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Are We Causing a Trail of Catastrophes?

Are We Causing a Trail of Catastrophes?

Or are we just hyper-aware of world events now that we’re traveling?

After a few months of traveling full-time, we started to notice a pattern of events unfolding around us. Shortly after leaving a place, a major weather or political event would occur. Sadly, these weren’t happy events. They’re more like catastrophes. Here's the run down –

July 2017

New Orleans
Tropical storm Cindy passed through New Orleans days before our visit to the "Big Easy.

President Trump announced new travel restrictions for Cuba one week before our trip. The new restrictions didn’t take affect until November so our trip wasn’t affected. 

August 2017

A few weeks after leaving Houston, the city was hit by Hurricane Harvey, the costliest tropical cyclone on record (tied with Hurriane Katrina).

September 2017

We were in Guatemala when a massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake ('strongest in a century’) hit off-shore between Mexico and Guatemala. We felt it big time at Lake Atitlan. Most of the quake’s damage was seen in Mexico City where we had just visited 4 weeks before. 

Around the time we landed in Bali, Indonesia, the island’s main volcano, Mount Agung, was put on high alert for an eruption and over 100,000 people were evacuated from their homes. We lived on Bali for over a month and while warnings remained high, we left completely unscathed. Mount Agung did eventually erupt, grounding flights and leaving tourists stranded. It just happened 4 days after we left Bali. Four days! How lucky are we?

There was also a deadly cyclone that hit East Java a few weeks after our stay in Yogyakarta, a city in Central Java.

October 2017

The year we left California, the state had its “most destructive wildfire season on record.” Northern California had the most destructive, costliest, and deadliest fires. More than 210,000 acres were lost, 90,000 people were evacuated from their homes and at least 44 people died. All of this happened just 50 miles from the home we left in San Francisco 5 months earlier.

June 2018

Three months after we toured Japan under mild conditions, the country had its deadlest rain-related disaster in 36 years. Torrential rains caused severe floods that set off landslides in western Japan, leaving 200 people dead. The same month also saw a 5.5 magnitude earthquake near Osaka, Japan’s third largest city and one we visited on our country tour.

July 2018

Lombok, another island we visited in Indonesia, was hit by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, leaving it in rubble.

We tried flying under the radar with these catastrophic correlations, but Jess’ father who follows weather patterns religiously called us out on it pretty quickly with an email blast to the family. Headline: “a trail of weather catastrophes”. 


do you realize that after you left Mexico City, they had a deadly earthquake….before that it was the fires in california…..now a volcano eruption in Bali….

what is going on???


Best response was from Jess’ sister Christine: “Jessica casts a voodoo spell as she departs.” Jess’ other sister Cynthia made a few additions to Dad’s list, one including an unfortunate incident with a clogged toilet at her house in New Jersey but we won’t get into that here because it might have been the most catastrophic event of all. Sorry, Joe!

In all seriousness, it’s incredible to see how our scope and sensitivities to world events have increased over time as we’ve traveled. A lot of life happens when you take the time to notice and we’re wondering if this is normal or if these events are vital signs of global warming and climate change.

Do you have a similar experience? Comment below.

The Best House Rental in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The Best House Rental in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Our Airbnb in Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Our Airbnb in Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala