Before celebrating the start of a new secular year, I’m reflecting on 2018. I apologize for contributing fewer stories to this blog than in past years. My attention has been primarily focused on family events as well as growing my brand in multiple places. While most of my travel stories appeared elsewhere, I will share the highlights in this end of year blog. In 2019, I will make an effort to keep my loyal blog followers more up to date with my travels.
In 2018, Ira and I welcomed two new grandsons into the world. Our grandchildren doubled within a matter of a few months. With four grandchildren and another due in 2019, we are grateful for the opportunity to pass down our experiences and traditions with the next generation. Perhaps, some day soon, we can share our love of skiing. We have already been able to introduce our grandchildren to the majesty of the Rocky Mountains and have traveled biannually with our expat grandson. My intergenerational story about a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park appeared in Grand magazine.
When Ira and I are not enjoying our expanding family, we continue to explore the world. In January, we traveled to Hong Kong, the embarkation point for a two-week Celebrity cruise. We visited three ports of call in Vietnam, spent two nights in Bangkok and then completed our cruise in Singapore. While I continue to pitch stories about our Asian adventure, I have published numerous stories that showcase our experiences.
Jewish Treasures of the Orient, History Comes Alive In Hong Kong, Asian Immersion Cruise Aboard Celebrity Millennium, The Snack—Hong Kong Haw Flakes, The Peninsula Bangkok, Hong Kong Foodie Tour, 3 Reasons Why Vietnams is Becoming a Mecca for Cultural Travelers., and Put Singapore on Your 2019 Bucket List Before It’s too Late.
Intergenerational Travel in India
After leaving Singapore, we headed to India to see our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Since our time together is extremely limited, we always try to maximize our visits with short intergenerational trips in Asia and the U.S. While in Asia, we flew to Kochi (Cochin), a city in Kerala. While our stay was brief, I learned more about the Jewish community that once prospered in the region. My story, Remembering the Jews of Kerala, India, appeared in the Canadian Jewish News in April. A couple more stories about Cochin will be published in 2019. I also published another story in the Canadian Jewish News about Mumbai’s Bene Israel synagogues.
Extended Family Time in Chicago
In February, I flew back to Chicago to spend time with my elderly mother. She’s in her 90s and has until recently been blessed with excellent health. Fortunately, friends and family made this journey a bit easier.
Back Home in Colorado
When I returned to Colorado, I divided my time between the Front Range and Summit County. Wintertime is designed for skiing and brisk walks in crisp, mountain snow. For the first time in over a decade, I skied with three of our four sons. Business, travel schedules, and family obligations make it harder and harder to find quality family time. In the early spring, we were able to sneak in a Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs game with our eldest grandson. Yes, even though we have lived in Colorado for almost two decades, we are still loyal Cub fans.
Whenever possible, I attended the Visit Denver and Colorado Tourism events. When I learned about the upcoming IPW conference, I applied and was accepted to this premier event that markets U.S destinations to foreign journalists.
Travel Classics & Exploring Quebec
After having a positive experience at the pre and post tours associated with the Travel Classics conference in Tucson, Arizona, I reserved a spot at the May conference in Montreal. I reunited with fellow travel writers and met with top tier travel magazine editors.
Prior to the TC conference, I explored Quebec’s countryside with a handful of other writers. In Montreal, I visited historical sites and also learned about Jewish food in Montreal. My published story about Charlevoix, Quebec only tells part of the story. A few more travel stories will hopefully be in print soon.
My fellow colleagues suggested that I join the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). I’m now a member of both organizations.
Sonoma County, California
I organized my first independent media trip to Sonoma County and San Francisco in mid June to coincide with our anniversary. Although I was a bit overwhelmed with our options, Sonoma County Tourism and San Francisco Travel were able to provide wonderful assistance. I shared our amazing getaway with several entities. Sonoma County Wants Culinary Travelers to Know This One Thing, Kenwood Inn & Spa: a Boutique Inn in the Heart of Sonoma Wine Country, One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, San Francisco Weekend Getaways, Where to Eat in Chinatown in San Francisco.
