2020 Travels, We Did More Than You Might Think - Travel Squad Podcast

2020 Travels, We Did More Than You Might Think

Wrapping up a crazy year of travel and looking ahead to better travel days to come. Despite a pandemic we visited three countries, 11 states and 11 national parks and hit some major accomplishments on the podcast thanks to YOU, our listeners. In the second annual “year in travel” wrap up, we recount the trips we took this year, take a moment of silence for the postponed trips, and share the new COVID precautions we’ve experienced in the travel industry, show you how we adjusted and how you too can still safely visit places.

2020 Travel Recap – Episode Transcript

1 (37s):
Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re talking all about trips. We’ve taken this year destinations that are safe to travel to during the COVID-19 pandemic, how you can travel safely to what we’ve accomplished and what we’re looking forward to in 2021.

3 (1m 14s):
Whew,

4 (1m 15s):
I mean, can 2020 be over any sooner? It’s about to be over in a couple of days here for everybody. And to say that 2020 has been a chaotic year would be a vast understatement. It’s been filled with so much pain, anxiety and grief for lots of people around the world. While at the same time, people have found their rhythm in quarantine and accomplished a lot. So there’s a lot of give and take on what 2020 has brought us. And everyone is trying to find a sense of purpose and normalcy throughout it all here in 2020. And for us that normalcy is travel, which is exponentially more difficult during the pandemic. So we’re going to tell you guys all about the travel that we were able to do during this pandemic while still doing it in a safe way and how moving forward in these times, you too can still travel safely to certain destinations.

3 (2m 7s):
This was definitely a crazy year for travel, but we did manage to take some amazing trips throughout the year. So we want you to get out of this episode destination that we went on, that you can also consider for safe traveling during COVID or even after the pandemic. We also want you to hear our experiences and see how Travel can be safe during the pandemic and hear about some of the experiences we had with change safety precautions. The lack of breakfast buffets is very concerning.

4 (2m 40s):
Although later on in 2020, they have stepped it up. And again, depending on what state you’re in different regulations, they’re going with it. So they’re making a comeback rest assured.

3 (2m 49s):
Yes, and we also have a lot of funny stories from the trips that we took this year. So we want you to get a laugh out of this episode, too.

2 (2m 55s):
Yeah, for me, I didn’t do as much traveling, so I’m going to be listening just as much as you guys. But I do remember at the start of the pandemic, the pretty much the extent of my travel was every once in a while, I’d come out and see Jamal and Brittany and we’d walk around their neighborhood wearing masks at night.

4 (3m 10s):
Well, that was just the crazy times. That was the start of it. Although we did manage to fit in a squad trip this year. So don’t count yourself out. Cena,

3 (3m 18s):
You, you guys literally explored your own backyard.

5 (3m 27s):
That was beautiful.

3 (3m 29s):
So crazy year, this was, we had a lot of trips planned, not all of them panned out. So we just want to take a moment of silence for the trips. And then we want to tell you about the ones that are actually postponed to a later date to be determined. Is there a better way to phrase that

4 (3m 48s):
For sure on that one, some of them that were weekenders, we did end up doing later on during the year, but the bigger ones, especially with squad trip that we had planned for September got canceled that as a, for sure, to be determined. Cause I don’t know when we’re going to get to south America and Ecuador with our favorite gate one. So let’s just give a shout out to gate one again, but we are ready to do our guided tour to Ecuador when safe to do so. And still really bummed out that our September trip there got canceled, but we still managed to do a safe alternative here in the states, which we’ll get to later

3 (4m 24s):
After Ecuador, we were also going to add on a weekend in Austin, Texas as a squad, and we didn’t get to do that either.

4 (4m 30s):
Biggest bummer for me, I’m going to have to say was the cancellation in March. So at the real real onset of COVID to Hong Kong, we’ve mentioned this again in a couple episodes, this wasn’t supposed to be a squad trip. It was just me and Brittany. We were going Hong Kong. Disneyland is the last Disney park in the world that Brittany and I have not been to. It would have completed the entire Disney park collection for us. And unfortunately with COVID at that point in time, raging in China, we had to cancel Hong Kong. That is a for sure, to be determined when to go back, I’m ready to go. When Americans can go there and it’s safe to do so, count me in for Hong Kong

3 (5m 12s):
In March. I also had a trip plan. This was towards the end of March. I was going to go to Ken Kuhn for spring break.

6 (5m 19s):
Woo.

3 (5m 21s):
But there were no tequila shots. There were no flashing. There were no college majors. There was me and my house.

4 (5m 30s):
But you were being safe though. Kim,

3 (5m 31s):
Very, very safe. Yes. And I will get to Ken Kuhn for spring break. One of these years,

1 (5m 36s):
We were also supposed to go to Dallas for Easter, but that was really when COVID was taken off. So we did cancel that trip and we even had a cancel a back-up trip to a trip. We were supposed to go to Ecuador. Like we had mentioned earlier, we had to cancel that. So we were going to go to the south instead, but then COVID kind of hit that area. We had to cancel that. And then we used another backup trip to the back-up trip to take a squad trip.

4 (6m 1s):
So point being have backup trips. I think that is something that we can all say here in these times of uncertainty, if you still want to travel. And when Brittany says the south, she’s not talking to another place in south America and an alternative to Ecuador, we were literally supposed to do south us, go to Georgia, go to Tennessee, the Carolinas. And at that point when we were supposed to go, those areas in the U S are being hit really hard. So we had a backup plan for that. So again, keeping with the safety in mind and alternating, where are you going to go and being flexible on your ideas?

2 (6m 33s):
Yes. And we appropriately titled that trip the south in the mouth trip. So someday when we do our south and the mouth,

4 (6m 41s):
I’m still ready to get some south in my mouth. Let me tell you that. I know you ladies are too I’m ready for the south and the mouth.

1 (6m 46s):
We also had trips planned to Sedona and Yosemite. We had to cancel them at the time, but we were able to reschedule and do them this year. And we’re gonna talk about that later in this episode

4 (6m 55s):
And those ones that we were able to reschedule, domestic Sedona, Yosemite. These things were planned at the very early onset, late March, April, before everyone really got their footing and sense of normalcy of what was really going on and everyone figuring out what the regulations were. So as conditions on the ground changed in terms of understanding the pandemic more about COVID specifically in precautions, you can take to help prevent getting it and things you need to do. Then we were able to adapt and move on.

3 (7m 26s):
So we’ve spent this episode so far in the dumps, talking about trips that were canceled or postponed. And so now let’s shift gears a little bit and go positive. Let’s talk about all the things we did accomplish Zayna what did we do this year?

2 (7m 43s):
Well, we hit up three countries, Lebanon, Dubai, and Mexico. We hit up 11 states, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Nevada, which by the way, I have like the urge to name the state capitals for all of those states in competition with

4 (8m 3s):
Jamal. Save it for another episode,

2 (8m 5s):
Obviously, and we hit up 11 national parks, Hawaii volcanoes, grand Teton, Yellowstone, Mount rainy a or the locals call it Mount Rainier,

4 (8m 16s):
Mount Rainier,

2 (8m 18s):
Olympic national park, north cascades, glacier, arches, Canyonlands, Capitol reef, and wow.

4 (8m 26s):
Those countries that we hit minus Mexico, Lebanon. And you mentioned Dubai, it’s not a country, that’s a city in the United Arab Emirates. So that was the other country. Those were pretty COVID. We did those in January. So we didn’t do any international traveling post COVID except for Kim who has Mexico on her list. And Mexico is our own backyard. We talked about exploring it all the time. So Kim hit up Mexico on that list. But I just want to say, we’re talking about the states. We did more specifically those national parks, open outdoor spaces, explore your own backyard, explore America, do it safely. You’re outdoors. These are perfect trips that you can take during COVID.

4 (9m 9s):
And you know, we love national parks. So it gave us an excuse to hit so many this year.

