2019 Travel Recap

This one is all about the trips we took in 2019 and a sneak peak of the trips we already have planned for 2020.

Amongst the Travel Squad in 2019, we went on 21 adventures, visited 10 countries and 10 states in the US. The episode talks about how long each of the trips were, who we went with, and how we prioritized all this travel while keeping up with our full time jobs in San Diego.

2019 Travel Recap – Episode Transcript

5 (37s):
Hello, fellow travelers. Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are going to recap and highlight our 2019 travel adventures from our weekend getaways to our international travel. We’re going to tell you about it all

4 (1m 7s):
2019 was such an active year for travel for the squad together and individually, amongst the four of us, we went on 21 adventures, conquering 10 countries and 10 states.

2 (1m 19s):
We’re going to go over all of this, not because we want to brag, but we want to show you just how feasible travel is and how we’re fitting it in over the course of the year, rather than just telling you what we did when we went. But this is the course of the year. And on that note, I can’t even believe that this is episode 24 guys, 24 episodes for 2019.

3 (1m 38s):
Hope you’ve enjoyed all 24

5 (1m 40s):
And it is new year’s Eve. So happy, new years, all happy

3 (1m 44s):
New year,

2 (1m 45s):
Happy new year.

3 (1m 47s):
It’s going to be a fantastic 2020. So in this episode, we’re also going to tell you about some of the trips that we have planned already. You know, since we are booked to 30 20, and we also want to get you excited about some of the podcast episodes that we’ll be airing next year.

5 (2m 2s):
So let’s start it off with January, 2019.

4 (2m 6s):
Well, unfortunately, Kim didn’t make it with us on this trip,

5 (2m 9s):
But let me tell you about Japan a little bit. We were there for two weeks. We stayed in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, and we also did day trips. So we went to Nara Hiroshima, and we also went to the island with the floating shrine we traveled with Zayna Jamal, myself, Casha Ryan, my niece Dasia, and my mom,

2 (2m 30s):
And one of the highlights of that trip. And of course, you know, like Brittany said, we’re going to have an episode later on, but you guys, when we were in Nara, that is a park where deer live and you can feed the deer and run amongst the deer,

3 (2m 41s):
Get rowdy with the deer.

2 (2m 42s):
Yes. So Brittany was taking my picture with the deer and she was, how did it go?

5 (2m 51s):
I kind of had my back to two other deer and we were feeding them. And I think they were fighting over something to be fed while I was trying to take your picture out of nowhere, a deer bucks, the side of me, and I go flying into the

2 (3m 7s):
Like, Brittany got air. You guys, it was the funniest thing. And her face was just like, what the fuck is going on?

4 (3m 15s):
Deer pretty much headbutted her ass. And she went flying in the air.

2 (3m 18s):
Some crazy shit.

4 (3m 20s):
Well, my favorite highlight of this trip, other than the Japanese culture. And again, we’re going to have another full on episode of Japan, but my favorite thing beyond the wonderful culture that the Japanese have was the fact that we were able to go to Tokyo Disneyland. And as you guys know, and if you don’t Brittany and I are really, really big Disney aficionados, more particularly me, but it is on our bucket list to go to all Disney parks. And as we get further, along in this episode, you’ll see on our 2020 list, Britney and I are about to be completing that here pretty soon. But we were able to tackle Tokyo Disney and Tokyo Disney sea, which was a big, big highlight for me. Where

5 (3m 58s):
Did you go, Kim and January,

3 (3m 60s):
The one trip that I did take in January was for my sister Chelsea’s birthday. It was her dirty 30. And so I drove myself, Chelsea, Brittany, and the other Chelsea

4 (4m 13s):
And the other Brittany, not Brittany from the squad.

3 (4m 15s):
Exactly. Not this Brittany, neither friend Brittany. And the five of us girls went down to via de Guadalupe, Mexico, which is just about a two-hour drive from San Diego. So loaded up my car, we drove down there, we hit up Montay’s Danek winery and beautiful, beautiful place. If you’ve never been to Vida Guadalupe. Oh my God.

5 (4m 35s):
It’s basically like Mexico’s wine country, right?

4 (4m 39s):

3 (4m 40s):
Yes. And it’s, it’s really cool. The wineries are just very creative and artistic. And so we did that and then we stayed in Airbnb and went out and in Sonata, Papas and beer, oh,

4 (4m 50s):
We still haven’t even done that yet for living so close. We always talk about going. And I know you’ve been, is that the only time or you

3 (4m 56s):
Been there before,

4 (4m 58s):
Right. And you always talk about how good it is and we always keep saying, oh, we’re going to go. We’re going to go. And then I think a lot of it is we just decide, okay, well, this isn’t going anywhere. It’s close enough to us. Then we do other things. But I’m glad that you actually did that because it continues to inspire me to finally go,

3 (5m 14s):
Oh yeah,

4 (5m 16s):
You’re going to be the, you’re going to be the via the Guadalupe professional

2 (5m 19s):
And 2019 wouldn’t have been good for the squad, because for those of you who don’t know, I don’t talk about it enough, but I took an oath of sobriety

5 (5m 28s):
For 2019

2 (5m 29s):
For 2019

4 (5m 31s):

2 (5m 32s):
The, no, it would not have been, but you know what, if we did take a squad trip, I would go regardless. And I’m sure I would’ve had a great time

5 (5m 41s):
We can always use

4 (5m 42s):
And Dana knows the most Spanish so she could drive on the roads just by

2 (5m 46s):

4 (5m 46s):

5 (5m 48s):
So moving on to February, 2019,

3 (5m 51s):
I think I’m the only one that left town in February. I

4 (5m 54s):
Think so.

3 (5m 54s):
Oh. And I didn’t really do anything that exciting travel wise, but I do think it’s important to mention trips like this one in February of mine, which is where I went home for my mom’s birthday. And it was in Sacramento. If, if any of you guys don’t know we’re all from up in that area. So I went home for her 50th birthday and she was having a party at one of her friend’s house. So I didn’t actually go out and do any sightseeing or anything. I usually do try to add on something in Sacramento or San Francisco, but sometimes you do travel just for family or friend events, and it’s not to see a destination, but it’s still a trip.

2 (6m 28s):
And you know, San Diego to Sacramento always has cheap Southwest flights. So the points rack up. So even though it might be a home trip, now Kim has more points. So she’s going to spend less when we go someplace like Dallas.

4 (6m 42s):
Very good point is I know.

2 (6m 43s):
So those home trips count.

3 (6m 46s):
Am I the only one that left town in March to?

4 (6m 48s):
I think so. Well, Brittany and I’s international vacation cycle or big vacation cycle is January may and either late August, early September. So I think after coming back from Japan, which we spent two weeks there, we always try to at least do one weekend getaway a month, but I just don’t think that really happened for whatever reason. So I think you are again, the only one who did something in March

3 (7m 12s):
And we did have a really busy second half of the year.

4 (7m 15s):

3 (7m 15s):

4 (7m 16s):
It started off slow, but we escalated in the end

3 (7m 20s):
In March. So I went back to Sacramento, but this was for my friend, Ricky and Patty’s wedding. They got married actually in Mexico, December of 2018. And we talked about some of that in an episode on how to survive a Mexican wedding, great episode, check it out. So, because she was finally able to come back to the United States, they wanted to have a American version of a wedding hair or just a celebration. So I wanted to go to that as well. So went up to Sacramento for that, but because I had just been in Sacramento and I’ve always wanted to go to Yosemite national park, it’s only a couple of hours from Sacramento. So I added this into the trip and actually rented a car and drove out to Yosemite in March.

3 (8m 1s):
So there’s still snow around. There’s still trails that are close. But highlight of my trip to Yosemite was the first time I saw a real bear in the woods. You know

4 (8m 11s):
What a shit herself. I know I was going to say, I would have loved to been on that one, but Zeno almost would’ve gotten us killed. Cause she would’ve panicked, scared the bear and probably gotten us all attack.

3 (8m 21s):
Oh my God. I was it’s. It is alarming. When you first run into a bear, I’ll say that

2 (8m 26s):
I just shit myself right now.

3 (8m 29s):
And I got it. I got an Instagram story of it. So when we air this episode, I will also post this. You guys can see it. It’s pretty cool. So what was going on was we were walking down this trail, which is more of a Patriot, was one of the main roads in the trail system. And I’m walking toward these people who are taking pictures of something on the side and myself and the person I’m with are looking, trying to figure out what it is they’re taking a picture of. And then we pass, we can’t see anything. And this bear runs out from the side and runs behind us to the other side. And I was like, whoa, whoa. Oh my God. It was like literally five feet away from me. And then just started like digging for berries in a log,

4 (9m 5s):
Probably coming out of their hibernation if it was early.

3 (9m 7s):
Yeah, it definitely was a tagged bear. And it wasn’t like a huge bear, but it was big enough. And, and then it was just right there, like digging for berries and stuff.

5 (9m 15s):
Well, wildlife is unpredictable. So stay,

2 (9m 18s):
I would just like Jamal to redact his statement though about Zaina would have gotten us killed because yes, I would have shot myself. I also feel like I have enough common sense to know, you know what it’s like, if someone breaks into your house, you know, you weren’t going to like scream. You have to be quiet cause you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. So I think that I would have tears streaming down my face. I might even pass out, but I don’t think that I would scream.

