BOLT Top 5: Reasons Why We Like Cruising

Cruising is very special for Kathy and I. We met on a cruise. When we were working cruising was a great way to vacation. We started our lives of retirement and travel with a 30 day cruise. We know that cruising is not for everyone. It’s not the best way to immerse yourself in a locale. You usually spend less than a day in port. It’s not the cheapest way to travel. But for us, it’s one of our favorite ways to go. Here’s our top 5 reasons why.

1. Ease of Travel

Rather then changing hotels several times,check in, check out, lug suitcases around, etc, when you cruise you check in once and are set for the length of the vacation. On our last cruise we visited 3 countries and a total of 9 ports. Cruising made that so much easier.

2. Meals

Cruise ships have amazing food! There is a huge variety of selections and dining options. Unless you choose to dine at the “specialty restaurants” all your meals are included in the price of the cruise.

3. The Ports

Cruising is a great way to see places you might not normally visit. You will visit many exotic places on most cruises. You can choose one of the many shore excursions offered by the cruise lines or just get off the ship and explore on your own.

4. Group Gatherings

Cruises are such an awesome way to get a group together. With a minimum of planning you can have a wonderful family vacation, class reunion or simply a gathering of friends.

5. Value

Cruising is not the least expensive way to travel but when you add up all of the above we think you get very good value for your travel dollar, especially if you put in some effort to research bargains.

How about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on cruising. Contact us at boltraveling@gmail.com

Photo Dump: BOLT in Europe!

We just got back from 18 magical days in Europe. We took an 11 day Mediterranean cruise to Croatia Greece and Italy. We spent additional days before and after the cruise in Rome. We documented the trip on Instagram and Facebook but wanted to save a record of the trip here as well. So here are our favorite photos and memories of the trip.

Santorini Greece was one of our favorite stops. I loved the cable car ride to the top of the island. We hopped on a local bus a visited the beach.

We had an amazing time in Europe. Kathy threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain so we will definitely return.

Our home for 11 days, the Norwegian Getaway was a beautiful ship. Kathy and I love cruising and I will soon be sharing cruising tips, pros and cons.

Fingers Crossed! Tomorrow we leave for Europe!

Travel during the time of Covid is complicated, stressful and confusing. Regulations and rules seem to change constantly. Kathy and I are all set (we hope) for a trip to Italy and a Mediterranean cruise. We’ve checked and double checked our paperwork, made copies, got our covid tests (negative) and are hopefully on our way to Europe tomorrow morning.

We can’t wait to share this trip with. In gratitude and love, I envision the highest and best outcomes and feel assured that all is in divine order. Trip or no trip all shall be well.

Celebrating 14 Years of Love and Travel!

Whether by plane, cruise ship, RV, train or car Kathy and I love to travel! This month we look back over our 14 years of travel. We hope you enjoy these pictures of some of the places we’ve visited.

Belize
Zanzibar
Whale Watching Baja California Sur, México
Vietnam
Bali
Vietnam
Beijing China
Hawaii
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Great Wall of China
Family Cruise 2019
South Africa
Merida Mexico
Chichen Itza
Selma to Montgomery Alabama
Yee Ping, Chiang Mai Thailand
Chiang Mai Thailand
Ensenada, Baja California México
Our RV, Winnie
Niagara Falls NY
Canada
Singapore
Tanzania
Malaysia
Malaysia
Ha Long Bay Vietnam
The Mouth of the Mississippi River, Minnesota

Walking Tour of Merida

This past Monday we met up with a few other folks and enjoyed a walking tour of central Merida. The guide was well informed and shared lots of little tidbits about the history of this ancient city.

Our Guide, Fernando

Merida is a really beautiful city and we had lots of opportunities to take beautiful pictures.

I would highly recommend one of these tours. Visit the website to book it for Merida and several other Mexican cities.

https://freewalkingtourmexico.com/

BOLT’s Favorite YouTubers

Being a consistent presence on YouTube is hard work. We really appreciate folks who make wonderful and informative videos about traveling life. There are many great channels out there but today we are going to spotlight our top four focused on life in Mexico.

Wandering Soup

Wandering Soup

Wandering Soup is a very helpful channel filled with information about traveling as Black lesbians. The hosts, Kat and Amber, are humorous and delightful.

https://youtube.com/c/WanderingSoup

Rise Up and Bloom

Our dear friend, Toni Denise, has a lovely channel devoted to helping mature women, in their 50s and 60s to “Rise Up and Bloom”. If you want to travel or just need some inspiration in your life, her channel is the right place.

Visit Rise Up and Bloom at https://youtube.com/channel/UCSAJqqQJsBQAnbIvxd8-glw

Café Con Leche

Café con Leche is another great channel for those considering a move to Mexico.

Visit them at https://youtube.com/c/Caf%C3%A9conLecheTravels

The Lotus Wellness Group

Lotus Wellness

Another friend here in Merida, Diane Jones, has a great channel full of her travel adventures and wellness inspiration.

