April 11, 2016

Birthday Trip Around the World


Last year, I spent my birthday swimming with PENGUINS in South Africa.

Cape Town 4

It was an incredible trip to Cape Town, and I couldn’t think of a way to beat it this year… until my husband found the mileage run of our dreams! He had found a way for us to travel to 7 different cities, 3 different countries for under $500 each.

So this year, I got to swim with WHALESHARKS for my birthday.


Whale. Sharks.


Let me break it down for you…



Lunch in New York, New York

We spent Valentine’s Day in one of our favorites cities in the world, New York City. Lounged around the Premier 57 rooftop spa then gobbled down the best burger in America at Minetta Tavern.

Premier 57 is a Korean spa in midtown. Even on a ONE degree day in February, we enjoyed the rooftop hot tubs!
Premier 57 is a Korean spa in midtown. Even on a ONE degree day in February, we enjoyed the rooftop hot tubs!
Two Black Label Burgers + Two Bloody Mary's= 1 Michelin Star
Two Black Label Burgers + Two Bloody Mary’s= 1 Michelin Star


Dinner in L.A.

But that wasn’t it for V-Day, we dashed on over to the other coast for a double date with the bestie in Los Angeles with the 3rd best burger in the country, In-N-Out! (Sorry, but Shake Shack takes the second place trophy). One burger-ful day and a reunion sleepover later, we jumped across the Pacific pond.



Aloha, Hawaii!

In the 23 hours we spent here, we drove a complete circle around the island of Oahu, ate as much poke as anatomically possible, climbed a small mountain and caught up with an old friend who was also in town!

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Read about the Hawaiian adventure, here.



Where America’s Day Begins

I was able to extend my birthday by traveling to where the clock starts first in America! Guam is a part of the United States, no matter how far away it may seem. We expected the island to be beautiful, considering its location in the South Pacific Micronesia however we never anticipated the magic of the hidden caves and cliffs, secret beaches and serenity. Our 22 hours here were so peaceful, it felt longer.

Read about Guam here.

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Inside Marbo Cave, Guam




More Fun in the Philippines

We had 4 days to island hop in the archipelago. From Manila to Cebu, back to Manila we swam with Whalesharks, canyoneered hours to find a most beautiful waterfall, and had such a long happy hour we almost missed our flight. Bahala na!



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Tokyo is THE coolest place on Earth

32 hours in Tokyo seemed like a decade after all the island hopping we had been doing. We ate more sushi, ramen and matcha than is normal in a week (a very good week, at that). I got serenaded “Happy Birthday” by sexy robots at the Robot Restaurant, and got wonderfully lost in the greatest place on Earth- Tsukiji Fish Market.

Blog- Birthday 2016 10

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Back to Reality- New York, New York

Nothing like a slap back to real life like landing in the Big Apple where the people’s realness slams your 10 day dream to a screeching halt. I did mention it’s one of my fave places to visit (I did live here for three years) but this island isn’t quite as green and blue as the ones I just left.

Now you’re probably still wondering how all these flights could possibly equal half a grand.

You know whenever an airline overbooks a flight and asks for volunteers to give up their seat? You must volunteer. You can also negotiate your compensation for volunteering. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! $800 later, my husband and I were very happy to give up our seats, because that meant we could use that towards this mileage run which cost $900 each, total.

Finding this elusive mileage run, multi-city flight was not easy, but yet still easier than packing for this trip in ONE carry-on. That’s right. If you’re going to island hop around the world, there’s no time to check bags.

Packing light is the only way to travel, that way you can carry on more memories.

So punny. I’ll escort myself out.



Until the next mileage run,

Jetlagged Mel


 Photos taken by Melllypoo via Canon 6D, GoPro Hero 4, iPhone 6.