I’ve been back in California for over a month now.
Yup, five whole weeks and I’ve only given subtle hints to what I’m actually up to. And while it may seem like I’m just hanging out, things have been brewing. I’ve been planning, brainstorming and scheming…and it’s been pretty hard to keep quiet.
The time has finally come to inform the blogosphere on what the heck the rest of my year looks like!
First, what I’ve been up to:
While living at home, I’ve been catching up on Brazil blog posts in hopes to become a solid resource for others planning on backpacking the country. I think six weeks of basically ‘winging it’ taught me more than enough to be able to pass advice to others. Interestingly, there isn’t much about Brazil online from the travel blogging community, which I think is strange for such a large country.
While I understand that these might not be the most interesting of subjects if you don’t plan on going there anytime soon, I’m still hoping to mix it up here and there when I can. I’ve got a list of blog posts about a mile long, and I’m slowly making my way through them.
Um, also, did you notice the site redesign?! Yup, I’ve been wanting to do this forever now, and I finally got to it. It’s not completely finished and I’ve still got a handful of tweaks to make, but I love it so far.
When I’m not blogging (which I’ve realized I’m painfully slow at. I blame my new obsession– Criminal Minds. Shemar Moore, am I right?!), I’ve been doing some virtual assistant work for Young Adventuress. If you haven’t seen my two articles over there about Iceland, you can read them here and here.
Right after I came back from Brazil, I hosted Amanda of Farsickness on a bender of a weekend. One of our missions was to try as many of San Diego’s craft breweries as possible. Since there are 96 of them scattered around the county, we obviously failed at getting anywhere close to that. We did have a blast though, and even ended up at the Tecate brewery in Mexico for an afternoon. It took me an entire week to recover.
I’ve also done my fair share of driving up and down the California coast within the last month. I went up to San Francisco with my mom (the reason will be revealed below) and then through Napa and onward to Sacramento to stay with some family. On our return, we drove down the coastal Highway 1 through Monterrey Bay and Big Sur before cutting back to the boring Interstate 5. It was a long day of driving, but a beautiful one nonetheless. I also spotted a few whales out in the ocean!
Two weekends later I went camping with a friend in Los Padres National forest near Morro Bay. He lives in L.A., so the first night was spent doing the only thing I ever do in Los Angeles– go to Koreatown. We ate a feast big enough for three or four just between the two of us, then ended up at a noraebang singing all our favorite 90’s jams. We were the only non-Koreans there, and I swore I had just flown back to Korea for the night. It was surreal.
The rest of the weekend was spent exploring California’s central coast including Morro Bay, San Simeon and Hearst Castle. We cooked campfire meals at night, drank whiskey and prayed we weren’t about to be murdered. (Okay, I prayed. Too much Criminal Minds!)
And now….next week I’m flying to a whole new side of the world!
This has been in the works since December and I’m so excited to finally share about it. Next Friday I’ll be flying to JORDAN to spend a week exploring with some of my blogger soul mates— Amanda, Julika and Ashley! This will be the first time for all of us in the Middle East and we barely know what to expect.
All I know is that I can’t wait to see Petra, eat everything in sight and take hundreds and hundreds of photos!
We will be visiting with the company of Visit Jordan on a campaign we’ve coined #GirlsGoneJordan. (Remember #GirlsGoneMAD when these girls came to visit me in Madrid?) Although the Middle East isn’t a popular region at the moment, and isn’t typically known for its female tourism, we hope to show otherwise.
We’ll be spending the week adventuring with a twist. We want to meet the local women. Do girly things. Basically explore the country from the eyes of four great friends on an adventurous female holiday. I can’t wait to document and share how it goes!
Over the years I’ve learned that in many ways the media does more bad than good. This is especially the case for the Middle East. Although ISIS is everything anyone ever hears about in the region, there are, in fact, safe and amazing places to visit. I’ll be addressing this topic more in detail in a blog post next week.
My new JOB.
Yup, you read correctly. I’ve taken on a new job path– one that I’ve always wanted to try but the timing and the company never felt right. My road trip to San Francisco was actually for the final interview, and a couple of weeks ago I was informed that I got the job!
This summer I’ll be a tour leader with PEAK Adventure travel, the brand manager for companies such as Intrepid Travel and Trek America. Basically, I’ll be driving groups of people around the U.S. visiting our most beautiful national parks and cities while camping along the way. It’ll be one insane summer and I’m so excited (and anxious!) to start.
It’s also about time I explored my own country, you know?
I was hoping to start earlier, but on May 25th I’ll be beginning an intensive four week training. There I’ll get my commercial driver’s license, practice driving with the trailer, perfect the art of campfires and so much more. We will also embark on a two week mock tour starting from Northern California.
Once the training ends, it’ll be me, a group of mostly 20-somethings and the open road! Also, I could be assigned to any tours in the U.S., so who knows where the job will take me!
There is a lot that this job entails. From tour guide, to friend, to van driver, to national park expert, to personal photographer, to mechanic…I’ll be a chameleon of sorts. I feel like it’s hard to explain, but this genius infographic made by a current tour leader does an amazing job of summing up what my life could look like:
What this means for the blog.
Getting this job means a few interesting things for Curiosity Travels. Put simply, blogging will have to take the back burner from late May until the end of September while I’m working. Still, before I embark in May I hope to compile as many blog posts as I can in advance so I can still be active here. I love blogging and I’d hate to abandon it! Also, if I do happen to have free time, I’ll be trying my best to write…sanity and rest depending.
In my eyes, one extra plus of this job is getting a new topic to cover here. I hope to give insight on what life as a tour guide is really like and tips on how you can do it as well.
And….after the tour season?
The end of September will mark the close of the tour season. With no plans (and *hopefully* money saved) only one thing came to mind– Asia!
In mid-October I plan on attending the travel blogging conference TBEX Bangkok. Next, I think I’ll spend the following six-ish weeks revisiting this amazing part of the world which I’ve been missing. I haven’t made many plans yet, but I have a couple ideas so far. Maybe I’ll rest on a Thai island for a week, revisit Vietnam just to eat and then explore two new countries– Indonesia and Sri Lanka perhaps?
So…lots of changes over here and I can’t wait to bring all of you along for the ride! On that topic, help me out—
What are you excited to read about from the above? What would you like me to try and write more about? What thoughts do you have in general, about anything, (even Criminal Minds)! Let me hear it!