43 Stop Making Excuses. Learn to Prioritize Travel Now with Mari Escobar

On the season finale of Alone with Peter, Season 2, Episode 26 Financial Controller and World Traveler Mari Escobar shares practical tips for travel, useful resources for staying safe, and good habits for saving money for your next trip.
Alone With Peter
43 Stop Making Excuses. Learn to Prioritize Travel Now with Mari Escobar

On the season finale of Alone with Peter, Mari Escobar shares practical tips for travel, useful resources for staying safe, as a female/solo traveler, and good habits for saving money for your next trip so you can stop making excuses and learn how to prioritize travel!

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Follow Mari Escobar Financial Controller and World Traveler

If you want to get in touch with Mari Escobar or see where she’s off to next, check out the links below.

Instagram: MariMari4 and LinkedIn: maritereescobar

43 Stop Making Excuses. How to Prioritize Travel Now with Mari Escobar

*Transcripts may contain a few typos. With interviews ranging from 1-2 hours, it can be difficult to catch minor errors.

Peter Kersting: Welcome to Alone with Peter a podcast for entrepreneurs, artists, digital nomads, and people seeking personal growth. We are back for part three of our interview with Mari Escobar and Mari’s been through a lot of different accounting jobs right now. She is a financial controller for an indie record label, which I laugh cuz I, the term financial controller sounds so intense to me. but one of the things that I know Mari better for is she’s really good at maximizing her travel time, even though she has a nine-to-five job. So if you were someone who was looking for some tips and tricks on how to find a way to travel more while still doing your job and still having your boss be happy with you, Mari’s gonna give us some practical tips in this episode about that, about how to travel safely, if you’re a female solo traveler and so on and so forth. So thanks for coming back on the show, Mari, and are you ready? Ready to jump into this masterclass?

Mari Escobar: Let’s do it. My friends have been asking for it for a while.

Peter Kersting: What exactly are your friends asking about? Let’s start with that.

Mari Escobar: They’re like, how do you travel everywhere? And don’t take that many vacation days or like, how do you do it? Like while working a regular job? So like I mentioned before, I’d say one of my biggest, it’s not really a trick, but you know, you gotta take advantage of the holidays any, any day off official day off that doesn’t count as vacation, do it and combine it with your vacation. Like if for example, I’m going down to Europe, I’m using Memorial day. It might be a little bit more expensive, but you get more days out of it. You go, yeah. Instead of taking four days, I mean, five days you take four days and you can leave four 10, like I said, before you go like the Friday before you come back the Sunday, midnight before and you multiply the days.

Mari Escobar: Don’t spend the days sitting at home

Peter Kersting: you gotta bookend the weekends too is other thing you’re saying?

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Mm-hmm sure that’s very, that’s very big. That’s yeah. That’s how you maximize the days are these business days, the weekends don’t count of course. And then try to leave AF right after work. Don’t always wait until the next morning, cuz I mean, those travel hours make a difference. You can be at the destination the next morning instead of like the next night.

Peter Kersting: How long are you planning a trip before you go? Cause that seems like that’s a pretty key part too. You’re looking out ahead. You’re like, oh, Memorial day weekend is coming up. Where do I want to go? And what days? Cuz that takes time some time and effort to think through, where am I gonna go? How am I gonna budget for it? What, how is the best way to bookend it? So how far out in advance are you looking for? Where you wanna stay and when you’re gonna go,

Mari Escobar: Not too far in advance I don’t plan more than two, three months before or even less. But that’s one thing I know all the holidays by hand and by, especially by through the different jobs, I know which holidays we have and we don’t and which ones we don’t have available. Most people like don’t keep track of that. I’m like, I’m on top of it. I know how many vacation days I’ve taken. I know how many vacation days I have left and I know the holidays coming up. I’m like, okay, there’s Memorial weekend then there’s July 4th and labor day. And then I don’t have anything until like Thanksgiving. So I kinda like split it up around that. And I that’s one thing I’m always like on top of

Peter Kersting: That’s amazing. And I don’t know why I haven’t mentioned this earlier, but you sent me right before we did this podcast interview a list of all of the countries you’ve been to and it is a massive list. I am going to make sure I share it somehow with the group. But in case you think, ah, I don’t know how much I believe this. How many countries have you been to?

Mari Escobar: 54. I finally put it up in an app. I mean, I was writing it. I have a, a handwritten list that I did during the hurricane. I’m like, okay, I’m gonna sit down and write how many countries I’ve actually been to. You know, there are some technicalities, like the Vatican is a separate country, but you know, I’m gonna use it. Sure. Towards my count

Peter Kersting: Still, 54!

Mari Escobar: Yeah. And counting it’s 21% of the world. It comes up on the app.

Peter Kersting: I love that 21% of the world. Do you have, what do you have a goal to get to everywhere by a certain time?

Mari Escobar: I mean, it’s impossible to get everywhere. I don’t have like a special, like specific number, but I wanna try to do maybe between one or three countries, like new countries maybe per year, like this year I want, so like I mentioned before, I’m going to Europe now and I wanted to squeeze in a new country. But it was getting complicated so I’m, I’m doing like a new city. But the new country was like getting into too much, but later in the year I’m like, I need to get at least one during this year/

Peter Kersting: Sure, sure, sure. I’m curious. What have been some of the repeat places for you?