4 (9m 45s):
I’ll redact it until it finally happens. And then we can confirm or deny what really happens when Zana finally comes across a bear.

2 (9m 52s):
It’s not going to happen.

3 (9m 54s):
We are going to go to Yosemite. Maybe not in 2020, maybe so, but there could be more bear sightings. I

4 (9m 60s):
Want to go in March that way, Right out of hibernation being active,

2 (10m 5s):
Really ensure that you can quantify my, when they’re

4 (10m 8s):
Extra hungry.

2 (10m 11s):
My goodness.

4 (10m 12s):
But I think April was the first trip that we took as a squad. But that was late April 1st, Brittany and I went to Dallas for Easter. Because if you recall, we’ve mentioned in previous episodes that Brittany sister lives in Dallas. And again, like Zayna said, even we can get away as to see family where you aren’t necessarily doing anything is considered travel. It was my first time at Dallas. And even though we didn’t do much, it was still nice to get the lay of the land. We experienced Texas barbecue, which was my first time experiencing Texas barbecue. So that was the highlight for me.

3 (10m 47s):
Did you guys see any Texas boots

4 (10m 48s):
There? No. Texas bleeds.

3 (10m 51s):
That joke comes because as we were first planning our podcasts, we were trying to think of what intro music we wanted to have. And there was one song called Texas boots.

4 (10m 60s):
I was all about it. How was it

5 (11m 1s):

4 (11m 2s):
I was all about other girls wanted nothing to do with it. And we’ve settled on what you hear today. And I must say, I love it. But every once in a while I do think Texas boots might’ve had the right.

2 (11m 13s):
And so Texas boots are boots, stomping. And every once in awhile you hear like a little dinner.

4 (11m 21s):
I already forgot how the rhythm goes. If you want to be off.

2 (11m 23s):
So you didn’t love it, that it wasn’t memorable.

5 (11m 27s):
And for Easter, my mom came out to Dallas as well. My mom’s Filipino and she made a Filipino Easter spread. So we had, you know, lumpia, we had fried to labia rice. We had pants. It did

3 (11m 41s):
You love bananas? Fried bananas?

5 (11m 43s):
I don’t think we had them there.

4 (11m 45s):
No fried plan. Unfortunately

2 (11m 47s):
This is a little bit of a tangent, but several years ago, when we were at home in Sacramento, we were stopping at Brittany’s mom’s house before we drove back to San Diego. And so Brittany gave me a heads up that, Hey, we’re going to have a Filipino breakfast. And I’m like, oh, okay, that’s fine. But we get to Brittany’s mom’s house and there’s chicken adobo, there’s rice, all these dinners stuff that you would eat, typical American dinner style. Right? And so I’m just like, oh, where’s the breakfast. And that was the Filipino breakfast.

3 (12m 16s):
A lot of countries are like that where their breakfasts are just like in Italy, it’s a panini you would eat for breakfast.

2 (12m 22s):
Or even when we were in China with gate one, shout out to gate one, they had Chinese food, like your typical Chinese food,

5 (12m 29s):
Kamin and rice and everything for

2 (12m 31s):

3 (12m 31s):
Interesting. So in April was a trip that I took that I’ve been waiting my whole life to take. It was like amazing. I did a 10 day trip to Italy. I visited Rome, Florence, Venice. I also did a day trip to and got to see PISA when we were there too. And it was fucking amazing.

4 (12m 54s):
Can also on

3 (12m 55s):
This, went to the Vatican, saw the Sistine chapel and oh my God, it was just amazing. All

4 (13m 1s):
The highlights of Italy.

5 (13m 2s):
And you did a stopover.

3 (13m 3s):
Yeah. So I’ve talked about this before and how I saved money, getting back from Italy on Easter weekend. And it was really expensive. So I figured out a way to go and have a stopover 12 hours in Copenhagen Denmark. So I got to see that too, which was really cool, but Italy highlights. So we had a Venice episode just come out so you can hear about that portion of it. And then this was amazing. But the highlights of this trip to Italy for me was, oh God, there’s just so many. But just seeing the Colosseum and being in that. And then all of the other ruins around the city in Rome was amazing. The wine in Italy is amazing and the food, the pasta, oh my God, chink LATERA is one of the places I’ve seen in blogs and on Instagram.

3 (13m 46s):
And there are these beautiful multi-colored houses that sit on cliffs on the ocean. It’s so beautiful in pictures and in real life. And I was just like one of those bucket list, things that, you know, sometimes you always wonder like, will I ever get to see this place on my bucket list? My bucket list is huge. This has been a place I’ve been wanting to go for five years and dreams come true. Finally

4 (14m 10s):
Hit it off.

2 (14m 11s):
I really believe that we’re going to hit all the things on our bucket list. Guys. We definitely we’re holding each other accountable.

3 (14m 16s):
Well, I think that too, but every time I checked something off like five more things, get on. It

4 (14m 23s):
Just keeps you busy.

2 (14m 24s):
Yeah, exactly. But wait, real quickly, you didn’t let us know when you were in Italy, how was the Italian beef? Just kidding guys. That’s a Chicago episode reference.

4 (14m 33s):
They don’t have those type of beef sandwiches out in Italy. They have real Italian food. I guess

2 (14m 37s):
They have real Italian

3 (14m 39s):
And pasta and pizza and cheese gelato, gelato and whine, whine, whine, whine, whine all the time.

5 (14m 49s):
So you land back from Copenhagen and Italy and you pack up your bag. And how many more days before we go to Bryce canyon? Now

3 (14m 57s):
I got back from Italy on a Thursday. I went to work on a Friday and left for Bryce canyon that evening.

2 (15m 4s):
That’s the first time that I’ve seen Kim since Thanksgiving or something. And it’s been a long time since I had seen Kim at that point. So I remember like when I saw you in the airport, it was like, oh my gosh.

3 (15m 15s):
Yes. It really hadn’t been a long time.

4 (15m 17s):
Yeah. So this was our first squad trip of the year. And like Kim said, she only had one day of recovery, not really a full one before we flew out that Friday and we flew from San Diego to Las Vegas. And then from Las Vegas, we rented a car and went to Bryce canyon, national park. Which again, if you haven’t figured it out already, we all love going to the national parks. And this was another one that we hadn’t gone to. And my favorite thing about this one, other than the fact that it was a squad trip and we were all reunited what

3 (15m 49s):
Feels so good?

2 (15m 51s):
I don’t know that song.

4 (15m 53s):
I was waiting for somebody to come and no one did. So I thought my reunited in that tone was going to be sufficient. But Kim saved the day on that one.

2 (16m 0s):
Well, because you weren’t a singer. So I was like, whoa, just kidding. Now

3 (16m 5s):
I had nothing to do with the whiskeys drinking right now.

4 (16m 8s):
No, not at all. But my favorite thing about it was just hearing everybody’s response and how much they liked Bryce. I know Zane in particular said, I didn’t know what to expect, but I walked out of Bryce being really surprised with how much I enjoyed it. And

2 (16m 24s):
He said, you see

3 (16m 25s):
That every time that’s

2 (16m 26s):
Exactly what Brittany said.

4 (16m 28s):
But this time I really felt Zayna meant it. She always means it, but this one had more passion behind it. Okay.

3 (16m 34s):
It is always so funny when me and Brittany are like, what should we do? Should we do this? You just Zena’s like, you know what? I just come in fresh. I don’t know what we’re doing, but I know it’s going to be great. And she just didn’t do any research. And it has no clue what the hell is planned.

5 (16m 47s):
Sure. Expectation loads. You know, you’ll never be disappointed if you keep your expectations low.

4 (16m 52s):
And she walks out pleasantly surprised by

2 (16m 53s):
I do, but you know what? Okay. So in 2018 I traveled by myself overseas. And then when I was in my early twenties, I traveled by myself. So it’s not that I’m lazy or anything like that, but you know, if they like to plan, I’m cool with it. And their expert planners obviously listen to these episodes. You’ll see how much we get in and what we see. It’s pretty intense and it’s pretty crazy. So they want to do it. I’m cool sitting back. But if they asked me to do something, I’d do it last minute.

3 (17m 19s):
So funny because on one of our trips later in the year, I was doing an Instagram story of what I was packing. And I was explaining the things we were going to do and how I wanted to pack per each one. And Zeno was like, oh my God, it’s so funny because I didn’t know we were doing any of those things until I watched her Instagram.

2 (17m 35s):
You know, once I watched Kim’s story, well, it’s not Kim story, right? It’s the it’s on at Travel Squad Podcast. If you’re not already following us and Kim posted what she was packing on our Instagram and as I’m watching it, I’m like, oh shit, I didn’t know we were going there. I didn’t know we were going there. And it was just so grateful for that story because I didn’t know what to pack

4 (17m 53s):
Typical Zana unprepared again.

2 (17m 56s):
Well, did you hear me? If you told me that you wanted me to do something, I would do it last minute.

