Travel Guide | Far Flung Life Altering Celebrations of Freedom
February 2, 2016
So, I decided to add in a section called "Travel Guide" for myself because I like to document my adventures with G- whether they be quick domestic trips or far flung life altering celebrations of freedom. I thought I'd put it right here in case any of my readers want input on places to travel, what to expect, what our lessons learned would be to make return trips (should the place be amazing enough to return to) easier and more enjoyable, and other fun tips like how we stay organized while traveling, plan itineraries - especially for long adventure trips like our 3 weeks in New Zealand, choose activities, balance activity with relaxation, and stay on a budget.
After the unbelievable adventure we had last year in New Zealand, we committed to having more experiences like that. I love calling them far flung life altering celebrations of freedom rather than vacations. Because it's so much more accurate. We don't really take vacations. New Zealand was technically our honeymoon; a celebration of us as a couple-- and we did everything that we loved for 3 weeks straight.
So, we came up with a plan that works with our annual travel budget - yes, we set aside money especially for that - and it's probably a healthier sized budget than the average family, but for us, it is a huge priority and one of the major ways that we find fulfillment together as a couple rather than raising children or running mega corporations. Those are also great life pursuits, don't get me wrong, they're just not for us.
Each year, we plan to take at least 4 trips. Four???! Well, of varying length and distance. 2-3 of these trips will be domestic, such as a long weekend in Vegas, Miami Beach, or visiting friends who have moved to places where we can no longer drive. My personal driving length tolerance hovers around the 3 hour mark. It's not that I'm not patient, I am exceedingly patient. I get motion sick, and can't read in the car or do anything except stare straight ahead. It's a headache. We did drive for anywhere from 2-6 hours at a time getting around both New Zealand islands while we were there, but staring straight ahead was all the entertainment I needed it was so beautiful!!!
The other 1-2 trips will be abroad. One longer trip of 2+ weeks so that we can really settle in, explore thoroughly, and totally immerse. When I travel somewhere and leave feeling like I know exactly how I would live my life there, I know that I really visited. Like, where I would treat myself to morning coffees, how I would get my exercise in (NOT always at the gym, if at all), what my favorite foods are, being able to get around via car or on foot or bike without a map, and so on and so forth. Then, I know I have a deep enough understanding of that place to be affected by it forever.
My brother and his family live in the UK now, and so we reserve a trip at least every other year to visit them, and that is technically abroad as well. We'll combine that with a few days or a week somewhere in the UK or Europe as well since we're already over the pond.
I'm writing this post from my friend Mindy's office chair in Tampa, FL. We were so happy to spend a nice long 4-day weekend with her visiting and catching up. This is one of our fun domestic trips for 2016. I'll write all about Tampa life in a future post.
Next up is our trip to the UK to visit my brother and his family, and staying a few extra days to explore London. Then, we will take another 10-14 day trip abroad sometime in the early fall, the place is undecided at the current time. And then G has promised to take me back to one of my favorite places in December for all the Christmas stuff - NYC. It'll be hard to ever top our 3 week adventure in New Zealand, but there's so much good stuff to look forward to, I'm not going to look back.