Next Up: Camels, Cars, Colorado, Canucks & Kahakai
Leah Walker April 10, 2013

My, what a difference a couple of weeks can make.

It was less than a month ago that I was sitting in a spectacular Spanish castle, and instead of simply enjoying where I was, I was combing the Internet looking for late deals. I find it difficult to be home too long, and since quitting my job in favor of full-time travel writing, notquitting my job having something lined up makes me very anxious. All that fretting was for not, because in a matter of a ten days, I had my next two months planned. When it rains it pours, and in this case, the rain was a great thing.

Spanish Boat Sea

 So, what do I have to look forward to? TONS!


Wadi Rum: Into the Desert


Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be heading to Jordan. Yes, #2 and #49 on my to-do list involve a trip there, but I just never saw this opportunity coming. I’m so happy it did! I’ve never been to the Middle East, so this will be a totally new experience for me. I’ll visit Petra, Wadi Rum {made famous by Lawrence of Arabia}, Mount Nebo {where Moses first saw the Holy Land}, Bethany Beyond the Jordan {where John baptized Jesus}, the Dead Sea, and so many other things.

Dead Sea


I’m very excited about the itinerary that the Jordan Tourism Board has put together. I’m not sure if they know it, but it will pull me out of my comfort zone. There are several optional hikes, I’m talking four to six hours long, and I plan on taking at least one of them. And did I mention the camping? Yes, I’ll be spending not just one, but two nights, in a desert tent. Ahhhhh…this now city girl is getting back to her roots. But not to worry, I have plenty of spa and hotel pampering planned as well.

From April 25-May 6, follow along with my adventures through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’ll be using the hashtag #MyJordanJourney.


Big Beach at Makena State Park


Of the 18 American states I’ve yet to visit, Hawaii has been the one I’d most like to see. And from May 6-13, I’m finally getting the opportunity. I covet Hawaii so much that I’m coming from half way around the world to get there. I’ll arrive from Jordan to Detroit on the morning of May 6 and then hop a jet to Los Angeles and then another to Maui, where I’ll arrive around 8 pm. I can’t even imagine how many hours of actual travel time that is. Given the number of time zones I’ll be going through you can bet it’s a lot. Who cares? I can sleep when I’m dead!

Kihei Beach Sunset


What I’m looking forward to most in Maui is simply taking in the natural beauty of the island. By all accounts, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. There’s something about the salty sea air and the sound of the waves rolling in that soothes my soul. But don’t think my days will only be spent relaxing on the beach. Maui is about options, and I’ve chosen some great ones. I’ll once again try to conquer my fear of heights by paragliding. Number 82 from my to-do list will be marked off when I take a helicopter tour. The itinerary is still being solidified, but you can bet there will be some sort of food and cocktail aspect to go along with all the beautiful scenery. It is Maui, after all.



You’ll be able to follow along via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from May 6-13. I’ll be using the hashtag #SeeMaui.




A few years ago I visited Indianapolis for a Final Four, but really didn’t get to explore the city. I have some unfinished business, including finding out what the heck a Hoosier actually is. I’ll have from May 24-27 to find out the answer to that question. I’ve also got two VERY special activities planned for Memorial Weekend.

Indianapolis river


Much of the time I’ll be exploring Indy’s new Cultural Trail. Opening in May, this $63 million dollar project “is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects neighborhoods, Cultural Districts and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system.” What this trail sounds like to me is a foodie and cocktail-lover’s dream come true. I’m thinking I’ll make myself a big glutton and then just hop on my bike and burn those calories right off. Those Hoosiers {?} are geniuses!

I did mention I would be in Indianapolis during Memorial Weekend, right? If you know anything about racing, then I know you’re insanely jealous right now. For those of you who aren’t fans, Sunday, May 26th is the famous Indianapolis 500, the premier event of the IndyCar season. Known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indy 500 is legendary. I’m not particularly a race fan, but I am a HUGE sports fan, so the idea of getting to see such a legendary event in person gets me particularly excited.

The Field of 33 at the 2012 indy 500


May 24-27 I’ll be providing updates and photos through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #VisitIndy.


Directly from Indianapolis, I’ll head to Denver, Colorado. I’ve written about family road trips to Colorado while growing up, as well as my newly rekindled love for the state. It should come as no surprise that I’ll pounce on every opportunity to visit the Centennial State. I haven’t solidified exactly what I’ll be doing, but I plan on exploring the city in addition to the surrounding area.

Denver Downtown


Get Rocky Mountain high with me with updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from May 27-30.


Toronto Downtown


I’m ashamed to admit, but I’ve never visited my neighbor to the north. Why not, you ask? I’m not entirely sure, but all that’s about to change. From May 30-June 3, I’ll cross Canada off of my list of places I’ve never been. Perhaps you remember that I was in Keystone, Colorado last summer and Girona, Spain in September for TBEX {Travel Blog Exchange}. This year the North American conference is being held in Toronto, thus the reason for my visit. Not only am I excited to touch Canadian soil, but I’m beyond ecstatic to see friends and make new ones. I suppose I’ll network and learn a little here and there, too.

Toronto Downtown from CN Tower


As usual, I’ll be posting updates via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can follow the hashtag #TBEX for all the conference happenings.