Mari Escobar: Too many most of Europe is a repeat. But I just love going there. It’s just like, I never wanna leave. So yeah, I, I don’t do that. Like I know people who go to one place and they don’t wanna repeat it because I’ve been there. Sure. But I’ve been traveling all my life and there’s a place that I like. I go back to it. I do try to add new activities or new cities or, you know sure. Not always do the same thing, but in terms of country, I’m like, I try to, or even mix both. You do one old and then one new one. And that’s also like right now, like I’ve seen most of the touristy spots in a lot of places, but I go back and I try to like, not necessarily completely avoid those, avoid those, but you know, I just wanna like go walk around and explore the city.

Mari Escobar: Sure. Without any rush, I don’t need to go into the loop and see them on. At least I’ve seen that. I just wanna walk around, sit in the cafe for hours and you know, relax. Like, yeah. So it’s a different kind of traveling and I don’t wanna be rushing. I don’t like those like three day trips. Like you do three days, three day, three days. And you’re like switching every day. No, I like also like getting to know a place better than doing four cities and you know, just getting like one day or two days in each.

Peter Kersting: Sure. Is there anything else before we keep moving past it about maximizing your work days off and your travel time that you wanna add?

Mari Escobar: Also now take advantage of the remote life. And that’s what I did. The last two years you can combine both like you can work a few days remotely. Yeah. You have to take your laptop with you, which can be annoying. But it lets you also, you can find cheaper flights cuz you don’t have to leave on that Friday, which is more expensive. You can leave on Wednesday work Thursday and Friday, and then you start your vacation the next week. Or like last year I went to Spain for like two weeks. I worked one week and I took the other week as vacation. So that lets you use more of the days.

Peter Kersting: Sure. The fact that you’re actually able to work in a new country, you can still do something after work. If you’re good about saying I’m done at this time or if your job allows you to do it at any time, if you want. Cause that’s

Mari Escobar: Probably, yeah. It can also be hard depending on, you know, the time difference too. Sure. You can be tricky. Sure. and trying to explore a new city and you know, have to be working, but it’s not, it’s manageable. I’d rather do that than not go at all and right. I think that’s my, that’s my motto for a lot of things. like, I’d rather do it this way than not go or yeah. You know, you have to sacrifice one thing that you have to work longer hours for a few days in order to be able to take that trip or, you know, skip going out for lunch in order to, you know, use that money, that sort of thing.

Peter Kersting: sure. I mean, and that’s a valuable lesson, whether it’s trying to maximize your travel time or anything else you wanna do, you have to prioritize it and that means not prioritizing other stuff. Right. Mm-hmm sure. So you talked about planning versus not planning sort of already, but how do you go about funding, your travel? What are some things that you could suggest to people as far as how they can prioritize travel? They’re serious about it? How can they do a better job preparing for financially?

Mari Escobar: Well, I guess for this, yeah. You have to do it in advantage of like, oh next week I’m I’m heading out. If you can, that’s perfect. But if not try to your budget yourself and be like, okay, I cannot be going out that much this week or for a few weeks, like I’m gonna be holding off on those like a hundred dollars dinners. Like this is LA. So that happens more frequent then you would think stuff like that. And then there I’ve, there’s always a meme. I’ve seen it a couple times when it’s like so accurate. It’s like you say, you don’t have money for the, for the trip, but you know, tries bringing lunch into, into work and you’ll be saving what sure. $50 to a hundred a week. And then by the end of the month you can buy flight somewhere

Peter Kersting: Or, or be like Tanner Combias and, buy like a sandwich while your friends are drinking beers or something.

Mari Escobar: I saw that. I heard that.

Peter Kersting: Oh, I love it though. It’s so great. But you’re right.

Mari Escobar: Something else in the tip of my mouth and I just forgot.

Peter Kersting: No, I’m sorry.

Mari Escobar: It’s okay. Keep going.

Peter Kersting: I was just gonna say that the reason you’re able to do that for a couple is partly because you know where you want to go and you know that you’re prioritizing travel. So like when you go, like I’m gonna go, you’re going to Paris next right. Specifically. Mm-hmm ly so have you already turned down, going out to dinner with somebody this, this last couple weeks? Or like, is that something you end up having to do, right?

Mari Escobar: yes. I’m yeah. I’m gonna keep it to like $50 a night. The most I can’t do like this hundred nights. Like it’s like 400 weekends. No,

Peter Kersting: That’s so funny.

Mari Escobar: Like I need to hold off a, a little bit and all the concerts. I love going to concerts. So the last few ones I’m like, okay, I need to, you know, hold myself a little bit because I’m going on this trip pretty soon.

Peter Kersting: So on the aspect of funding, your travel, there’s finding the time from work and there’s also saving the money. Is there anything in general else that you say like, man, people really don’t think about this, but this is an important part about preparing for the trip. If you’re gonna do it more often.

Mari Escobar: Oh, this is what I remember. Eh, kind of it’s like DBA, but everybody, I like, oh, you’re a millionaire. You have so much money right to travel? I’m like I have okay money. But also like from the solo travels, you always meet people and then you go stay with it and then you don’t spend money on a hotel.