1 (9m 13s):
And there’s so much more that we accomplished. We actually released a four itineraries for purchase six days exploring Washington’s national parks, the Yellowstone and grand Teton national park itinerary, the American Southwest itinerary and big island, Hawaii honorary. And we have so many more coming to you in 2021

4 (9m 32s):
To be determined south in your mouth itinerary.

3 (9m 36s):
I can’t wait for that.

2 (9m 37s):
All those itineraries can be found on our website at Travel Squad, Podcast dot com. We’re super excited. We’ve worked really, really hard on those and these are the replicas of our own trips. So if you haven’t already make sure that you check them out

1 (9m 50s):
And we’ve had 20,000 downloads today. Woo.

4 (9m 55s):
Thank you guys very much for tuning in listening to us, it means so much to us that you guys tune in every travel Tuesday helped us hit those 20,000 downloads in less than two years. And especially in the year 2020, when travel is not big for a lot of people.

2 (10m 12s):
Yeah. We really appreciate every single review that we get. Every single email that we get to every single DM, like you guys have shown us so much love. And we can’t even put it into words how much we appreciate you because we do this for you guys. And we wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for you guys.

3 (10m 27s):
Speaking of you guys out there, shout out to the listeners in Canada, Our listeners in Canada in 2020 grew 514% damn

4 (10m 40s):
’cause we’re talking about all these cool places. They can go in the U S and they’re just like, shit. When can I get down to the U S winners, my neighbors to the south, going to get things together. So hopefully soon, because rest assured we want to come visit you guys up north. We have so many trips in Canada we want to do, and we are anxious to do so. So shout out to our friends up north, go Canada.

1 (11m 1s):
Do you guys think that Canada thinks of us as the south in their mouth?

4 (11m 7s):
I don’t think so. I think they think of us as probably the meth head neighbors downstairs.

3 (11m 13s):
They’re too nice for that.

2 (11m 14s):
I love Canada. C’mon I’ve been to Canada.

4 (11m 17s):
Well, Brittany and I have been, I’ve been to Canada several times. I love Canada. So shout out to our Canadian listeners.

2 (11m 22s):
Not only did we grow in Canada, but we also grew 320% here in our own backyard, the USA and 280% in the UK.

3 (11m 32s):
That’s amazing. All in all. We have listeners in 2020 from 48 different countries.

1 (11m 39s):
Damn.

2 (11m 40s):
If you’re one of our listeners out there, DMS, let us know where you’re at.

3 (11m 44s):
Yeah. I would love to meet some of our listeners outside of the U S

4 (11m 47s):
And I think this just goes to show, even in a pandemic, us wonder less travelers, still have that itch to travel. And we are ideally NRN thinking. We are inspiring you to take that next trip to be safe during COVID here. So again, thank you guys so much for listening.

3 (12m 3s):
We also are now on YouTube that came out of time that we had during COVID to devote to our YouTube channel and also a need. Since we couldn’t get together to record, we would do special edition episodes on zoom videos, and then upload them to YouTube. You can check them out at Travel Squad Podcast, where you can find us on YouTube. And they’re really fun. We had some fun with those ones. So we did quite a bit on YouTube this year, and we have so many more plans coming next year for it.

2 (12m 30s):
And if there’s anything specific you want, let us know,

4 (12m 33s):
And please subscribe to our YouTube channel, everybody. All right, guys. So enough about us in that sense, but let’s talk about what trips we took and give everybody here listening ideas on how they can still travel safely. So let’s kick it off right in January, 2020 when things were still normal and cool.

3 (12m 51s):
Wow.

4 (12m 52s):
It seems like so long ago. Was it even this year?

2 (12m 55s):
Yeah, it feels like 10 years ago. And this is before I even knew what COVID was

3 (12m 59s):
Simpler times. I have a friend who has a January 4th birthday. And so every year we do something for her birthday. It’s my first trip of the year. This year in 2020, we went up to west Hollywood for the night. We went out to the laugh factory, a very iconic comedy club in the comedy scene. And then we partied in the gay district. And then the next day did a little walk of fame with the stars. Nice little overnight trip.

4 (13m 22s):
It sounds like a really good trip explore in your own backyard, which again, we always preach here going to LA is not too far here from San Diego and a perfect theme for COVID year, just as well, you know, explore what you can safely of the iconic sites, where things to do in the vicinity. And you did that well before. COVID

3 (13m 40s):
Yeah. I also did another little overnight trip to her Mosa beach, which is another area of LA and it’s a really fun little beach party town did a little girl’s trip up there and had a nice little night out of San Diego.

4 (13m 51s):
Well, not that that doesn’t sound cool, but let’s get into the real cool shit though. Okay. Of January. And in January we took our squad trip. We’ve been saying Lebanon 2020 for the past three years, pretty much. And you know what? Lebanon 2020 came and thank God it was in January and before COVID cause I would have hate to postpone this one here. And this was a really good trip in general because one, it was a squad trip two we’ve mentioned this before. Zayna and I are Lebanese. So going back to the motherland is a real nice experience. The first time, as long as I’ve been with Brittany, her going to Lebanon, just as well. Obviously you coming with us, Kim, it was just an awesome, awesome experience and a highly recommended place, nonetheless, for all of you guys to go outside of COVID

3 (14m 38s):
I do want to say one thing Zaina was about to back out of this trip and we don’t need to go into the reasons why, but I talked her into going under the radar.

2 (14m 46s):
It is usually the, the, the voice of reason for me. Yes.

3 (14m 49s):
And I want to point out how, if looking back, you had made the decision not to go, like how much would you have regretted not taking that trip?

2 (14m 58s):
I would have regretted it a lot. So I did used to live in Lebanon for a very long time. You know, the other thing that took place this year is the huge blast on August 4th. That pretty much decimated the downtown area near the port. So I’m really glad that we were able to go and I was able to see it because it’s been a long time since I’ve been there. And it was very emotional for me. Yeah.

3 (15m 18s):
Yeah. So, I mean, you never know what’s going to happen in, tomorrow’s not promised as they say, so take the trip. But anyway, let’s, let’s talk about some of the fun we had there.

1 (15m 26s):
I had so much fun. I think the favorite thing that we did for Jamal was going to Biblica.

3 (15m 31s):
He was raving about it the whole time. He

1 (15m 33s):
Couldn’t wait to go.

2 (15m 34s):
Jamal was the biggest anti-biblical person because he was so stressed about time. Okay.

4 (15m 38s):
I just didn’t think we were going to have enough time. It was a short trip simply because we were extending on Dubai after the fact. So there’s so much to do family to see that we hadn’t seen for a while. And you know, when you were saying biblio Cena, for whatever reason, I was thinking Tripoli up in the north a lot farther than biblio says outside of Beirut. So I think that has some of the confusion to do with it, but I loved . It’s one of the most ancient cities in the entire world. There still the niche and ruins in the area

2 (16m 8s):
Where the Bible came from.

4 (16m 10s):
The main Bible comes from big blows. And like I said, some of the oldest ruins Phoenicians built, and then they have Roman ruins on top of it, other types of ruins. So you have all these ancient cultures throughout antiquity who have rebuilt on that city. So very unique to see,

2 (16m 26s):
I think Jamal said, what are we even going to do in Biblios

4 (16m 31s):
’cause I was thinking Tripoli, when you were saying I don’t know why it’s just one of those things. When you say it, you think something else and you know, better. That’s what that was. But let’s put that aside. I love . Let’s give some love to other parts of Lebanon, same

2 (16m 44s):
Speaking of giving love to other parts of Lebanon where we did not go is Trav lows, which has Tripoli. And I’ve confused the two before as well

4 (16m 53s):
In a way I was thinking,

2 (16m 54s):
Yeah, so anyways, that’s super north and we did not go there, but we also went to lady of Lebanon, also known as HUD ISA.

4 (17m 3s):
It’s a very iconic, holy sacred place. It’s a statue of the Virgin. Mary. You could almost consider it like their version of Christ, the Redeemer. If we’re familiar with that statue, that’s in Brazil, this is Lebanon’s version except instead of Christ, it’s the Virgin Mary. As a matter of fact, Pope John Paul, the second has visited Lebanon, gone to that and it gives you beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea.

