admit I was a bit nervous when we entered the States months later, but we didn't have any problems.

        It may be interesting to splurge for one night to stay at a nice hotel or resort to see the contrast (and what most tour groups see). We got bumped from our flight and ended up in a 5* hotel. We joked that all the food we couldn't find in the country was there – the dinner buffet was endless and luxurious.

        • ShannonOD

          Your heart must have just stopped momentarily when that announcement came over the speaker! But if that was the worst of it then I am heartened :-) I will definitely consider splurging one of the nights – I am using this as a bona fide vacation (ie schedule blog posts ahead, put up an auto-email responder, and only explore/relax), so I am really looking forward to this experience. Thanks for the feedback and advice Audrey!

  • nomadicchick

    Shannon, sounds like more exciting travels and changes in the future for you. After photos, videos do seem like the next step.

    Look forward to reading more. :)

    Peru is definitely on my list.

    • ShannonOD

      I am really torn about Peru – the way it is shaping up right now in my
      travel “plans,” I just don't have the time to really see the country
      well…and that makes me sad! But I'm still excited that I'll get a little
      taste of it for Machu Picchu :-)

  • brookevstheworld

    Shannon – Cuba sounds like a great idea! Can't wait to hear about ( I am jealous )… :) P.S. I would love to be included on your blogs page.

  • http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/ Audrey

    We flew directly from Paris (we were living in Prague at the time) and when we got close to US territory the pilot got on the intercom and said that someone had been smoking in the lavatories and if it happened again he would down the plane in New York to find the person and press criminal charges. We were freaking out! Fortunately, the smoker managed to control his urges the rest of the trip!

    All the stamps were on our tourist/visa card instead of our passport. I do admit I was a bit nervous when we entered the States months later, but we didn't have any problems.

    It may be interesting to splurge for one night to stay at a nice hotel or resort to see the contrast (and what most tour groups see). We got bumped from our flight and ended up in a 5* hotel. We joked that all the food we couldn't find in the country was there – the dinner buffet was endless and luxurious.

  • brookevstheworld

    Shannon – Cuba sounds like a great idea! Can't wait to hear about ( I am jealous )… :) P.S. I would love to be included on your blogs page.

    • ShannonOD

      Consider the link added :-) And though I'm going to wait until I get out of
      the island (and possibly back to the states) before I talk about it, I will
      be sharing photos and stories!

  • ShannonOD

    Consider the link added :-) And though I'm going to wait until I get out of
    the island (and possibly back to the states) before I talk about it, I will
    be sharing photos and stories!

  • http://www.gourmantic.com/ Gourmantic

    Cuba! I'm so looking forward to reading about your adventures. Mr Gourmantic has been in my ear for some time about visiting Cuba and getting immersed in the culture.

  • http://www.gourmantic.com/ Gourmantic

    Cuba! I'm so looking forward to reading about your adventures. Mr Gourmantic has been in my ear for some time about visiting Cuba and getting immersed in the culture.

    • ShannonOD

      I will definitely keep you posted on my adventures there – although it will
      be after I get out of the country! :-)

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com/ Stephanie

    Yay! I'm so psyched you are coming to TBEX! It should be crazy fun. I've been lusting after Central America a bit lately so I will be excited to hear about your adventures… especially the forbidden ones.

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com/ Stephanie

    Yay! I'm so psyched you are coming to TBEX! It should be crazy fun. I've been lusting after Central America a bit lately so I will be excited to hear about your adventures… especially the forbidden ones.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Steph! It should be a lot of fun to put faces to these names of other
      travel bloggers :-) Looking forward to this summer!

  • ShannonOD

    I will definitely keep you posted on my adventures there – although it will
    be after I get out of the country! :-)

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Steph! It should be a lot of fun to put faces to these names of other
    travel bloggers :-) Looking forward to this summer!

  • ShannonOD

    Your heart must have just stopped momentarily when that announcement came over the speaker! But if that was the worst of it then I am heartened :-) I will definitely consider splurging one of the nights – I am using this as a bona fide vacation (ie schedule blog posts ahead, put up an auto-email responder, and only explore/relax), so I am really looking forward to this experience. Thanks for the feedback and advice Audrey!

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  • http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/ Audrey

    Shannon, I'm so excited for you to visit the forbidden island in the Caribbean! My only piece of advice is to stay in casa particulares (if they still exist – we were *not* there in 2003) – much more interesting than staying in a hotel and the food with families is usually much better than what you can get in restaurants. Other than that, just enjoy the diversity and spirit of the place. Oh, if you can get on a train that's a pretty interesting experience as well.