4 things I hated about Key West, FL.

Traveling to Key West was quite the adventure. It was a two way highway after passing through Key Largo and several bridges. The view of the water was beautiful and exciting to see as we got closer to Key West. As a newbie who’s never been and lived there for three months – I want to share my first hand point of view on my stay and the four reasons I didn’t like it.

Too Expensive.

We stayed at Sisgbee Campground in our RV, which is a Navy Base right inside of Key West. It was a very safe Campground with a Commissary and Navy Exchange store. The prices at the stores were reasonable, but the quality just wasn’t there. When shopping off base at a Publix or another grocery store the prices were expensive. I honestly don’t know how people are able to afford living in Key West. A vacation is nice, but to live there, you would almost go broke, unless you’re rich.

Limited Resources.

Key West doesn’t have a Target, Walmart, or any other familiar store you’re used to. To go to a decent store you would need to travel to Miami which is two and a half to three hours away. It felt like we were in a foreign country inside of the United States. The most decent store in our reach was Kmart. The quality was very low and the store was a mess. Your best bet is the Navy base if you have access or ordering from Amazon. Again, this is only for folks who are interested in living there.

Hot as Hell.

It was extremely hot in the summer months. If you don’t like the heat, I would recommend coming in the winter and traveling some where else during the summer months more north. It was fun to go to the beach and swim in the ocean, but without the shade it was a bit miserable.

Prejudice/ Discrimination

Snooty people  gave us the stank eye and crooked smirk. It depended on the type of person we encountered, but there is definitely sprinkles of racism here especially on the Navy base.  I would say folks felt entitled or that they were better than others because of their status. There were customers who I served at the Navy exchange who complained about feeling like they were turned down for a hotel room or looked over simply for the color of their skin. Although, this is a common complaint all over the world, it was annoying and frustrating, so keep that in mind when visiting.

For more information on our experiences traveling watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

Don’t let a language barrier set you back.

Traveling the world is an adventure within itself. Not only are you exposed to a variety of people and culture, but also language. We forget that outside of the U.S there are countries that primarily speak other languages outside of English. That in itself can be a major culture shock. Not being able to communicate can you leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Don’t do so just yet. Continue reading for how to triumphantly conquer a language barrier and explore a country while living your best life.

There are many resources available to get you by until you are able to practice the language more. Depending on how long of a stay you have in a country, it may not be worth it to invest financially in language classes. There are free resources available on the Internet that are easily accessible and at your fingertips. The first application to download is Duolingo. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t sponsored, this is just my honest advice as I’m speaking from experience. You can find it on Google Play or the iPhone app store for free. Familiarize yourself with how to speak basic words and greetings, such as hello, goodbye, may I, etc.

The next application to download is Google Translate. Google Translate can dig you out of a bind quickly if you get stuck and can’t communicate. However, be mindful of the inaccuracies of translation from the foreign language to English. It doesn’t take into account slang or improper words when translating so you will need to do your best at piecing together what is being conveyed. Another source is to find a translator, of course, this is more of a costly choice and requires you to communicate to find one.

For more information on how to navigate through language barriers with a limited amount of knowledge, watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

Once you learn a few words, practice them with people you may come across while you’re touring the area. The best place to practice is in a taxi or at a restaurant because you usually have the other person’s undividend attention and they may be willing to help you. Please understand you will feel uncomfortable and at times embarrassed. It is just the nature of the game. Hopefully the reason you are traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and immerse as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.

5 ways to cope with anxiety while on the road

Redesigning your life can be long a process and not really a fun one. It’s the breaking down of the depiction you have of yourself to slowly rebuild the true version of you. We previously defined ourselves through our jobs, our cars, our house, and all of our accomplishments. We had a false sense of who we were and coming to grips with that is a hard pill to swallow. Read on for five techniques to cope with anxiety and depression while you’re on the road.

Exercising is a healthy way to cope with anxiety or depression.

I believe the first step to unpacking the emotional pain we have is to be honest about it’s existence. Exercising is a great technique for physically working out the stress that clogs our minds.

Eat healthier and surround yourself with positive people.

Acknowledging that we aren’t feeling too good could open the door for someone to help us or for us to get help for ourselves. Questioning our feelings and how we got there could be the start to analyzing where the emotions stem from. Taking better care of your health can be the first step to improving your life and way of thinking.

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Sometimes therapy and even medication is required to get out of the dark whole we wind up in.

While traveling it can be more complicated to seek help due to the acceptance of your insurance and other limitations. It is extremely important to look into as many options as you can so that you enjoy your travel without the baggage (no pun intended).

Improving your well being will always be a working process.  Our goal as a family is to consistently work on being the best the we can be. That means breaking down fears and anxieties. It means examining certain behaviors and asking ourselves how can we do better. It is a goal that can never fully be obtained and that we believe is the truth to finding happiness.

For more blogs or an update on where we are visit our website at www.atravelingjones.com or check out our Youtube channel for content for family travel.

