The Travel Dispatch

Monthly Preview: What I’m Getting Up To In November 2015

This post was born 12 Nov, 2015 2 Comments
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Is the whole Rip Van Winkle effect stuck in hyper drive or something?

Seriously. How did it already get to be November? I could swear that just yesterday I was stretching my legs as the plane touched down in New York City and marked the beginning of a two month travel break.

But then I blinked or sneezed or underwent some other bodily spasm that forced my eyes shut for half a second and BAM! – I was all of a sudden back in my cramped window seat watching the Manhattan skyline shrink further and further into the background.

Central Park in October

September and October Recap

September and October saw my longest travel-free stint in all of 2015. For a solid two months, the only thing on my agenda was to catch up with friends and finally get my money’s worth out of my apartment (i.e. – actually live in it).

I even found myself serially dating the same man – something my nomadic lifestyle rarely allows. It was refreshing to finally be able to develop a sense of familiarity and normalcy no matter how short lived it may have been. Inevitably my future travel plans will result in his shift to the ‘temporary fixture’ column but so goes the life of a wanderer.

In spite of being home for a stretch, travel still nipped at my heels like a relentless puppy. Each subsequent weekend was spent in a different quarter of Manhattan. I even went so far as to brave the mighty East River as I ventured out to Brooklyn more times in the past two months than I had in the past five years.

This self-proclaimed backyard travel inspired some of my favorite posts:

  • 150 Things Locals Do In New York City – the most comprehensive round-up of all of my favorite spots in NYC including neighborhood breakdowns; little-known museums; touristy attractions worth the crowds; local dining establishments for every meal; and unusual experiences such as burlesque shows. 92% of my time in the city is spent at these places.
  • A Day In Red Hook: Brooklyn’s Isolated Neighborhood – a tiny peninsula at the tip of Brooklyn, Red Hook has escaped the increasing modernity found in many of NY’s gentrified regions. An old town urban atmosphere lingers amongst local wine tasting rooms, artisanal shops, waterfront views, a burgeoning foodie scene, and bars that have been around since the 1800’s.

What I'm getting up to in November 2015 - the girls and I in South Florida

What’s Coming Up in November?

November 2nd kicked off the first of 60 days of travel which will see me wandering through 4 (or more!) different countries including the US, United Kingdom, Italy, and Hungary.

Destination #1 – South Florida

This latest journey started off in a city I’ve struggled to mesh with – Miami. I can’t pinpoint what exactly it is about this metropolis that leaves me with a I hope I don’t ever have to go back mentality. Is it the people? The club scene? The high prices? Is the problem me?

Whatever the cause, I’m perpetually saddened by the disconnect I feel. I’m a practical person and know that falling in love with every place you travel to is an insurmountable feat but at the very least I want to be able to appreciate them.

I attempted to tackle the problem head-on this time around by seeking out a local in hopes of grasping some sort of understanding or even just a like of Miami. More of this will be coming soon to the blog. In the meantime I’ll tease that this latest trip has me thinking that maybe falling for Miami is more of a slow burn.

The statues of Edinburgh Castle in London

Destination #2 – Scotland

Yes you read that right. I will be in Scotland.

In November.

Who visits Scotland in November? NO ONE.

Why you might ask? Apparently it’s cold, rainy, dreary, all -around miserable, and everything is closed. Well, unless you stick to the big cities. Which I’m not because I missed the whole November is coming memo and already had my stubborn heart set on the countryside.

The only month worse than November? January. When was I last in Scotland? January.

Well at least it will be tourist free.

View From Edinburgh Castle in the middle of January

I pop into the capital of Edinburgh this upcoming Sunday for a one night stopover to meet up with a friend (and yes it is that friend all you regular readers are thinking of. The same one I met in Scotland earlier this year while unintentionally crashing his meeting with his father – the one he hadn’t seen in 20 years!).

Maybe this time I won’t be defeated by all that Scottish whiskey.

Yeah…somehow I doubt that.

I’ll be spending the ensuing 7 days in the Perthshire district which is comprised of tiny villages encapsulated by undulating mountains, hills, and rivers. I currently plan on staying in 2 or 3 different towns but haven’t gone so far as to book any accommodation yet. Mostly because I’m lazy. Couple that with a procrastination gene and you get a slightly panicky holy s*** I leave in 2 days and don’t know where I’m going feeling.

