I never thought that as I drove toward Dallas in January 2019, that I would end the year having driven over twelve thousand miles in 2019.
Travel is the one thing I truly love doing. Whatever mode I happen to take, there is nothing better than the sense of adventure I feel while I prepare to discover a new place. I am always astounded by the things I discover and the people I meet. Travel gives me freedom, knowledge, and joy. I hope that by sharing my journeys, you also get a sense of that.
My twelve-day tour of Texas was a strong start with a round trip journey of twenty-one hundred miles from Mobile to Dallas with numerous stops throughout the state. As is said, everything is bigger in Texas! I was even able to see a few friends along the way.
Later in January, I was off to DC, where we landed right in the middle of the Government shut down. Thankfully, there were a lot of free museums that remained open because all the Smithsonian’s were closed. Discovering the non-touristy part of DC was fun. Visiting the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, was outstanding.
In February, I enjoyed the tulips in Montevallo, Alabama. In March, I was off on a FAM trip to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to experience Mardi Gras Cajun Style.
Then I was in Portland, Oregon for the Travel and Words conference. T&W is in my opinion, one of the best yearly conferences for travel writers in the county.
On my return South, I toured Civil War and aviation history in Vicksburg, MS and in April, I learned about the art of marble sculpting in Sylacauga, AL. In May, I dashed off to Asheville to see the Biltmore House. Later that month, I was in Huntsville for Space history and Atlanta for a deep dive into history.
June had me back to Atlanta for the Airliners International Show at the Delta Flight Museum and visiting two major military museums in Georgia. I also had the good fortune for hearing Astronaut Fred Haise of Apollo 13 speak while I was in Columbus, GA. During the heat of July, I journeyed to Starkville, MS to visit the Grant Presidential Museum and then headed back South to the Biloxi Seafood Museum.
In August, I gave my first Presidential Library presentation in Birmingham and attended my second Word Camp conference. Word Camp is the best bang for your buck when it comes to learning Word Press. I also made a quick return trip to DC for a day trip and the Spy Museum.
September saw me on a lot of planes as I headed for TBEX in Billings, Montana, at the beginning of the week, and Allentown, Pennsylvania by the end of the week. In October, I attended a media tour at Cape Canaveral, Florida. An invitation from OWA had me in Foley, AL for a relaxing fun weekend not far from home.
In November, I gave another Presidential Library presentation in Mobile. I headed back North in mid-November for a PR event in Birmingham, where I caught up with friends and made new travel connections.
At the last minute, I made a week-long November trip to Cleveland and Canton. While there, I visited three more Presidential Libraries. Who would think I’d be back at OWA in December and would get to meet Paula Deen!
Next week I’ll end the year visiting Rock City and Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN thanks to the connections made at the Birmingham event.
Twelve thousand miles is a lot of time behind the wheel. You don’t realize just how much ground you cover when you’re on the road because you’re living in the moment, excited to get to your next stop. Along with driving, I was also on several airplanes this year. I will say that plane travel as not gotten any easier or any more comfortable. Nowadays, it’s just a big bus in the sky,
Hotels are another staple on my journeys. Forty-five room nights this year with some better than others. Spreading the love to several national brands, I would have preferred to stay with one national chain. I met some interesting people this last year from flight attendants, museum curators, docents, veterans and of course, many fellow travelers.
My 2020 travel will be starting strong. I’ll be attending the Travel and Adventure show in Atlanta in February. In March, I will be in Clarksville, TN, and in April, I’ll be back in Sylacauga to learn more about marble carving. There are two TBEX conferences on tap this year, March in Italy and October in Lafayette, LA. Tbex is the best bang for your buck in travel blogging. In May, I want to be back in Oregon for Travel and Words.
I’m sure the year will fill in as time marches on. I hope that one trip will get me back to Florida for one of the many rocket launches planned for next year. There will be more Presidential Libraries and historic sites on tap, too. I’ve visited 17 of 43 thus far, so only 24 more to go.
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my posts and follow along as I go.
Let’s see where 2020 takes us and remember to Enjoy The Journey!