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Perfect Amount of Time for Any Travel Destination: Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

What We’ve Been Up To: December 2017 Review

Monthly Reviews

From a travel perspective, December has been one of our quietest months since leaving the USA for full-time travel–so quiet, in fact, that I almost didn’t write this post.

Ultimately, though, I love having this month-by-month record of our travels to look back on, and I know that future-me would be less than pleased with current-me if I skipped it.

Sadly, we also took approximately zero photos this month, so I’ll be getting a bit creative with photos for this post!

That being said, here’s our quiet December review–I imagine it will be quite some time until we have a block of time with so little travel again.

Where We’ve Been:

San Antonio, Texas

Beaufort, North Carolina (Kate)

Indianapolis, Indiana (Jeremy)

Edmond & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Light Travel Reads, Summer Books

Highlights of December 2017:

Almost all of our highlights this month centered around family: my cross-country road trip to help my mom and her three cute terriers move from San Antonio, Texas to Beaufort, North Carolina, seeing all of our extended family in Edmond, Oklahoma for Christmas, playing endless tabletop games with my grandparents.

The only real traveling we did this month was my road trip (which was wonderful, but also interesting–see challenges below), and Jeremy’s work trip to Indianapolis, which naturally didn’t leave a lot of time for sightseeing!

Challenges of December 2017:

My mom and I were caught in a freak snowstorm in southern Louisiana on the first full day of our road trip from Texas to North Carolina–we almost couldn’t believe our eyes.

That day saw snow all across the southeastern USA, and we ended up having to pull over and stop driving for the day well before we intended to.

The next day, we were driving through Alabama and ended up hitting two separate hour-long detours due to road closures (which we don’t think were due to the weather, as it had cleared up by then), along with several places that had backed up traffic.

All in all, what should have been a 2-3 day road trip ended up taking a solid 4 days!

Luckily, we had lots of fun along the way–it was great to have so much one-on-one time with my mom, and I loved getting to snuggle with the dogs–but the actual driving was a mess!

Day Trip to Cape Lookout

Featured Travel Product of the Month:

SteriPen

We’re hoping that this year will include more travel in regions where tap water isn’t safe to drink, so we’re getting ready to break out our Steripen again!

We love being able to create safe-to-drink tap water wherever we go, and love the money and environmental waste we’re able to save by not buying water bottles as we go.

This thing was a lifesaver during our travels to Mexico and Central America last year… we will see where it takes us next!

Most Popular Instagram Photo:

This photo of one of Semuc Champey’s less-photographed spots was loved on Instagram–and by us.

We found this spot by walking just a few minutes away from the crowds and spent some time relaxing here without another tourist in sight.

View this post on Instagram

Imagine a rural destination that is 8 hours in an uncomfortable shuttle van away from any other tourist destinations, and yet is still worth the hassle to get there. That's Semuc Champey. * Deep in the jungle of Guatemala, this series of crystal clear interconnected pools is waiting for anyone who makes the trek to get there, and we are so glad we made the effort. * Shots of people swimming in the beautiful pools and the gorgeous overhead view available higher up on one of the cliffs tend to get all the Instagram love (and you can scroll down to photos from earlier this year to see our shots of those points), but we also loved this more rustic view a short hike away from the bulk of the tourists: this spot just speaks to the magical otherworldliness of Semuc Champey. * Who knows if or when we'll ever make it back out here--but if you're headed to Guatemala for the first time, it is definitely worth the trouble. * * * * #semucchampey #guatemala #ig_guatemala #visitguatemala #perhapsyouneedalittleguatemala #exploreguatemala #centralamerica #waterfallsfordays #chasingwaterfalls #guardiantravelsnaps #takemethere #traveldeeper #awesome_earthpix #timeoutsociety #getoutstayout #keepitwild #earthvisuals #landscape_lovers #welivetoexplore #beautifulplaces #neverstopexploring #doyoutravel #lonelyplanet #optoutside #rei1440project #adventureculture #departedoutdoors #wearewild #liveyouradventure #staywild

A post shared by Kate & Jeremy 🌍 Travel Couple (@ourescapeclause) on

December 2017 Posts:

2 Days in Florence: The Ultimate Itinerary — Everything you need to know about where to go & what to do during two days in Florence! I start to miss Italy like crazy every time I write about it, and this post was no exception.

3 Days in Venice in November: Was it Worth it? — Venice took us completely by surprise, in the very best way! We went in thinking that we would feel neutral about the city, and left determined to visit again one day.

Ghent or Bruges: Which One Should You Visit? — The two most well-known Flemish cities are both popular with tourists–here are their similarities and differences, and how to pick which one to visit (if you must).

We Have to Go Back: Our Favorite New Destinations of 2017 — We decided to make both of our year-end posts from last year traditions, starting with this one! Destinations in Mexico, Central America, the USA and Europe made the list this year.

Travel Stories of 2017: Our Year in 9 Vignettes — Of all the wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting, frustrating, and joyful travel moments of 2017, here are nine that stick out the most.