1 (17m 26s):
Another favorite thing that we did while we were in Lebanon was doing a day trip to Andra and Baalbek, which are Roman ruins and ruins really get Kim going.

3 (17m 36s):
I was go in that day. It was seriously. So beautiful. Jamal really sold me on it. It is the most intact Roman ruins outside of Rome. It’s so beautiful. And there are no tourists there, unlike the Coliseum

1 (17m 50s):
And our last stop on the way back was to Cosara, which was wine region in Lebanon. And we got to go to a winery and try some wine out, which was amazing.

3 (17m 59s):
And the kid be ne we tried that

2 (18m 2s):
Check out episode 31, all about Lebanon, and you can find out what can be named is there too.

4 (18m 7s):
And then from Lebanon, we moved on still in January here to Dubai and Dubai was an epic time. We spend a lot shorter time here than we did in Lebanon. Two days, two days. In those two days, we still saw a lot. The first thing we did in the morning, we got there late at night. First thing in the morning, we took a guided tour to do some camel trekking for sunrise out in the desert, which how amazing was that?

3 (18m 31s):
It was amazing, but we literally slept two hours before going on this trip.

2 (18m 35s):
I was just about to say it was so amazing that I forgot that we only slept two hours on that trip.

3 (18m 40s):
That’s how much it troopers. We were on this quick trip to Dubai.

1 (18m 43s):
And then after we got back from camel tracking, we went to the Atlantis water park and it was so much fun seeing Kim and Zena’s faces going down the water slides. Oh my God.

3 (18m 55s):
That was,

4 (18m 55s):
It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a water slide. And it was really, really fun. I enjoyed it. And for you guys who are listening and don’t know, just Google Atlantis, the Palm and Dubai, the Palm is their man-made islands that they’ve created. They have houses on their resorts. It’s shaped like a Palm tree built out into the water. And the Atlantis resort is at the very tip. And it’s just amazing. They have a complimentary water park. If you’re staying out there, if you’re not a guest, you can purchase it. Highly, highly recommend, very unique Dubai experience.

3 (19m 28s):
We also, finally, as a squad, went to Huck ExOne at the Atlantis.

4 (19m 33s):
We go to Hudson and Vegas all the time as a squad came, what are you talking about?

3 (19m 37s):
That’s right. That’s right. But we also went to one of the coolest dining experiences I’ve ever had while on a trip.

1 (19m 44s):
It was a tasting menu and it had a name. It was called metamorphosis.

3 (19m 48s):
Yes. It was a transformative nine course tasting experience at a restaurant in an underwater aquarium with a live pianist taking your song recommendations.

4 (19m 59s):
So the restaurant was Asciano, this was Atlantis. And like him said, it is pretty much underwater in a sense, the big wall of the restaurant is a giant aquarium. You have all sorts of sea life from sharks, sting, rays, all sorts of fish in that aquarium. It is awesome and such an amazing experience. So if you ever have the opportunity to go to Dubai and you’re a foodie splurge and do the tasting menu out at Asciano

3 (20m 24s):
Highly recommend, that was my first tasting experience. And I will never forget it.

1 (20m 27s):
And if you guys want to hear more about Dubai, listen to episode 32 to check it out.

4 (20m 32s):
So in February we took another squad trip that we took this in late February. So right before really early March, COVID hit here in the United States. So this was our last trip of normalcy that we had. And we went to Boise, Idaho, why did we go there? Well, Boise and Idaho is cool, but more specifically, Kim wanted it to be a bougie, be snow bunny and go to the hot Springs that they have out there. And either,

3 (20m 59s):
And Brittany,

4 (20m 60s):
I know obligated to giving you a hard time.

1 (21m 2s):
Kim, look at this Instagram picture, we have to go to these hot Springs. And she was like, yep, we got to go. So we booked the trip. It’s

3 (21m 8s):
Beautiful, like several different pools of natural hot Springs, but they’ve made the pools into actually pool shaped pools, but it’s fed by natural water, hot water. And in the winter, when we went in February, all of the trees and nature around is covered in beautiful white snow. And you’re just in a bikini in this hot water, natural hot Springs pool healing from the thermal waters. It’s amazing.

4 (21m 31s):
Well, we actually went to two sets of hot Springs. That one, like Kim said natural, but they make the pools unnaturally. We went to another one called Kirkham hot Springs, which is really true, natural hot Springs. You go down to a river and you’re sitting in the natural rock pools that it’s created. So

3 (21m 51s):
Yeah,

4 (21m 52s):
You don’t really get to submerge as much as your body because you really are like in a stream. But when we were out there, it started to snow and it was just such a surreal experience being in the mountains, seeing the snow being in these natural hot Springs. And it was really, really fun.

1 (22m 8s):
And Dana, what was your favorite part about the Boise trip?

2 (22m 11s):
I would say the snow tubing now. I like the thermal hot Springs, but oh my God, snow tubing. I remember when Brittany first suggested to being in Idaho, I thought that she meant like literally tubing down the river and I’m like, she’s wild and crazy. And so when she asked 9:00 AM or 12:00 PM, I was like 12:00 PM. When the sun is out and she’s like, well, we booked for 9:00 AM. And I literally, I literally thought we were going to be going down a stream to being until the day of when I found out, oh, we’re actually going snow tubing. And it was just as wild and fun as a Brittany promised it would be,

4 (22m 49s):
It was so much fun. So we went snow tubing at bogus basin, which is just outside of Boise up in the mountains. And they have an amazing ski and snowboard resort there. If you want to do snow tubing, take it easy. Like we did. We had an amazing time doing that. We do want to go back. If you want to hear all about our trip to Idaho, check out episode 38, but moving on outside of February, now we’re getting into March. Now we’re getting to the onset of COVID here.

1 (23m 18s):
You should have said marching on into

2 (23m 20s):
March. Oh,

4 (23m 23s):
Well you’re better with the transitions than I Brittany.

1 (23m 25s):
So in March, that was when Jamal and I were supposed to go to Hong Kong and do the last Disney park in the world that we need to visit. Unfortunately, we did have to cancel that trip. And instead we went to big island, Hawaii, we hit up Hilo, Kona and national park, Hawaii volcanoes national park. And it was just so much fun. Hawaii is just known for their waterfalls. They’re volcanic rock and they’re craters. And we had a great time exploring the island. It was also right when COVID was hitting and a lot of people weren’t traveling. So we had a lot of the island to ourselves, which was absolutely amazing.

4 (24m 1s):
Yeah. It was a really surreal experience because this was the first time when we were at the airports. There was really nobody there. Granted our flight to Hawaii actually had a good, substantial amount of people on it in general, but the airports were empty and this was before masks were a big thing or even required. And we booked this trip either late January, early February when our airline was saying that they were restricting entry and flights into Hong Kong and they gave us a credit to do something else. This is again, before it really hit in the U S it was still really more so in Asia and in China. And so we’re like, let’s go to big island Hawaii. And it just so happened. We left the day that they have the shutdowns here in California.

4 (24m 44s):
So a very, very unique experience. And the first time really traveling in the COVID era. And so to hear all about that, listen to episode 45, but that’s when the crazy really set on for the rest of the year.

3 (24m 57s):
I have a question since that was right, when things were getting crazy with shutdowns, when you flew there was anything different when you flew back from when you flew there,

4 (25m 6s):
Like in terms of the flight or in terms of when we got back

3 (25m 9s):
Regulations, people, the way things were

1 (25m 12s):
Absolutely. When we left the day that we left, as we’re about to get on our flight, Zayna said San Diego is going into a shutdown. Do you guys need me to get anything for you from the store? We were like, yes, please do. It was

3 (25m 25s):
Wild

1 (25m 26s):
Dude. While we were in Hawaii, you really couldn’t tell that COVID was really happening until we got to Hilo, which was the end of our trip. And then we saw that restaurants starting to shut down, putting signs up saying that because of the pandemic, they’re not going to be open for a while. When we got back to San Diego, there was no food on the shelves. We were so thankful. Dana went to the store and got stuff for us. There was a shortage of toilet paper, canned goods,

4 (25m 51s):
TP shortages.

