J5Travel passed a significant sales milestone earlier this week since we launched back in May 2015, and it got me to thinking about those very first 6 months. I was learning very quickly completely on the fly and I seriously wondered "what have I done?"
Fast forward 4 years and we have an amazing team of 5, clients who trust us, have been nominated for a Virtuoso award, and have ourselves explored more places than we could have imagined.
Even back then, I had committed to getting out from behind the desk to travel (and work) as much as possible, with the notion of inspiring friends and clients to explore this world. As I looked back at my photos from June to December 2015, I realized there were 5 such trips between June and December 2015 and that feels like a perfect excuse for this weeks blog post.
Top 5 - My 4 Year Flashback
1. June 2015 - Zorita de los Canes, Spain (above)
Maisie, our daughter, was still in High School, and I joined her briefly on a summer school trip where she experienced the incredible combination of excavating on an archaeological dig in a medieval castle, and performing in a show in the village streets. Built during the 12th and 13th centuries, the castle gives a wonderful view of the Tajo River below. All this in a village with a population of just 98 people.
We also added on a few days in Madrid where I seem to remember Maisie had some stomach issues after Dad ordered 2 fruit smoothies that he didn't realize were rather alcoholic. Lesson learned.
2. June 2015 - Carcassonne, France (above)
We reunited as a family in the South of France in late June, and one of the highlights was definitely the French fortified city of Carcassonne. This UNESCO World Heritage site was first occupied by the Romans with the outer ramparts built in the 13th century.
If you've never played the board game by the same name, I highly recommend, it's one of my absolute favorites.
3. August 2015 - New York City
We headed as a family to NYC early in August 2015 and I don't think a year has gone by where at least one trip report doesn't emerge from the Big Apple. It's just that exciting a place for a few days on a regular basis and I don't think that excitement will ever leave me no matter how many times I visit. This particular trip featured the Staten Island Ferry (above) and the last night of U2's then World Tour (below). That featured an extra special treat for my son and I, as Bruce Springsteen emerged as as special guest. These are the memories that last a lifetime.
4. October 2015 - California Beaches
I headed to California in October of 2015 on the premise of a mileage run to keep my then status with American Airlines, which was probably only Gold back then. I had just 2 nights to spend and decided to stop at almost every beach between Capitan (northwest of Santa Barbara) and Santa Monica. I believe the photo was taken on El Matador State Beach in Malibu. I remember it being flawless, virtually empty and as natural as they come.
5. December 2015 - Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica
This was my 50th birthday trip to Costa Rica, and it was particularly memorable as I was dressed as a pirate for most of it with an eyepatch, as inexplicably, a blood vessel in an optic nerve had ruptured just a few days before departure and I could not physically open my left eye. So the more adventurous activities we had planned did not occur. Luckily that meant more time at our hotel and the Andaz Papagayo remains very high on our recommended list indeed, with a perfect blend of calm, understated luxury, great food and gorgeous suites.
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