One of the (many) things we talked about at my therapy session yesterday was my love of travel and how that topic has now become a source of sadness and frustration for me instead of sparking joy. I resolved then and there to change that aspect of my life. An hour after that appointment I saw a FB post from a blog friend about cheap tickets to where she lives in Spain, and when I checked the flights from Denver, I found tickets for $385 round trip. THAT IS INSANELY CHEAP. Two hours later I got home from work and talked to Charlie about the idea of us taking a trip over there together. In the past I’ve always said I would never travel internationally for trips less than 2 weeks in length, but I’m finally realizing I’d rather compromise on total travel time and actually TAKE the trip if that’s what it takes when it comes to time off of work and such. He instantly agreed (which shocked me to my core, no joke) and then suggested we just bring the kids with as well since tickets were so cheap and we’d have friends to stay with who also have kids the same age. Two hours later the tickets were booked. Cue spiral of happiness in my brain.
Let me back up. I’ve obviously written about my love of travel here before. It is, after all, my own cheap version of therapy. 😉 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. It’s so funny to realize that 3 years after that, my brother ended up picking up and moving to Colorado to live with us! I love that he shares my travel bug.
About 18 months after that in November of 2013, I wrote about my travel hopes for the future. It has always been clear to me that travel = happiness in my book. Here is an except from that post…
Here are my traveling hopes for the future.
I want to travel with JUST my husband more. I need to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be a grand international trip – it can be a quick trip to visit friends or a staycation somewhere close, but we need to start carving out more time for us as a couple to spend time together.
I want to continue to travel with my kids. Yes, we’ve done quite a bit of traveling with Stella (5 trips to MN, 1 to St. Louis, and 1 to Chicago), but I don’t want to let that lapse once there’s two kids to corral.
I want to take more non-extended family related trips. I LOVE visiting my family in MN, but sometimes it feels like all of our vacation days are used up to go to the same place over and over again, and I want to take my kids to NEW places. I want to do things like take 4 day weekend rafting trips or visit a national park in the area. I want to find activities to do together as a family that don’t necessarily involve a ton of plane travel.
I want to be happy with where I live and the path I chose for my life, and intimately involved with that is getting to a place of contentment with my life and remembering that I’m not stuck here – I chose to be here. I can still go places and do things, and most importantly – be thankful for where I get to come home to at the end of the trip.
Since I wrote that post 3 years ago, we have done a few small trips, but not nearly as much as I would have liked.
- I left the kiddos at my parent’s house for 4 days in August of 2014 while I spent time at a lake cabin with blog friends, and Charlie and I took our first grown-up trip together in 6 years when we went to St. Louis in September of 2014 for the weekend for a different blog friend’s wedding.
- 2015 was not much of a travel year for us. We were able to get to MN for my grandpa’s funeral and the annual family weekend in August at my parent’s house, but that’s about it. We did do an overnight rafting trip with the kids in the summer and then drove to AZ in December of 2015 and spent a week with my family down there in a big house my parents rented for all of us to spend the holidays together.
- This year started off with our marriage in a really bad spot, and my impromptu trip in April of 2016 to Hawaii with a local girlfriend and an ALI blog friend of mine was incredibly healing for me and for our marriage. That’s about when I fell out of the blogging habit, and I just realized I never did a proper recap of that trip in this space! Basically, a week without responsibilities while traveling and experiencing a new place was huge for me…it was like I hit a reset button on my brain and on our relationship. The rest of this year has just been about work and life as usual. We did get in two rafting trips, one with kids and one without, and we flew up to MN for the annual August family weekend, but that’s about it.
Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s pretty normal that big trips got put on the back burner a bit when the kids are itty bitty. I also know that traveling a lot is something many people never do – but it’s also about choices and how you choose to spend your money & free time. Charlie and I have never really been gift people – we haven’t exchanged a birthday or Christmas or anniversary present in years. We would both much rather spend that money on plane tickets to a cool new place that we can experience together!
So there you go. It’s time. It’s time to make traveling a priority in my life again, and I’m happy to do it alone, or with my husband as a couple trip, or with my husband and my kids by my side. I honestly don’t care what it looks like or who I’m traveling with – but I’m remembering how much I need it in my life and how much it helps with my general outlook on everything. I personally think it’s funny that so much of our travels have happened because of my blog friends. I love you guys!
In T-93 days, my family will be headed out for a 10 day international adventure together. How freakin’ cool is that? 🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s time to get our kids their first passports!