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We Parked the Camper + Are Headed to Europe!

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We Parked the Camper + Are Headed to Europe!

Because, why not? Life is short and we gotta get to that Mediterranean Sea!

Instead of blog posts, I'll be sharing our journey via pictures and videos on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Come and join us on the euro journey! We have no itinerary and no idea what we're getting ourselves into so there'll be a whole lotta #nuventures. Let's do this!

Find us here:

Facebook @nuventuretravels | Instagram @nuventuretravels | YouTube @nuventuretravels

Adam and Lindsey Nubern, nuventuretravels.com, nuventures, Cluj, Romania

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Fly Through the Friendliest Airport in the World: Visit Tucson International Airport (TUS)

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Fly Through the Friendliest Airport in the World: Visit Tucson International Airport (TUS)

Which airport has the friendliest staff in the world? Here's our vote!

The Friendliest Airport in the World:

(TUS) Tucson International Airport!

In the last three years of traveling full-time, we've been through over 20 security lines in airports all over the world.

Even though I've been strategic about packing and created minimal packing lists, the experience is the same everywhere: stressful, disruptive, and uncomfortable.

You know-- We're corralled like sheep through snaking security lines, yelled at every two minutes to remove our shoes, belts and to take out our toiletries, and we've accepted uncomfortable pat downs.

The worst moment of it all? With all my strategic planning and packing, I still forgot to wear shoes with socks!

I find myself barefoot feeling the cold, clammy, tiled floor thinking, "How many other millions of stinky feet have been here, too?" Sick! "Come on, Lindsey!"

I still forget stuff and have to continue to create packing lists- even on this trip to Tucson. 

Over our travels I've commented to Adam, "Remember the days when flying used to be fun?" 

Do you remember?

Remember when you could wait for your family and friends at the gate? You could hug them right away when they landed. 

Remember when checking bags was free? We would check our bags and forget about them until we landed. 

Now, the whole thing is stressful. We carry all of our stuff with us through the whole process and we have to unpack it and repack it through the security line. 

Our experience at Tucson International Airport was so different. We still went through the whole unpack, repack thing, but we didn't feel the normal feelings of being disheveled and those "I survived," and "Glad that's over!" kind of feelings. 

We left the security line feeling happy and light. It was an experience with friendliness and smiles. It was weird. It was remarkable. It took me back to the fun days of flying.

Let me tell you the story:

1. They're Friendly Any Hour of the Day

It was 5:09 AM in Tucson International's Airport. We had woken up 30 minutes before at the hotel. We gave ourselves ten minutes to get dressed and out of the hotel, ten minutes to drop off the rental car, and ten minutes to head into the terminal.  

We were waiting in the security line between the black retractable queue stands guiding us up the ramp to give our tickets and IDs to the security staff. 

However, ahead of me to my right, a security staff member was walking down the line greeting and chatting with every passenger ahead of me. 

Still asleep, I wasn't in a cheerful, chatty mood. It was 5:09 AM, I had just woken up, and security lines are supposed to be straight faced, get in and get out situations. 

I knew I was his next greeting and I prepared myself to be short and sweet.

"Good morning ma'am. Can I help you with anything?" he said kindly with a smile. I kept it short and polite with a "No, thank you."

In my head I said, "This is weird. I'm just ready to get through this." 

Then Adam heard someone ahead say, "This is the friendliest airport I've ever been to."

"A friendly airport? How bizarre," I thought. 

Then I realized, he wasn't yelling at us. 

2. Warm, Smiling, Chatty

The first security man wasn't a fluke. It was the culture. 

It was our turn to go through the swinging black stall gate and give our ID's and tickets to the security woman.

You know, this is the security staff that's sitting on a stool behind the black podium. They're always straight faced, looking miserable, they never look you in the eye, and they never crack a smile. They scan your ticket, sign it with a highlighter, look at the long line behind you, sigh, then hand the ticket and your ID back to you. "NEXT!"

Well, this woman in Tucson didn't fit the mold.

She greeted us warmly and started chatting. "Hi! So, are you headed home?"

For us, that question is a bit difficult. We started explaining, but she was confused. We were in Tucson, heading to Atlanta with a Colorado ID. That's not normal. 

So I said, "Well, we're traveling in a camper around the US. This was a quick trip for business. Adam's an accountant and helps people figure out their taxes with this lifestyle."

She beamed! I was confused now. "A smiling security person? What?"

"My husband and I want to do that! That's our dream after we retire. Please give me your card- I'll be needing it one day."

Not expecting to share his card in the security check point line, Adam had packed it deep in his backpack. While he fumbled to grab it, she continued to share her dreams of RVing through retirement. 

When he finally found it, she said, "Oh, this is awesome! I'll be in touch! Safe travels out there."

Then, she motioned us to the security belt area.

As I made my way forward, I turned back to Adam with a "What's happening here?" look. 

Two friendly security folks? This wasn't normal.

My mind was changed mid security line. Their staff was treating us like people not cattle. And, I was no longer seeing them as obstacles to successfully pass through, I was seeing them as humans with emotions and dreams.

3. Even When They Have to Investigate your Bag

Now it was the time to unload computers, toiletries, take off our shoes, and get a pat down.

Along with unloading all of that, I always unload my big bottle of "medical" contact solution. I've learned I can take it, but because it's bigger than 2 oz. it causes an inspection every time. 

As expected, my grey plastic container got dinged and the next security guy pulled the box over to test my contact solution. 

I grabbed my other two bags, shoved my computer into my backpack, and hopped over to him trying to put my shoes on. The stress of it all. 

For the third time that morning in the security line, we had a friendly conversation.

The security guard asked about our travels and we quickly got on the topic of camping and travel trailers.