Peter Kersting: Bingo.

Mari Escobar: So, yeah. So I do that a lot and that’s another way to save money of maximize your vacations and so far I’ve, I’ve been like super lucky, like my mom’s like, what do you know about these people? It’s like people that I’ve met for like one or two days and God knows what country. Sure. And then they welcome me and they open me like their house and their family welcomes me, you know? Like, come here, stay with us. You can have, you know, mi casa es su casa.

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Mari Escobar: And it happens more than you might think.

Peter Kersting: More than you might think. Yeah. When you think about there’s lot of negative things about the internet, but that is one of the things too. Like I even sounds kind of crazy, but sometimes like you meet somebody through a work related thing, you work with them, but you’ve never met them. Then you go mm-hmm and you get to stay with them or something like that. Yeah. As long as you have, like, you’re smart about it, obviously this is, you know, disclaimer, be careful who you spend time with. But of course, yeah. You know, I remember I’m just thinking there’s there’s like a list of people that I’ve met, like one time who I was like, I’m gonna visit you someday. And I definitely go, like, I need to get out there just so I could go visit their country and also spend time. Exactly.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. I try to do it within like one year before of within the, of the offer. So it doesn’t expire.

Peter Kersting: Sure that’s a good point

Mari Escobar: One to two years. So for instance, like right now I’m going to Paris and I’m meeting. So one friend, well she’s from GU she lives in Berlin right now. We met in Pedro in the hostel, but we bonded because she loves Puerto Rico. And like we became instant friends only one day exploring Peru. And then she’s like, when are you coming to Guatemala? I think I’m. I remember I went to Mexico. I posted on Facebook. She’s like, when you’re coming to Guatemala. Oh my, I don’t know. She’s like, no, you gotta come. You gotta come. And Guatemala had never been, you know, I had never been specifically interested. She’s like, no, we can do this, this and this. I’m like, if I don’t go, now that I have a local host, I’m not gonna go. Sure. So I went for it and it was amazing. Nice. And then I’m meeting here now in Paris.

Mari Escobar: It’s been what like five years or more since we did that trip and yeah. You keep meeting each other, like, you know, like all our, all the travelers are the same. You don’t know where they are living now or where they’re moving around next. So, but you keep in touch. There’s also all this mean toos. Like, you know, all these people you at on your travels and then you’re seeing their life unfold on like social media every, and you only met them once. Yeah. But yeah. So even you, like, I mean, I haven’t seen you, but I’m sure I’ll, I’ve run into you at some point.

Peter Kersting: Yeah you will have to.

Mari Escobar: You invited me out to your wedding. Another friend that I met in Vietnam, like he lives in Seattle now I have like a super cool crew in Seattle that I go back to visit like all the time. So that’s awesome. You make friends and then you visit them and you keep exploring the world together or like through connections that you make through each other.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. And there’s something about the travel community. That’s very, like, it’s just tight knit in the sense. It’s like, you’re crazy enough to go out and do this stuff where everybody thinks we’re crazy for doing this stuff, but it’s so cool.

Mari Escobar: Exactly, but it’s like all the same type of crazy.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s really, I don’t think it’s that crazy, but I guess, yeah,

Mari Escobar: Yeah, no, I heard that a little. I was like, oh my God, you’re crazy. Why are you going on your own? And I do remember, like I was still in New York when some guy was traveling by himself. I’m like, ew like why, why do you do that? Like how like, is it even fun? Sure. and then look at me where I am.

Peter Kersting: yeah. Well that brings us to the next point, cuz I bet there’s plenty of people who like the idea of solo traveling, but they’re scared about the safety aspect of it. Especially if you could speak to the women who are interested in solo travel, what are some ways you can make sure you’re staying safe while you’re traveling?

Mari Escobar: Yeah. I mean, you can’t be too fearful you gotta go for it. If you think about it, you’re never gonna go anywhere. But I would say, I mean, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Like you are everywhere potential to what you have. Like who’s walking around you also. I mean, I try to give my parents or like close friends, like information of where I am. I’m like, yeah, I’ll be staying this hotel. These are my flights. Or, you know, to keep track of, I’m like I’m meeting this person here and here and there. And you know, we, we all have like, I travel a lot as a single girl. I’m like, okay, you go on the, on those Tinder dates, you know, you give your friends, the information of who you’re admitting just in case. Cause you never know. Yeah.

Mari Escobar: So yeah. I’d say like sharing information is good. So people know where you are or they have an idea of where you are. You’re gonna necess I think if you’re posting stuff on social media that helps two people know that, you know, you’re, you’re still doing okay. But if you don’t do that all the time, just have your close people know that, that you are here, like have an idea of where you are. Also. I usually mostly I do this in Asia you can register with a department of state your travels and then if there’s an emergency, they let you know like this is happening. You should get out of there. I think this is for us citizens. I don’t know if it applies, this country has something similar, but sure, sure. I feel that’s helpful too. And just in general, yeah. Be careful. Obviously you have to be careful of who you meet, but the travel I’d say like the travel community, especially like when I travel by myself, I go to hostels and then you meet so many people. Like, so like-minded people you feel easy or feel comfortable and you’re never really alone. So

Peter Kersting: Yeah. And there’s definitely an aspect too, of if you’re new to traveling, traveling in a group makes a lot of sense. And then as you kind of branch out, there’s a certain element of trust in your gut and making sure, you know, people are kind of how they appear to be before you just spend a bunch of time with them too. Right.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Don’t go into this dark alley at night by yourself, obviously that sort of thing.

