When I was about 20 I decided I wanted to play a little game with myself to set goals. Since I loved traveling so much, the game would be to have always traveled to at least as many countries as my age. So this would always insure that I had somewhere I "needed" to go. I was way ahead of the game by 24. Then after marriage and 3 kids, travel was put on hold until the children got a little older and could enjoy travel. Now I have more than caught up. It's been great traveling with my kids individually as well. It's much easier to "teach them the ropes" when it's one on one. I've always felt that if my children are great students I don't hesitate to take them out of school to travel. For them to know how to change planes, ride a subway, catch a bus/train, use foreign currency, get around in another language, eat unusual food, how to barter, how to stay safe, how live out of a small carry on....is some of the great wisdom of life.
My Favorite Places:
Everyone ask me that and my answer is, "favorite place for what?" Because each place is a favorite for something. Scenery, food, animals, romance, beaches, boating, snorkeling, hiking, fun people, amazing ruins/history, hot climates, cold climates, good wine.....Some places are more like a vacation and others are true hardcore traveling. I like a bit of everything.
Things change, countries I've been to don't exist. Cities also change. My youngest daughter's turn for a mother-daughter trip was coming up and she desperately wanted to go to New Orleans. I tried to change her mind because I felt the Big Easy was really no place for a 12 year old. She got on the internet and researched. She printed up pages of appropriate things to do for kids. Swamp tours, cemetary walks, zoo, Mississippi river boat, plaintations, great parks, etc. So we went. We spent a wonderful 5 days doing everything possible there. Took 400 photos (even one from the plane on take off). When we returned home, the next evening I was cooking dinner with the news on. New Orleans was being evacuated because of hurricane Katrina. My heart just stopped. All those wonderful people we had just met and that beautiful city was ruined before our eyes over the next couple of days....I am so greatful for Tessa taking the time to research something she really wanted to do or she would have never seen the city of New Orleans as it was. People put off traveling because they say, "oh, Rome will always be there..." -maybe it won't.