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Without a doubt, spending the month of October living in Tuscany was one of the major highlights of our year. * From watching the foliage slowly change, to horseback riding through vineyards, to riding a Vespa for the first time, to wandering the streets of Florence, to indulging in all the pasta, wine, gelato, and cheese we could get our hands on, it was an absolutely incredible month. * Even the weather cooperated: during the month we spent living in Florence and visiting other spots around Tuscany, we had roughly 28 sunny days, and it was almost always around 75 degrees. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather. * We miss Tuscany already--here's hoping we'll get a chance to visit again sooner rather than later. * * * * #tuscany #toscana #discovertuscany #arezzo #italy #italygram #italytravel #ilovetuscany #italy_photolovers #iloveitaly #visit_tuscany #italy_vacations #gltlove #wearetravelgirls #ig_europe #living_europe #photosinbetween #theprettycities #sheisnotlost #thatsdarling #thatauthenticfeeling #flashesofdelight #openmyworld #globelletravels #femmetravel #unlimitedparadise #abmlifeiscolorful #abmtravelbug #traveldeeper #letsgoeverywhere

A post shared by Kate & Jeremy 🌍 Travel Couple (@ourescapeclause) on

What’s Next:

It feels weird to say this, but I think that 2018 might be even more of a blank slate than 2016 or 2017 were at the start of the year!

I have no idea exactly where our travels will lead us (other than to amazing places), but I do have a first destination to share: New Orleans!

In less than two weeks, Jeremy and I are packing up our bags and heading south to the Big Easy for the very first time.

New Orleans has been on our list for ages (we’ve planned and canceled several trips there), and I suspect we’re going to love it. We love traveling in the American South, and Savannah ranks as one of our favorite US cities.

While New Orleans will no doubt have a flavor all its own, I think it will fit in very nicely with our tastes.

We’re looking forward to eating our way through the city, enjoying some jazz, and checking out all the tourist highlights on our first trip!

This will also make Louisiana the 23rd US State we have visited together. Once upon a time before our full-time travel life, we set a very reasonable goal of visiting all 50 US States together before our 50th wedding anniversary–at this rate, we may need to move that up by a few decades!

16 Comments Write a comment

Kate has been traveling full-time with her husband Jeremy (the other half of Our Escape Clause) for more than 2 years. She tries to keep a balance between going on new adventures and exploring favorite destinations (like Italy!) in depth, and is always on the lookout for the next beautiful overlook and delicious meal.

16 Comments

  • Dada January 4, 2018

    I think December should be reserved to family and friends as the Christmas and new year are approaching so I think it was great you making a road trip with your mum. I wish I could be that close with my own mum so we could have a daughter and mother road trip but if we were ever left alone we would have injured each other. Inspite of less travel in December, you still got to do quite a lot! Looking forward to read your travel adventures in 2018. Happy new year!

    • Kate Storm January 4, 2018

      It’s definitely nice to have the break for family, it’s true! It’s a very nice reset before going out into the world again. 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Paulina January 4, 2018

    Wow what an eventful year! I love how you make the most of your time and travel whenever you can. I would love to visit Tuscany though… all the pictures look so pretty.

    • Kate Storm January 4, 2018

      Thanks! Tuscany is amazing–I’ve been working on a couple more Italy posts this week, and it makes me miss it terribly! Hopefully we’ll get to visit again in 2018. 🙂

  • Suzanne Bhagan January 4, 2018

    You’re so lucky to live in such a vast country that you can spend a lifetime exploring. Good luck on your future travels for 2018. Also, thanks for bringing up the Steripen. It’s been on my radar recently.

    • Kate Storm January 4, 2018

      That’s a great point–we’ll never run out of things to do in the USA! Hope you enjoy the Steripen as much as we do, it has come in very handy.

  • Lydia Smith January 4, 2018

    Though you didn’t travel much, you must have had fulfillment with the little you had especially the trip with your mom. I always love Decembers, there are for families. The extended families and the house is always full. That picture at Semuc Champey is just too amazing. And that picture of you at Tuscany with the house serving as props is beautiful.

    • Kate Storm January 4, 2018

      Thank you! I love those photos, too. And December for families is a great way to think of it–a bit of a respite here at home.

  • Bailey Mills January 4, 2018

    You may have gotten creative with your photos, but they are all super relevant and awesome. A snowstorm in Louisiana? That is definitely strange. December is always an important month to make sure you see family and cherish those close to you, so good on you for that. I am glad you had such an awesome month!

    • Kate Storm January 4, 2018

      It really was–we probably picked one of the worst weather days in years to drive through Louisana, but oh well! We made the most of it.

  • Dan January 5, 2018

    I’m inspired by your “review” post. What a good way to reflect on all those unforgettable (and the forgettable) travel moments that we live throughout the year. I was also at Semuc Champey in Guatemala in 2017. I love the snap you took of the water and can honestly say I missed that shot. Congratulations to you both!

    • Kate Storm January 7, 2018

      Thank you! Semuc Champey was so much fun–hope you loved it as much as we did!

  • Cat January 6, 2018

    Wow so many great places you’ve explored in USA! Being stuck in a snowstorm doesn’t sound fun, but at least you were safe and had a memorable time with your mom. I’m sure you’ll enjoy New Orleans this year!

    • Kate Storm January 7, 2018

      It was definitely a very memorable time, lol–all the snow I need to see for a while! We’re very excited for New Orleans–can’t wait to see what we think of it.

  • Bhusha January 9, 2018

    That’s an interesting compilation. Thanks for introducing Steripen to me! Its ok, that you guys took 4 days on that road trip, all that’s needed is that you’re safe in the snowstorm! 🙂

    • Kate Storm January 10, 2018

      True–staying safe is far more important than getting there on time!

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