Peter Kersting: right. I mean, and some of this stuff seems like really obvious, but even though you’re not much of a planner, do you ever like try to pay attention to like, I mean, I, you go a lot in America or you’re like, what is the, what is this political climate here right now? Or like, where should I avoid? Or

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Those are things that you, you need to know, like what’s happening in the country at the time. If there’s like some riots or strikes, like be careful and like, yeah. I mean, you know, some places are not as safe as others, so sure. Maybe those ones don’t go by yourself. sure. Or try to find someone to do stuff with you or like go on a tour if you don’t feel that safe or it’s like, let’s say like that day do like a group activity. Yeah. Just to, you know, don’t be completely on your own if you don’t think it’s too safe.

Peter Kersting: Right. And that’s also a great way to meet people too. Like you said, doing a walking tour, taking a chance to get your lay of the land is always a nice way to start your trip anyway.

Mari Escobar: Yes. I always try to do that.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. I definitely think it’s smart to know what’s going on in the country you’re from what to expect, like what kind of places to avoid too. So I wonder, yeah. Do you have any resources you would suggest like, oh, this is a great site to look at. I think the state department thing sounds really interesting. Maybe you could share that with me in fact.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. I usually use that one. You’re not familiar with it?

Peter Kersting: I don’t know if there’s a specific link you wanna share with me. I can put in the notes. I’ve heard of it before, but.

Mari Escobar: I’ll share that later. But yeah, I think since the first time that I went to Asia, I’ve registered there and I still get like alerts. It’s cuz you put the country that you’re visiting to and then like, you know, like with COVID I was still getting alerts from like Thailand. It’s like Thailand still has very high cases don’t we don’t advise you to travel there right now. Sure. So you get those others to, even though you put the, your trip details. And that was years ago. and I still did this. Yeah, but it’s a good way for, I mean, if there’s an emergency, they know you’re there, you know, they can get you out.

Peter Kersting: Right. They need to get a U.S. Embassy involved or whatever.

Mari Escobar: Exactly. So I’d say that’s pretty useful in terms of research, like like I was telling you off the air, I guess there’s a Facebook group called girls love travel. I love that one. You’ll you’ll see stories. I mean granted, they’re pushing you to be a girl or I think identify as a girl. But it has like, I think maybe a million. So there’s people there from all over the world. It’s pretty fun. Even though like, even though you don’t post, you just follow, like the stories people tell there are like cool to see. And then everybody shares their travel stories. So I go there to do research and I get like suggestions of places to go like within each country. Like they give you cool places to go. There’s another one, like female solo traveler. So I’m on a few of those like Facebook groups which is helpful. And that’s where I start my research sometimes when I’m looking for info on a new country.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Thank you for sharing those. Cuz there are other ones that are not as exclusive too. And, and that kind of thing is always a really good way to know what is the current situation like? You know, people will be sharing if they’re having a hard time. Mm-Hmm they’re gonna say right.

Mari Escobar: Yes Exactly.

Peter Kersting: Or if they’re like, dude, this place is so cool, you need to check it out and then that’s also gonna give you ideas for what to do.

Mari Escobar: That’s also how I get interested in new places too. And then people post pictures and like all their cool experiences. And now they, they, they have a couple like subgroups of the same of the same group. They also have one which is like kinda like couch surfing where people like, they’re like, oh, I’m visiting this place. If there’s someone who off, you know, have a place for me to stay, we can switch. Or even just to meet up, they have like that too love. And I actually got to meet the owner and sell like at one in one time. So that was pretty cool. They do trips too. Like they organize their own trips and then they have like different age groups that they split it by. So it’s a, it’s a pretty active group and yeah, I really like it. It’s, it’s a fun one even just to watch and you know, repeat stories. They also have connect people and like, oh, this happened to me in this country and this other girl that, so my post and this group helped me out, you know, that sort of thing.

Peter Kersting: That’s awesome.

Mari Escobar: So the magic of the internet.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s true. Sometimes it’s just like, man, that’s why it exists. .

Mari Escobar: Yeah, exactly.

Peter Kersting: Something we’ve kind of discovered over the last couple episodes I’d love to hear more from you, your thoughts and encouraging other people. What kind of attitude do you need to have to thrive? Whether you’re solo traveling or just trying to travel more often. And I guess maybe you could tackle that from two standpoints, as an employee, who’s looking to travel more. What’s a good attitude to have about trying to get where you wanna be. If that’s not where you’re at and two, when you’re traveling, how do you enjoy that more?

