Travel Abroad

The #1 activity I love to do – alone, with friends, or with family – is to travel. I love it. Loooove it.

My first time on an international flight was during the summer I was 18, when I flew to Europe for an Ambassadors of Music tour (a choir and a band comprised of a couple hundred students + chaperons tour seven countries, playing music and singing in cathedrals and parks around Europe). That trip is what made me realize that I wanted to experience other cultures and to travel as much as possible. 

Since then, my goal has been to travel internationally every two years (every year seemed overly ambitious, both for money and time…less often seemed like it would get put on the back burner). So far I’ve done it!

2000: 7 countries around Western Europe – 3 week Ambassadors of Music trip
2002: French May Sem – 1 month immersion class from my college. Basically, I got to use my French language skills to travel around France and journal in French about it – best class ever!
2004: France/Italy/Spain – Six Month Immersion Semester Abroad in France. After graduating from the University in Rennes with my Int’l Business degree, I had a two week break and traveled to Rome and Barcelona, then headed back to France to do an internship before returning to the states.
2006: Australia – 2 week vacation to visit a friend that was living down there.
2008: Jamaica – 9 day honeymoon with Charlie!
2010: Norway – 2 week trip with my Mom, sister, cousin, and Aunt to visit family.
2012: ?? OH SHIT. Time to get on this.

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am the oldest of five kids, and considering that the vast majority of our extended family all still lives in MN and never travels, we have turned into quite the travelers. My 27 year old sister didn’t get to do a semester abroad (she was a college athlete and couldn’t take the time off), but now as a college coach, she travels all over the place while recruiting. My 25 year old sister did a J-term class (1 month immersion course) to Tanzania while in the nursing program at her college. They brought supplies and helped out in a clinic down there, and at the end of the trip, they spent a few days in Zanzibar. My 23 year old sister did an immersion semester abroad in 2010 (hence my Norway trip). And now, as of today, my 21 year old brother is doing a semester abroad in Australia!

For my little bro, this has been quite the tumultuous month. He was originally supposed to fly out last Thursday, but someone in the Australian Office of Tourism screwed up, and long story short, his Visa was basically misplaced. NOT COOL. Apparently it’s the first time in this university’s int’l student program that it has EVER happened. *sigh* At any rate, it finally came through today, so although he missed his orientation week, he is flying out tomorrow to begin his first international adventure, and I couldn’t be more excited for him!

We realized today that I’ll miss him when I’m in MN next month, and I’ll miss him again at Thanksgiving, so the next time we’ll see him is in February at my sister’s wedding. That means I’ll have gone 11 months without seeing him – by far the longest amount of time I have EVER gone without seeing a family member. I’m sad to not see him for so long, but so happy for him that he’ll get to have this experience.

Have fun Tom – travel safe, and I love you so much!!!!
Where is your favorite place to travel? Does your love of travel affect how many kids you want to have?


  1. I love that your siblings are so well travelled. I LOVE to travel πŸ˜‰ but you already know that. Its funny cause at first I wanted to have like 3 or 4 kids and then hubs reminded me if we did we won't be able to just take off like we always do so now I'm actually contemplating just one. In addition to all that we went through of course. Safe travels to Tom!!!

  2. Wow, I don't know how you afford to travel so much. My husband just made a big stink about spending a week on the east coast. However, I've done quite a bit of traveling with my parents when I was younger and now with work. My favorite trip was to Rome with my parents, sister, and grandmother during my sophomore year of college.

  3. You sound like my SIL- she is always hopping on a plane to Europe or somewhere else exotic (this week she's going to Honduras to visit family she's never met.) I wish I had the travel bug- but I just don't. The only place I've been overseas is Scotland and I really didn't enjoy it that much. I think it's the packing, and the flying, and the sleeping in strange beds. I hope you get to travel somewhere fun this year!

