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Just when you thought it was impossible for Kathy to travel again, she announces I AM GOING TO ECUADOR TOMORROW. Are you kidding me? As she says these words, even she bangs her head in disbelief.
After all, she has just returned from a week-long trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida – spending half of her time on a luxury trip sponsored by Visit Lauderdale showcasing many of the area’s wonderful sights, foods and experiences – and the other half attending a fabulous travel blogger conference known as TBEX. (Before that, it was South Africa, preceded by Peru, Brazil, India, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic and Japan earlier this year….)
She kicks herself for not blogging much over the past week (I’m a travel blogger, so shouldn’t I be able to travel and blog at the same time?) and for so much absence from her work (friends are starting to ask her if she’s retired). And then there’s the accumulation of paper and tasks, which keeps piling up ($#$!!!&^%$!).
So, what is going on? Here’s the scoop. A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a 7-day media trip to Ecuador sponsored by the cities of Quito and Cuenca as part of their new alliance with LAN Airlines. A preliminary itinerary was attached, which I read with amazement. Nearly all expenses for the trip are covered, in exchange for which, media and social media coverage during and after the trip is expected. At first I didn’t think this was real, but I researched it and found out it was genuine. I said yes. The media trip will be attended by six journalists/bloggers together with a tour guide.
Holy wow. I am honored. This is amazing. I am beyond excited. I received approval to take more time off from work (it’s a good thing I have accrued so much vacation time over the years) and now, here I am packing again (have I mentioned that I detest packing?), researching the many cities, sights, hotels and restaurants that I will soon be visiting. In exchange for going to the middle of the world, I am bargaining with myself (much like bargaining with the devil) that I’ll lay low on travel for at least a few months (really, I promise!). Simultaneously, I am researching which travel insurance to buy and wondering whether ginkgo biloba really helps with altitude illness issues. Pinch me!
Already there are some glitches (such as not being able to check in online or get seats because of a group reservation), and I’m sure there will be others along the way (but hopefully they will be minimal).
I’m looking forward to (another) trip of a lifetime and sharing it. Please join in on this exciting adventure! Sometimes there is a time lag on blog posts, but the INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK and TWITTER sites should be closer to real-time posting, so please follow and like and interact on these social media channels too.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.