Mari Escobar: So I guess while you’re working, you know, put in the hours, I mean, if you have to, if it’s required, put the hours before and after just to get your job done, you gotta show your, your boss that, I mean, you care about your job. You just, it’s not like you’re just being lazy. You know, obviously we all deserve vacation, but you have your test that you need to finish. So it’s not like I’m gonna leave this in the middle of, you know, what it is and I’m gonna leave it hanging and they, they’re not gonna know what to do with it while I’m out. And even though they might, so you gotta, you know, finish your task, communicate and be like, this is what I’m working on. This is what I have pending, if anything. And so I’ll work with this, like when I get back and this is what I’ll be, what I’m gonna leave you done before.

Mari Escobar: Sure. So that sort of thing that I’d say, I’d say that’s pretty important. And yeah. So the boundaries be like, I’m not checking my email. if you need me, you know how to reach me, you know, send me a text message and that I’ll see, but I’m not right. I’m not gonna be paying attention to the rest. And then while you’re at it or even before just like go for it. Yeah, don’t be scared. There might be moments that yeah, you might be scared. You’d be like, okay, what do I do now? but once you, once you’re in it in it and then just enjoy it, meet people, be open minded, like be friendly. I know a lot of people, at least from my friends are like I don’t, you know, if I go by myself, I wanna be in the hotel and you know sure. Have my own space and I don’t care about meeting people. I just wanna, you know, go on my own relax. That’s not my so travel. Yeah. I’m like, if I do that, I, I, I’m looking to meet people. I’m looking to make friends and do stuff with people. Not necessarily completely on my own. Yeah. and then just go with a positive attitude. Some things might happen. Of course you have to be open up to that, but yeah, just, just do it.

Peter Kersting: also, when you prepare the way that you’re preparing and something happens, you’re ready for it. Right. So that’s the other aspect of solo travel is you kinda learn to adapt when things happen.

Mari Escobar: Oh, for sure. Yeah. And then yeah, like for instance, like I do, I’m all school in that sense. I right now I, yeah. I print out a calendar page with the dates. I fill it out. I write out also to make sure this goes back to the planning, but to make sure I have, I have everything I’m like, okay. I have, I, especially when you’re jumping around from place to place. Yeah. To make sure you have all the hotels booked the right dates. Like sure. You don’t have a gap. You don’t leave a gap in between. I’m like, okay, I have this hotel from the 17th to the 19. And then the next one is from the 21 to the 24th. It’s like, I mean to the 23rd, it’s like, oops, I don’t, I didn’t book one for this night. So I always try to like write it down and make sure everything flows.

Mari Escobar: at least I, I know where I’m going. All the, I have all the flight information. I help the breaker locators. I write, I write that down. I even print it out because what happens if they steal your phone, then you’re you, you don’t have access to it. True. so I always have like, I’m old school in that sense. I always, I think I learned that from my father. Oh. And always carry a pen. When you’re traveling. Cause you’re yeah. You always need to write something or . Yeah. So it’s, it’s pretty useful.

Peter Kersting: That, that brings me to another point. Do you have any tips for people when it comes to being thrifty or budgeting? Well for your trip and yeah. We’ll just go with that.

Mari Escobar: Mm-Hmm

Peter Kersting: whether it’s booking the flight or anything.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Pay attention to the deals too. Like this flight. Oh. And use your miles. That’s very important.

Peter Kersting:

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Have a credit card that gives you good, good, good miles. And use those maximize those. Don’t let your miles go to waste or even if you get a credit, like if like credit use it, other people forget, or like right now I have one that expires next month I put on an alarm on my phone. Like for this week I’m like, okay, you need to buy this soon. So

Peter Kersting: That’s so funny.

Mari Escobar: You know, you gotta keep track of that also like claim your miles if, oh yeah. Sign up for every mileage club. every airline don’t try to like have 10 of them. Cuz not all of, I mean, some of them you can consolidate, not all, but try to yeah. Use those. Those are free. So sign up for those. Keep track of those, use those. And then if there’s an airline that you fly with that it’s not, you have a freaking flyer number with, you know, there’s a partner airline probably in of one of the ones that you have that you can claim those where you can claim those points.

Peter Kersting: I didn’t even know you could do that. So if there’s like a sister, you can no you’re teaching me stuff. I actually, oh my God. I’m terrible. When it comes to claiming miles, probably leave a lot on the table. I’ll be honest with you. So,

Mari Escobar: Oh my God. You’re one of those. no, I’m on top of it. I keep their receipts. They last for six months. And so yeah. Yeah. No. Say like right now, if you buy something with Alaska lines, for example, I don’t have like their freaking flyer thing. Sure. But I think you can claim that with Delta for something like that. Gotcha. So you go to the partner, Fairline claim it there and then you’ll probably use, or at least I do, I’ll use Delta more than Alaska airlines. So that happens with a lot of them. There’s a lot of like partnerships. Damn. So that’s pretty,

Peter Kersting: You have a spreadsheet. You’re gonna share with me. You got, you gotta get me in on this.

Mari Escobar: No, but this, even though I work with spreadsheets, I don’t, my personal don’t use them that much. Like I have friends that have trips, they have this amazing, like huge spreadsheet. Like yeah, I do have my calendar. I write it down. Like the dates, the hotels, the flights.

Peter Kersting: Do you have like a checklist that you go through? Like a procedure mm-hmm I’m not liked that at all. So I was just curious.