Intergenerational Travel–Chicago & Colorado
When our expat grandson and his family returned to the U.S., we divided our time between Chicago and the Colorado mountains. High points from our Chicago visit included the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Kohl’s Children Museum. Even though our mountain preference is Summit County, we took a road trip to Crested Butte. Three out of our four sons were able to join us in a fully-equipped rental home. We located multiple, kid-friendly trails and wonderful restaurants. An intergenerational story is in the process of being written.
During one of our numerous summer trips to Summit County, we took a detour to Leadville. More than a decade ago, I searched for the once vibrant, 19th century Jewish community. This time around, I was pleasantly surprised to find a museum. With updated information, I wrote the story, A Synagogue and Cemetery High Above Sea Level.
Colorado Road Trip
For Ira’s birthday, we took a weeklong road trip. This time, I connected with various entities along our Colorado loop to secure complimentary stays and media rates. We enjoyed our time in Pagosa Springs, Mesa Verde, Gateway Canyons Resort, and Glenwood Springs. Click the links to read my stories.
Banff and Lake Louise
Since the time I was a small child and my parents talked about their honeymoon in Banff and Lake Louise, I’ve wanted to travel to the Canadian Rockies. When Ira received an invitation for a legal conference at the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort, we agreed to attend. We had an amazing time hiking to the famous teahouses. During Ira’s conference, I explored the lesser-known local museums. Yes, there are informative museums in Banff.
San Diego, California
We took a quick respite at home and then we were on the road again. This time, we were headed to San Diego to celebrate my birthday. Thank you to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and The U.S Grant Hotel. We were treated like royalty during our comped stays. We divided our time between the city and countryside. I spent my birthday morning trekking the coastal paths at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park and the afternoon kayaking in the Pacific Ocean near La Jolla. In 2019, a story will appear in Real Food Traveler that highlights our time in San Diego.
Rock Star Travel Writers
In the fall, I was honored to be featured in Roy Stevenson’s, Rock Star Travel Writers. In his book, Roy highlights 15 travel writers and provides insider tips , tools, tactics and habits that have helped travel journalists have successful careers.
Charleston, Beaufort, & Hilton Head
At IPW in Denver, I met travel representatives from South Carolina and the City of Charleston. By using these contacts, I was able to visit the region for the very first time. The Canadian Jewish News will be publishing two of my stories in 2019 and another story was recently published on the Real Food Traveler site. Yum… Northerners can enjoy LowCountry food.
Chicago’s North Shore–Evanston & Skokie
I combined a family celebration in Highland Park, Illinois with a business trip to Evanston. Thank you to Visit Chicago North Shore for arranging a stay at the Hilton Orrington Hotel and visits to the Halim Time and Glass Museum and Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. In the coming year, my stories about this trip will be published.
Galapagos Islands Aboard Celebrity’s Xpedition
Just last week, Ira and I returned from a bucket list trip to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. While I wholeheartedly admit that for decades I have been a loyal customer of the Celebrity Cruises brand, I cannot stop raving about the extraordinary adventure that we had aboard the Xpedition as well as the post land trip to Peru. It far exceeded our expectations. I’m still organizing photos and formulating story ideas. This blog sums up my travel adventures in 2018. In the coming year, I will be sharing our incredible South American experience along with all of the other stories that have yet to be published.
May 2019 be the best year of your life. In addition to spending time with family, plan to expand your horizons and step outside your comfort zone by exploring a new destination.
When Sandy isn’t trekking or writing in the Colorado Rockies, she is traveling. She has visited more than 40 countries and lived as an international teacher in Bangalore, India. As the the content coordinator for Golden Living, a Best Version Media publication, she writes family and business feature stories and contributes a monthly travel tip column.
Sandy shares her lifestyle and travel experiences with international and domestic online sites and print media. Her stories have appeared in Hemispheres, Destinations Magazine, KUHL’s Born in the Mountain blog, Grand Magazine, Wandering Educators, Golden Living, One Travel, Miles Away, Canadian Jewish News, Getting On Travel, Far and Wide, Colorado Parent, Traveler Confidential, Family Circle- Momster, and others.
Sandy’s award-winning book, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, is a resource for people contemplating an expat lifestyle and living outside their comfort zone. This memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.
Last year, Sandy created a second website, The Traveling Bornsteins, that focuses exclusively on travel.