Wanderlust

Paris in February with my parents, family, and in-laws

Travel is one of my greatest passions in life. I love being a mom. I love being a social butterfly and having gatherings with my friends. I love going on rafting trips and ski dates with my hubby. But above all, I love being a mom and friend and wife who travels WITH her family and friends. πŸ™‚

Mazatlan in April with my coworkers. We’ve never even done a group dinner in 7 years of me working here, so when my boss sprung this “team-building trip” on us, we were stoked!

A friend of mine posted the other day on Facebook a tally of his travel in 2018. He travels for work so his numbers were crazy high, but it got me thinking about my year, and I decided to add up my own numbers. I did this mostly from memory, but it was kinda crazy for me to realize how much traveling I/we did in 2018!

Camping in Moab, UT in May with friends

As a quick disclaimer to this – my husband owns his own company, and with the bills we pay for material for his jobs, we build up a TON of air miles every year (maybe a half a million? more? I’m honestly not even sure). This greatly enhances our ability to afford to travel as much as we do since we almost never pay for airline tickets and have friends and family scattered around the world to stay with.

Visiting my sister in Cali in June (all of my siblings and their spouses/kids were there)

I also have spent a lot of time researching credit cards and rewards and air miles to the point that we literally think about which card to use to get double or triple miles in different categories in order to maximize our award travel. There are a lot of blogs out there dedicated to just that so I’m not going to go into it in depth here, but I can say it’s definitely worth your time to learn if you want to increase your ability to travel for free! We love our Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred cards. ❀

Rafting close to home in July for a joint 10th anniversary trip with good friends

So, without further ado, here is the tally of our travel outside of Colorado in 2018!

  • 2 countries (France & Mexico)
  • 6 states (California, Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio)
  • 50 days of family vacation (France, camping, Cali, rafting, Minnesota, Ohio, and Mazatlan) WOW!
  • 7 days of couple’s vacation (hockey weekend 2 hours from here and a trip to Cali for a wedding my husband was the best man in)
  • 5 days of a work vacation for me (Maz with coworkers)
  • 6 days of weekend vacations for me (Denver girls’ weekend 6 hours from here and a Moab girls’ weekend 2h45 from here)
  • 5 days of vacation for my hubby (guys’ golf trip to Mesquite)
  • 32 flights for me (about 22,000 miles flown) – 28 commercial and 4 private!
  • Only a few nights in hotels, mostly we do AirBnb or stay with family/friends when we travel
August brought a trip to my parents’ farm in Minnesota with most of my family!

When you lay it all out like that, it was seriously jaw dropping for me, especially the 50 days of family vacation! To be fair, when we went to Spain in February of 2017 over the kids’ break, we decided to make it a goal to do one big trip with them each year. Well, in February of 2018 we did France, and then this winter trip ended up happening in December instead of February, so the stats are a little skewed with 2 big international trips in one year. 2019 numbers should be MUCH lower than that.

Yet another trip to Cali in August for a wedding my hubby was the best man in.

We do always take a family trip to Minnesota in August that tends to be 11+ days, so that will always bump that family vacation number up quite a bit. I am one of 5 siblings, so our goal as we have gotten older and spread out and started families of our own is to always all get together at least once a year no matter what. We managed to actually do that 3x this year (once with all 15 of us, once with everyone except my parents, and once with everyone except my husband and one of my brother-in-laws because they couldn’t get away from work) , which is pretty incredible! Family is so important.

A pilot friend of mine let me tag along on his work trip to San Diego so I could spend a day with my sister and nephew! Yes, I was super spoiled. This was definitely a first for me!

Also, I am lucky to work 4 day work weeks, and since my husband is self-employed and thus more flexible, we try to make our short trips 4 day weekends (I can shift my work days, so this means 0 days of missed work for me) and big trips always 11 days (Friday through a week after that Monday) since that only requires me missing 4 days of work and we maximize the vacation time!

October brought a quick trip (6 hour drive one way) up to Denver to visit an old roommate and friend of mine.

I also can do a lot of my job remotely, so when we went to Minnesota in August for example to spend time on my parents’ farm, I was able to work from there and not use a ton of vacation days while I was gone. It definitely comes in handy!

Another quick weekend trip to Moab for a running/biking/hiking weekend with girlfriends.

When I moved to Colorado 14 years ago, I had every intention of it being a stopover for the winter just to ski and hang out with a college friend. Honestly, I was a little terrified when it became apparent that I was going to stay in this little town (pop. < 1,000 here!) because I loved travel SO much (that’s what I was supposed to go to grad school for – my Masters in Int’l Business) and I felt like I was losing that part of me.

A quick weekend trip to Ohio in December to celebrate my nephew’s baptism.

I’m not going to lie – there were plenty of years that we did very little travel, and that was honestly difficult and depressing for me. The infertility years and baby years were the hardest, but thankfully my husband loves travel as much as I do, so we both make an effort to dedicate whatever extra funds and time we have to getting out and about and exploring this world as much as we can!

This was 1 day before our family trip to Mexico…I realized my passport was expired and had to beg the friend with the private plane earlier in this post to fly me to Denver to the state passport agency to get a same day renewal. YIKES!

So there ya go – what a whirlwind of a year of travel it has been for us! What/where was your favorite trip this year?

And just last week, ending the year in Mexico with my husband’s family. This was our first family trip all together since his little sister died in March 2014. Bittersweet for sure.
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10 comments

  1. Great post 😁

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  2. Elisa Barber Filonczuk · · Reply

    Boom! Exactly!! So cool!!
    Check out those sassy shoes on the private plane to SD:)
    You’ve got this!

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    1. My sister Audrey got me hooked on them! Made from recycled plastic, machine washable, and super cute! A little spendy, but I love them. Lmk if you want a referral code to save 20% πŸ˜‰

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  3. Awesome! Good for you!

    I must confess, I am a little envious, as I, too, love to travel but am unable to do it much due to the demands of my job.

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  4. I need to add up our travel like this for Brian because he thinks we don’t travel enough and, well… We do. He just doesn’t realize it. πŸ˜‚. Do you count the states you go to, or also travel THROUGH to get to a destination?

    I’m jealous of your couples trips… We need one!

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    1. Only the ones we go to, though to be fair, we almost always fly – not drive – so basically it’s one and the same. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, agree. I counted states as we drove through but they don’t count as real states visited!

        I just added it up…. 65 days, all with the family/kids but 3. 😲 I knew it would be high this year – we took many looooooong trips. It won’t be like that this year – but 4 days are already on the books for 2019.

        States: Virginia, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, South Dakota, Florida, Nebraska. We did stay the night in Alabama on our way to Florida, but it doesn’t count!

        Fun exercise!!!!

        When I told Brian, he said not to share on FB (I never would!) because it looks bad at work. πŸ˜‚

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        1. Haha, Charlie told me the same.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Your traveling inspires me. I’m trying to figure out if we can travel again this summer – with our new car it may not be possible this year, but it’s definitely something I want to keep doing moving forward. We just spent a simple three nights in the snow, and then visited gold country on our way home, and it was great. Even the little trips are so fun and worth the time, energy and money. I wish more of my friends wanted to travel, I think that would help motivate me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure – normally we do little trips (3-4 day weekend trips within a drive of here), and they are so rejuvenating! I know it’s a haul from your place to mine (17-18 hours by car), but you’re always welcome here in the mountains!

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