Mari Escobar: I mean, I might write a PostIt like the few days before I’m like, don’t forget, you know, the chargers, like

Peter Kersting: I’m just trying my best not to lose. I, the joke converted

Mari Escobar: Things, converters things, stuff like that. You know? You can’t leave behind.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I always,

Mari Escobar: Well, I don’t have like a actual checklist.

Peter Kersting: yeah. I always joke with people. When I was living in Europe, I left something in every country I went to, like, I left a beanie in Finland. I left a leather jacket in Italy. I got in an argument with a cab driver and after he was trying to screw me and after I left his cab, he drove off of my leather jacket. oh no, I left. I left something. And where else did I leave stuff? I left the scar scarf and pro and I left my appendix in the Netherland.

Mari Escobar: In the appendix. Yeah, no I, no, I don’t tend to lose things for the most part. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re like packing and unpack like that much. But no, I’m pretty good about,

Peter Kersting: About those things. Packing tips.

Mari Escobar: Oh my God. I’m terrible. I always over pack you

Peter Kersting: Over pack. Oh, OK. Not the under pack. I’m an over packer too. Actually. I’d rather over pack. Even,

Mari Escobar: Even quotation backpacking. I I’m the worst. I like, I always take too much.

Peter Kersting: That’s so funny

Mari Escobar: And backpacking your phone until you actually have to put the back on your back. the back on your back. I said it wrong. Yeah.

Peter Kersting: Okay. I don’t think we’re gonna end on we got two more. One is, you know, we talked about being able to be a and being able to adapt. What are some ways that you need to be able to adapt more in the new, the new world that we’re living in?

Mari Escobar: Yeah. You, you have to be open to yeah. Be flexible. Trips might not happen. You might get to the airport. Your COVID and this is from personal experience. you did your COVID test too early few hours early. No, no, you can’t board the plane. I’m like seriously, I had everything planned. You’re there like trying to check in. No, you can’t go. So I mean with COVID it’s a whole new world, but I guess it’s just, I don’t think they’re doing this right now, but you know, the, the, where they avoided all the, all the fees. That was pretty awesome. Mm-Hmm you can change your flights with no with no fees. Yeah. Yeah. That was pretty good. And yeah, flight changes if they can get canceled. Yeah. The testing requirement can be annoying. You have to be aware of the timing and all the rules keep changing like every day. So you have to be

Peter Kersting: Country by country soon.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Country by country or yeah, by day it’s like, okay, today I don’t have to get a COVID test, but tomorrow they might switch it. So you have to be ready. Sure. Like right now, and this is something that a friend told me, there are some like at home tests that you can do that they’re valid for traveling at least to come back to the us. Ah, so you do them. I haven’t, I haven’t done them. I actually got them last week, but I’ll be taking those with me to come back to the us. Sure. Instead of, you know, having to look for a place over there, wherever you are to get this. Sure, sure. You do this through a video and then they send you on like a certificate of saying like you’re positive or not. And that counts, like you’re able to fly with that

Peter Kersting: Really? Wait. So you take a video of you taking the at home test and you show ’em the results.

Mari Escobar: I think you do it like with someone like kinda life.

Peter Kersting: Oh,

Mari Escobar: Okay. And then they certify that you did the test and then they give you the results like,

Peter Kersting: Oh, so they’re like watching it live.

Mari Escobar: Exactly. And then they, they give you, you know, the actual certificate, the, the

Peter Kersting: Results that’s so

Mari Escobar: Like a paper results.

Peter Kersting: If you had told me, if you had told me this, like three years ago, you’d be doing a video call with somebody to see if we could make it back in the us I’d be laughing. So I

Mari Escobar: Haven’t even opened them, but

Peter Kersting: You’re there. That’s so funny. That’s clever though. I was always wondering how you could, even the at home test always seems so useless to me that that makes

Mari Escobar: Right. But I guess this is special and it’s like, you know, it meets the CDC requirements.

Peter Kersting: Sure, sure, sure. Yeah.

Mari Escobar: So yeah. Last minute changes our thing. Also the it’s another thing that you have to be, I guess now lately it’s a COVID that changes most things, but yeah. You know, be, be, be open to it and don’t get, yes, you might get frustrated. If you have time constraints, constraints, or money constraints, it makes it harder. But sometimes the experience it’s all about, you know, I’m like, oh, we can’t do this, let’s do this other thing. And then maybe you find something that’s even better than what you had in mind.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. yeah.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. That’s really cool. So last year when I did the road trip with my parents, we had to change the, I also do everything with like reconciliation. That’s pretty important. maybe open until like two days before. Sure. I think, think that’s pretty good range. Yeah. yeah, last year we had, we had to change our trip. Like even while we were there, like a few days before every, all the bookings, I’m like, I feel like I wasted so much of my time but the weather was bad. It was raining. There were floods where we wanted to go. I’m like, there’s some point in going there, you know, it’s not gonna be nice weather. So we had to change everything like last minute, but we had a car, so it was easy. We didn’t have, I mean, we were not constrained to flight, so play around with it and enjoy it. It’s a different experience. At least with my parents, I had never done a trip like that. Like, so open up and flexible. We would only be like planned stuff. Like two days out even in Vietnam was the same. And it was like amazing. I had never done a trip like that. You’d

