What is Groupon The Globe?

I have always had a passion for travel. That passion was honed during my formative years as my parents took me to the North Georgia mountains to practice photography, play with our dogs and embrace the mountain living that would go on to define my tomboy personality.

As I grew older, my desire to explore this big, blue marble was confined to my latest selection from my local library. With two parents working full time year-round, taking a family vacation abroad was an idea we enjoyed, but couldn’t fulfill… until I became a wedding photographer.

At the suggestion of my parents, I became a wedding photographer shortly after graduating college. Although my heart – and 19 years of experience – was in landscape photography at the time, my parents reminded me that the money was in capturing weddings… at least until I could be commissioned.

For 8 years, I photographed weddings, engagements and family portraits around the Atlanta area. It offered me the opportunity to work on my craft while shooting in a variety of conditions – summer heat, pop-up rain showers and the coveted golden hour. But it also prepared me to finally travel out of the country to beautiful Jamaica.

In 2014, an awesome bride named Anisha hired me and my second shooter/travel partner/then-boyfriend (now husband) Joel to travel to Negril, Jamaica with her close family and friends to capture her wedding.

It was my first time on a plane and my first time out of the country! Joel had traveled to Ecuador after high school for a short-term missions trip, but that was the extent of his international travel experience.

During the trip, I was definitely bit by the travel bug. Although by that point in my life I had been to Birmingham, Chattanooga, Detroit and New York City, all of our excursions consisted of a road trip – including a trip from Atlanta to Detroit to New York City and back with Joel & my parents. I had never been on a commercial flight – only a helicopter for 10 minutes and a biplane for 45 minutes. At 30 years old, this was my first true international trip… and I was terrified.

For the 2 hour flight to Jamaica and the 2 hour flight back, Joel held my hand the entire time to keep me calm (they don’t make them like him anymore)! But once we landed in Montego Bay (and I was on solid ground), I realized that “Island Time” is a real thing! The breeze, the salty air, the friendly locals, the culture, the flavorful food, it was enough for me to change my travel rule from ‘at least one city a year’ to ‘at least one country a year/every continent by 40’. Even the juxtaposition of the fast-paced, overpriced, throwaway culture that America is known for versus the laid-back, culturally rich, (at times) poverty-stricken nature of Jamaica inspired me to return one day.

After returning from the wedding, I promised myself I would travel domestically and internationally every year if circumstances allowed – and Joel was 100% on-board. But how could two 30-somethings with a very limited disposable income view the world with their own eyes on a budget? Groupon to the rescue!

I had received emails from Groupon for about a year after I purchased discounted Zumba classes that {ahem} I never attended. One day, I received the email notification for Groupon Getaways. Basically, Groupon partners with a hotel, attraction or travel agency to offer a discounted deal; many of the international Groupon Getaways include airfare and hotel! You pay for the Groupon voucher through the website which then gives you the step-by-step instructions to confirm the travel details with the travel agency. They do allow for cancellations in most cases (with a penalty fee), but it is very much a hassle-free process.

Our first Groupon Getaway was an 8-day trip to London, Paris and Rome (with airfare and hotel included through Gate 1 Travel), and that is where our journey to Groupon The Globe begins.

On this blog, we will tell you about our experiences on the trips, what difficulties we experienced traveling internationally and domestically as an interracial couple (if any) and tips to help you travel on a budget with a few clicks.

So pack your bags, it’s time to Groupon The Globe!

(Note: We are not affiliated or sponsored by Groupon.)

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