1 (25m 53s):
And then that’s when the, all of the regulations first day at home started to hit too. So when we came back, we came back to a whole different city.

3 (26m 1s):
Well,

4 (26m 2s):
Yeah. And it was really weird on the plane. Cause it’s like, you knew what was going on. Masks weren’t enforced yet. The plane wasn’t completely full, but it was definitely at least three quarters of the way full. And we really saw it a couple of times when we were on the island, they do have a Costco there. We were filling gas at that Costco, you know, for our trips around the island. That’s when we really kind of saw it. Businesses were pretty much open except for the last few days. But people were prepping at the Costco cause you could just see how much more crowded Costco is than normal. And so that’s when we really kind of was like, oh man, shit’s popping right now.

3 (26m 39s):
Yeah. The week the shutdown happened was the week I was supposed to go to Ken Kuhn. And then I don’t think any of us traveled for at least a few weeks after that.

4 (26m 49s):
No, April’s nothing for us. Right?

3 (26m 52s):
In April, none of us took any trips. You stayed home.

2 (26m 55s):
It was probably like only towards the end of April. When I finally started to come out to Jamal Brittany’s house to walk with them around the block. It was so crazy because no one really knew anything at that point. And it was still so mysterious. So people weren’t leaving the houses, we weren’t seeing each other. We were waiting masks with each other. Like what a crazy time to look back and remember, I mean, I was exchanging baby wipes cause I was lucky enough to get baby wipes at Costco for toilet paper, because I was not lucky enough to get toilet paper.

4 (27m 25s):
We went back to ancient days, doing some trade and bartering off.

3 (27m 29s):
I gave Brittany a sack of flour

1 (27m 33s):
And sugar

3 (27m 33s):
For toilet paper.

4 (27m 37s):
We’ll be rationed came to one role. We were like, make this last for

2 (27m 42s):
Like, remember when it came out that ibuprofen isn’t very good if you have COVID. And so Tylenol was wiped off the shelves. And Kim made the comment that she was able to find some at Rite aid. And this is like late at night. So I went to Rite aid across the street from me early in the morning on Saturday. I found some there and I got some for me and Brittany, like just, just, I it’s just so wild to look back and remember those.

1 (28m 2s):
Yeah. Like whenever anyone went to the store, it was like, Hey guys, do you need anything? Do you need anything that we can look out for? And we all kind of all had a list like a, Hey, if you see Tylenol or if you see toilet paper, like pick me up some and let me know. So we all had a list going and saying like, we’ll help each other out. If we see these items out in the store.

2 (28m 20s):
Yeah. I’m picky about my toilet paper, but this year I settled.

4 (28m 23s):
You can’t be too picky. If you have to use leaves and pick them outside, I guess you got to go pick them from the tree. If we had to,

2 (28m 30s):
I took what I could take. But then that puts us now into may.

3 (28m 35s):
And for the first few weeks of may, we still didn’t travel. It wasn’t towards the end of may that we did. And I broke the travel seal with a girls trip to Palm Springs. This was not a trip to go out in Palm Springs and go to the bars and go out to eat. We rented an Airbnb and we stayed in it the whole weekend. We just had fun. It was just a couple of girls at this point, California was reopening. And so it was a nice weekend. And that is where my extreme love for staycations really solidified itself.

2 (29m 8s):
I support that. There’s so much science and evidence about putting yourself in a new environment in order to recharge, even if it’s just a really nice hotel or a nice Airbnb, but to just get out of your own place.

3 (29m 19s):
Yeah. And part of travel, in addition to seeing a new place and experiences is the quality time that you’re spending with the people you go with. So you can’t have one, but you have plenty of the other and a staycation

1 (29m 30s):
Speaking of quality time, mine and Kim’s close friend Robin came down to San Diego as the state was opening back up. And we went on a day trip to Idlewild and we had a great day hiking and exploring this cute little mountain town. And if you guys want to hear more about it, check out episode 62, where we talk about day trips to take from San Diego.

4 (29m 50s):
Yes. And in may, we did have a squad trip planned and we had this planned well before COVID we were supposed to be going to grand Tetons and Yellowstone national park at the end of may straddling going on and to the beginning of June. And even at the onset of COVID, if we all remember national parks even closed down. So we were like, well, are we even going to be able to get to go? And literally a couple of weeks beforehand, they decided that they were going to be opening up Yellowstone and grand Teton national park. So we were like, yes, we’re going to be able to go. And at that point, you know, it’s still relatively new and fresh and Zaina did not come with us on that trip at that point in time.

4 (30m 33s):
So it didn’t end up being a squad trip, but we had a really good time out at grand Teton and Yellowstone national park. And this is really where we felt at least moving forward. All right. Well, if we can travel and go places, what better places to do then national parks outdoor get exercise boost your immune system that way be out in nature recharge. So moving forward, that’s pretty much a lot of the traveling that we did that you’ll see is going to these national parks.

1 (30m 60s):
I think this is our first plane trip that we had to take during COVID where we had to wear masks. And there was a lot more regulations while we were traveling and it was kind of even hairy because we had a backup plan. It was

3 (31m 13s):
Harry, did you say Harry?

2 (31m 15s):
I thought she said Harry too. And I’m like, my legs didn’t go.

1 (31m 19s):
I met Harry in the sense that we didn’t even know if we could go. So we had to have a backup plan to this plan and we were just kind of like waiting, okay. Is it going to open? One of our hotels was going to be in Montana and they weren’t opening entrances from Yellowstone into Montana. And we’re like, okay, where are we going to stay if we can go into the national park, but we can’t get to our hotel because it’s in another state. So that, that felt like a hairy little situation,

3 (31m 47s):
Very hairy, like at least two weeks, no shave,

1 (31m 50s):
Like Zeno’s legs.

2 (31m 53s):
You know what, that’s another story for another time I do shave my legs. They are smooth as butter. It just so happened that I forgot to shave my legs when we went to the water park and

4 (32m 5s):
Data, forget to shave your legs

3 (32m 7s):
That day for me.

4 (32m 9s):
Oh yeah. Because you had to hold onto her legs and wrap around. But again, like Brittany was saying, this is the first trip that we had to take were masks were required on the planes, but the airlines at this point were pretty much blocking out middle seats. So it was like, okay, now masks are required. You have that little bit of extra safety. You’re not really crammed in there, like sardines like normal. And at the same time, you know, people could say that these studies are put forth by the airlines to get people to feel safe. It’s not, but they really have really good air filtration systems on those airplanes and came out with the statistics of the likelihood to catch COVID on a plane. And it was something that collectively, you know, we made the decision that we feel safe enough with the precautions that the airlines are taking to actually get on the planes.

4 (32m 57s):
At this point in time,

2 (32m 58s):
You guys actually have a really cool picture where Brittany I think is at the window, see, in Jamal, you’re at the aisle and it’s a long shot where you see no one in the aisle for the entirety of the, excuse me, in the middle seat for the entirety of the long aisle. And it was just really cool because you don’t see that

4 (33m 16s):
Well, this early in COVID two, no one was really even traveling. I mean, there was maybe 12, 13 people on the plane and it was one of the coolest experiences. Me being just into aviation in general, you know, the heavier, the plane, the longer it needs on the runway to take off. And these planes were literally getting off the ground so quick. I’ve never experienced taken off so fast because there’s absolutely no weight on the airplane that was cool in and of itself.

2 (33m 42s):
You know what? I have a little bit of FOMO when I hear you put it like that, because that sounds really cool.

4 (33m 48s):
It was cool.

3 (33m 48s):
It was also our first experience staying in a hotel since COVID happened. And there were a lot of changes in the hotels.