Peter Kersting: Never

Mari Escobar: Been on. I don’t have all the, all my, I didn’t have everywhere. I was staying for the whole time. Yeah. It would be, I, I mean, I think, and I think most people that I met there, I think you were the same. Like, we kind of knew where we were going, like up or down

Peter Kersting: yeah. but

Mari Escobar: We didn’t know exactly how many days you wanted to stay in this place. Yeah. Or like you kinda had our route, but you know, I think a lot, not everything by day. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think that was the beauty of it. And then you meet these people. I’m like, oh, I wanna hang out more with these people. Yeah. And you stay there for a little longer. And then

Peter Kersting: I definitely spent a lot more time in certain places in Vietnam than I thought I would sometimes it’s like, oh man, I wish I had seen more or whatever. But a lot of times not planning things out is, is really what’s needed. You gotta kind of feel it out. Like, are you trying to get a bunch of stuff in yeah. Plan a little more, but stay flexible.

Mari Escobar: Exactly. Exactly.

Peter Kersting: You’re trying to just like have a good time and not trip out too hard. Just go with it.

Mari Escobar: Yeah. And you gotta know yourself, you gotta know your limits if you’re okay with that. Or if you’re not okay with that, if you’re gonna be stressing out because you don’t know where you’re gonna spend the night.

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Mari Escobar: Then, you know, I mean, that’s why, that’s why I did like one night or like two nights in a fun, at least I need to know where I’m gonna spend.

Peter Kersting: I was gonna say, when you said the thing about having to have every place booked already on your trip, on the exact opposite, like I like to have the first night booked, so I know where I’m gonna stay when I get there Uhhuh, but generally speaking, especially hosts. Right? Like you can extend your stay if you want. Yeah, yeah. Or you can be like, oh, actually that place seems pretty cool. Go check that out. And you’re not stuck in a city cuz you paid 40 bucks. You know what I mean? Yeah. Cause when you’re thrifty, you’re kind of like, I can’t leave. I spend $40

Mari Escobar: yeah. But see, you also have to be open to losing money at some point because of the flight changes and that’s happening a lot. But then because of the flight changes or yeah. You decide to stay longer in this place, you’re already paid for the ferry to get out that day or the train. Yeah. Well, you know yeah, yeah. At the end of it. Yeah. You look at your wallet and it hurts for a little bit, but then you had so much fun. It’s like, yeah. It’s okay.

Peter Kersting: Sure. Yeah. And that’s a good thing to remember too. If, if you get too much in the mind of being really thrifty with the way you do things, I can be like this. You can forget to just be like, I’m on vacation. I saved for this. Yeah. I, or I spent more than I wanted to, but am I gonna, am I gonna be in, in trouble or am I just gonna have to be a little more 50 when I get back? You know?

Mari Escobar: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s another, I mean it’s a little about G or take

Peter Kersting: It’s

Mari Escobar: Right now. Enjoy it later. Yeah. You’re ready doing the trip. Have fun. And then when you’re home, you know, keep it on the download for a little bit.

Peter Kersting: and, and to your point, knowing what kind of travel you are, what kind of person you are is key there. Right? So what are you comfortable with? You’re already gonna run into stuff where you have to adapt, but if you need more structure, plan it out better. Yes.

Mari Escobar: And also if you’re traveling with friends, your family know who you’re traveling. I don’t travel with everyone. Even like my closest friends, because I know I love walking everywhere.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good point.

Mari Escobar: And I’m like, if you’re gonna be stopping and complaining about walking, no it’s not gonna work.

Peter Kersting: I’m actually really glad that you and Tanner both like to walk everywhere because that’s how lot ways I saved money too. I never took a cab anywhere. I remember I was in, I was in I was in Naples for like literally one day and I was trying to see a lot of stuff. But when I went to the airport, I literally walked three hours to get the airport. And it was like one of the coolest walks I’ve ever done though. I was solo traveling, go anywhere. Yeah. Cause you have to go like up these Hills, like through neighborhoods and stuff

Mari Escobar: With that back. See, I

Peter Kersting: Can’t, yeah, it was backpack, you know, but, but I love it cuz

Mari Escobar: My backpacks are

Peter Kersting: Heavy. I did not, I did nothing in Naples, but like that trip was fun for me because I was like walking through like just like very like authentic Italy. You know what I mean?

Mari Escobar: Exactly. That’s, that’s one of the things that I love about traveling. Just wondering,

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Anything that you would like to share that you feel like we haven’t touched on for anybody?

Mari Escobar: What else are we missing?

Peter Kersting: What was something that your friends would ask you about? I mean, I could talk about the food thing, but

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Traveling with

Peter Kersting: Sure. You have, you have dietary restrictions. So how do you go about that? Let’s go into it.

Mari Escobar: I always find something to eat. Even if it’s, you know, just French fries. I won’t start I might take a little longer, you know this from experience

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Yeah.

