All the Dumb, Petty Reasons I Booked a Trip to Belize

belize beach-xlarge

Sometimes you book a trip because you’ve always dreamed of walking along a specific city’s streets. Sometimes you book a trip because all you want to do is relax by the sea. Sometimes you book a trip because you’re ready to party the night away.

And sometimes you book a trip because you’re petty AF. This is why I’m going to Belize come January. For a country that I’ve never set foot in, I have a surprisingly tumultuous history with the Central American nation. It’s time to set that right and I do believe I will do so with my 10-day getaway. I’m sure Belize is worth visiting for its own specific reasons, but this is why this trip will feel like the most immature of vindications.

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Meet Jennifer Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen & Moon Travel Guides


Jen Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen

This week’s guest is Jennifer Kramer, one of the founders of Baja Test Kitchen  and the author of the Moon Baja Travel Guide. Jen has been traveling throughout Baja California since she was six months old. She was born and raised just over the border in San Diego, California where her parents started Discover Baja in 1991. Growing up, family time was spent exploring the Baja peninsula in a VW camper.

Listen to the episode to learn more about the wonders of Baja, California on Podbean and Apple Podcasts.

To learn more about Jen, check out our Q&A with her after the jump.

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S2E4: Traveling in Baja California, Mexico with Jen Kramer of Baja Test Kitchen

Jennifer Kramer is one of the founders of Baja Test Kitchen, as well the author of the Moon Baja Travel Guide. In this episode, Jen shares her favorite spots to eat, drink and soak up the Mexican culture, with a special emphasis on Valle de Guadalupe. Over the last several years, Valle de Guadalupe has exploded in terms of amazing wines and creative culinary offerings. Jen also gives us the scoop on the women winemakers who are taking Valle de Guadalupe by storm. Also discussed: how to pick the food and wine tour that’s right for you, winetasting etiquette 101, and the truth about all those state department issued travel warnings for Mexico. Mexico’s Baja California region is an easy day trip from San Diego, but you’ll definitely need more than one day to eat and drink your way through all the deliciousness.

Listen and subscribe on Podbean and Apple Podcasts.

Show notes (including winery and restaurant recs for Valle de Guadalupe) after the jump.

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Let’s Talk About Cats

Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats

When I was a little girl growing up in rural South Carolina, two things were on my bucket list:

  • Live somewhere where Chinese restaurants existed and get food delivered so I could eat right out of take-out boxes with chopsticks, just like the families on my favorite Friday night sitcoms.
  • Visit New York to see Cats on Broadway. Just who was this Andrew Lloyd Weber fellow and why were all the 80s morning talk shows abuzz about these live-action, dancing tabbies?

With regards to eating from Chinese take-out containers, I have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams – seven-year-old Kathy would be pleased to know that I now own several sets of chopsticks. But my goal of seeing Cats on Broadway has proved to be, much like actual felines, elusive.

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S3E3: Spooky Travel Tales

Just in time for Halloween, we have spooky travel stories from our listeners! The tales of terror include haunted business trips in New Orleans and Puerto Rico (sooooo many haunted business trips), a creeped out camper, animal spirit guides in the Himalayas, mind readers in Quito, ghostly hotels in Illinois, a Cambodian island of doom, and more!

Thanks to all those who submitted and were willing to share their tales of horror with our listeners!

You can listen to our episode here or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

Interested in learning more about the Howard House Hotel? Read the story here.

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Tiny Letters for Travelistas


As many of you know, XX Will Travel’s newsletter is my pet project. They’re a number of reasons I decide to take this on. A presentation at a podcast conference said it was a reliable source of traffic. It was one of the best ways of tracking ROI at one of my old jobs. I wanted a way to reach out to people directly without fighting with Facebook/Twitter/Instagram’s hermetic algorhythms. I also started it, though,  because I was slowly becoming enamored with the newsletter renaissance. Some of my favorite newsletters are those that are written by some of my favorite podcasters, like Anne Friedman and the lovely ladies of Another Round. I loved how I could return to them for links on their guests, the random finds they mentioned and any additions that hadn’t had the chance to make it on air. At the same time, I was also discovering more and more TinyLetters. Though very similar to newsletters, Mailchimp’s younger sister has a more intimate feel. People predict it’s slowly taking over blogs, fulfilling the function that old school LiveJournals and Blogspots had before everyone became obsessed with monetizing. Many of them have a specific niche, but they’re also not afraid to ramble, to pour out their soul, to be a little kooky and weird. There are very few traces of SEO tactics. I so enjoyed reading them, that I actually decided to start my own TinyLetter where I could write mini essays on travel, writing and side hustle life. Oh, and fill people’s inboxes with at least one Charlie picture.

Most of the TinyLetters I subscribe to are focused on the craft of writing but there are a few that are travel focused. Here are three of my favorites:

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S3E2: Oneika the Traveller, Travel Journalist and Travel Channel Host


Oneika Raymond has traveled to 100+ countries and has documented everything along the way on her wildly successful blog, Oneika the Traveller. In this episode, Oneika shares the details of her journey as a blogger as well as what’s next, including her new Travel Channel Show, Big City, Little Budget. We examine social media’s increasing role in the blogosphere, our feelings on why Instagram might not be so insta-great (do we really need more pics of boho girls in floppy hats looking out over exotic locales?), and why maybe it’s better just not to care. As strong advocates of travel for everyone, we also discuss the significance of travel for women and people of color and why it’s so important.

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podbean.

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