2 (33m 56s):
One of them being no more breakfast buffet

4 (33m 58s):
Because, you know, we fucking book places with breakfast buffets. And if we were going to be on a hiking trip specifically, you know, we need a good breakfast in the morning before the trails. So Kim tell us all about the breakfast food Fe modifications.

3 (34m 13s):
So it definitely was not a breakfast buffet. There were no waffle makers,

4 (34m 18s):
But,

3 (34m 20s):
But we did get a brown bag breakfast.

1 (34m 23s):
Yeah. And there was actually a sheet and they listed everything that they offered. And you just put how many things you wanted from each section. And the next morning you would go and pick up your brown bag breakfast.

3 (34m 35s):
There was another one that just had pre-made breakfast, but basically the same stuff, bagels, toast, cereal, fruit muffins.

4 (34m 42s):
I like how the hotels. We’re still trying to do that in a way of honor, the breakfast that they have when they sell and book these hotels. At the same time, when we checked in the hotels, let us know if there’s safety precautions, they didn’t have any of the cops or coffee makers in there. Cause then people touching certain items. Also they were saying that they’re not going to be doing room service because they don’t want people going in and out and potential contamination, all their pins. They had clean pins, dirty pins, little containers for them. So they were already at that point, taking the precautions to sanitize things, keep people distant from each other in terms of hotel workers. And so knowing all that too, we experienced it, heard that they were going to be doing this.

4 (35m 24s):
And so again, it gave us that extra comfort of safety that knowing that these businesses are taking precautions to keep us safe,

1 (35m 31s):
I really, really loved grand Tetons because it was just such a majestic place. And one of my favorite parts about grand Tetons was the day that we walked along the snake river and we saw the grand Tetons as a backdrop. It was just so beautiful and serene and it was quiet in the morning and it was just such a lovely place to be. And it’s truly one of my favorite places that I’ve visited to date.

4 (35m 54s):
It’s definitely one of my favorite national parks. And we have an itinerary for sale talking about grand Tetons and Yellowstone. If you want to hear more about grand Tetons listened to episode 56, specifically for that.

1 (36m 7s):
And for Yellowstone, listen to episode 57 in can hear all about their beautiful geothermal features.

4 (36m 13s):
And Yellowstone is really cool to, again, listen to 57 to hear all about it. But one of my favorite things was just really seeing the wildlife going from grand Teton to Yellowstone. We came across those grizzly bears. So I mean, these parks are pretty much America’s safari. Again, outdoors, staying safe, good way to travel during COVID

3 (36m 32s):
Hey travelers. We want to stop for a quick minute to tell you about a really exciting product we put together just for you. As you all know, we love getting you excited to visit places for yourself, by sharing what we did and making it easier by giving you squad tips that we learned along the way,

4 (36m 48s):
The Travel Squad has created something to provide even more value for you. In addition to our episodes, by detailing trip itineraries and comprehensive multi-page guides with everything you need to know to do the trip, right?

1 (37m 1s):
These itineraries include information on what to see and do in the area where to stay directions for the best routes and even where to eat along the way. And we put them into these beautiful PDF guides adjust for you.

2 (37m 14s):
We created itineraries for a week in Yellowstone and grand Tetons, big island, Hawaii, and an itinerary for an American Southwest road trip. And so many more itineraries to come. We are so excited to announce that they are now available to purchase on our website. So go over to Travel Squad, Podcast dot com to get yours today.

3 (37m 37s):
We came back from that week long trip and a couple of weeks later, I went on a little staycation in thousand Oaks, California, which is up in the LA Hills area. I stayed at the beautiful Westlake village in the super nice hotel, fun fact for the bachelor nation out there. It’s actually where the lead stays while everyone else is in the mansion. Oh

4 (37m 59s):
Yeah. So

3 (38m 0s):
We didn’t do a whole lot in the city. It was more just relaxation hanging out the property. They gave us champagne. We were positioned right by the golf course where all of the father’s day daddies are out there playing. It was wonderful

4 (38m 14s):
To look at. Oh,

3 (38m 15s):
Amazing. Stone house is a nice winery, outdoor restaurant there. That’s really fun. We went there. So yeah. Great little staycation. Very important to just decompress a little. You don’t always have to go gallivanting around nature or the city, you know.

4 (38m 31s):
Well, speaking of staycations, keeping in the month of June, we also that when we went up to Santa Barbara, they are known for their wineries up there. We did some wine tasting again, pretty much all outdoors, just walking the downtown areas, they have the beaches, so still keeping safe and doing activities in that sense. So Santa Barbara really, really fun. And I highly recommend that place to anybody.

3 (38m 55s):
We’re hoping to put out an episode next year on Santa Barbara and our experiences there. It’s a really beautiful, fun place, great place to escape. If you’re in the so-called region,

4 (39m 3s):
Beautiful California city.

3 (39m 6s):
All right, let’s talk July Jamal’s birthday.

4 (39m 8s):
My favorite month, by the way, because it is my birthday month. Although not the best month in terms of weather because it’s in the middle of the summer and what did Brittany and I decided to do. We were silly and went to Las Vegas, but we did that as a staycation, in a sense, we knew that we were going to specifically stay in our time, share it has a kitchen. We bought ingredients to do some cooking minus going out for like one meal in one of the restaurants that they have out there. At that point, they were still doing limited capacity within the restaurants. So keeping people, distance workers had the masks on, and it was really unique. Seen Vegas opened up with plexi glass at the tables for people gambling and just all the precautions that they had in place.

4 (39m 54s):
It was really, really unique. There was enough people there, but it was still really empty when Brittany and I were in one of the hotels we were walking through and I was like, this is like a ghost town. Like literally we saw nobody in there. And that was such an odd, surreal experience.

1 (40m 8s):
Yeah. I don’t feel like a lot of people were there at all. And there was a lot of changes to Vegas. Like there were masks, right? When you walk into the casino and on the floor, there were mobile hand washing stations. And then the plexi glass up between all of the players at the tables. So it had changed a lot. We even went to Bellagio and they have a famous conservatory and typically can just walk right in. But during COVID they have a line. So that it’s time allotted in the only let a certain number of people in to look at the flowers that are in there at one time.

4 (40m 41s):
Yeah. And we also went to Seoul, vain, California, which is a little bit north of Santa Barbara. We took this as a day trip for Brittany and I, we didn’t even stay the night. It’s this cute Danish town. And by Danish, it really is founded by Danish settlers. And so the town really looks like you’re in Europe, they have some windmills, the architecture is Danish and Scandinavian and it’s really unique experience. And for the most part, what you do there is really walk around the city, see the architecture. Yes. Most of the shops that are mom and pop food stuff, but everything was really outside. A lot of the restaurants, they closed down the streets, set out benches to do the outdoor dining, had beer gardens out there.

4 (41m 26s):
So you were able to do this safely outside. And it was a really fun experience.

1 (41m 31s):
The best part is going to the Danish bakeries and getting all of the sweet goodies and treats. It was so good. And you guys can hear more about solving in episode 62, which is the day trips from San Diego. Did

3 (41m 43s):
You do that as a day trip or did you spend the night?

4 (41m 45s):
We did it as a day trip. It’s a little bit far of a drive, but you know, us in the squad were troopers. So you know, a little bit farther of a drive than a normal day trip. Doesn’t really intimidate us. Although I would say you can spend the night there because they do have wineries. It’s a little bit north of Santa Barbara. So if you want to do wine tasting, be safe that way spend the night. And that’s something I want to do once COVID is over, is go up there and stay the night for some of their wineries.

1 (42m 11s):
So you guys all know that July is Jamal’s birthday month and he loves to hike on his birthday.

4 (42m 17s):
He

3 (42m 18s):
Always asking for it,

1 (42m 19s):
Always asking. So I planned a trip to Yosemite national park and we hiked the mist trail to Vernal and Nevada falls with Jamal and Zena’s sister Nashua. And we also visited Yosemite falls, which is amazing. And so we had a great time exploring Yosemite national park during Jamal’s birthday.