Mari Escobar: But I always find something, but it can also like affect your experience. Like I think Japan, I think that’s why I didn’t like love it as everybody does, because for me the food, I had trouble with the food. Mm it’s. Like first they didn’t speak as much English, English as I was expecting. So it was hard. Yeah. To know what the offerings were. sure there were not pictures all the time. And then I don’t know here and in Puerto Rico, at least like Asian restaurants, they at least have rice, white rice. Even if it’s just plain over there. No, I’m like, oh at least I gave that with like some soy sauce or something. No, they don’t have that. They have everything made out of rice, but not like plain rice. And then you don’t know what to order on the menu. So it wasn’t until like the four, fifth day we weren’t there for that long. It actually found something that I liked that I enjoyed, I was eating it’s like I was starving. Yeah. But I was, I was not enjoying like what I was eating. And that’s part of like, when I travel, I like to enjoy the local food and you know, mm-hmm, try different things that I don’t get at home. And yeah, I think that affected my perspective. in Japan specifically,

Peter Kersting: You were hungry the whole time

Mari Escobar: yeah. And there was one point where I was like, well maybe I have to good thing. There’s a McDonald’s right there. I didn’t end up going, but I thought about it.

Peter Kersting: Oh my gosh. Yeah. See, it’s so funny cuz I love trying any kind of food anywhere. It’s half of what I like about traveling. So I

Mari Escobar: Like trying new foods, but I’m thinking with

Peter Kersting: My sure. You’re a little bit picky. I’m giving you a little bit of a hard time, but honestly you’re not the worst. Like I said, I travel with vegans. I know I’ve

Mari Escobar: Always people that aren’t worse than I like, I always find something. Yeah.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. I mean, no offense to vegans. I’m just like the, the country that you’re in. Like there’s literally no way you can find a vegan option. So it’s just kinda like,

Mari Escobar: Yeah. It’s it’s not a thing. Yeah. It’s not thing sometimes. Maybe you have to bring your own snacks.

Peter Kersting: Yeah, sure.

Mari Escobar: But at the same time there are other countries like mostly like let’s say India, Indonesia, there’s so many vegetarian options. Like, oh my God, I never get this at home. Cause it’s so cool. And it’s so delicious. Like

Peter Kersting: Where is so I

Mari Escobar: Can go both ways.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Where is the place that you’d say, if somebody’s trying to find the next place to go, you’re like, this has to be on your list.

Mari Escobar: Depends on why you want to. But I mean Europe in general, it’s my favorite. I never wanna leave. And I, I think I know it quite well. I’ve been going there like all my life different. Most of the main major cities, you know, Asia. I like, and I’ve started exploring it like later on like more grown up. And I like it. It’s super different. It’s fun. But after two, three weeks I’m like, okay, I can go back home. Europe, not so much. I’m like I never wanna leave. But I would say like Paris is my favorite city. I know a lot of people hate it. I think you’re on my side or you’re you’re Paris hater.

Peter Kersting: No, I like Paris a lot, but I feel like

Mari Escobar: A lot of people hate it.

Peter Kersting: You gotta go,

Mari Escobar: But it’s not like you have to go beyond the touristy stuff. Like when I first went for like three days when I’m like, eh, I’m not impressed. But then when I went for like two weeks and that trip that I didn’t really wanted to go with to go to, yeah. I’m like, I fell in love with it cause we did other stuff beyond and then we explore other towns outside of Paris and you know sure. Just one there around it gives you another experience. And then I would say out of like the countries that surprised me the most, I think Vietnam, I was not expecting, I didn’t really know what to expect. And I only found out also when you’re traveling and you meet other people, they start bragging about these countries that you don’t really care about. And you’re like, Hmm, maybe I will check it out. So that’s how I ended up in, in Vietnam. Like I went to Thailand the year before and everybody was raving about Vietnam. Yeah. And how cool it was and how cheap it was. I’m like, okay, maybe I’ll put this one on my radar. And that’s how I ended up there. And it was amazing. Yeah. Especially because 20, was 2020 the last trip before the world ended. Yeah. So that made it even more special.

Peter Kersting: Yeah. Yeah. I think that was my last trip too.

Mari Escobar: I think all of us yeah. Who met

Peter Kersting: On that trip? That was,

Mari Escobar: And there are so many people that were gonna travel for like a year. Yeah.

Peter Kersting: Yeah.

Mari Escobar: You know their trips got cut. Short

Peter Kersting: Shoot. Well Mari, thanks for being on the show. This is one we’ve been we’ve been planning for a long time. So finally I know finally able to make it happen. Thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing your advice. And it’s always really nice to catch up, so thanks for doing it.

Mari Escobar: Yes. Thank you for having me. I hope I motivate someone. sure to get out of there, to get out there and just do it. Go for it and maybe, yeah, you, you think you don’t have the money or the time right now, but also do it now while you can’t. Yeah, don’t wait until you’re I hate it when people are like, oh, I’m gonna travel when I retire. No, just do it now. And then do it later when you retire to it.

Peter Kersting: Exactly. If people wanna follow you, where can they find you?

Mari Escobar: Yeah. Instagram @marimari4

Peter Kersting: @MariMari4

Mari Escobar: Spelling is M A R I twice. And then 4, I guess Facebook, but I don’t use it much either.

Peter Kersting: We’ll stick with Instagram or LinkedIn, and we’ll, we’ll put that in the show notes. Thanks for being on the show Mari. It’s been a lot of fun.

Mari Escobar: Of course. Thank you.


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