It’s the Final Countdown!

The international portion of my “round the world” journey begins in less than a week, and I am so excited that I might explode!  I am headed to Cartegena, Colombia on August 25, 2013.  I am currently registered for six weeks of Spanish language classes at Centro Catalina Spanish language school.  Centro Catalina has set me up to live with a local Colombian family, so I can completely immerse myself in the language and the culture.  After I become fluent, I will continue traveling through Central and South America.  I have no set plans after the first six weeks in Cartegena, so I guess I will sort that out when the time comes.  Any suggestions are welcome!

It’s been almost four months since I left San Francisco on this adventure.  I can say that time moves slower when you aren’t working and you don’t have a set schedule of things to do or a ton of friends around.  I did my fair share of sitting by the pool this summer.  Luckily, I do feel like I accomplished a few things staying in the U.S. for the first four months of my RTW.  Below is a list of when I have done:

1.  Spent quality time with my friends and family, especially my wonderful mom.

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2.  Checked “Visit All 50 States” off my bucket list.

3.  Read eight novels, including The Language of Flowers, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and Defending Jacob.

4.  Completed the Duolingo Spanish language iPhone app.

5.  Gained 10 lbs. driving around the country noshing on health food choices like Memphis BBQ and Chicago Pizza.

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6.  Lost the 10 lbs. with a crazy diet called “Eat Less/Better and Exercise More”.  I also give credit to Evolution Fitness bootcamp with Jenny, Just Fitness Classes, the documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”, Gracie’s Gear Virtual Training, my friend Lauren Gendler‘s “SugarFree3” plan, and a juicer.

7.  Got used to not having many “things” and even harder still, not buying more things.

8.  Mentally prepared for a life of full time travel.

So, in the next week I am trying to finish up last minute details, planning, packing.  One detail for friends and family, I will be shutting off my cell phone and I will lose the 444 phone number.  I am planning on getting a SIM card for my iPhone and a local phone number in Colombia, but until that happens, email or Facebook will be the best way to contact me.

Hasta la vista baby!

Categories: Friends and Family, RTW, USA | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “It’s the Final Countdown!

  1. Lisa

    First, I have to say that ‘Defending Jacob’ was an incredible book! Second, I find it hilarious that we are the only picture going crazy and not poised and posed! We had the best time with you here. Have fun on your next adventure. We’ll be thinking of you! Love from Virginia!

  2. Craig

    Thanks for the lovely update.  You’re a natural talent to be a world travel consultant, a future Conde Nest reviewer.  I look forward to hearing more.  Best wishes!

    Warmest Regards,


  3. Lauren

    Buen viaje, Laurie! Q tienes un viaje buenissima en Colombia. La gente son tan amables!! Y gracias por notar mi programa SF3 y mi FB! Espero q todo le va bien en S. America… Tengo recomendaciones 🙂

  4. Mom

    So proud of you, see the world for me too daughter, love you and will miss you it was a pleasure have you with me !

  5. Bev

    All the best on your travels…keep the postings up! You are a natural, and you will love the travel part. Those are the memories that carry you the rest of your life,something will always remind you of this or that. Those of us in Red Cross, wish you well on your new adventures to Columbia!

  6. Wow, just clicked on your website when Chris Portal shared it on his Facebook. Although I don’t know you, I am wicked jealous of the journey ahead of you and yet inspired at the same time. Have amazing fun and come back safely.

  7. Dee

    Hi Laurie, I have been in Virginia for a while but finally had time to get caught up on your blog. I found myself very excited for you as you follow your dreams of travel filled with adventure and learning new cultures. But at the same time, I became rather emotional since we enjoyed your visit and spending time with you and won’t be able to do that again for a long while. I hope only the best for you and look forward to hearing what you find in your travels. All my love, Aunt Dee

    • Thanks Aunt Dee! I am so glad we got to spend time together this summer. I will be taking you on my trip virtually and in my heart. xoxox, Laurie

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