4 (42m 38s):
Dosimetry is close to our hometown. My sister still lives up there. And so she joined us for these outdoor activities and we had a really, really good time. And I just can’t stress enough. The concept of visiting these national parks as a way to recharge, be outside. And again, boost your immune system by being out in nature, doing some leisure exercise, whether it be some leisurely strolls or some hardcore hiking, if that’s your thing, it’s really amazing.

1 (43m 6s):
And you know, somebody was actually limiting the number of visitors per day. So you actually had to make reservations for an entrance and reserve it in advance. You couldn’t just show up and go into the park that day. Wow. You had to make reservations online and only a certain number of people they were allowing into the park each day.

3 (43m 25s):
Did it feel busy still or did it feel less busy than if they hadn’t had that reservation system?

4 (43m 31s):
You know, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Yosemite since that last trip. So I don’t really remember. I know Yosemite is one of the most trafficked and visited national parks in the entire system, but it was not very, very crowded if it felt more crowded it’s because we were doing one of the most popular trails because the trail that we did is pretty much the start of half dome, which is one of their famous hikes to the top of half dome out there. So a lot of people were on that trail, but then split off and then we continued on to another portion. So it maybe felt like it, but I felt like we were still distance enough and not very crowded.

1 (44m 8s):
So moving into August, Jamal and I went to Sequoia national park, we really loved going to all of the national parks that we could go to. They’re safe to go do their outdoor. You can explore there’s nine national parks in California. So it’s easy for us to get to a lot of them. So we just did a weekend trip to Sequoia national park and did some new hikes like the Congress trail and Morro rock, which was a hike we were not able to do when we went as a squad. And

4 (44m 37s):
We missed you guys on this trip to Sequoia, by the way,

3 (44m 39s):
I missed feeling that girth. I was jealous

4 (44m 42s):
The girth, you’re talking about Kim, just in case our listeners don’t know largest trees in the world here in Sequoia national park.

1 (44m 49s):
Although we don’t have a specific episode on this trip, Jamal and I did, we do have an episode on Sequoia and Kings canyon, national park. And that is episode number five

4 (44m 58s):
Still to this day. One of my favorite episodes. So do check that out. We have some really funny stories and good information about the parks and those ones.

3 (45m 6s):
I have just come to the realization that my travel style is travel, travel, travel, and then take a break for like two months. And I do also feel after two months, I feel this like urge in my body to get out of town. That’s like uncomfortable feeling until I take a trip or if I don’t have a trip coming up that I’m looking forward to at about two months, I start to get a little weird,

1 (45m 30s):
Get a little edgy,

3 (45m 32s):
But I’m looking at our schedule and it kind of follows that. Like, I didn’t go anywhere in July or August, but right before that was Santa Barbara and Wyoming in Montana and then took that little break and then really hit it hard in the fall season, which brings us to September. The first trip I took into September was to Austin, Texas. So you remember I said that we were going to add this on after Ecuador trip and we didn’t get to do that as a squad, but I did go with my best friend, Jamie, we took a girl’s best friend trips to Austin. She lives in SACS. We actually met up in Austin, which was pretty cool. And I would love to do more of that. Like people I haven’t seen in a while meet up in a different destination and hang up.

3 (46m 12s):
In fact, I loved Austin so much that I would love to move there. So when I do as a squad, we can meet up at different destination, But Austin’s really cool. I mean, they like to say, keep Austin weird and it is weird and they want to keep it that way. It’s such an artsy place. So much like street art everywhere. They have a great nightlife scene. They have beautiful nature and the people are so nice and they do tacos. They take their tacos just as seriously as we do here in San Diego.

4 (46m 43s):
Although I must say, I bet their tacos are nowhere near as good as the Mexican food here in California. I mean, I’m, it’s not even biased. It’s fact though.

3 (46m 52s):
It’s definitely different, but yeah, they’re serious about their tacos there. And I am here for it. You know what? I actually enjoyed Austin so much. Me and Jamie extended our trip for two more days. Wow. Stayed. I know I’m never, and that’s not true. I have done that before, but I’ve never really done it to this extent. We were staying at the line, which is a hotel in the downtown area of Austin. Perfect location, just an amazing pool. Everyone of course was social distancing at the pool, but it literally felt just like a seventies hip vibe where everyone’s kind of in their own little group, but it was very calm and relaxing. Like I spent so much time by that pool

4 (47m 27s):
Was like splash house, but not splash house for you can like

3 (47m 30s):
It had the look of the people slash house, but nothing likes lash

4 (47m 35s):
House kind of like it, but not like it.

3 (47m 37s):
Yeah. It was just amazing just for three, four days to just sit by the pool and enjoy a new city. It was great.

1 (47m 43s):
Also in September is Zena’s birthday. And we typically

4 (47m 46s):
Say,

2 (47m 47s):
Ooh,

3 (47m 48s):
This is a 45.

2 (47m 50s):
Whoa, I, I don’t sit shit out. You guys, I didn’t travel too much. But when I do travel, I never sit shit out. And I also want to point out that Kim made a post earlier this year, where she was introducing us to you guys, to, to our new followers on Instagram. And it started out with saying as the oldest squad member,

3 (48m 14s):
The eldest squad

2 (48m 16s):
Made me laugh. It made me laugh.

3 (48m 18s):
And you know what I said about me? Kim’s the youngest

8 (48m 21s):
I missed.

4 (48m 24s):
Well, anyway, I was excited for this trip because we went to Washington to do some national parks up there. You guys did not stay as long. I was stoked. This was our first actual squad trip. I wasn’t stoked that you guys didn’t stay. I was bummed about that. I was going to say I was stoked that this was our first true squad trip in COVID era. And in September here, again, we were supposed to go to Ecuador, have the gate one. We had the backup of south in your mouth, and then that didn’t happen. So we were like, what are we going to do? We found some new, good backups, less cases in Washington at that point in time.

4 (49m 4s):
And we decided, Hey, we’re going to do the national parks out there and Washington. And what did we do, ladies?

2 (49m 9s):
We hit up Mt. Rainey, a

4 (49m 12s):
Raniere,

2 (49m 12s):
Same thing, Raniere. We hit up the Olympic and then you dropped Kim and I off. And then you guys hit up cascade

4 (49m 20s):
Boo on you guys. Yes. So we were able to do those two national parks as a squad. There’s a third one in Washington, north cascades, Brittany. And I continued on solo for that and even tracked it back to Montana and went to glacier national park, which if you have not been my goodness, go to glacier national park and we have these episodes coming up. They’re going to be released here in three weeks, episode 68, coming up, talking about Mount Rainier and Olympic and 69 is going to be north cascades and glacier.

3 (49m 53s):
It can’t wait for that.

4 (49m 54s):
1 69 is always a good number.

1 (49m 58s):
We also have an itinerary on Washington’s national parks and exploring them. So definitely check that out. It’s up on our website.

3 (50m 6s):
This is a beautiful PDF guide that details the step-by-step of your six day vacation here. And of course you don’t have to take it as exactly we do. But if you are, it’s designed in a way that you can literally do everything in the exact same order, in the exact same way we did. And you have no planning to do for your trip.

1 (50m 25s):
It’s amazing.

3 (50m 26s):
It’s, it’s a,

2 (50m 28s):
I mean, you pull a Zena, you just show up and you go,

3 (50m 31s):
You have a Brittany on the trip with you.

1 (50m 34s):
Yeah. It’s like a packing list. It also talks about recommendations of places to eat places to stay hikes, to do. If you don’t have time, maybe do this instead. So it’s very comprehensive and we’ve put a lot of work and love into these itinerary.

2 (50m 48s):
And they’re super efficient for you to get the most out of every single day, grab life by the horns.

1 (50m 54s):
So moving into October, which is my birthday month,

2 (50m 57s):
Woo.

1 (50m 58s):
We rebooked the Sedona trip and we decided to go for my birthday weekend. And Sedona is just known for its majestic red rock landscape and for its healing powers and vortexes. And I just felt like after such a crazy year, what better way to recharge than going to Sedona

3 (51m 16s):
Sit down and so beautiful. I wish I went on that trip with you guys.