We learned of his dreams to buy a camper and travel with his family. 

My contact lens solution came back negative, I packed it away and we were all cheerfully wishing each other "good days."

Still dark out at 5:17 AM, Tucson's friendly security staff had transformed me from a sleepy, short-mooded passenger to cheerful and excited for the day. 

Each of them made the airport security experience enjoyable. Now, that's remarkable! 

Congratulations to the Tucson International Airport security staff!

Thank you for flipping the status quo and making the airport security line enjoyable!

Who knew just a bit of friendly conversation while performing the same tasks can transform a passenger's experience.

This is possible for every airport! 

Please share this if you agree! And, share it with folks you know in the airport industry. 

We can make flying fun again even with security lines!


For your next trip to Tucson:

1. Get excited about your airport experience!

2. Here's a packing list of essentials not to forget for the desert!

3. Here's three places you have to go while you're in town. 

4. Learn five shocking facts about Arizona's famous Saguaro Cactus. These are so cool!

5. Five reasons why you have to visit Mission San Xavior del Bac on your trip!


You'll Also Like These posts About Traveling to Tucson, Arizona:


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Which Mission to Visit in Tucson, Arizona? 5 Reasons to Visit Mission San Xavior del Bac

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Which Mission to Visit in Tucson, Arizona? 5 Reasons to Visit Mission San Xavior del Bac

Which mission should you visit in Tucson, Arizona? We had to make the same decision on our quick 48-hour trip.   

We only had a small amount of time to sight-see between Adam's tax talk at the RVer's Escapades and our flights. 

I had done some research and was uncertain which mission to see while we were there. 

I intended to go to San Pedro Chapel from a Pinterest find, but through a series of mis-#nuventures we ended up at Mission San Xavior del Bac. 

I'm so glad we did! The special history, the beauty, and the views around the mission make it an amazing spot to visit. We spontaneously stepped back in time to the 18th Century! 

Here are 5 reasons to fit the Mission San Xavior del Bac into your trip:

1. It's free

You can't get better than free. And, you'll be amongst hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world who come to the Mission to see some of the best Spanish Colonial architecture in the US. 

2. The beauty outside

The Mission was built in 14 years between 1783 and finished in 1797. The architectural details for that time period are amazing!

March is a great time to visit. The cacti on the Mission's grounds will be blooming!

3. The beauty inside

Since the mission was completed in 1797, the interior work is all hand carved and hand painted. It's still in tact and has been maintained very well. The detailed craft work is incredible!

Make sure to admire the details. The door handle to the sanctuary is a serpent (click the left picture above to get a closer look.) And, you can see where the original nails in the doors were hammered in by the masons (click the right picture above to see). 

4. History

Throughout the mission's history, it's remained in the same place but has been a part of three different countries. 

When the Mission was first constructed, it was in the area of New Spain. Then, when Mexico gained it's independence in 1821, it became a part of Mexico. About 30 years later in 1854, after the Gadsden Purchase, the mission found itself in United States Territory. 

These walls have experienced a lot (including an earthquake)! 

5. The Views

To the right of the mission, you can climb a small hill with a cross at the top. Up here, you can light candles, pray and see the amazing view surrounding the mission. Enjoy!

Keep the history going by making a donation at the gift shop at the end of your trip to help maintain the Mission:)


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3 Places You Gotta Visit in Tucson, Arizona

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3 Places You Gotta Visit in Tucson, Arizona

It's 4:46 AM on a Tuesday morning and here I am standing in Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport snaking my way through the security line. We were preparing to get on a cross-country flight to Tucson, Arizona for a 48 hour trip.

It was a mad dash for us. We had so much fun!

Here’s 3 places in Tucson, AZ you have to visit!

1. Sabino Canyon

5900 N. Sabino Canyon Rd., Tucson, AZ 85750

Sabino Canyon is a 30 minute drive from Tucson’s airport at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. There’s no shade in this desert. Our suggestion: only visit in the early morning or go at sunset.

We went midday and it was so hot we only lasted 30 minutes. Those thirty minutes were awesome, though!

We took the 0.5 mile nature trail and saw awesome cacti and wildlife.

Here's a packing list of 10 essential pieces of gear to have with you.

2. El Charro Cafe

311 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

El Charro Cafe, Tucson, Arizona, Best Place to Eat, Best Restaurant in Tucson, Arizona, Near Sabino Canyon

El Charro Cafe was a yelp treasure we found and glad we did! 

We got in on a 95-year-old tradition by ordering the Carne Seca Recipe platter. For ninety five years, the restaurant has been solar cooking the carne on top of buildings in downtown Tucson in cages over several days to be served in your burrito.

Tucson has the perfect arid environment for the meat to be cooked by the sun. The owners won’t even do it at their Phoenix location. Pretty unique!

Ask for a sample before you order, though. Our waitress Bridgett said you either love it or you hate it. We loved it! We were so stuffed, we didn’t have room for their flan. Bridgett said they have the best flan. Our suggestion: save room for dessert and order the flan. We missed out. 

3. Mission San Xavior del Bac

1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746

San Xavior is a thirty minute drive from Tucson's airport. The architecture, the surrounding views, and the history make it an awesome spot to stop! 

San Xavior is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. The building has belonged to three different countries since it was completed in 1797. This was when Southern Arizona was a part of New Spain!

Then in 1821 when Mexico gained it's independence, the mission became a part of Mexico. Then, with the Gadsden Purchase, the mission became a part of the United States. Crazy history!

Mission San Xavior del Bac, Tucson, Arizona, Things to do in Tucson, Arizona, Things to See in Tucson, Where to Go in Tucson, Places to Visit in Tucson, Arizona, Desert

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