5 (18m 0s):
So we flew into Vegas on a Friday night and early Saturday morning, we packed up the car and ourselves and we drove to Bryce canyon, national park. We did a hike that day and we stayed the night in the park, funny story. I thought they lost our hotel reservation and I got really scared. But then I found out that we got upgraded to a different hotel that came with a free breakfast Boothbay,

2 (18m 24s):
Which by the way, Brittany booked this hotel a year in advance. So Brittany was like, there’s no fucking way you lost our first.

5 (18m 31s):
I’m like, I know I have it. I booked it almost a year ago. And the next day, the highlight of my trip was a hike. We did, it was called the fairy land a loop. And it was just so beautiful. There was so many hoodoos to see and hoodoos are the rock formations that stick up. And they’re just so vast. We were pretty much on the trail by ourselves for the majority of it. And it was just, so

2 (18m 52s):
The thing that surprised me most about Bryce canyon is I’ve been to a lot of tourists placed here in the United States. But when we were in Bryce canyon, like it really felt like we were the only Americans on the trail, which is so great that so many international travelers come. But like when you did pass people, they were speaking either German or French. And I remember at one point there was a narrow tunnel to go through rocks and I let the group behind me go. And when one guy passed me, he looked at me and he said, maxi. And I was like, no, hang on.

4 (19m 23s):
Well, Bryce is one of the more famous national parks and the national park system. So it gets a lot of tourists. There were a lot of tour buses in there, but I just want to say this was a weekend trip. And so just as a reminder, as an inspiration to people to do things, you can always find the weekend trips with the cheap tickets, you know, San Diego to Las Vegas. We found the right time that that went on sale from Las Vegas to there. It’s a little bit of a drive. So yeah, sometimes the planning can be a little cumbersome and take time. But if you find the way to do it, you can do these things.

2 (19m 57s):
And for the flight from San Diego to Las Vegas, it was the very last flight of the day. So it was a party plane, pretty much of all the people going to Vegas for the weekend. And what I remember about that flight is all four of us were towards the back of the plane and someone ripped ass.

4 (20m 13s):
They didn’t listen to our episode about flight etiquette. Did they?

2 (20m 16s):
It did not. They did not. And it was so funny because it was a silent but deadly one. And then all of a sudden, like you just start to smell it. And it was so bad and all four of us just couldn’t stop laughing. Cause I don’t care how old you get. It’s funny.

3 (20m 30s):
Nothing will make a grown person laugh more than the rancid stench of a stranger spot

2 (20m 38s):
In a tight space, like an airplane

3 (20m 40s):
Bryce canyon. Actually we have not done an episode on yet. So you can expect this one to be coming out in 2020 and we will expand

5 (20m 47s):
Much more on it. Yes, yes. I have a good bathroom story for you guys.

2 (20m 50s):
And we’ll finally let you know who did the fart on the airplane?

4 (20m 53s):
It was Dana heads up. So

2 (20m 57s):
It wasn’t, it wasn’t guys.

4 (20m 60s):
So as it was mentioned earlier, Kim, right after Italy, that Friday, she went to Bryce, but for Brittany and I, we had three weekends in a row. We were on that Dallas in April. Then the week after that we did Bryce canyon and then the following week, it became the month of may. And it was time for mine. And Brittany’s a larger week long plus trips that we usually take

5 (21m 21s):
And are gone for two more weekends,

4 (21m 24s):
Correct one week total, but two weekends in a hole. And we ended up going to Florida and doing several things. And as you may now know, from just listening to highlights of the 2019 year already, we went to some national parks when we were out there, we went to Biscayne national park and dry Tortugas national park, which are in Southern Florida in the key region.

2 (21m 46s):
I tried to go on this trip, but Jamal and Brittany said, no,

5 (21m 51s):
Your parents did come for a portion of it. They did have company. They did. So Jamal and I are actually timeshare owners. And we found such a great deal with our timeshare. And it was a super low amount of points to get the time Shern in Orlando. So we were like, okay, let’s book the timeshare for the week. And let’s just go ahead and go down to Biscayne and dried her two guys and stay in the QS for a few days and then come back up because you know, with timeshares, you typically do get them for a week. And we weren’t really losing out on not being there for a few days. So we drove down to Biscayne first and we went snorkeling in Biscayne bay, which was

2 (22m 29s):
Great. Any of the crocodiles out there, we didn’t

4 (22m 31s):
See any,

5 (22m 32s):
They do say to look out for manatees and that area. Oh,

4 (22m 37s):
So just so everyone’s aware, Biscayne is a national park, but there is no land portion of the national park. It is south of Miami and it’s exclusively pretty much in the water. There’s only one point on land, but that’s not really a designated area. That’s just where they have the visitor center, the launching off points. But the main attraction is going out and doing the snorkeling in Biscayne bay. So we hired a boat, went out snorkeling and enjoyed her time out there. There was tons of jellyfish out there. And I had to ask our guide. I said, are these ones going to stick me? Cause they were like little baby ones, you know, the size of a quarter, but I could see them. And he’s like, no, no, no, those are harmless. But I was swimming through an ocean of them. Literally. I

2 (23m 17s):
Think Brittany has been stung by a jellyfish in the past.

5 (23m 19s):
Yeah. When I was in Jamaica when I was younger, crazy, but from Biscayne, we drove to the key west and we stayed in the key west for what was it? Two nights, Jamal,

4 (23m 29s):
Two nights.

5 (23m 29s):
And the reason why we stayed there was because it’s the only way to really get too dry Tortugas national park because it dried her to goes national park is an island off of the key west, about 70 miles.

4 (23m 41s):
Yeah. So there’s only three ways that you can get there. One take the boat that Brittany and I took to have your own boat and sail out there or three hire a private sea plane to land you out there. And what dry Tortugas is one Tortugas if anyone’s not good with their Spanish, including myself, but I do know what Tortuga is. It means turtle. But the islands out there are breeding ground for sea turtles. So that’s where it gets its name on top of that and the protection area for the sea turtles they did in the 18 hundreds, built a Fort or Jefferson Out there that they used to house civil war prisoners in, but it was never, ever completed even though they house people there.

4 (24m 22s):
So it’s an old military Fort as well, but it’s one of the more isolated national parks. Clearly you can’t drive there. You have to get out there. And the only way that you can get out there is by taking a boat from key west.

5 (24m 33s):
And after we did the dry Tortugas national park, we went back up to Orlando and we completed Disney world. We had been to two Disney world parks in the past and we needed to hit off magic kingdom and Hollywood studios. So we went ahead and did that with Jamal’s parents.

4 (24m 49s):
Yeah. They had flown in the day that we drove back from dry. Tortugas pick them up from the airport. They stayed with us at the time share. And then they ended up going to Disney world with us. My mom has been to Disney world the year or year after it opened in the seventies, but had never been back since. So my mom likes Disney just as much as me. So I wanted to make sure to invite them out there, but that was our week adventure and Florida. And we’ll probably have an episode on this, but what do you remember the most of that trip? Brittany, the

5 (25m 20s):
Love bug.

2 (25m 20s):
We have an excellent video that Brittany sent us. Me and Kim have Jamal trying to clean off the love bugs off of the car. Oh, I love it. When he hits his head with the windshield and the bug juice splats on him.

4 (25m 35s):
Jeez. So I had never even heard of love bugs before. This is not my first time in Florida, but it is the first time I’ve been to Florida outside the month of January. I’ve been to Florida in January, like three other times this week. Well, I’ve always gone on cruises in January and January is a good time for cruising. And a lot of them leave out of Florida. Anytime is a good time for that’s very true. But in terms of discounts, January is a good time.

2 (25m 60s):
Yeah. And you can hear more about cruising on our episode about cruise life.

4 (26m 3s):
Yes. And so I did not know that in the month of may is breeding time for these bugs called love bugs. And as a matter of fact, there’s a particular type of fly, but they’re called love bugs because when they made the male and female stay attached and as we were driving back through central Florida through farmland, I had no clue, Florida even had farmland, but oranges. Well, that’s true, but I didn’t really see citrus trees. These were more like low-level farms, not trees, but anyway, nonetheless farmland totally threw me off, was not expecting that. And they were just flying everywhere and I shit, you not every 10 minutes that we were driving, I had to stop and wipe down the windshield because even the windshield wipers, weren’t cleaning them and it was completely blacked out.

4 (26m 53s):
And I was not the only vehicle doing this. And then when you get out there, it’s all around. You it’s like the biblical plague of locusts or something. It was ridiculous.

2 (26m 60s):
I was just about to ask, how was it when you get out of the car?

4 (27m 3s):
Disgusting. So

2 (27m 4s):
You get it in your mouth, like, do you close your mouth?

4 (27m 6s):
Oh yeah. I was trying to just breathe through my nose. Don’t ask Brittany. She doesn’t know. She didn’t get out. She didn’t help. I don’t know what she’s saying. Awful for. She didn’t do shit.

2 (27m 14s):
Get a flat on your car.

4 (27m 15s):
Yeah. That’d been terrible.

5 (27m 17s):
So that pretty much sums up or may travel.