If any of you have been to Perthshire and have any recommendations then please let me know! I’m considering Stirling and Perth (mainly because I discovered they have a chocolate festival coming up and well…CHOCOLATE!) as well as hiking between the towns of Dunkeld and Aberfeldy. White-water rafting has been eyed as well but deep down I’m a scaredy-cat. I also hate being cold and wet-cold is worse than dry-cold so TBC on this one.

My favorite view of the Parliament Building from London's Regent Street

Destination #3 – London

Somewhere around the 23rd, I’ll hop aboard a southbound train to Central London.

Well, hopefully.

A ticket has yet to be purchased. Or even researched for that matter.

I’m optimistically under the assumption that Scotland has frequent trains to London that can be bought at the eleventh hour. I mean they are both in the same country so clearly this must be accurate (and so goes the logical thinking pattern of Kristen’s brain).

Supposing this all happens as intended, I should be in London over the Thanksgiving holiday – a first for me as I’ve never celebrated outside of the United States before.

My feelings on this are mixed at best. I love New York during Thanksgiving and I always host an annual orphans’ dinner for all those friends and friends of friends who can’t afford to fly home. It’s became a beloved tradition of mine and I’ll be sad skipping it this year as I face the challenge of spending my favorite holiday in a country that doesn’t even have Thanksgiving on its radar.

But that’s one of the novelties of travel – experiencing things you’ve never experienced before. Besides, there’s always the possibility of meeting fellow expats for an Orphans’ Dinner Does London version.

Blog News for November 2015

Blog Announcements and News

#1 My Upcoming Magazine Article

This month I submitted my third paid freelance piece for Coastal Lifestyle Magazine’s travel section! I’m still in complete shock every time I see my work in print and I’m looking forward to continuing my relationship with this brilliant publication.

You can read my previous two articles here and here.

The next issue will feature Iceland and because I’m so over the moon about the piece, I’ll share a snippet from the article:

“…Eighty percent of the terrain is sparse. Bleak. Barren. Stark. Dense lava fields stretch for miles. Rock formations stand stoic. There is little to no foliage and disparate tones of whites, yellows, browns, and blues typify winter’s color palette. Yet the effect gives way to an uncanny attractiveness. An ethereal allure that for centuries has shrouded Iceland in a sea of mysticism that dares the deepest ambit of one’s imagination to try and capture its elusiveness….”

This issue will be on stands in December so keep your eyes peeled!

I'm Not A Tourist, I Swear! November Newsletter

#2 The Launch of My Monthly Newsletter

November also marked the launch of my first travel newsletter!

This is a project I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into for the past year and after months spent brainstorming and exhausting any and all ideas – I finally pressed send on my first issue last week.

However like many brand new ventures – it did not go off without a hitch thanks to the pesky Spam folder to which my copy was so annoyingly sent to. I’m not sure why this happened nor am I sure of how many of my subscribers were affected. I undertook a bit of research and found some solutions that should help combat this problem in the future so fingers crossed!

If you are signed up and did not receive my November Newsletter then be sure to check your Spam folder and add me to your address book.

For each issue I’ll aim to have a particular travel theme. November was solely dedicated to NYC as I said goodbye to two months at home. I am currently working on ideas for December (something holiday related) and January (maybe a ‘list’ issue with ideas for 2016 travel?!). Stay tuned and if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here:

As always I welcome any recommendations or ideas of things you wonderful readers would like to see! Afterall this newsletter is crafted specifically for YOU!

#3 A Little Bit of Personal News

I just had to throw this in because the best thing in the world happened last week – I’M GETTING A SISTER-IN-LAW! My baby brother popped the question and I could not be happier for him and his lovely fiance – even though it means I now have 6 weddings to attend in 2016. Get ready for tons of posts on US travel that coincide with all of these festivities!

I’ll leave you now with a good laugh – my unfortunate future sister-in-law will soon sport the name Tarah Sarra (And yes it’s pronounced like Sarah. Cheers Tarah Sarah)!

What are you getting up to this month? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Why Suffer From FOMO When You Don’t Have To?

Taking on the classic “round-the-world” route, the next Travel Dispatch journey kicks off Nov 15 as I travel east to west, looping the globe over a period of 12 months with $25,000. Now’s your chance to get in on it from the very beginning!

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2 Comments on "Monthly Preview: What I’m Getting Up To In November 2015"

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Jessi Adair

I just discovered your blog while researching Scotland & Ireland. Love it! My daughters…17 & 18 and I are traveling to Scotland & Ireland over spring break March 2016. We are traveling with EF Tours (educational-through our high school). Thanks for the insight. We are getting so excited about our trip!
Jessi Adair
Blanchard, Oklahoma