I have a task for EVERYONE who reads our blog today!
Please go find your whole family's passports and check the expiry dates. Remember many countries require passport validity to be 6 months beyond your dates of travel in order to guarantee entry. Wait times for passport renewal are very long and only getting longer, so if you have any travel brewing all the way up to the beginning of next year, check now. Regular renewal is currently taking over 3 months and even expedited is now averaging about 6 weeks. Please don't let an expired passport be the reason you can't go on a badly needed trip.
I'll admit to being slightly stumped for content this week, so I am going to stick to the passport theme, dig out my last passport (which I proudly filled up with stamps), and write about the first 5 stamps in the book.
Top 5 - My First 5 USA Passport Stamps
1. Milan, June 2012
Milan was the gateway for a family trip to northern Italy and the Lake District in the summer of 2012. Boat trips on the lake were stunning and a visit to Isola Bella (below) and Isola Superiore proved fascinating even to our then 14 and 12 year old. The Lake region of Italy with side trips possible into Switzerland and the heart of the Alps is definitely a trip you make on your second or third trip to Italy.
2. London, April 2014
This was still a full year before I would switch my long-term finance career for the world of travel. A combination of an annual old schoolboys golf tournament down on the south coast and a few nights in London is always a trip that excites me and reconnects me with old friends. 2014 was particularly special as I was able to see my goddaughter run the London Marathon.
3. Barcelona, June 2015
Just one month after founding J5Travel, I was off to Spain to eat as much tapas as I could manage, enjoy the sights of Barcelona and watch my daughter perform theater in the shadow of a medieval castle. That particular experience at night with floodlights illuminating this massive castle in the background still sends shivers down my spine.
4. Liberia, December 2015
Only spoiled slightly by the fact that one of my eyes decided not to open for the entire length of the trip due to a nerve affliction, my visit to Costa Rica in celebration of my 50th, was nonetheless sensational. Regular readers know that I love Hyatt's Andaz brand and we enjoyed hiking and hot springs on this trip as we headed to the Arenal Volcano area on 2 separate days. Having returned again in January this year, my belief was reaffirmed that the people of Costa Rica are among the friendliest you will ever meet with a philosophy on life that should be emulated everywhere. Pura Vida everyone!
5. Hanoi, July 2016
I have skipped over another London passport stamp for April 2016, and Hanoi, Vietnam was the starting point of a family Asian tour that would also include Cambodia, Singapore and Japan. Chaotic and wonderful all at once, Hanoi was a shock to the senses. The streets were full of life and a gazillion motorbikes at all hours of the day, except for a couple of thoroughfares cordoned off in the historic district. Of all the food tours I have enjoyed the world over, I think Hanoi street food is still my #1!
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts
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