2 (27m 19s):
And I just want to add in real quick, at the beginning of the, when they started talking about Florida, I made the comment that I asked if I can go. And they said, no, I don’t get offended guys. Like it’s, it’s not like that on the squad. I understand that Jamal and Brittany do their own stuff sometimes. And you know, I’m always trying to get in with them. But if they say, no, it’s not personal.

3 (27m 39s):
In fact, sometimes I tell them no on my trips.

4 (27m 44s):
Yeah. Matter of fact, Kim is planning and Nashville and we’ve been nixed from that.

3 (27m 48s):
When I went to Thailand, I told them, I don’t want to go with you guys.

4 (27m 53s):
So no offense taken.

2 (27m 55s):
Exactly. And I think that’s what makes

5 (27m 57s):
For Africa. We didn’t want you to go either

3 (28m 2s):
My biggest regret in life.

2 (28m 4s):
You know, we’re going to be like 80 years old someday. And we’re still going to be talking about the time that kid missed out on Africa.

5 (28m 12s):
So moving on to June, Zayna went to

2 (28m 15s):

4 (28m 16s):
Hotlanta hot

2 (28m 17s):

4 (28m 18s):
Was a hot.

2 (28m 19s):
Yeah. I mean, I guess it was, I was more in the hotel. I went for a conference, but I got out of town regardless. I think it was like a Monday. No, it was a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So I left on a Monday. It was hot when I got there. But like I said, I was in the hotel most of the time and I don’t really have too much to report other than I racked up some miles on my Delta sky miles. And I went to Atlanta. Very

4 (28m 41s):

5 (28m 42s):
Hm. Then the squad went to Mexico city.

3 (28m 45s):
This was an exciting trip.

4 (28m 47s):
Went for Nicole and Roberto’s wedding.

2 (28m 50s):
And we’ve talked about Nicole and Roberto quite a bit. Yeah.

4 (28m 52s):
I have an episode how to survive a Mexican wedding talking pretty much about their wedding

3 (28m 57s):
Episode number 21. Check it out guys.

2 (28m 59s):
Yeah. And then also when we were in Mexico city, how to spend three days in Mexico city. That’s Nicole and Roberto right there. Yes.

5 (29m 7s):
This is also again, I’ve said this before. I’m going to say it again. That’s where the podcast idea was born. Yeah.

3 (29m 13s):
Yes. This was such an exciting month for us really changed our lives and it’s changing all of your lives by listening to us.

5 (29m 21s):
And Kim professed her love for me in Mexico city

4 (29m 26s):
And the cabbie.

7 (29m 28s):

3 (29m 28s):
Lot of love that night after being at the wedding, having a couple drinks of tequila,

4 (29m 34s):
Loving the air alcohol in the body. What a great combination. Yes,

2 (29m 39s):
It was. Yes, it was. So that podcast idea was born in the back of a tiny car

5 (29m 44s):
Zana, Jamal and I flew home and Kim flew out to,

3 (29m 48s):
Yeah, we were only in Mexico city for a couple of days for this wedding, but some of my family members had, semi-recently moved to the Ken Kuhn to loom area. And so I’ve been wanting to visit them, but I hadn’t had the chance yet. So this was the perfect opportunity to take a quick flight from Mexico city to Ken Kuhn and have them pick me up. And if you have people that, you know, family or friends in other places of the country or the world, this is your opportunity to like take that trip. There’s a couple of reasons why, first of all, it’s going to be much more affordable for you if you can stay with them. And because they live there, they probably have a vehicle who can drive your ground and they know all of the good places to go.

3 (30m 30s):
There’s nothing better than seeing a destination with someone that actually lives there. Like you will see a whole different side of it than you would have if you came on your own. So, and that’s what I did. So they picked me up from the airport. We went straight to this beach club and it was election day in Mexico. So there was actually no alcohol allowed to be sold unless you were in a tourist all-inclusive resort. And so we stayed on the beach and then the next day we went to cenote days and went swimming and hiking in there. And then we went to some ruins and to loom and different bars and restaurants. And like, it was amazing. And then highlight, I mean the whole fucking trip was a highlight, but I would say the highlight is something that I’d been wanting to do for years and years and that’s to swim with dolphins and to be able to kiss a dolphin.

3 (31m 16s):
And it was so cool. It was just an amazing experience that I’m so glad I got the chance to do.

2 (31m 22s):
And then Kim said that they had snow days out there and those are just natural Wells or sink holes. And they’re really prevalent there along the Eastern coast of Mexico. And in fact, I really want to take you guys from Mexico city and doing a flight into Chengdu mall, which is in that area because it’s a little bit more Southern than Tulum and Cancun and it’s super, super cheap and it’s just beautiful. They have like seven color lagoons and sidenote this

4 (31m 49s):
From there, you can cross the border real easily into Billy’s correct.

2 (31m 52s):
And I did that with Nicole. I know

4 (31m 53s):
You. Yeah. You’ve been talking about taking us there for a long time. So maybe that’s

2 (31m 57s):
20, 20, 20, 20 guys. We got to put it on the map and we’ll go with Nicole and Roberto,

3 (32m 1s):
You bring up a good point about what cenote days are though. Cause I didn’t know either. And you described them well, but they are beautiful. So in that area they have a bunch of limestone and it makes these underwater cave systems. They have miles and miles and miles of it. And right now they’re actually mapping it. But as you get down, you’ll walk through trees in like nature areas. And then you come to these basically watering holes in caves, the waters like turquoise, beautiful blue crystal clear. You can see down to the bottom where it’s limestone and caves and you’re just swimming through caves and these beautiful waters and it is a sight to be seen.

5 (32m 38s):
So the next month is July and y’all know Jamal’s birthday is in July and Jamal loves to go hiking on his birthday.

4 (32m 46s):
Love it so much.

2 (32m 48s):
Every year he tells Brittany no hiking on my birthday this year and every year Brittany plans a hiking trip.

4 (32m 54s):
Well that just goes to show how much Brittany listens and respects me because she never listens to what I want to say. But I’m just kidding. I give her a hard time. We’ve talked about this before. I always end up enjoying doing what she plans. I just in the moment, I think sometimes I’d rather do nothing on my birthday and just kind of relaxed, but I’m always so grateful for what we do. And Brittany and I ended up going to channel islands national park for my birthday this year. So we drove up on a Friday, which was my birthday, but didn’t really do any hiking until the next day. Now channel islands is about a three, three and a half hour drive from San Diego could be a little bit more if there’s traffic. So a little bit north of LA along the coast.

4 (33m 36s):
And you can only get out there if you take a boat because they are islands and they are a designated Marine wilderness area. So lots of breeding grounds for Marine mammals as well as seagulls. So there’s several different islands that you can go to. We went to Anna Kappa and Anna Kappa again is famous for being the island that the seagulls breed on. And we were there, right? Yeah, we did.

3 (34m 4s):
I hate seagulls.

4 (34m 5s):
I’m not a big fan of seagulls either, but it is the closest island to the shore because there’s five islands part of the channel island chain. So the islands that are further out clearly, it’s going to take you longer to get to. And since it was a weekend getaway, didn’t really have too much time to invest a three hour boat ride going one way. So we did the closer one, which was Anna Kappa. And we were there right after they had given birth. As a matter of fact, and the tour guide told us that if we were there, maybe about two weeks beforehand, the chicks were still small enough that the mothers would probably be swooping on you to protect the chicks. If he got too close, he said, it’s not uncommon to see the birds attack people. If you get too close

5 (34m 45s):
And Anacapa has a great trail where you can look out and see all of the other islands in the channel islands system. And also the island has a light house and it was like the last light house built on the west coast. So Jamal and I were the only ones that traveled for the month of July. But in August we were pretty active.

3 (35m 5s):
We were busy in August.

5 (35m 7s):
Where did you go, Kim?

3 (35m 8s):
All right. So I went to Palm Springs, I’ve got there on a Friday, left on a Monday and I’ve been to Palm Springs before. It’s a really cool place, a lot of cool things to see and do. And it’s very eclectic and also very much like a 50 sixties kind of vibe. It’s pretty cool, but I didn’t go there to see Palm Springs. I went there for the splash house festival. I like going to music festivals. I’ve been to quite a few of them, but this one is truly the best festival I’ve ever been to in my entire life. It was so cool. I love full parties too. So festival and a pool party put together, like the only thing that could have been better was a rooftop bar thrown in and it would have been the shit,

4 (35m 46s):
No rooftop bar, but it was so memorable. You almost got a splash house tattoo, But then Kim thought better of it and decided I’m not,

3 (35m 59s):
It was like the tattoo guy said, you’re too drunk. Get out of here, but you know, whatever. No. So this festival is a pool party festival. So it’s between three of the really cool fun hotels in Palm Springs. And they have a shuttle bus that takes you from each one. And at each pool party, they have different house music or EDM artists that come and perform. So it’s, it is a ranger and everyone is so nice there. And because the entire hotel in each place is booked out with only festival guests, everyone is there on the same vibe, the same feeling. You’re just going hotel room to hotel room. And everyone’s like, you don’t even exchange names. You just say what hotel room number you’re in. And like people just come in and out so much fun. Everyone’s just like happy and good vibes and lots of love to go around.