4 reasons why we chose to move to Medellin

If you follow us on Youtube, you know by now we are in Columbia and have been here since the beginning of the year to start a new adventure. Initially, we were very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We’ve heard great things about the country, but we didn’t know anyone personally that made the jump to live here. We took our entire family over and we want to share our experience with you so far. Read on for four reasons why we chose Medellin, Colombia.

To learn Spanish.

Our family goal is to learn Spanish and be fluent enough to order from a menu, catch a cab, ask what time it is, etc. We will most likely learn at different times while we are over here because we all have different learning styles and schedules. Not only will my husband and I learn Spanish, but our two kids as well.

Our goal is to enroll our children in a Spanish speaking school to pick up the language faster. We will continue to provide a US curriculum at home. We will share more details about the schools in a later blog for those interested. They are much younger and have a better chance of picking up the language faster. Spanish tutors are also very affordable and it is easier to learn a language by completely emerging yourself in the culture.

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It is more affordable.

After doing a massive amount of research, we’ve learned our dollar stretches much further in South American than it does in the states. We have a few income streams with side businesses and gigs via the Internet. We would like to pursue more of our personal interest while having a good time and not worrying about paying bills. Some of those interest include learning Salsa, scuba diving, meeting new people and or families, and taking up martial arts.

The climate.

Did you know that Medellin is known as the city of Internal Spring? It’s not too hot and not too cold, just right to positively affect our moods. At night you may need a light jacket, but it is very comfortable to the say the least. Right now, in Atlanta where our home is, it is most likely 50 degrees and people are tucked away in their homes until it gets warmer outside.

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Photo by EA on Pexels.com

The people.

The people here are very friendly and helpful. Are you surprised? Even with the language barrier, I’ve noticed people are still willing to help you. It can be a little intimidating not being fully fluent in Spanish and trying to get somewhere or carry on with life, but it challenges you to get out your comfort zone and accept the help.

Hopefully, this helps as to why we made the decision to move here. We don’t know how long we plan to stay, but we are taking our time and enjoying the city. We also plan to travel within the country, so stay connected and follow along on Youtube or on our website for travel updates. Maybe you can learn what to do or not to do before taking your big step in traveling.

3 major tips to help transition living in Colombia after a week’s stay

If you follow us you know by now we are living in Colombia. We arrived on January 1st, 2019 at 1:13 am with four bags of luggage and two little kiddos. We left the airport in a tiny yellow cab with our luggage squished in the trunk and front seat curving around mountains as if we were in a driving video game. Although it was scary transitioning here we’ve been here a week and already belong to a small embracing community helping us transition into the Colombian life. Read on for three tips  I’ve learned so far.

Join Social Media Groups 

The first benefit is to find Facebook groups to follow. Chat in those Facebook groups for answers to many of your questions you might have when transitioning to a new country. This is how I was able to find so many contacts within one week of my stay here. Meet up with the people you find in the Facebook groups. Usually, they offer meetups or functions for networking. It is very important to meet people face to face to build a connection and exchange information. You may also learn how those people are connected and how you fit in for a long term relationship.

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Use the Internet as your Research

Secondly, do as much research as you can about the area you’re traveling to. There are so many resources available to research an area. Youtube helped us out tremendously, Google Maps, where you can get a wide view on the area, or search Airbnb for not only places to stay, but things to do while you’re there.

Talk to the Locals

This tip may be limiting as there may be a language barrier. If you know the local language then you will have no issue. If you want to talk to the locals you can find a translator, usually, they’re inexpensive and ask questions about the area on how you should conduct yourself. The option of finding someone who speaks English and the native language may be available as well.

For more tips, you can follow us and learn about how to transition in a different country. It is very possible and is not as hard as you think. You can follow us on Youtube or our social media platforms for additional content of our travels.

3 New Year’s goals for our traveling family

Our family has been on the road for six months now.

In this short amount of time, I’ve unexpectedly learned so much about myself and my family. This trip started out as an adventure to see more places, but it has evolved into so many other great benefits. Read more for three goals we have for our family in 2019.

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1. Be more flexible; have an open mind

If it’s one thing I’ve learned being on the road it’s to let go and go with the flow. What I mean is if your original plan gets altered for any reason don’t freak out. Things change constantly – keeping an open mind when you’ve made plans that things may change makes life a little bit easier.

2. Live in the moment

I know living in the moment sounds very cliche. I wholeheartedly agree with you, but it’s never been truer to me than it is now. We take life for granted when we’re in our bubble of daily routines. We’ve been fortunate while traveling to slow down time a bit by living more in the moment. Sitting down and playing with our children or going for a bike ride in the middle of the day has made us more grateful for the precious moments.

3. Invest more in ourselves individually 

As important as it is to invest in each other as a family, it’s just as important to invest in our own individual skills and talents. For example, my husband is the diver in the family. He wants to work on improving his diving skills. I would like to take a video editing class this year. Our youngest is into singing, why not invest in singing lessons? I think you get the point. We need to grow to be people to be better for each other.

For more about our adventures in 2019 or this past year check our website or our YouTube channel. We post weekly updates.

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