Visit her at: https://youtube.com/channel/UC9FA4FYAVa0mD73lIUoe4SQ

Mexico Bucket List

Kathy and I really love Mexico! The people, the sights , the natural beauty and the affordability all make Mexico one of our favorite countries.

Mexico has 32 states, 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, big cities (Mexico City is the largest in North America), quaint pueblos, beaches, mountains and deserts. Different regions are vastly different in culture, food, and history. All of this makes Mexico a wonderful country to explore.

https://destinationlesstravel.com/best-things-to-do-in-mexico/

We are creating a Mexican bucket list of places we want to visit. We currently are living in Merida which is a great big city in the Yucatan state.

The Cenotes of the Yucatan are Amazing!

We also spent a year in Baja Sur.

Baja was a wonderful adventure in our RV.

We enjoyed the week we recently spent in Oaxaca and are inspired to visit more places.

Oaxaca!

We are looking forward to visiting Mexico City, Guadalajara, Aiijic, Lake Chapala, Puerto Vallarta, San Miguel Allende and Taxco.

Guadalajara!
Ciudad de México
These hot springs are remote and difficult to get to but look amazing!
Lake Chapala

Where have you visited or lived in Mexico? Where do you recommend? What’s on your bucket list? We’d love to hear from you!

BOLT in Oaxaca!

Our week’s stay in Oaxaca has been wonderful! This city, located in southwestern Mexico, is known for its architecture, delicious foods and Zapotec culture. It did not disappoint!

What we liked best: Temazcal Ceremony.

One of the most unforgettable things to do in Oaxaca City is to experience a traditional sweat-lodge or temazcal ceremony. This ritual is intended to purify your mind, body and spirit. It was a truly amazing experience led by a woman well versed in her Zapotec heritage. She had so many words of wisdom to share. The heat was not oppressive but we did sweat a lot and felt much lighter at the end of the ceremony. https://m.facebook.com/ceviarem.temazcal/

What We Recommend: Walking Tour

There is so much history to learn, amazing architecture to see and interesting cultural facts in Oaxaca City. I think the best way to experience your first day in Oaxaca is with a walking tour. The tours are free, except for a tip for your tour guide. Ours was excellent! https://oaxacanexperiences.com/

Not For Us: Market or Food Tours

Oaxaca has many, many fabulous markets, full of food, colorful clothing, souvenirs and more. We did go on a few paid market tours and a food tour. Personally, we prefer just exploring local markets on our own. They are great places for food tastings, shopping and just enjoying the sights and sounds.

Always a BOLT Must: Serendipity

We don’t like travel that is too heavily scheduled. We love just walking up on random events and things to see and do! There was lots happening this week because of the yearly Guglegatza Festival.

Enjoy Something New!

The food in Oaxaca is varied and delicious. I tried grasshoppers which I found crunchy and delicious!

Any Questions or Comments?

Want to know more about travel in Mexico or anything about the BOLT travel model. Please share with us below. Thank you so much for visiting our blog.

BOLT Top 7! Reasons why we love Merida.

Merida is a great, vibrant city in the south of Mexico, it’s  the capital Yucatan state. According to the 2020 census, the population of Mérida was 1,161,000.  Mérida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres, and shops. Sadly, with Covid many of these are closed or have limited access.  There is much to love about Merida, these are our top 7 reasons (in no particular order).

Community!

Community!

There is a wonderful and growing community of black folks where in Merida. We especially appreciate the diversity of ages, there are lots of families and we’ve made lots of friends with women in our age group as well.

Parks and Green Spaces!

Parks and Green Spaces!


Merida is a lovely and lively city with an abundance of parks. These are great for two of our favorite activities, walking and people watching.

The Beaches!

The Beaches!  

While not technically a beach city there are plenty of sweet little beach towns less than 30 minutes away.

Biciruta!

Lots to See and Do!

From beautiful monuments, majestic mansions on Paseó Montejo, magical cenotes and ancient Chichen Itza, there is a wide variety of activities and sightseeing trips in and around Merida. Biciruta is a favorite activity of ours, it’s made me love Merida even more.

Safety, Language and the People!

Safety, Language and the People!

Merida is consistently rated as one of the safest cities in the world. We have found it to be so. We are learning Spanish and find communication fairly easy. Most importantly, we have found the people here to be helpful, friendly and kind.

Modern Comforts!

Modern Comforts!

Merida is modern city with a range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities. Medical care is good and affordable.

The Food!

If you are expecting “traditional” Mexican food like you’d find in your favorite U.S. spot, you’re gonna be disappointed. The flavors of this region are quite different. I’m growing to like several dishes and am willing to try more. Also, there are plenty of non Yucatecan restaurants in town, including vegetarian spots, top of the line steak houses and even U.S. chains like Fridays, Chilli’s and IHOP.