5 (36m 44s):
Yeah. So August was also such an important month for us as a squad because August is when our podcast officially launched

3 (36m 52s):
August 15th, 2019

5 (36m 55s):
And we celebrated by going to a celebratory dinner at a steak house.

2 (36m 60s):
And this was also Jamal and Brittany’s fourth wedding anniversary.

5 (37m 3s):
Yes. Launch date was our fourth wedding anniversary. So such a special day to us.

2 (37m 8s):
Did you know that that’s actually my mom and dad’s first date that they had to?

4 (37m 12s):
I did not know that was August 15th. That was the first date or when dad met mom at the dance club in Sacramento,

2 (37m 21s):
It might’ve been when they met. Might’ve been when they met, but that’s a very important date for them. You

4 (37m 25s):
Learn something new every day. Okay.

3 (37m 27s):
I know my last trip that I took in August was to Vegas. August was a big party month for me, I guess, because then in Vegas it was for labor day weekend. And any holiday weekend in Las Vegas was going to be just a ball of a time. So we went and stayed at the Flamingo Friday to Sunday to Monday and hit up Hokas on and some full party.

4 (37m 49s):
What the Fuck?

2 (37m 52s):
Well, we are about to hit a Pakistan in Dubai. I

3 (37m 55s):
Also went to a male strip club. I got to left-hand. So I very muscular man Changed my life.

4 (38m 4s):

3 (38m 5s):
I fell in love with a stripper.

4 (38m 7s):
I fell in love with the

2 (38m 8s):
Strip and I was about to say, isn’t that a song

3 (38m 12s):
You were singing it up on this episode.

2 (38m 16s):
You have had a little bit of,

4 (38m 17s):
No, that’s not it. I’m just excited. Recapping our adventures of 2019 just makes me so happy.

5 (38m 23s):
And in the month of August is Jamal and Zena’s mom’s birthday. So we all flew up for her 70th birthday party,

4 (38m 31s):
70th mom,

2 (38m 32s):
Happy birthday mama. Yeah. So we went home and we surprised her with that party. Her birthday was on a Friday, but the party was on a Saturday and my mother was expecting us on Friday. So when we didn’t show up on Friday, she’s

5 (38m 43s):
Actually expecting you not Jamal

2 (38m 45s):
NEI. She was cause she knew that Jamal and Brittany were getting ready to go try.

4 (38m 49s):
We were leaving that next Tuesday for what we’re going to talk about next. But Brittany and I were going out of country for our next trip. So didn’t expect Brittany and I to show up, but thought Zaina might surprise her on her birthday, come to find out she didn’t. So she was a little disappointed,

2 (39m 2s):
Right. But we made up for it on Saturday. And the only reason my mom’s thinking that we might have something is we go all out in the Marusha clan for big events.

4 (39m 12s):
So we ended up going to that. And then as we mentioned, a few days later, Brittany and I were leaving on that Tuesday, the 27th and we had a European adventure

2 (39m 23s):
And this is another one that I tried to get in with them on. And they said, no. So

3 (39m 27s):
Did I, I tried to get in on this one.

5 (39m 30s):
We said we were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary and we wanted to do it alone. So we did. And you guys could listen to this episode on the podcast, it’s exploring the Adriatic coast total on that trip. We hit five different countries and we started our tour in Toronto Albania and then went to Montenegro. And then we ended up being there for part of the month of September. So we also went to split Croatia Dubrovnik and the pleat beats, a national park. Where else did we go to?

4 (40m 1s):
We also went to Slovenia and Venus, and this was part of a guided tour with gate one, shout out gate one loved one. And we had just a really good time touring the Adriatic coast, which is a region of the Mediterranean sea. So all those countries that we mentioned, border the Adriatic coast of the Mediterranean there, hence the name and really, really beautiful, had a blast doing it. And any guided tour with gate one doesn’t matter where you go is going to be fantastic. And this tour did not let down either.

3 (40m 34s):
The highlight of that trip for me was getting all your videos of the breakfast buffets

4 (40m 41s):
And he was sending them to you. Yes,

3 (40m 42s):
She was

5 (40m 43s):
So Jamal and I were the only ones to travel in the month of September. But in the month of October we had another squad trip. Where did we go to

3 (40m 52s):
The windy city of Chicago, Chicago

2 (40m 54s):

3 (40m 56s):
We also went to Indiana dunes national park and to Michigan

4 (41m 0s):
On that same trip because it is so close. I love Chicago. I couldn’t believe how cool of a city Chicago was.

2 (41m 7s):
And we almost made it to Kenosha, Wisconsin, so close, but not quite

3 (41m 12s):
It’s episode 18. If you guys want to go back and listen to Chicago and our Italian beef recommendations Were non recommendations, but that was an amazing trip. And we did all of that in a weekend. We left a Friday after work. We came back a Monday morning and then went straight to work. And so we fit in three states and national park and lots of Italian beef

8 (41m 34s):
In one weekend,

4 (41m 36s):
Tallying beef and hot dogs.

5 (41m 38s):
I mean, minus the Italian beef, my highlight was the architectural boat tour

3 (41m 44s):
On the rubric.

2 (41m 45s):
That was so fascinating. Every time our tour guide was telling us about a new building. I was looking over at Jamal and I was like, that’s so fascinating. Yeah.

4 (41m 53s):
Chicago is just a beautiful city. And through the buildings, the history of the city itself can be told. And if you go to Chicago and do the architectural riverboat tour, you’re going to understand exactly what it is that I’m saying. But I enjoyed Chicago immensely. It’s so close to the Indiana state border. So from there we did Indiana dunes, national park had a white claw on the Southern shore of lake Michigan after our hike. So beautiful out there. And from there, we were just so close to Michigan that we’re like, let’s drive another 20 miles. Let’s cross off another state from our list. So he did Michigan and like him set and such a short weekend. We flew on a Friday. By the time we landed with the time change, it was a Saturday morning.

4 (42m 34s):
So we jam packed everything in Saturday, Sunday, flew back Monday for all of us to go to work no days off. And it was just amazing.

2 (42m 42s):
And that was new Buffalo, Michigan, new Buffalo.

3 (42m 45s):
I think we should have a new motto instead of NSO T it should be no days off. Hashtag no days off

4 (42m 52s):
Defacto motto was fucking hard. Oh

3 (42m 54s):
Fuck. We have that one too.

5 (42m 56s):
So many mottoes look,

2 (42m 59s):
Fuck it. We’re on vacation.

4 (43m 1s):
Well, that’s Brittany, a nice that the group has now taken over or the squad has now taken over, which is okay, because fuck it. You’re on vacation.

2 (43m 8s):

5 (43m 9s):
Also in October, it’s my birthday month. And we went to Las

4 (43m 13s):

3 (43m 15s):
Dirty 30. She’s

4 (43m 17s):
An old woman.

5 (43m 17s):
It wasn’t a squad trip. It was just a trip for Jamal and I. And we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas, Gordon, Ramsey state. And then we actually tried a new restaurant that we’ve been looking to try because they have Fragua ravioli’s and it was called Scarpetta. And I would definitely go back 100% would recommend

4 (43m 36s):
It was delicious. We’ve eaten at Gordon Ramsay steak several times. Pretty much every time we go to Vegas, actually. So more than several, but this was the first time that we tried Scarpetta, which is in the cosmopolitan hotel and casino, and really moderately priced Italian cuisine on the strip. I was pleasantly surprised with how inexpensive it was and now it’s not cheap, but for on the strip and the cosmopolitan being Italian, very modestly priced. So good. I’m ready to go back just to eat at Scarpetta again.

5 (44m 6s):
Where did you go, Kim? In the month of October

3 (44m 9s):
In the month of October, it was one of my friend’s birthdays and she had planned a trip to Malibu. And so we ended up finding on Airbnb, a giant TP that you can rent. And it was supposed to be enough to hold eight people. But when we got to the property, it was actually until Pinga California, which is just outside of Malibu. When we got there, there were two giant teepees and it was kind of like a camping situation. Almost. They had like an outhouse area as the bathroom, which had a horrific

2 (44m 37s):

3 (44m 40s):
It was scary in there in the morning. So it was,

2 (44m 44s):
I haven’t told anybody. I

3 (44m 45s):

5 (44m 46s):
We want to know for the first time ever Kim is going to dish out what happened in the

4 (44m 52s):
We’re going to hear it first time our listeners are going to hear it for the first time I had no clue. There was a story. All I know is I was seeing Kim stories and posts from this on Instagram. And I told Brittany, cause I was seeing him at home. I was like, oh shit, because it looks like she’s having a great time at this place. And now, and now there’s a horror story in that whole house that I’m ready to hear.

3 (45m 12s):
So the TVs are really cool. They had like beds in there and they had lights and all of that and rugs and it was very cute, decorated, very hipster. It’s a camping situation. There’s no cell phone service. There’s no electricity like for the bathroom, no plumbing. And so the whole time we were just sitting on like benches, outside drinking and having fun. And the people that own the house, it was kind of like in their backyard property. And then there was a house they’re very, very nice, very welcoming. They told us we can come into their house whenever we wanted use the bathroom or whatever. They made us pancakes in the morning, but we didn’t want to go into their house in the middle of the night because they did provide an outhouse situation. But this toilet was small. And when you flush, it really just goes into a tank underneath it.

