2014 – What an amazing 12 months!!
That’s pretty much the best and only way to sum up our experiences and adventures in 2014. Everything from the Ryder Cup in Scotland to meeting some amazing new friends at TBEX in Cancun, we had an absolute blast. But I will say that this last 12 months has come with a price (financially) and a realization that full-time travel is not for us. Even though we have been part-time travelers, our travel schedule over this last 12 months has been so hectic that it made us feel like we were full-time nomads.
However, I don’t think either of us would change anything that has happened over the last 12 months and we look forward to continuing our adventures in the new year. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from our 2014 travels and what made this such a memorable year.
Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
At the end of 2013 we earned enough Rapid Rewards points to gain companion pass status for 2014. This was HUGE for us as it allowed us to purchase one airfare and get one free, essentially saving us 50% on every trip we took. We knew that we had to maximize this ‘golden ticket’ so we set out in early 2014 with the intentions of taking various weekend getaways. This essentially led us to identifying ourselves in the travel blogging market with our niche of ‘Exploring the world one weekend at a time’.
Many people commented on our Facebook page and Twitter feed saying that we are ‘experts’ on weekend travel, and although I hesitate to use such a strong word, it’s nice to know that people appreciate our advice and suggestions on weekend trips especially around USA.
USA Travel – Weekend Getaways
2014 was certainly the year for the weekend getaway in our household! Whether we left late on Friday after work or early Saturday morning, we certainly maximized our time in all the spots we headed to.
The first part of the year saw us take our first weekend trip in January to Philadelphia where we encountered plenty of snow and frigid conditions but this failed to dampen our spirits as we explored all of the history in the City of Brotherly Love. A couple of weeks later we headed to Minneapolis where we experienced the Mall of America among many other things. We also took this opportunity to cross the border into Wisconsin and spend some time there.
April saw us head on a road trip around the Ohio Valley as we visited Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville and Nashville in one weekend! Plan, plan, plan is our best advice when it comes to maximizing your time during weekend trips. Early in May we jetted off to Chicago for the weekend where we spent some time walking around the downtown areas along with sampling some Chicago style pizza.
A long weekend trip to Fort Lauderdale and Miami in June involved watching England play their last warm-up match against Honduras prior to heading down to Brazil for the World Cup. Beach time on the gorgeous beaches of Boca Raton was of course welcomed and we also explored many of the Florida suburbs in this part of the state.
Entering the second half of the year, we headed to St. Louis for the weekend to watch a Cardinals game and the week after we returned to Louisville for the PGA Championship at Valhalla (this was probably the worst golf tournament I have ever watched simply because of the torrential rain and horrendous weather conditions we had to suffer through). Soon after this ‘golf trip’ we headed to New Jersey and New York in early August to watch the FedEx Cup playoffs and also caught the opening morning of the US Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows.
Memorial Day weekend gave us the opportunity to head to Houston and use the CityPASS to experience many of the top attractions here. We headed to Galveston for a half-day trip before venturing west to San Antonio for a day and explore the Alamo and Mission Trail.
October was a month for recuperation after a hectic September schedule so we didn’t do anything in terms of short weekend getaways. November saw us head to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in partnership with the tourism board here and we really had a great experience with excellent cuisine, great adventures and awesome accommodations.
Our Thanksgiving was spent traveling around as we embarked on an ambitious road trip taking in the Smoky Mountains, North and South Carolina, Philadelphia and New York City before driving back to Arkansas. 3000 miles later and we achieved our goal in just seven days!
I headed back to England for a week during March which didn’t go down too well with Heather but with different work schedules, I had to use some vacation time and a perfect opportunity arose to see my family when I picked up a really good airfare.
We were both excited about our trip to Boston over Labor Day weekend as we rented a car and headed north through New Hampshire, Maine and across the border into Canada to explore Quebec City. We spent two days there before heading west to Montreal and then returning across the US border to visit the states of Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and of course Massachusetts.
September saw us visit Mexico for the first time (Heather had been there on a cruise before) as we headed to Cancun for our very first TBEX conference. This was a great way to meet fellow travel bloggers and like-minded people, but also an opportunity to network with brands and develop some prosperous relationships.
Soon after TBEX, we were on our travels again as we headed across the pond to Copenhagen for a couple of days before flying into Manchester and heading north to the Ryder Cup in Scotland. I am a big-time golf fan and clearly will fly across the world to watch this sport and fortunately Heather is right by my side with her love of this game (at least in terms of the Ryder Cup!).
At the end of October we headed to Seattle and drove north across the border to the city of Vancouver where we spent two days.
Our final trip of 2014 was a European adventure where we first flew into Iceland before spending Christmas with my family in England. On Boxing Day we flew into Rome and headed off for a week long rail journey taking in Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany.
2014 Travel Calendar
- Minneapolis and Wisconsin
- Los Angeles (Chris)
- St. Louis (Heather)
- Ohio Valley (Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville and Nashville)
- Boston Road Trip (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Quebec City, Montreal)
- Chicago and Michigan
- Fort Lauderdale
- St. Louis
- New Jersey and New York (FedEx Cup golf and US Open Tennis)
- Cancun, Mexico
- Copenhagen, Denmark and Scotland (Ryder Cup golf)
- Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
- Smoky Mountains, Charlotte NC, Greenville SC, Richmond VA, Philadelphia, New York City
- Iceland, England, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria
Now we can all breathe!! Because 2014 was unbelievable, breathtaking and an eye-opening experience for both of us all rolled into one. As we reflect on this amazing year with so many memories that we will always cherish, we now have to look towards 2015 and what the next 12 months has in store. It will be tough to top or even equal 2014 but I am sure whatever happens we will make this another year of amazing adventures.
We want to take this opportunity to wish all of our followers a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and thank you all for your AMAZING support that makes everything we do worthwhile. We look forward to continuing to share our adventures with you.