4 (51m 18s):
Yeah. This one was just Brittany and I again for her birthday weekend. But again, keeping with the theme, even though this one’s not a national park out in nature in the desert, October is a really good time. It’s still warm in Arizona and cold in the evenings, but not too cold. So you get the best of both worlds in that end of things, and keeping to be outside.

2 (51m 40s):
Well, since Kim and I weren’t on that trip, Jamal, where you stoked,

4 (51m 43s):
I told you I was stoked that it was a squad trip you interjected before I was able to get to that fact. But you know what, now that you say it. Yeah, I think you guys would have hampered down the trip a little bit.

3 (51m 55s):
The other trip that I took in October was a really cool spur of the moment trip with my friend Morgan. We went to new England for a fall foliage adventure.

4 (52m 4s):
I’ve always wanted to go to new England.

3 (52m 6s):
It was absolutely worth it. The colors in the trees there are so beautiful and it really has that crisp air fall weather that we just don’t get here in San Diego or in California really anywhere. So we have made our home base in Boston. We stayed at this really cute little hotel that had all of the same precautions to social distancing. The restaurants were kind of shut down for indoor dining. They had mass required. They had their cleaning crews out everywhere. They actually had a big piece of tape, kind of like a tape label thing over the door and the opening of the door to say this room has been sealed and cleaned. And no one’s been here since it was clean. So that was nice. But while on this trip, we were only there.

3 (52m 46s):
I think we took a Friday off of work. So we were there Friday to Sunday. And so on this trip, we stayed in Boston. We took a red eye to get the most out of our trip. We were able to check in early. So squad tip. If you’re trying to get an early, check-in always call your hotel and ask. Not only did we get to check in at six in the morning at this hotel, I’ve done it before in Miami, same situation. And they let us check in early.

4 (53m 12s):
And the same thing in Miami. When we went on a family trip, we’re taking a cruise, we had a red eye out from San Diego. They let us check in early to

2 (53m 20s):
The most wild thing that I’ve ever done was get to a hotel at 3:00 AM. And they let me check in

1 (53m 25s):
Early.

3 (53m 27s):
We were in Vegas too, actually. So we trooped it the fuck out. We tried to sleep on the plane there. We checked into the hotel. We left the car down at the lobby so we can bring our stuff up, but we were so tired. We didn’t realize what we were doing. And we actually just laid down the ticket nap, target car down there. And we were only going to sleep for like 30 minutes or an hour anyway, but we got a phone call in the room saying, Hey, you need to come with your car. And so then we took off to New Hampshire where the entire two hour drive up there. The highway is lined on both sides with huge trees, red, orange purple, yellow, green, just so beautiful. We went to this outdoor nature Gorge in New Hampshire where it started raining and everything was covered in orange leaves.

3 (54m 12s):
It was just beautiful little hike through this waterfall, gorgeous things. So pretty. We went to Salem, Massachusetts. This was right before Halloween. So it was very spooky.

4 (54m 21s):
Any witches burned at the stake that you saw?

3 (54m 24s):
I didn’t personally see any burnings, but we did see

4 (54m 29s):
They’re not doing any burns anymore.

3 (54m 31s):
You know, I think I just missed it or maybe they were shut down for COVID

4 (54m 37s):
Not in season, but

3 (54m 38s):
They had plenty of memorials of, you know, this lady was hanged in this year in 1609. And it was really, really cool. And you could really deal every single place we went said, this is the most haunted bench in Salem. This is the most haunted Tavern in Salem. Like everything was onto

1 (54m 54s):
What was the weirdest reason why someone got killed?

3 (54m 57s):
I think for the most part, it was witchy wittiness, which you women doing what you thinks

1 (55m 2s):
So,

4 (55m 3s):
Or just women being women. And then people deciding that they were going to frame them in some sort of way to get rid of them. I mean the Salem witch trials, very interesting chapter in American history. I didn’t mean to make light of it and the way that it came across, but it is very interesting to see. And I do want to go to new England, go on those tours, see all about it, but more specifically see the fall colors. You went out at a great time to really see the colors of the trees change. Yeah.

3 (55m 28s):
Yeah. We also made it down to Rhode Island. So same highway, but just south instead of north and same thing, the trees, we saw these beautiful mansions from the, oh, what is that famous family? Vanderbilt. The Vanderbilt. Yes. They have these huge mansions out there. They’re just so gorgeous. So we got to see that it was really, really, really cold in Rhode Island. I’ve never felt crisp air like that. Maybe I have, but it had been so long. It was like bitingly cold. And that’s why I love San Diego, But yeah, really, really good fun little trip there.

1 (55m 60s):
You also did some more travel in October. What else did you do?

3 (56m 3s):
So, yeah, this was my busy month. Like I said, I have my ebbs and flows. I took a week trip back to Sacramento since I’m working from home, I kind of can work from anywhere. So I was working. It wasn’t necessarily a vacation, but I was able to see family, some friends, since some of the restaurants and bars have reopened, I hit up my favorite Flamingo club, Midtown Sacramento out, and also a new bar that just opened in Sacramento. We have a whole episode on Sacramento. You can go check that out, but there’s a new bar to add to the list aviary it’s in downtown. It’s owned by the same owners as Flamingo club and it’s super unique and cool inside. So check that out when you’re there. And then I also did a little evening in Tijuana

4 (56m 44s):
Exploring her backyard.

3 (56m 46s):
It’s only 30 minutes from my house. So we went over there, ate food, had a couple of drinks and then just walked back across and came home.

1 (56m 52s):
And we’ve mentioned it before episode 62 is day trips from San Diego and Tijuana is on there.

3 (56m 57s):
TJ super fun, definitely recommend it.

4 (56m 59s):
So moving on into November here, this one was really a travel month for Brittany and I, again, keeping with the theme of the national parks. I want to keep hyping on that for you guys, in terms of outdoors and safety, we went to arches and canyon lands national parks in Utah, two of the mighty five that they have in Utah. We have a future episode on this trip coming out in 2021. So stay tuned, but arches national park really gets the recognition in Utah. They have a specific arch called delicate arch. If you see some of the Utah plates, they have it on there. It’s almost like an iconic focal point for the state and sight to see.

4 (57m 40s):
And canyon lands is right next door. It’s almost like Sequoia and Kings canyon here in California. They’re literally right by each other. Arches is the more popular one, but I found canyon lands to be much more magical and majestic than arches. And dare I say, cooler than the grand canyon, it’s called canyon lands. You can imagine what you’re going to see out there, way cooler than the grand canyon. What did you see out

1 (58m 3s):
There? Lens of Canton

3 (58m 7s):
Lando canyon,

4 (58m 8s):
Canyon lands, lands of them,

1 (58m 11s):
But at canyon lands, we watch the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen in my life. I literally posted a video of it. The sun is just illuminating off of the sandstone and it’s glowing a orange hue, and I didn’t even put a filter on the video at all. It was just all natural. It was seriously magical and probably the best sunrise I have ever seen.

4 (58m 36s):
This one was really cool. You go to a spot that’s called Mesa arch and it literally isn’t arch. It’s not an arches. It’s in canyon lands, but it’s an arch. And you literally watched the sun rise through the arch as if it’s its own frame. And then you just see the canyon below and it’s just so black in the morning. And then the sun comes up. It almost looked like the volcanic craters that we saw in volcanoes national park in Hawaii, truly majestic unique scene and very, very underrated park. Considering that the majority of people go to arches right next door. I think canyon lands is better. Go check it out, be safe out there. Really awesome. And another national park that you don’t have to do a lot of hiking in.

4 (59m 18s):
If you just want to get out and explore and see the sites, that’s a good one for you.