3 (45m 54s):
It’s all attached. Okay. So imagine this like a barn with a rugs in it. And it’s a sliding door that opens to the barn and then there’s just a toilet in the middle of the rug area. So it doesn’t flush. It’s just a toilet in the middle of a

5 (46m 7s):
Barn. What was it like the toilet we had on the Inca

3 (46m 9s):
Trail? Yes, exactly. Transportable toilet. So at a certain point before it got dark, I remember seeing the toilet, like it couldn’t flush it anymore. If you flush the water was coming up high enough. And so I was like, Ooh, that doesn’t look good, but I didn’t really see it again until the morning. And by the morning, the whole rug,

2 (46m 30s):

3 (46m 30s):
You stepped on it and was like squished. And then when you opened the lid, it was just like piles of toilet paper. And someone had, I don’t know, maybe, maybe more than one person had just blown it up. You couldn’t flush it. You couldn’t use it. And yeah, the host

5 (46m 48s):
Didn’t like you guys that

3 (46m 49s):
Much, actually we were all like ashamed. Like someone’s got to tell him. And so after we ate pancake breakfast that they made for us in their house,

2 (46m 58s):
Not before we

3 (46m 59s):
Sent some of the guys to go tell them and they’re like, oh no big deal. It happens all the time.

4 (47m 3s):
At least they were nice about it. Wow.

3 (47m 6s):
They were the nicest people.

5 (47m 7s):
I hope that rug got a cleaning.

2 (47m 9s):
I hope anyone who went in there had shoes. Yes.

3 (47m 13s):
Oh gosh. Yeah. So that was the night. But then the next morning we went to the Malibu wine safari in Malibu, California. And it was so cool. It’s this pretty cool experience where you can buy your ticket and they put you on this big truck,

4 (47m 26s):
Like a safari vehicle almost.

3 (47m 28s):
Yes, very so. And they

5 (47m 31s):
Smell a blue wine safaris

3 (47m 33s):
And they have a giraffe. He’s one of the retired movie drafts from LA.

4 (47m 39s):
Yes. You got to meet a movie star.

3 (47m 42s):
Exactly. And so they take you around and all of our animals are named like funny things like Morocco Lama was one of the Lama’s names and they just have funny names like that for all of the different animals and you get to feed them and then they serve you wine along the whole thing. And then we had taken two cars. So driving back, we stopped in Santa Monica and rode the rollercoaster on the beach and nice little fun getaway in your own backyard kind of thing.

5 (48m 5s):
Very nice. So I think that was all of the travel that we all did in October. And moving on to a November, we did another squad trip. Boom squad

2 (48m 15s):
Trip, Arkansas, SAS,

4 (48m 17s):

3 (48m 18s):
Arkansas. Y’all

4 (48m 19s):
Y’all loved it. Didn’t you? Yeah,

2 (48m 20s):
We did.

4 (48m 21s):
I loved it too.

2 (48m 22s):
I loved Arkansas.

5 (48m 23s):
So again, this was another weekend trip. We flew into Dallas on a Friday night and then Saturday morning we drove to hot Springs, Arkansas to stay for the week. We all know it’s Arkansas, but Arkansas

4 (48m 36s):
And national park, hot Springs, Arkansas, the city and hot Springs, national park, all one in the same. We

2 (48m 43s):
Had a real hoot out there.

3 (48m 46s):
We had a whole episode on this, just a couple of weeks ago, episode number 22. If you want to go back and listen to that one.

5 (48m 51s):
Yes. Go listen. Such a fun episode. I would definitely go back. And then after we came back from that trip, how long before you left for your trip, Kim?

3 (49m 0s):
Yeah. So that was just a quick weekend trip. And then about two weeks later, I took off for my birthday, my dirty 30 birthday. I went to Miami,

4 (49m 12s):

3 (49m 13s):
And played that song the entire time I was stuck in my head for that whole week. So I left on a Thursday, used our travel hack on how to get upgraded for free. Didn’t get upgraded, but got Sue Primo service, six free glasses of wine and a free cheese plate.

2 (49m 30s):
I have never gotten a cheese plates for doing that too.

3 (49m 34s):
So by the way, like it stands from our previous episode. If you want our travel hack for how to get upgraded for free, leave us a five-star review, send us a screenshot, either DMS on Instagram, at Travel Squad Podcast, or Email us Travel Squad Podcast at gmail.com. And we will get you back with the hack.

2 (49m 53s):
And it’s not a guarantee to be upgraded. There are certain situations, but it is pretty much guaranteed that you will be treated.

3 (50m 1s):
Absolutely that’s the flight I was on was completely full. So there was just no upgrade physically possible, but I love the service that I got so best way to kick off my birthday weekend. So I went to Miami, spent a day and a night there stayed in this cute hotel in south beach that I’ve been wanting to stay in. They give you a free cocktail when you get there. It’s one of the most iconic, memorable well-known hotels in Miami and met a really cool drag queen and hung out with her all night, which is really fun. And then we got on the cruise that Saturday morning did a five day cruise that went to Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos. We got back on a Saturday and then spent the whole Saturday on the beach in Miami, before taking off that evening to come home.

3 (50m 44s):
But I would say highlight of that trip, there was, I mean, so much, but going with my mom, who’d never been on a vacation in her life was really cool. And you know, new travelers are so excited. I mean, traveling in general is so exciting, but for someone that’s never traveled, it’s, it’s an amazing feeling. But you know, selfishly what my real highlights of the trip were getting to play with these little Caribbean squirrel monkeys. Oh my God. Okay. So here’s a funny story. I haven’t told you guys, but in the Dominican, before you go into the squirrels, they tell you there’s few things you can’t do. Don’t yell, don’t have your phone. When you have the food dish in your hand, I

4 (51m 19s):
Will steal your phone. I’m

3 (51m 20s):
Sure. No, they weren’t that big. They were, they were tiny ones. So we walk in and we start to see them running around, jumping from thing to thing. They’re very, very jumpy. Yes. They could jump huge distances. So I’m walking in, filming the area, filming the monkeys and one jumps out of nowhere and like hits my chest. I screamed so fucking loud.

5 (51m 42s):
What have your friends told me that story before you told it now?

3 (51m 46s):
Oh yeah, it was funny, but they’re really cool. They like to be on your head and like jump and you’ll have like 10 monkeys on you at once. It was pretty cool. Yeah.

4 (51m 54s):
So hearing the story right now is already making me jealous because I love going on cruises. We’ve mentioned this before. I’ll say it again. I love cruises, but you have to a lot of weak for it. And some, since I’ve been on them before now, when we take our longer ones, we’re doing other things. So I’m quite jealous that you’ve done a cruise more recently than me because I’m ready to cruise again. I just love cruises.

3 (52m 15s):
By the way, we did a, everything you need to know about cruising episode it’s episode, number six, if you want to go back and listen to it, there’s a lot of good advice for cruise life on there, and we’ll definitely make you want to book a cruise.

5 (52m 27s):
So the next thing I want to talk about, I want to preface first with, we did an episode about the must do’s of San Diego. And we mentioned going to the Del Mar horse track and races

3 (52m 37s):
Episode number 20, by the way,

5 (52m 39s):
Episode 20. So at the time of that recording, Jamal and myself had not been to the Delmar horse races at all. Zina and Kim both had been. So after Kim had returned back home from her dirty 30 cruise, she had a dirty 30 birthday party, my

3 (52m 53s):
Actual birth date

5 (52m 54s):
On her actual birthday at the Del Mar horse races. And so the squad and Kim’s friends got to celebrate there.

3 (53m 1s):
I was so proud of Jamal ’cause you really party to that? We got a party bus and took it to the Del Mar racetrack and Jamal is just popping bottles left and right.

4 (53m 12s):
No, it’s really funny is I’d like to play at modest sometimes because Brittany doesn’t necessarily like to drink a lot. And I don’t say I hold myself back because of it. But by the time we come home, if we leave someplace together, it’s no fun to be only one that’s at another level, but it was at your 30th birthday party. And we had the party bus Zaina was going to be driving us home. I said, fuck it. I’m not going to lie. When I want to drink. I hate to toot my own horn. I feel like I could be a fucking riot

3 (53m 39s):
Party animal when

2 (53m 41s):
I want to drink, but I can out drink you.

4 (53m 43s):
You cannot chug me. You cannot drink me Zana.

5 (53m 46s):
Zaina w you know, 2019 took a year so bright.

2 (53m 50s):
We don’t talk about it, but I did do that this year.

3 (53m 53s):

5 (53m 53s):
Was mine and Jamal’s DD driving home.

2 (53m 57s):
I did. Yeah. So instead of taking the party bus, I went there and met them there. And it was just really funny. Cause Jamal got into the car and he’s like, yeah, guys. And he, you know, he’s a little bit tipsy. And he’s like, guys, when, when I have Kim goodbye, she’s like, Jamal, I’m so proud of you. And I don’t know if she went by that.

