Travel Tip and Tales with All Day I Dream of Travel

The clear blue waters of the San Bernardo Islands

The clear blue waters of Colombia’s San Bernardo Islands

Travel Tip and Tales with All Day I Dream of Travel: Shannon Lee Gilstad talks food, her first time boarding a plane in fifteen years, and why she refuses to ditch her 9-to-5 to travel full time.

Playing Favorites

Favorite airline?
KLM and Delta. They gave the best service I’d ever has from an airline when I was returning from Amsterdam. I also recently traveled to Belgium with Delta with my husband (we traveled the evening of the wedding!) and the service was really good.

Favorite city?
Bogotá! I loved here in 2007 and love to go back whenever I can. Colombia as a destination has become popular. However, Medellín and of course, Cartagena, get all the love. Yeah, it’s cooler weather, rains a lot, and isn’t by any beach, but there’s such an awesome nightlife and music/arts culture there.

Favorite beach?
Hard to pick just one. I visited Dickenson Bay in Antigua in July, and the water was so calm and clear! Maho Beach in St. Maarten is really unique. I was on the first flight from the United States since the hurricane back in October 2019 and they were rebuilding, I only got to see small planes landing. However, there are a few cool beach bars and the water is gorgeous. For something not in the Caribbean, I loved Spiaggia di Marina Piccola on the isle of Capri in Italy. The water color in the Mediterranean is so different than what you’d get in the Caribbean. It’s deep, cotton candy turquoise.

Favorite food?
It’s really hard to say– there’s so much variety in New York. Lately, I’ve been really into Indian food. I love chicken vindaloo— the spicier, the better! I can honestly say that there’s no cuisine I will not eat. Colombian, Thai, Trinidadian, Chinese, and Ecuadorian top my list. I’m also a big fan of jerk chicken and pork. My friend makes his home made and it’s better than any jerk pork I’ve ever eaten.

Local Travel, Tampa, & Travel Blogging

If you couldn’t ever travel again but could pick any city to be confined to, where would you pick?
Probably New York, my home. I’ve lived here almost my entire life, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch. I could take day trips around town, as I do now. As much as New York is becoming increasingly gentrified and homogenized, there are some neighborhoods where you feel like you’re in China, Russia, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ireland…

What was the first trip you took as an adult?
Tampa, Florida. It was winter break senior year of college and I was stir crazy. Miami was still exorbitantly expensive for a broke student, so I found a cheap deal to Tampa for a few days. I hadn’t been on a plane since I was six at that point and here I am going off alone. I walked around the city all day and figured out how to use the bus system. I was able to take one up to Temple Terrace where I went kayaking on the Hillsborough River. Got close to the alligators. That was probably the highlight.

 Any common travel/travel blogger wisdom that you disagree with?
Hmmm. I really do not support the whole, “Quit your job and get paid to travel the world” bandwagon that so many people have jumped on. The truth is, most of those people came from affluent or at least middle-class backgrounds. In many cases, the jobs that they quit were corporate gigs paying six figures. I just read something the other day that 44% of Americans earn about $18,000. Where is the income to just drop it all and travel?

I understand the allure of “leaving it all behind” to travel. However, I wonder about their plans for retirement if they aren’t making a steady income as a “digital nomad.” I know a few people who have done just that and the truth is, some of them are struggling.  If you have money saved or wealthy parents, you can afford to take that risk and what might come with it. This is just not realistic for most people.

Stay tuned for more travel tips and tales…