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Posted On 01/01/2019 16:48:11
Trip Date 01/01/2019
Destinations | Cruises | Camping | Travel Blogger Year in Review | Machu Picchu | South America Cruise | RV Vacations | Panama Canal Cruise | Portland | San Francisco | Dominican Republic | Cruise to Cuba | Austria | Transatlantic Cruise
2018 marks our third year of retirement as well as the launch of the Wordy Explorers Travel Blog. Previously we were journaling about our travels for family and friends, but 2018 is
the first year that we have published our travel experiences on this website for the whole world to see.
With a total of 223 nights spent away from our Austin, Texas home, we experienced nearly a 37% increase in our nights
away as compared to 2017. The good news is that we planned well and stayed within the travel budget that we set for
ourselves. (Our goal is to stretch our travel dollars as far as possible. Since we retired rather early, we are striving to
ensure that we don't outlive our savings.) The bad news is that we are not going to be able to keep increasing our pace
at this rate without one or both of us suffering from sheer exhaustion!
The Wordy Explorers 2018 Travel Destination Map
If you'd like to see a summary of what two early retirees accomplished in one year on their quest to see the world, we
welcome you to take a look below. Along with photos, we've included a month by month review and a brief summary of
each trip that we took during the year.
January & February 2018: South America (41 nights)
The first two nights of the year were spent in Parkville (Kansas City), Missouri as we wrapped up our holiday visit.
After sleeping in our own bed for 11 nights, we were off to South America. Our visit started in Cusco,
Peru where we were joined by Scott's brother and sister-in-law for a tour of both the Sacred Valley and
Machu Picchu. From there we headed to Santiago for the start of a 14 night eastbound cruise aboard the
Norwegian Sun from San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires Argentina.
Pisac Market in Pisac, Peru
Our Gloomy Day at Machu Picchu
Chile's Vicente Perez Rosales National Park
Sailing Through Chile's Avenue of the Glaciers
Tierra del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia, Argentina
Gypsy Cove, Falkland Islands
Todd and Julia returned home after a brief tour of Buenos Aires, and Scott and I boarded the Celebrity Infinity for
a 14 night South America cruise which included Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. We then immediately headed
to Iguassu Falls where we spent two nights before returning to Buenos Aires. Following a one day tour of the
Tigre River Delta, we boarded a plane and headed home.
Buzios - "The St. Tropez of Brazil"
Rio de Janeiro's "Christ, the Redeemer"
Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
March 2018: Gilbert (Phoenix), Arizona (6 nights)
We made a short surprise trip to Arizona in early March. I had received a phone call from my sister who had
some concerns about our Mom's health, so we left on a road trip early in the morning after receiving her call. As Mom
was doing much better after several days there, we returned to our home where Scott's son had been staying for several
days during his visit to Austin.
March 2018: South Texas RV Trip (7 nights)
We planned a short RV trip as the first of our 2018 season - just to ensure that everything was working properly after
being in storage for nearly six months. Our week long journey took us to Von Ormy (San Antonio) and Mathis
(Corpus Christi), Texas.
March & April 2018: South Central USA RV Trip (33 nights)
Timed around a visit to Kansas City that Scott's Uncle Warren had planned, we departed on our longest to date
RV trip after only three nights at home. During our month away, we had the opportunity to enjoy parts of Texas,
Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition to spending
time with family, some highlights included Hot Springs, Graceland and the Texas Bluebonnets.
Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee
Stonehenge in Rolla, Missouri
Driving the Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis, Texas
Mammoth National Monument in Waco, Texas
May 2018: Panama Canal Cruise (17 nights)
I became obsessed with sailing on the brand new Norwegian Bliss after hearing about her during our South
American Cruise. After watching the prices almost daily for over two months, we booked a balcony stateroom less than a
month before the start of the cruise. (I had even booked airfare before booking our cruise!) The sailing took us from
Miami, through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles.
View from La Popa Hilltop in Cartagena, Columbia
Norwegian Bliss Inaugural Transit through Agua Clara Locks (Panama Canal)
June & July 2018: Central Texas RV Trip (6 nights)
After being home for a month, we took a short getaway in "RV There Yet?" which allowed us to relax in Lake
Somerville and Taylor - both within a few hours of our home.
