What It's Like To Travel With Roni

by Roni

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Super Cool Vay-Vay??  I say, “Yay, yay!”  (…or in Mexico we pronounce it, “Si, si!”)

“What’s ‘vay-vay’?”, you ask.  It’s the trendy term my son now uses for vacation with Roni Faida!  Catchy phrase, especially when it’s said in all the excitement my son uses as he talks about our recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (properly pronounced Meh’-HE-co).  But I’m not here to give you lessons on new terminology or teach the correct pronunciation of one of my favorite languages.  No, I’m here to tell you what it’s really like to travel with the Travel Guru.

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  Seriously, you connect with Roni on the regular to see where she’s been, what she’s done, get tips on how you should travel…or simply to hate on her for all of it!  Go ahead, join club “Haters of Fabulous Faida”!  I’m president!  But have you ever had an opportunity to see what it’s like to be that person that travels with Roni?  Sure, you may read about her trips with friends, but do you get to see if the friends have had just as much fun traveling?  Well, sit back, pour a glass of wine and enjoy the first post to “The Buddy Pass”.

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Let me start with telling you just a bit about myself.  My name is Alexsis, and I’m a single mom to a fabulous soon-to-be 10 year old son.  I work full time as an IT Business Analyst for one of the largest utility companies in the United States.  Those 2 things alone tell you that I don’t have the opportunity to travel for fun like I want to.  But it doesn’t stop there.  For the past 8 years, I’ve traveled several times over the U.S. for work.  And I really loved it!  For some people, traveling for work opens many doors to experience new places, myself included!  

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But at some point, I no longer looked forward to the idea of going somewhere new…or really anywhere.  Years ago, I was an adrenaline junkie.  Loved the rush of speed, therefore, loved the take-off and landing of any aircraft.  Am I that way now?  Uh, no.  Somewhere, on some trip, I developed a fear of flying.  On top of that, the idea of packing a suitcase to stay in a hotel for any period of time soon felt overwhelming.  

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So how did I get myself to Mexico, with my son, in nothing but a carry on and 2 personal items for my son and myself?  Better yet, how did I make it there without being heavily medicated or under the influence of my good pal Jack Daniels? (In moderation, that is…he’s the kind of friend that comes with limits!  Just enough to settle the old nerves.)  And how did I enjoy every minute of this trip?!  Well, I’m friends with Roni…

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So Roni sent me a text out of the blue recently that simply said, “can you go with me to Mexico in August?”  Now granted, we’d talked numerous times about where we could go, when, how, etc.  But to throw a random question at me with a specific date like this… I was like, “whoa!” 

But it turns out, the last minute invitation is just what I needed.  Apparently, little time to think means little time to be anxious.  Yes, I had moments of anxiety.  “How am I going to pay for this?”  “How can I pack reasonably, especially for 2 people, and include things that will keep my child entertained along the way?”  “Can I stop staring at airplanes in the sky and imagining them just dropping out of the air long enough to get on a plane to another country?!…Cause I ain’t driving to Cabo!” 

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“What should I expect going to a foreign country with my son if I’ve never taken him out of the country before?”  Those were the questions I hit myself with immediately.  So what got me over each of those?  I asked questions and I read, read, read. 

Seriously, if you are planning a trip anywhere for the first time, read up on it.  I’ve been out of the country before, but each time is different.  So I read Roni’s tips all over again.  I went onto sites like tsa.gov or travel.state.gov to make sure I had all the right travel documentation (really important for single parents traveling alone with their children!).  And when I was nervous or couldn’t find an answer, I picked up the phone and just asked Roni. 

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She has so many resources at her disposal to find out what you need and when you need it to be fully prepared for traveling.  How did I pack so efficiently for my trip?  Roni posted a video to YouTube for packing tips.  And how did I conquer my fear of flying?  I read articles on the facts of flying – the safety of flying versus driving, how a plane is designed to handle turbulence, etc.  I even watched videos online to see what the pilots see and experience from the cockpit in turbulent weather.  So when you hear the phrase, “knowledge is power”, believe it!  It may take you to Mexico! 

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But what is it like to be in another country with a travel expert?  One word – AWESOME!  It wasn’t just my first time or my son’s first time in Cabo.  It was Roni’s also.  But you wouldn’t know it.  Of course, it helped that she speaks Spanish fluently.  But it’s not just that.  Roni knows where to go, when to get there and how.  And if she doesn’t know, she is experienced enough to figure her way through any situation. 

And I love that she doesn’t panic.  When she doesn’t know what to expect next, there’s a shrug of the shoulders and a “well, we’ll figure it out”.  She has a knack for knowing how to wave down a cab or bus, or approach a complete stranger with enough authority that says, “yeah, I’m a tourist with questions, but don’t mess with me”. 

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She knows how to vacation on a budget too!  So many of us pack food for a trip to the beach and cook in the kitchen to avoid going out.  Well, do that on your trips out of the country too!  Just because you don’t have your car or your favorite grocery store doesn’t mean you can’t get to a local market and find what you like and enjoy it in your rental.  Roni is also kid-friendly!  (Sounds like an advertisement right there…)  But I mean it.  I have a goal to take my son on at least one nice trip a year, whether it’s a trip abroad or simply to another state in the U.S.  It’s nice to have a travel companion that enjoys young people so much that she looks for things to do to make sure the trip is an experience of a lifetime for a child as well.  And if we don’t take another trip with Roni soon, at least I can depend on her to give me ideas for places to go and things to do to make sure my son has a great time.

So, all that being said, I’ll leave the details of Cabo to the Travel Guru to post.  After all, that is her job!  (Be sure to ask her about being flipped over multiple times by the strong ocean current….HILARITY!!)  But if you ever have a chance to travel with Roni, jump on it!  If not, appreciate her advice for traveling.  It’ll make any trip you plan a success (even if you are traveling for work!).  And for those of you that have trips planned to take with Roni, post your experience on “The Buddy Pass” section of Roni’s site when you return.  We want to hear about it!  

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