I secretly wish I could quit my job, sell everything I own, and travel the world. There are plenty of people who have done that. I often find myself reading their blogs and daydreaming about such an adventure. I am too chicken (and too poor) to take such a drastic step right now. But working at a university gives me summers off (starting this year) and an upcoming sabbatical (for my husband). Believe me, we plan on taking full advantage of both!

When we moved out west 15 years ago for my husband to begin working on his doctorate degree, we spent the summers taking incredibly long road trips visiting many of the national parks in the U.S. and Canada. Camping vacations were the perfect choice for a poor graduate student family. In summer 2007, after saving and scrimping for a year, we attended my family reunion in Germany. We decided that if we went that far, we would travel for a month. That was it. We were hooked.

I realized when I turned 40 a few years ago that in my first 40 years of life, I visited 20 countries. I made a goal to visit 40 more countries in the next 20 years. I don't know if I will do it, but I am sure going to try. In 2010, I made it to Israel and visited Costa Rica twice. In 2012, we detoured to Turkey on our way to Ethiopia. Up next, it's Guatemala and Belize.

Most of the time, we travel with our kids. They have become great travelers and and really seem to enjoy it (most of the time). It is definitely more logistically complicated taking the kids. But the experiences they gain far outweigh the negatives. Traveling with four can be expensive so I am constantly looking for ways to reduce costs without diminishing the quality of our experiences. We have become quite comfortable staying in hostels and small guest houses. I also don't mind sharing a bathroom. I am mastering the art of accumulating a lot of frequent flyer miles. Yes, the whole frequent flyer game can be a giant pain. But it has been worth it. In the last two years, I've managed to score six out of eight of our tickets to Costa Rica and four tickets to Puerto Rico for free!

No comments:

Post a Comment