4 (54m 11s):
No, it was like she talking about for the podcast. Is she talking about just in general for life or like what? And then, so I asked her about it later and she was like, no, you went hard. I’m proud of you. I was like,

2 (54m 21s):
But Kim, not salt on the wound or anything. But if you really want to be proud of Jamal, you should’ve seen him in Africa. I’m sorry, I couldn’t

3 (54m 30s):
Hurt. No,

4 (54m 31s):
I was living it up in Africa. Cause I had peer pressure from Josh.

3 (54m 34s):
Truly. I would have gone if I’d known how much booze would have been on that trip.

2 (54m 38s):
Yeah, Kim, but you know what? Like when we finished the walk with the lions and then all of a sudden it was an open bar. Like we were surprised when we went on the river, cruise in Zimbabwe and all of a sudden it’s an open bar. We’re like surprised. Like we had no idea. We were going to be served that much alcohol. And in fact, I drank so much the night before that Brittany put me to bed. I thought I was going to die. And

3 (54m 58s):
You were texting me.

2 (54m 59s):
I have no idea that I had that full on conversation with Kim guys.

5 (55m 3s):
I don’t dish it. All right here at this podcast, we have an upcoming episode for Africa coming out in 2022, just

2 (55m 9s):
A little bit of a teaser, a

4 (55m 11s):
Little bit of a teaser. Just great. Africa

2 (55m 12s):
Was a little bit of drinking.

3 (55m 14s):
I have to take us back to November. And since you guys are talking about all this booze, another highlight from my cruise trip, when we went to Turks and Caicos, we got this catamaran snorkeling tour that talks about like a beach party or private beach party. That was my mom’s suggestion and proud of her too. So we did the snorkeling. We’d get back on the boat. As soon as snorkeling is done, they bust out the rum punch and the guys has a pitcher in his hand the whole time. He’s not letting it go empty and he’s keeping our glasses filled and going back for refills. So they dock on a private beach and he’s just running around the beach with this picture of rum punch. Even when we’re out in the ocean, he comes out there to refill our glasses, probably like six

4 (55m 50s):
Times David Hasselhoff with a pitcher and

3 (55m 53s):
Not just to us, but to everyone on that boat cruise. And we were very tipsy dancing on the boat coming back in

4 (56m 0s):
A sounds like a riot, right?

3 (56m 2s):

2 (56m 2s):
Awesome. I’m proud of you, Kim. Oh,

3 (56m 4s):
Thank you.

5 (56m 5s):
So finish up our year, 2019 travel year in the month of December,

3 (56m 10s):
September. So this is the month that we’re in right now and it gets crazy with holidays. And either your family comes to see you or you go to see family and all of that. And so the only trip I think the whole squad took in December was this one that I took home for Christmas.

4 (56m 27s):
No squad trip, just cam

3 (56m 29s):
No squad trip, but we did do Thanksgiving together. Yes

4 (56m 32s):
We did. Thanksgiving’s always a blast.

3 (56m 35s):
So I went home to Sacramento for Christmas. I was just there Christmas Eve to the 26th. And then I came home. Oh actually to the 27th. Sorry. And this was such a special Christmas though, because it was the first time in over 10 years that I’ve been with my mom and my two brothers from my mom and my grandparents and my brother’s kids, like all of us together, which was so cool. So it was worth definitely going home to Sacramento. I normally don’t go home three times in a year, but this was a good one.

5 (57m 1s):
So that wraps up our whole year of travel. But we just want to tease you with some trips that we plan on taking for 2020. And again, this isn’t to brag. This is to inspire you to show you how much travel we did in the year of 2019. And to let you know of things we already have in the works and that we’re planning and that are coming up in 2020.

4 (57m 20s):
Yeah. I just want to say too, a lot of the trips that we took, some of the bigger ones didn’t necessarily include the squad. The biggest trip that we went on with Zeno was Japan. Kim wasn’t there. And then a lot of the other trips that we took as a squad real quick, little weekend getaways, but coming up here in 2020, all of our major vacations are squad trips and they are already planned out

2 (57m 44s):
Quickly touching base on that. When Brittany was saying, you know, this is to inspire you, that you can do it as well. Keep in mind that again, we all have full-time jobs and not only that we’re doing the podcast, full-time too. So you can absolutely make the time to travel. It’s just about making it a priority and putting your money where you want to put it,

3 (58m 3s):
Letting you know, because we are now accepting applications for honorary squad members.

5 (58m 10s):
Cashin, Ryan has been honorary squad member.

3 (58m 12s):
You want to jump on a trip? We can make that happen. Yeah.

2 (58m 15s):
And we’re trying to get Nicole and Roberto to come on an upcoming trip as well.

3 (58m 20s):
All it takes is a five star review

4 (58m 24s):
And us liking you.

2 (58m 25s):
Yeah, that too.

4 (58m 27s):
So for 2020, the first one we’re going to be going on coming up here real hot, real soon, January Lebanon and Dubai. We’ve been talking about Lebanon 20, 20 for three years now. It’s pretty much

5 (58m 41s):
Our China trip,

2 (58m 42s):
2017 May, 2017,

4 (58m 44s):
Lebanon 2020 has been the thing. And here we are about to take it.

2 (58m 48s):
And ironically enough, they’re going through a revolution right now. So it’ll be very interesting. It

4 (58m 53s):
Will be nonetheless, that’ll be fun.

3 (58m 55s):
We’re also doing an underwater restaurant in Dubai

4 (58m 59s):
At the Atlantis hotel

2 (59m 0s):
And haka sawn.

3 (59m 1s):
Oh yes we are.

4 (59m 4s):
We can’t go to Dubai without going to hock on Dubai. We’re

2 (59m 8s):
So excited.

5 (59m 9s):
We are staying at the Atlantis in Dubai and they do have a waterpark. Woo, woo. And one of the slides I believe goes under like a shark tank.

4 (59m 19s):
Yeah. I’m really excited for, I’m excited for this trip in general, but I am more excited staying at Atlantis in Dubai because it gives you free admission to their water park. Their water park looks fucking ridiculous. And in a good way, I am so stoked. And I’m a big fan of the amazing race. Love that TV show want to compete on it. One day, if any of the producers from the amazing race are listening to this podcast, I want to be on it. Just throwing that out there. They have a season where they go to the water park. Atlantis.

2 (59m 48s):
I think that Kim and I should compete against you guys. Travel Squad against Travel

4 (59m 52s):
Squad. Well, let’s apply and tell him that we need to be on to compete

5 (59m 59s):

2 (59m 60s):
Oh my God, Kim, we would win. I doubt

3 (1h 0m 2s):
It. Doubt

4 (1h 0m 2s):
It. Brittany

5 (1h 0m 4s):
Prepared enough to win.

3 (1h 0m 6s):
Well, if your math skills are like they were, when we were in Indiana dunes national park, I think we have a pretty good chance.

4 (1h 0m 14s):
I was looking at a Bootsy map. Let’s not kid ourselves, but after Lebanon and Dubai in January, what do we have next ladies

5 (1h 0m 21s):
In February, we are going to Boise, Idaho and Donnelly Idaho to visit some hot Springs,

3 (1h 0m 27s):
Gold fork, hot Springs. Here we come.

2 (1h 0m 30s):
Yes. And this trip was actually planned on our way back from Chicago in October. So we were on the plane and we thought, holy shit, guys, let’s go to Idaho. And like legit. That’s how it happens. Let’s go to Idaho. We look it up. Next thing you know, we’re booked

5 (1h 0m 45s):
Actually. Zaina you told me that you didn’t think you’re going to go to Idaho.

3 (1h 0m 48s):
Oh, that’s right.

5 (1h 0m 50s):
And you’re like, I’m going to sit this one out. And I was like, are you though?

3 (1h 0m 53s):
I knew Zayna says that actually pretty often. And I’m and what I say when you said that,

5 (1h 0m 58s):
Yeah. I’ll give her a few weeks and she’ll, she’ll come back around. You said

2 (1h 1m 1s):

3 (1h 1m 2s):
We all book our stuff, then you change your mind.

2 (1h 1m 4s):
Well, you know, it’s hard because I’ve got my other business that I’m running on the side. And so it’s just, you know, getting things up and running. And it was my

3 (1h 1m 12s):
Tip about putting on your hotspot in the car.

2 (1h 1m 14s):
I know, I know that was a pretty valuable one, but yeah, no major FOMO. I don’t want to be left out. And last thing I want is an Africa.

3 (1h 1m 23s):
Just kidding. Nobody wants that.

5 (1h 1m 25s):
So coming up in March of 2020, Jamal and I have a trip plan to Hong Kong specifically to go to Hong Kong Disneyland because it is the last Disney park in the world that we need to go to. And we need to check this off her bucket

2 (1h 1m 39s):
List. And how much did you guys pay for this?

5 (1h 1m 41s):
So the tickets were round trip from San Diego to Hong Kong, only $505 per person.

3 (1h 1m 47s):
That’s really good.

