David and Veronica James are experiencing the collision of being baby boomers and but also becoming empty nesters. They chose to grab life by the horns and are #GoingGypsy! Follow their journey at The Gypsy Nesters.
Veronica was kind enough to answer our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Veronica: About ten years now. In 2008, when we launched our youngest of three children off to college, we had that “now what?” moment that every couple faces. There was a big empty nest looming, but we chose to look this next phase of life as a beginning instead of an ending. Rather than staying put and facing the constant reminders of empty bedrooms and backseats, we sold the nest and hit the highway.
Along the way we conquered old fears, saw new sights, reestablished bonds with family and friends, and transformed our relationships with three grown children from parent-child to adult-to-adult. Most importantly, we rediscovered the fun-loving youngsters who fell in love over three decades prior.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Veronica: Empty-nest, baby boomer, and active travel.
TA: What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
Veronica: We get asked this a lot and it is tough to pick just one place. We can find interesting diversions almost anywhere. Still, obviously some places stand out. The Galapagos are truly amazing, and if we had to pick the best destination for an unforgettable vacation that would probably be it.
But we are also madly in love with Italy, and everything about Newfoundland left an impression that will last a lifetime. In the states we have a real affection for southern Louisiana: the food, the music, the people are all great, but we could say that about most everywhere we’ve been.
TA: What’s one place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Veronica: At this point Antarctica is near the top of our list for the simple reason that it is the only of the seven continents that we have not visited yet.
TA: What’s one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Veronica: There are a few. Obviously the tech stuff, phone, iPad, camera, and laptop, but my inflatable neck pillow is definitely a must.
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Veronica: You can never plan for every possibility, so be flexible. Sometimes the best things we find are completely unexpected. Look for festivals, street fairs, or other celebrations and join in with the locals.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Veronica: The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. With Mayan ruins, underground rivers, wonderfully preserved colonial cities, and fantastic beaches, it really has it all.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Veronica: If possible, begin your trip at a smaller airport. They are so much easier when it comes to checking in and getting through security.
TA: Is there something you think most travelers worry too much about?
Veronica: Seeing everything. David was bad about this when we first set out traveling but has learned to slow down and spend more time enjoying less attractions while embracing the feel and essence of a destination.
TA: What’s one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
Veronica: We are big fans of the smaller ships, especially on rivers. This way the boat can dock right in the center of town.
TA: What’s something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Veronica: This is a pet peeve of ours since our days of living on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands … people walking down the middle of the street. Often tourists wander right down the center of the road like no one else uses it.
TA: Which underrated destination deserves to be more famous? Please explain why.
Veronica: Newfoundland. The landscape is beautiful and diverse with soaring mountains, white water rivers, fjords, and icebergs. Also, the people are some of — if not the — nicest we have ever encountered.