  4. The key is looking for sales and finding a free home base to stay at. πŸ™‚ In Australia, we stayed at my friend's house or in hostels the whole time (like $10/night – cheap!). In Norway we stayed with different family members the whole time (I'm 100% Norwegian, so there are a lot of them over there!). In Jamaica, we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. I booked it during a 60% off sale, and once we were there, we didn't spend anything b/c food/drink/tipping was all included.As for France when I was younger, I had a full ride in college, so my scholarships paid for my room and board while abroad – part of the reason I went in the first place!! When we did the Paris/Rome/Barcelona 2 week vacation, my girlfriends and I stayed in hostels, and flying over there is cheap, so we did the entire trip for under $800 – not bad when you consider it was 2 trains, 6 shuttle busses, 3 flights, 9 nights of hostels, food, drink, and souvenirs! Now I just need to figure out how to afford a trip in 2012. πŸ™‚

  5. See – i LOVE the packing and flying. I sometimes miss my own bed, but knowing that I'm in a different city in a different country makes up for that. πŸ™‚

  6. Yep – travel considerations was another reason that my husband and I are now thinking only 1-2 kids. πŸ™‚

  7. I loved New Zealand – but my favorite place is Ireland. I have gone there a couple times and would go back in a heartbeat!When are you taking Stella on an international trip?

  8. I forgot to say – safe travels to your brother! I know what you mean about being excited for him. This is going to change his life!

  9. The love of travel is definitely impacting our thoughts about family size. Traveling with one seems sooo much easier and cheaper than two (or more!) but it's probably more fun for the kid with two. We also love to travel and are exchanging our apartment with a German family next month. It helps to live in a major city to be able to do that though. I'm super anxious about the long flight and the time change with a 9-month-old.

  10. I truly enjoy traveling…My husband, well, he's not so much into it. Getting him to agree to go to Ireland for our honeymoon was quite the challenge. After we went, he said he wanted to do more. Since then we've been to Mexico…that's it. It was beautiful, but I'm looking for more interesting places to travel….seeing the rest of Ireland, going to Italy and Germany are high on my list. Being able to travel with however many kids we have will be a challenge as my husband doesn't like to spend a ton of money. Our honeymoon with airfare, rental car, room and food and souvenirs(with one exception) cost barely $2000. It was definitely worth it, but he kind of freaked at the cost…Mexico was supposed to cost us over $4000, but we ended up getting it for less than half because of an awesome travel agent.Good luck with your 2012 adventures….I think we'll be doing Epcot at Disney World for the foreseeable future as our exotic travels, HAHAHA!!

  11. This is so timely. While I'm not going anywhere exotic (Dallas) tomorrow i'm embarking on a trip, alone with the baby. I will let you know after if my love of travel affects the number of kids I want to have!How awesome for your brother, but I totally understand how hard it is to not see your family. My fear about moving even further away from my brothers is that they'll miss seeing the baby grow up.

  12. Hopefully sooner rather than later -we shall see!!

  13. What an awesome opportunity!

  14. Ah travel love love it. We live in New Zealand so travelling overseas is pretty much a must. We have a 9 month old baby boy who sounds so similar to Stella . We travelled to the US in May this year with him and it was a fabulous trip Las Vegas & San Fran for my husbands work. He got so much attention made for a different travel experience but it was awesome he even slept the 13 hour flights. I have so many fav places Croatia, thailand and Jordan were all relaxing but full of history as well. Travel is a must for me I'm trying to convince my husband that we need a little sun holiday before I go back to work…i am thinking Fiji.

  15. I love to travel. My favorite so far is Aruba. But I desperately want to go to Napa. And Colorado in the spring. I have been in the winter, but not spring.

  16. I love to travel too!! And always have! As do my parents and brother. it is great that you have a family of travellers too, although I am sure you will miss your brother this year. I know many people say the travelling days are over with kiddos but it didn't stop my parents when we were young and we really hope to travel a lot with Alidia and future kid(s), which is also why we are started to lean more and more towards just one more. And I say one more rather than just the one being better for travel because as a kid, I really loved having my brother along on trips to play with and keep each other company… and so many things are set up for a family of 4 when travelling, eating out, etc.PS – I mentioned it before but if you want some international travel in 2012, we do have this apartment sitting empty for guests most of the year!! πŸ™‚ And we LOVE visitors!!!

  17. My hubby just went on the Ambassador's trip 2 years ago and LOVED it too! Traveling and exploring new places is so fun.

  18. […] of travelΒ here before. It is, after all, my own cheap version of therapy.πŸ˜‰ Back in July of 2012 I wrote about a few of the countries I had visited and about my brother who was about to leave for Australia on a travel abroad trip for school. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: