Jo is one of the most well traveled, interesting, and generous person that I know! We met when our girls were toddlers and have spent many hours together scrapbooking our travels and kids' memories. She's also spent a quite a few hours trying to fix my tight muscles (needling!)... as she's a physical therapist. Since growing up in New Zealand and England, she's traveled to all continents except Antarctica. Besides being a world traveler, she has an exciting career. She's owned her own PT clinics in Colorado, is one of the elite physical therapists for the United States Tennis Association and the US Fed Cup tour. Jo is also a sales consultant for DorsaVi, which makes wearable sensor technology for the fitness and therapy industries. She's an avid tennis player, loves to hike, ski, read, spend time with her hubby, and watch her teenage girls kick ass in many sports! Jo and her husband also claim fame to hosting the best Christmas/Hanukkah Christmas Eve parties! After residing in Colorado for many years, Jo is currently living in New Jersey with her family. Hope you enjoy Jo's travel insights!
You grew up in England and New Zealand... what was your favorite about each?
I lived in New Zealand from the age of four to the age of eleven – I loved living in NZ, I loved the climate, the outdoor relaxed lifestyle and the friendliness of the people there. But New Zealand is a long way away from the rest of the world and I liked living in England and being able to explore so many places so close.
Where would you tell visitors they must see and do in Oxford?
Go up a tower and look down on the dreaming spires, walk through the colleges and see them from the inside, visit Christchurch college and pretend you are at Hogwarts. Go “punting” on the river Cherwell.
Your favorite 5 places to visit in England?
Cornwall – beautiful beaches, cute towns and great scenery, also usually the warmest place in England.
Cotswolds – beautiful villages and great scenery, as long as the weather is good.
Norfolk – my grandparents lived there and growing up I loved going to visit that are area of the country – great beaches, windswept scenery
A good Indian restaurant
Hidden away pubs in the countryside with great food.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee but the fufu latte kind or a great Italian cappuccino
Biggest adjustment of your move from Colorado to New Jersey?
Leaving all of my friends that I had known for ever and finding new friends, not as easy as life goes to meet new people as everyone is busy. Cost of living is a little shocking too!
Beach or mountains?
That’s tough….if I could totally pick I would say lake and mountains
Which National Park is next on your list to visit?
Probably Arcadia, we try and go to a NP every year as a family. Maybe Gettysburg too as it is close to us.
Your favorite city to watch tennis in? To play?
I love Wimbledon, it is a great atmosphere and also so much history.
To play would be here in South Orange NJ where we belong to a great tennis club with a lot of history.
Do you prefer trains, planes, or automobiles?
Trains – I love living on the East Coast and being able to take the train so many places, they are reliable, you can work on them and despite doing it all the time, I don’t like to fly!
Favorite travel app?
Tripit – love this app – you can create a trip and then forward all your confirmation emails to it and it puts it all in one place. Love it and it notifies you of delays to flights and easy to share trips with people.
You traveled with your 2 girls from a young age... your best advice on traveling with kids?
Anticipate it will be awful and you will be pleasantly surprised! Remember you will most likely never see the people around you on the plane ever again! Have five times as many things to occupy the kids as you think that you would need. Have a “you can eat anything you want on a plane” rule – break out the treats! My 14 year old has been to England 18 times so you can imagine a lot of those were as a child. I staggered on the plane with enough treats/activities to occupy and/or feed every passenger. I remember one flight we even got out the paints and did painting activities much to the amusement of the people around us! I always took extra clothes for the girls but always take a change of clothes for yourself – I learned that the hard way as I walked through customs covered in vomit!
Window or aisle?
Window – like to lean against the wall
Your must haves on a plane?
Well I don’t like to fly which seems ridiculous as its all I do, so meds to help me fly! My noise cancelling headphones, bottle of Water and People magazine.
Would you use airline travel reward points for an upgrade or free ticket?
Free ticket always. We are very savvy about using our miles for tickets! We make the most of all our rewards programs and just took the whole family to Europe for free and have not paid for a flight to Europe in a long time….
Always take all your charging cords/adaptors in your carry-on luggage. Take a travel wallet and only take your must have credit cards and IDs. Make sure your phone is going to work in the country that you travel to and download any Apps that you need to communicate! Always pack a bag to put laundry in, I have a travel drawstring laundry bag that is great and I take it everywhere.
I love shopping for travel gadgets or containers and I have a ton of them, everything goes in a different zipper pouch!
Favorite hotel or brand?
Marriott – my husband and I recently became Platinum rewards members for life! You can always find a Marriott!
Best travel memory or destination?
So hard because I have been to 49 countries and they are all so diverse. I loved our Alaskan cruise, so amazing and a great vacation for me.
In my younger days I travelled to Nepal and that is an amazing country and so beautiful but I have been to every continent (except Antartica) and they are all so different. We took a family vacation to the mountains of Switzerland a few years ago and that was a great trip with stunning scenery.
Bucket list trip?
Would love to go to Patagonia in Argentina but I would also love to go back to Greece and take the family. My husband has never been to New Zealand and I would love to take him there.
Where to next?
Aside from a quick trip back to England at the end of January and then a work (!) trip to Kona in Hawaii in Feb, I do not have another trip on the schedule. I think as a family we will take a trip soon up to Niagara Falls, Quebec and Montreal.
Until the next adventure - bon voyage!