Lessons of Global Travel 

I’ve kept much of my Central America trip open to allow fluidity and an opportunity to truly be present in the moment. Even though I’ve traveled to about 12 countries, I learn something new every time I travel.  Here are a few lessons I learned even before I took off:

1.  Chase Sapphire Reserve:  Seriously, what an amazing credit card! Did I mention that there are no foreign transaction fees?  In addition, they also grant you access to 900+ airport lounges all around the world via the Priority Pass.  If you ever have a long layover, you can eat, drink, sleep, or simply hangout in these lounges. Lesson learned: Make more use of this amazing card and make sure to bring the Priority Pass Membership Card everytime I travel. 

2. Flying to Guatemala: So as I mentioned I tried to keep my Central America as open as possible.  I only purchased a flight to Guatemala without an exit trip.  I thought I was being more flexible and spontaneous than my usual Type-A self by leaving it open. However, I learned that there are a few things that actually need planning like an exit trip from Guatemala. I tried checking-in online, but the website stated that I needed to check-in at the counter.  I made an attempt to check-in at the counter only to discover that I couldn’t because I didn’t have an exit plan. Oopsies. If you choose to stay in Guatemala for more than 90 days, you will need a visa.  I never planned on staying that long, but apparently the ticket agent couldn’t read my mind. I jumped on my iPad and used Kayak to help me buy my ticket. Lesson Learned: Purchase a ticket to AND from Guatemala. 

3. Travel Backpacking:  I planned on only bringing my handy dandy Tom Binh 40 L Travel Backpack along with my purse. I’ve had my luggage stolen/lost when traveling abroad, so I thought that this would be the way to go.  When I got to the counter to check-in, not only am I surprised that I have to buy an exit ticket, but now I also found out that I had to check-in my 40 L Tom Binh Travel Backpack because it was over the carry-on weight limit. I may have panicked a little bit as I had the ticket agent assure me about a thousand times that my backpack would make it from SF to Guatemala City. Did I mention I also had a 42 minute layover in Panama City to get on my flight to Guatemala City? To say that I was a little bit nervous about this tight layover was an understatement. I would be gone for about 3 months and if my backpack didn’t make it then what would I do?  I whispered to myself, “Be flexible.”  Lesson learned: For Copa Airlines, your carry-on can weigh no more than 10 kg.

I’m a travel PT by profession; however, in between assignments I integrate my passion for service, learning, and global travel. I just started a YouTube channel to document my travels through Central America. Come join me in my journey. Follow me on IG @TheVagabondingDPT, Twitter @AprilFajardoPT, YouTube @TheVagabondingDPT, and my FB Page @TheVagabondingDPT.  

The little guy, Dino, featured below was gifted to me by my former co-workers at St. Mary’s Hospital.  I promised them that I would bring him along on all my travels, so you’ll be seeing him around. #TheVagabondingDPT 

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