That wraps up my plans until June. Honestly, I’m thrilled to have such a diverse group of locales. I’ll be traveling to two new countries, one new state and delving deeper into two others. All the while, I’ll have the honor of experiencing new activities, cultures, and foods. I can’t wait to embark on these journeys. I never would have thought sitting in that Spanish castle less than a month ago that I’d have the opportunities before me. It’s going to be an amazing five weeks.

Featured Photo

Leah Walker

Leah has a marketing management company specializing in strategy, content creation and implementation for luxury brands and destinations. She's also a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. Leah documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. She sometimes freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for five years, and was awarded additional time with a Passeport Talent visa. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.


  1. Leah,
    I am so happy for you. This is quite a trip and has some very extraordinary places and agendas. Have fun, drink wine (of course), eat well and I will see you in Toronto! I am sure all have told you, but you really need to do the bicycle ride down from the volcano, on one of your first days, if you are doing a morning “cruise”. The sunrise is spectaular! Safe Travels kind lady!!!

    1. I think I actually am doing the bike ride down the volcano. Had it been up, there’s no way! I might also have a Maui sunrise or sunset cruise in my future as well. See you in Canada, eh?

  2. That’s a great itinerary Leah. Was is Indy for that Final Four as well. Loved all the excitement, especially because Butler got so far. Had lots of fun exploring the city too! I’ll wave when your passing through Detroit and will see you in Toronto. 🙂 Cheers!

    1. I thought about you when I was booking my flight to Detroit. So close, yet so far. I’ll give you a wave, don’t worry!

  3. Leah what an incredible list of places to go to! And soooooooooo different! Jordan should be amazing, and I will require evidence of the walking tours. I am serious! Hawaii seems amazing and will look forward to the trips – as I will for the other 3 destinations!

    1. Well, Raul will be with me, so after he hiked Kilimanjaro I’m sure he’ll require that I walk at least one of these so he will be my witness. And Hawaii….oh yes!

  4. Oh I’m looking forward to seeing your updates from Jordan…I’ve never been there either. Definitely going to be sure and stay up to date using #MyJordanJourney 🙂

    Really, you’ve never been to Canada? So close and yet so far. Looks like we will be crossing paths in real life for a third time hehehe, can’t wait.

    Wishing you all the best on your newest journey Leah, take care and have fun!! 🙂

    1. Awesome, Derek! I hope I do Jordan justice for you. And no, I’ve never been to Canada. I don’t have to tell you how far it is from Texas. Now, that’s no excuse, but I just never made it a priority. I’ll see you in Toronto.

  5. Sounds like you have quite the packed schedule Leah! So excited to see you coming to Toronto! Will have to find a way to get you out to Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa…all so close to TO! And Jordan….such a dream! It has catapulted high onto my bucket list after following other people’s Jordan journeys! You are going to be one tough girl to keep up with!

    1. With you being such a great ambassador for Canada, how can I resist? I really, really want to see more of the country. Hopefully in August. 🙂

  6. I’d absolutely love to visit Jordan so I look forward to following your Jordan journey! I’m sure it will be beyond breathtaking. There are so many places we visit which are just so grand in real life that photos never do them true justice – every time I look at a pic of Petra I sense this and I imagine the reality must be off the scale! Have a wonderful time on all your impending adventures!

  7. HOLY BALLS. We’re so jealous that you’re going to Jordan. We can’t wait to hear all about it! You’re going to love Maui. Be sure to eat a couple malasadas for us. I don’t even want to think about how tan you’ll be when we see you at TBEX.

    1. I sure was green with envy when you were recently on Maui. I never expected to be there so soon after. Don’t worry about my tan. What I lack in melanin, I make up for in personality. 😉

  8. I just learned you quit your job to pursue this full time… congrats for that… and it seems you have quite an itinerary set in motion already… I am excited for you, not just on these destinations (in particularly Jordan and Maui 😉 but also about the new journey you are on… kudos to that.
    stay adventurous, Craig

  9. The next few months sound incredible! I’ll admit, I’m most jealous of Jordan, but most excited for TBEX! Cannot wait to catch up! xx

  10. What a great few months of travel fun you have planned! I’ll be at TBEX too, so hopefully our paths will cross. I can’t believe though that you’ve never been to Canada! Toronto is as different to Vancouver as it is to Montreal as it is to Nova Scotia… really it’s as varied as the U.S. in terms of culture and vibe. I think you’ll like it, Toronto is a very cool city (and this coming from someone who lives in Vancouver -lets just say theres a bit of an east/west rivalry going on LOL!)

  11. you’ve got a lot of great things in the works, leah! AND, i’ll see you in toronto for tbex! xo, the wino

  12. Wow thats a very exciting itinerary! I think Hawaii is calling my name – Every where I turn people are talking about going there! I hope its the universe telling me we are off there soon! I hope we cross paths at TBEX. This is our first one so looking forward to meeting all the bloggers Ive been following for so long!

    1. Hawaii’s been calling my name for as long as I can remember. It’ll be a great experience, I just know it. I do hope we’re able to see each other at TBEX. It’ll be like finding a needle in a haystack, however. 🙂

  13. Can’t wait to see you at TBEX! We better hang out more this time around ;D woo hoo!

    Where are you staying in Toronto by the way? I’m still scouting accommodation options.

    Your other plans are way more exciting than mine though. Me want!

    -Maria Alexandra

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