1 (59m 23s):
So moving on to December, which is the month we’re currently in Jamal, and I just got back from a trip to Capitol reef, which is another national park in Utah. It’s also one of mighty five. Utah has completed our mighty five cause we’ve been to all of the other Utah national parks. We just got back from there. It was amazing. Very, very cold. And December just if you guys want to know, the low was seven to nine degrees in the morning. Wow.

4 (59m 48s):
Various nine degrees.

1 (59m 51s):
But there was a lot of beautiful scenery in this park. They say that it’s a wrinkle in time because as you hike in Capitol reef, you’re hiking through all of these sedimentary layers that have been through so much. The area was actually covered in water, which is why it’s called Capitol reef. It’s interesting. We had a great time there. This is the first flight that we’ve took in COVID that where they’re no longer blocking out the middle seats. And on our way home, we did have a full flight

4 (1h 0m 20s):
That was wild. And we knew going into this trip that this was going to be the first one without the blocking of the middle seats. So we took the extra precaution, wore double face masks. So we had our in 95 than our regular ones of surgical ones that they have going over it. And we had the face masks. So keeping face shield. Yes. So keeping it really, really good.

3 (1h 0m 43s):
Two masks, but face shield and mask. Okay, got it.

1 (1h 0m 46s):
No, he’s saying he had,

3 (1h 0m 47s):
He had three mass signs.

4 (1h 0m 49s):
We have layers of protection. I just

2 (1h 0m 51s):
Want to say I saw those pictures and it looked like you were worried to

4 (1h 0m 53s):
Match

1 (1h 0m 54s):
At 95 closest to the face, a surgical mask on top of the N 95 and then a face shield.

4 (1h 1m 1s):
The cool ones that you want. Can that say face shield right on top.

3 (1h 1m 5s):
Yeah. Super cute. Where are you wearing gloves? Where do you like sanitizing the fuck out of everything

4 (1h 1m 10s):
We do on every flight. So that was nothing new, but absolutely we were. Did

2 (1h 1m 15s):
You use industrial?

1 (1h 1m 16s):
No, no

3 (1h 1m 17s):
Shame. You might let a Germer to get through,

4 (1h 1m 21s):
But Capitol reef really reminded me a lot of Sedona. You get a lot of the red rocks out there really, really cool. Highly recommend again, future episode coming soon on that here in 2021.

3 (1h 1m 31s):
And then the last trip of the year is a new year’s Eve trip that I am taking to via de Guadalupe, which is about two hours south of San Diego into Mexico. It’s their wine region there. So I have an Airbnb rented. I also got a wine tasting tour through Airbnb experiences. And I want to just say, if you can rent Airbnb or purchase your tours through Airbnb experiences, more of that money is going to go directly to an individual rather than say a corporation that may own that hotel. So in times like this, where there’s so much more need to support your neighbors, I would recommend looking in there.

3 (1h 2m 11s):
And I also found the best price on the wine tasting tour through Airbnb experiences. Great tip. So it, it benefits it’s both of

1 (1h 2m 18s):
You and that just wraps up 2020.

3 (1h 2m 21s):
Thank God

4 (1h 2m 24s):
Fingers crossed in 2021 guys,

1 (1h 2m 26s):
But we have a lot to look forward to in 2021, Jamal and I already have six trips booked.

3 (1h 2m 32s):
Wow. You guys are nuts.

1 (1h 2m 34s):
I know in January, Jamal and I are going to the us Virgin islands, we’re hitting up St. Thomas and St. John. We’re also going to go to via Guadalupe, probably using like Kim, same itinerary. So saving me a lot of time. There

3 (1h 2m 48s):
You go. It’s going to cost you though.

1 (1h 2m 51s):
You’re going to go to mammoth caves national park in Kentucky, and we’re flying into Nashville. So it’s kind of like a twofer. And we were also in March going to go to Breckenridge, Colorado and learn how to cross country ski.

4 (1h 3m 4s):
Yeah. And we’re going to be going to Dallas, Texas, ideally for Easter, Brittany sister lives out there. And then we also are going to Williamsburg, Virginia. We’re going to hit up Shenandoah national park, maybe go see the sights in DC. And if we’re lucky and can go that rebooking of the squad trip to Ecuador, but keep in mind here. When we’re saying these, these are what’s booked 2020, we’ve had to make adjustments, make cancellations alterations. These are what our plan now, but given the circumstances on the ground, obviously things may change. And I think that goes a lot to what we did here in 2020, we had lots of different backup plans for different things. Altered plans based on conditions on the ground.

4 (1h 3m 46s):
Certain states where numbers were really high, where they’re actually taking more safety precautions and requiring masks versus states, sometimes that are not here in the Virgin islands, they are requiring that you have to have a negative COVID test in order to be able to be allowed on the island. So keeping safe in those ways. And so again, things can change, but fingers crossed for 2021

1 (1h 4m 9s):
And the COVID-19 vaccine just landed in California and in San Diego. So that may change the travel game.

3 (1h 4m 17s):
We will have to find out.

4 (1h 4m 19s):
I heard by mid years when most people have access to it right now, again, first responders, nurses, such as Brittany purrs is probably coming up here pretty soon. I’m going to be left, hanging out here in the dark, but you know, I will happily wait my place in line. And in the meantime, keep safe in the way that we’re traveling by doing lots of outdoor activities.

1 (1h 4m 39s):
I’ll definitely let you guys know how it feels to get the COVID vaccine. And if I feel anything strange, like any side effects or what not, it does require you to get two doses.

4 (1h 4m 48s):
That’s if you do the Pfizer one, they have the other ones coming out that they’re giving the special authorization for that are just one. So who knows which one you’ll get, but keep us posted either way Brit.

2 (1h 4m 57s):
Well, you know what, Brittany, I would like to take this moment to say thank you for being on the front lines and for being one of our 20, 20 healthcare heroes. And thank you to everyone out there who is listening, who is also one of our healthcare heroes for 2020.

1 (1h 5m 9s):
It is my pleasure. Thank you for that Cena. Some other exciting things coming up in 2021, we’re releasing more itineraries right off the bat. We’re going to release Arizona’s three national parks. Later in the year, we’re going to have Florida’s three national parks, and then Utah’s mighty five national parks

3 (1h 5m 25s):
In Florida’s three national parks itineraries. I’ve put in some amazing nightlife opportunities for you in Miami. So check that out. We also are putting together a super comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast. Because when we started this podcast, we didn’t know anything about audio recording, editing, how to run a podcast or anything. So every single thing we figured out and learned along the way, we’ve put into a easy to understand beginner’s guide to starting a podcast. And we’re super excited to release that.

4 (1h 5m 55s):
So that’s coming down the pipes for 2021. Any final thoughts, ladies here on what you want to say, wrapping up 2020.

3 (1h 6m 3s):
I just want to say thank you all for sticking with us through this crazy year. It’s hard to talk about travel and want to travel and have a travel podcast in a year where there are so many restrictions on travel, but a Traveler’s a traveler. You love travel no matter what’s going on in the world. And so we appreciate all of you listening and continuing to plan travel with us.

4 (1h 6m 23s):
The last thing I want to say is re harping on the point that I’ve been saying is if you’re going to be traveling, do it in a safe way. We feel that we’ve traveled in a safe way in terms of doing outdoor activities and going to certain places where we know numbers are down or places that are requiring testing. So, you know, be within your own comfort zone, but if you’re going to be doing it, do it safely.

2 (1h 6m 46s):
I mean that’s another year on the books. So thank you to my wonderful squad members, Jamal, Brittany Kim. And thank you for listening always. And for your support here’s to 2021,

1 (1h 6m 57s):
Cheers.

3 (1h 6m 58s):
It’s 21, have a great happy new year, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week, keep the adventures going with us into 2021 by following us on Instagram and on YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your trips and let us know where you’re going. And

1 (1h 7m 15s):
Please

10 (1h 7m 15s):
Send me in those questions.

2 (1h 7m 17s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if he thought we were just playing funny and please make sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too,

4 (1h 7m 25s):
Please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (1h 7m 31s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we’re having some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

3 (1h 7m 36s):
First episode of a new year .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.