My Top Four Travel Milestones

My Top Four Travel Milestones


Over these past two decades, I’ve been fortunate to check off many major travel accomplishments, each with their own unique stories and challenges. I’ve travelled to every country in the world, trekked to the ends of the earth, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and visited every National Park in the United States. And as of this month, I’m celebrating a new milestone: the one-year anniversary of my Bank of America Preferred Rewards membership! I’m confident that as the Preferred Rewards program continues to add new rewards and experiences in 2020, my membership is going to help me reach even more of my future travel goals. As we approach the end of the year, I’d like to reflect on some of my proudest milestones.

#1: Exploring Every Country in the World

In my early twenties, I studied abroad in London. That experience sparked my love of travel, and I’ve been exploring the globe ever since. As I began to explore my interests – immersing myself in different cultures, finding amazing dining destinations and following my favorite sports teams all over – I unexpectedly reached a life-changing accomplishment in 2011: visiting every country in the world. Over the years, traveling has evolved from an interesting hobby and fun lifestyle, into my life passion and full-time career.

#2: Standing at the Top & Bottom of the World

My journey to the North and South Poles started in 2013, with three years of foiled attempts before I completed two of the most thrilling missions of my life. Each trip was unlike anything else I’ve done before. I prepared extensively for each expedition, but ultimately it came down to favorable weather conditions. Relying on Mother Nature was quite stressful, but it made the moments so much more rewarding when I finally reached both poles – first was the South Pole in December 2014, and then the North Pole in April 2016. There’s nothing that compares to the experience of walking through all of the world’s time zones in seconds or looking out on a desert of nothing but white ice. I’ll always remember those two travel milestones among my proudest and happiest moments.

The South Pole 2014, My Top Four Travel Milestones

#3: Completing the National Parks Tour (Kind Of)

Some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and destinations exist within national parks across the United States – and the list continues to grow. Initially comprised of 60 parks when I completed the tour in 2018, the addition of the Indiana Dunes National Park this year makes 61. I can’t wait to see it for myself! And even though the growing list makes this milestone a moving target, it’s still one of my favorite ongoing accomplishments. Camping, hiking and immersing myself in natural wonders has expanded my appreciation for the diversity of travel pursuits, big and small.

All 60 US National Parks ranked

#4: Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro

Before my ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in August, I had never attempted such an intense feat. My best friend and I were determined to take on this epic adventure of climbing one of the seven summits in the world. The trek to reach Uhuru Peak – the landmark you dream of seeing at the top of the mountain – was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Summiting the mountain was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and one of the only times I’ve burst into tears of joy. Plus, I couldn’t imagine a better way to mark my 28th birthday than at the top of “Kili.”

My Top Four Travel Milestones, Kilimanjaro

Bonus: Joining Preferred Rewards

This month, I’m also celebrating my one-year anniversary of joining the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program and the many ways I’ve used the program perks and benefits throughout my incredible travel adventures in 2019. I’ve earned an unlimited 3.5 points per dollar on all of my travel and dining purchases with the Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa Credit Card, received a 2% discount on the current foreign currency exchange rate for all my international cash needs, enjoyed unlimited no-fee ATM transactions in the U.S. and have had peace of mind knowing priority member service is always available if I need it. Preferred Rewards has given me the tools, resources and benefits to travel in style while truly maximizing my financial rewards.

Coincidentally, Bank of America is celebrating a major milestone of its own – the five-year anniversary of the Preferred Rewards program – which also just announced that members now receive unlimited commission-free stock, ETF and option trades through Merrill Edge. That’s a pretty cool way to invest toward future travel adventures! For more tips on how to maximize your financial rewards during the fall and upcoming holiday travel season, be sure to check out this Q&A with insider tips from myself, Bank of America and personal finance site Wise Bread.

I wouldn’t trade my 20 years of amazing travel experiences for anything. The many milestones I’ve reached – and the ones I’m still working toward – are a great reminder of how rewarding it is to set and achieve long-term goals. As I continue to explore the world, I’m looking forward to new adventures and accomplishments in the years to come.

For more information about how banking rewards can help you reach milestones of your own, visit BankofAmerica.com/PreferredRewards.

Disclaimer: I am a paid spokesperson for Bank of America.

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