Betty Hurd is a flight attendant from Tucson, Arizona with a degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. Her love for travel has led her to exciting careers in aviation and writing. She’s visited 37 countries and hopes to inspire others to see the world by chronicling her adventures here and in her blog, Have You Hurd.
📍 Currently:Based in New Jersey for work but flying wherever they send me every week
🌟 Favorite Destinations:Belize, Philippines, Morocco, Italy, Vietnam, South Africa, India
🎓 Education: University of Arizona (Journalism, Government & Public Policy, 2020)
✔️ Fun Facts: I crashed a Vespa on the Amalfi Coast last year. I almost went to college for pole vaulting. I’m a very bad swimmer
📚 What was Your Favorite Travel Experience or Story?
There are so many, but my most recent favorite was my trip to Belize last year. I flew one Saturday morning directly from LAX to BZE. I had no plans, no idea where I was going to stay, and no knowledge of how things worked in the country.
When I arrived and went through customs, the pilots on my flight offered to take me in their company shuttle to their hotel. But when we found the driver, he informed me that the hotel was full. He had an alternative for me, though. A short man in a wife beater with grey chest hair and a wide smile waited eagerly nearby. Jason was his name, and the hotel van driver said he could take me with him somewhere nice.
“That guy looks mildly trustworthy,” one of the pilots said to me. I know this sounds like a perfect opportunity to get kidnapped and never seen again. I mean, it definitely was, but I had a good feeling about Jason.
He asked me, “You want to stay with my sister on the islands?” I said sure, why not. So I got in his van, waved goodbye to two very concerned-looking pilots, and took off for the docks. Jason told me to purchase a round-trip ticket to Caye Caulker, a place I had never heard of before. His sister would meet me when I arrived, or so I was told. I did as he said and boarded a boat for the island.
An hour later, I arrived at Caye Caulker. The realization that I had no idea what I was getting into sank in throughout the ride. I hopped off the boat in a daze, collected my bags from the jolly boatmen, and what do you know? A 5-foot-tall bald lady was leaning up against a golf cart with a sign that read ‘Betty.’ So Jason really did have a sister waiting for me.
Her name was Ceci, and she took me into her home for the next three days. I have never met a kinder human being in my life. She showed me all over the island, introduced me to friends and family, and gave me a gorgeous place to stay with air conditioning and a pool. I spent my time drinking at underwater bars, swimming with sharks, and soaking in the Caribbean sun.
I still visit Ceci whenever I have the time. I consider her one of my favorite people in the whole world. My experience in Belize reminded me of how wonderful the world is. What began as an impulsive decision turned into the best solo trip of my life. Sometimes it pays to not make plans.
🗺️ What’s Your #1 Expert Travel Tip?
Go with the flow and be open-minded. Give yourself some wiggle room. Making an itinerary is a great way to see and do all of the things you desire, but don’t get so caught up in the order of things.
Allow yourself to meet new people and see new things you may not have expected on your journey. Some of my favorite travel memories involve recommendations from locals that I never would have heeded had I been obsessed with sticking to my original plans.
Sometimes the best experiences are the unexpected ones, so loosen the reins and let the world come your way. You won’t regret it!