4 (1h 1m 48s):
So really inexpensive granted, they are having some protests over there right now. And I think that’s making the flights a little bit cheaper, but things like that, you hear it on the news. It doesn’t stop myself. It doesn’t stop Brittany clearly as well. And a lot of the times when you hear things are unsafe or their civil unrest, that’s just the news being the news. I’m not saying sometimes it’s not the truth, but realistically things are a lot safer than it’s made out to be. And don’t let stuff like that hinder you. We happen to be able to find the cheap the right weekend for us to go. And we’re literally going for a couple days. By the time we land, we’re going to get there early in the morning, spend the day exploring the city, go to Disneyland the next day.

4 (1h 2m 31s):
And then the next day fly out. So real, real quick.

2 (1h 2m 34s):
And this is another one that I tried to get on. And they said, no, yeah.

3 (1h 2m 39s):
Jamal was saying, people say that about Mexico all the time, how dangerous it is. And you know, don’t go across the border. They’re going to close the border. And, and to that point, it may be dangerous in some places or, you know, unsafe in some ways at a certain times, but not everywhere. And you shouldn’t let something you heard about or saw on the news, completely prevent you from going somewhere that you want to go.

2 (1h 3m 1s):
Like I mentioned, Lebanon is having a revolution right now. So I think you need to pay attention to what’s going on. But I also think that you should take everything with a grain of salt and just do your own, research

4 (1h 3m 13s):
It with a grain of salt and learn how to plan accordingly if things happen to change. But for the most part, things are going to go as planned.

5 (1h 3m 20s):
Jamal, what do I say to you when I want to travel?

4 (1h 3m 23s):
You want to be crazy? Or let me talk crazy to you

5 (1h 3m 26s):
Always let me talk crazy.

2 (1h 3m 28s):
I thought it was

4 (1h 3m 30s):
No, no, no. It is. Let me talk crazy to you and then she’ll ask me, do I want to be crazy? And that’s really kind of how it goes.

3 (1h 3m 38s):
You’re like, no, she’s like too bad for doing it.

4 (1h 3m 41s):
So then after that we have another big squad trip coming up. And the month of may late may, early June, what are we doing? Ladies

2 (1h 3m 50s):

3 (1h 3m 51s):
And grand Teton national park.

4 (1h 3m 53s):
We’ve been wanting to do Yellowstone for quite a while. Yes. Buffalo geysers nature. Yeah. It’s going to be wild quite literally. And

3 (1h 4m 4s):
Figuring out may actually see a bear. Oh

4 (1h 4m 6s):

3 (1h 4m 7s):
My friend that went there saw three bears.

4 (1h 4m 11s):
St. It’s already looking nervous over here, but that’s going to be a really fun trip. And again, another one centered around a national park

5 (1h 4m 17s):
To national park.

4 (1h 4m 18s):
Yes. Yellowstone and grand Tetons. They touch each other. Yes. Yes.

3 (1h 4m 23s):
I’ve been wanting to go to Montana for a long time and I’ve been wanting to go to Wyoming for over two years since I accidentally scratch it off on my scratch off map,

4 (1h 4m 33s):

3 (1h 4m 33s):
Need to correct this yet.

5 (1h 4m 35s):
And we’re also flying in to salt lake city, Utah. So that’s the third state Kim is talking about. So that is our main June adventures. And then

2 (1h 4m 43s):
Ramping it up

5 (1h 4m 45s):
September. We are going to

3 (1h 4m 47s):

5 (1h 4m 48s):

4 (1h 4m 50s):
South America. This is brought to you by another gate. One excursion

3 (1h 4m 55s):
Gate. Maybe we can get them to sponsor. Yes. If you’re listening, get one hit me up

5 (1h 5m 2s):
And all of us up

2 (1h 5m 3s):
At Travel Squad Podcast

4 (1h 5m 4s):
For Kim directly at lash DS, like to say it

2 (1h 5m 8s):
And Travel Squad Podcast at gmail.com.

5 (1h 5m 12s):
So this is just like one of the things where I got an email and I was sitting on the toilet early in morning and I’m like scrolling through And I’m like,

4 (1h 5m 23s):
Oh my

5 (1h 5m 23s):
God, there is such a cheap gate. One to Ecuador. Let me check this out. And it’s like this eight day adventure that goes to Ecuador and it includes the Amazon and you get to cross the equator and you get to go to hot Springs and you get to canoe up to your hotel. And I was like, you guys, I don’t know about you guys, but we’re doing this.

2 (1h 5m 42s):
I tried to go to Ecuador with Nicole right before we went to Peru for the Inca trail. But it didn’t work out. Nicole, of course didn’t go with us, but I’ve been wanting to go to Ecuador ever since. So I’m super excited and we’re trying to get Nicole and Roberto to go to Ecuador with us on this one. And Joshua Nana, who went with us to

3 (1h 6m 0s):
So pitching it to James and try and get him excited.

4 (1h 6m 4s):
Nice. Very

2 (1h 6m 5s):
Nice. Has James ever been out of the country? He’s

4 (1h 6m 7s):
In New Mexico?

2 (1h 6m 8s):
I mean, like other than that, It’ll be a first international.

4 (1h 6m 12s):
Well, other than Mexico, but off the continent, I guess, but this is another trip Ecuador here that was inspired on a whim. And again, truly, we all do want to go everywhere in the world, but Ecuador is not necessarily high on my list when I’m thinking of countries. But when we read the description and we saw the price point for the days included, what’s included flights, hotel, et cetera, all for under 2000 a person it’s like, how can this not be next on my trip of things to do? And that goes to show again. You can make things possible by not being necessarily picky on where you go go. Some places where the sale leads you and you’ll always be pleasantly surprised.

3 (1h 6m 54s):
Yeah. I think I’m really going to like Ecuador, even though I’ve never done, I haven’t done any research into it at all.

4 (1h 6m 59s):
I know I’m going to love it.

3 (1h 7m 1s):
There hasn’t been many or any places that I haven’t loved that I’ve been.

2 (1h 7m 4s):
I think it’s going to be super . I was like, I hope you can guess the context.

3 (1h 7m 13s):
So this is some of the stuff that we already have planned. We know this is going to happen, but there’s definitely going to be trips that pop up throughout the year, whether it’s as a squad or separately with other people, I’m actually talking to a few friends about taking a Europe trip in July. I’ve been wanting to go to tomorrow land in Belgium for so long, but it’s really hard to get tickets. So we’re going to try to do that. But even if we can’t go to that talking about going to like Spain, Portugal, maybe a few other places in Europe for like two weeks, but Portugal

2 (1h 7m 42s):
Is beautiful. I know

3 (1h 7m 43s):
It looks beautiful. Yeah. So maybe that, and I’m also trying to go to Nashville and Austin next year. So if any of you want to go on a trip with me,

5 (1h 7m 51s):
Let me know, but you have to be down to party because

3 (1h 7m 53s):
In Nashville,

5 (1h 7m 55s):
Jamal and I, that we couldn’t come

3 (1h 7m 58s):
Well. Nashville is called the Vegas of the south. The last time we went to Vegas, you guys didn’t want to go to Hawkins on so,

5 (1h 8m 4s):
So proud of Jamal for drinking

4 (1h 8m 7s):
Something without throwing your

3 (1h 8m 9s):
St. Karaoke at a honky-tonk.

4 (1h 8m 10s):
I have no doubt. Kim would welcome me with open arms. If you weren’t coming.

0 (1h 8m 15s):

4 (1h 8m 16s):
That was what I’m capable of

5 (1h 8m 18s):
Her love to me. You know,

4 (1h 8m 20s):
I know I’m just

3 (1h 8m 21s):
Chilling, Brittany, you can come,

5 (1h 8m 24s):
But we may jump on the trip to Austin with you.

3 (1h 8m 27s):
That’ll be a good one too.

4 (1h 8m 28s):
And getting really ahead. We’re already in talks of stuff to do in 2021, looking at India, going on a tiger safari. So gate one, gate one. So just let

2 (1h 8m 38s):
Answered 20, 21. That’s the

4 (1h 8m 40s):
Goal. That would be the goal,

2 (1h 8m 42s):
Putting it out there guys.

3 (1h 8m 44s):
Well, that pretty much sums up our traveling from 2019 gave you a quick little preview into what we have already planned for 2020 and even 2021. So happy new year

5 (1h 8m 54s):
Guys. Happy new year.

4 (1h 8m 56s):
Thank you for joining us this year, listening to the Travel Squad Podcast.

2 (1h 8m 60s):
Yes. And we look forward to taking you guys on many more adventures in the upcoming year,

3 (1h 9m 4s):
2020 is going to be fantastic. We have so many good episodes in store for you, and we’re really looking forward to keeping our listeners, giving you what you want and getting many more people to be inspired to travel in the new year. So thank you. So, so, so, so, so much for listening all year and really hope you enjoyed hearing about our travels.

4 (1h 9m 24s):
Please subscribe to our podcast leaver view, tell us what you’d like and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

2 (1h 9m 31s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, and send in those questions,

5 (1h 9m 37s):
Make sure to pack your bags and get ready to ride the subway. Because next week we are taking you to New York city, the big apple

2 (1h 9m 46s):
Near your guys, happy new

3 (1h 9m 47s):

5 (1h 9m 48s):

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