July 2018: Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California (10 nights)
To save money on airfare, Scott and I were able to combine two destinations into one trip since they were both in the
western United States. We flew to Phoenix where we met my Mom at the airport so that the three of could fly together to
Portland, Oregon. After spending time with my Mom's sister (my Aunt Jan), we went our separate ways. While
Mom headed back to Phoenix, Scott and I flew to San Francisco to spend a long weekend with his son, Matt.
Oregon's Hood River Valley and Mount Hood
Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden
We Made it Across the Golden Gate Bridge
August 2018: Dallas, Texas RV Trip (4 nights)
We had tickets to a Broadway Across America performance in Dallas, and rather than a one night hotel stay, we
took "RV There Yet?" to the nearby town of Eustace where we camped at Purtis Creek State Park.
September 2018: Dominican Republic and Cruise to Cuba (14 nights)
Again saving money on airfare (and trying to get the most out of our soon expiring Southwest Companion Pass), we
combined a trip to the Dominican Republic along with a short cruise to Cuba. We met our friends Jim
and Elsie at the Riu Palace Macao, an all inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Arena Gorda Beach at Rio Palace Macao in the Dominican Republic
Snorkeling at Isla Catalina in the Dominican Republic
After spending a week of rest and relaxation together, Scott and I made our way to Tampa. It was there that we met our
friends Rick and Sheryl on board the Majesty of the Seas for a five night cruise which included an overnight stay
in Havana and a stop in Cozumel.
Driving along Havana's El Malecon (photographed by Yosel Vazquez of I Love Cuba Photo Tours)
Six Pointed Starfish in Cozumel
September - November 2018: Westbound Fall RV Trip (54 nights)
After two nights of sleeping in our bed at home, we departed again - this time in our RV on a journey that would break
our previous 33 night record! Several factors influenced our travel dates including spending time with our families and
the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We also wanted to return home and have some time to catch our breath before
a trip to Europe that we planned over 18 months earlier. Our journey took us through Arkansas, Missouri
and Kansas before we began our westbound trek into parts of Texas, New Mexico,
Colorado, Utah and Arizona. There are so many amazing places to see in our home country, and
we are just beginning to scratch the surface.
2018 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Mesa Verde National Park
Upper Antelope Canyon
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
November & December 2018: Austria and Transatlantic Cruise from Venice (31 nights)
Just one day prior to Thanksgiving, we boarded a plane for our final trip of the year. After a quick visit in
Amsterdam during a long layover, we spent 8 nights in Austria touring Vienna, Melk and
Salzburg by train. Our final train journey brought us to Venice where we spent one night before boarding
the Rhapsody of the Seas.
Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria
Christmas World on Rathausplatz in Vienna
The first 7 nights of our back-to-back cruise took us to Dubrovnik, Kotor, Naples and
Rome before docking in Barcelona. At 14 nights, the second leg of our cruise made three stops in the
Canary Islands (Lanzarote, Grand Canary and La Palma) followed by a very relaxing six
days at sea. After one final port day day in Nassau, Bahamas, a last minute itinerary change due to high winds
and waves brought us to Port Canaveral. A two hour bus ride took us to our originally planned final port of
Tampa for our flight back home.
The Green Lagoon on Lanzarote, Canary Islands
How to Learn More about Destinations that We've Visited
If you are interested in seeing or reading more about one or more of the destinations that we visited in 2018, our Search Engine can help.
Just type in the name of the city, state, country or specific sight in which you have an interest, and you'll find a list of
articles matching your search criteria. If your search doesn't yield any results, please let us know. We are working hard
to post helpful information on all of the destinations that we have visited since our retirement (and even before). We are
always willing to attempt to rearrange our posting schedule in order to help out one of our readers and fellow travelers!
What's on the Horizon for The Wordy Explorers in 2019?
In addition to some as yet unplanned traveling in the USA in "RV There Yet?", our travel trailer, we have our eyes on the
following destinations in 2019:
10 day Caribbean cruise;
land tour in Romania;
Greenland and Iceland; and
Canada & New England
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The Year Ahead
What travel plans have you made for 2019 and, of your planned destinations, which are you most excited about and why?
Created On 12/28/2018 17:15:31
Updated On 12/29/2018 16:42:30
Scheduled On 12/29/2018 10:48:11
Posted On 01/01/2019 16:48:11
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