"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
~Augustine of Hippo
We just booked our next adventure. We decided, as a family (minus Drew due to his schedule), that we didn't need more stuff this year for Christmas. Instead, we wanted an adventure, somewhere none of us has been, which is difficult when it comes to Dan's past life. So this December we will be off to San Diego, California.
I love that my kids want to see the world. Drew was fortunate to do a European People to People trip in high school. We took them to Amsterdam before Dan sold his house where the guys also spent a few days in other parts of the Netherlands while Lily and I snuck off to Paris. They have been fortunate to have my parents who travel with them separately, Lily just returned from Scotland, or as an extended family to Disney, on cruises, or to island adventures.
My parents felt it was very important for my sister and me to see new parts of the world. When I was young we did it very much on a budget, traveling across the country in my uncle's borrowed RV or simply driving long distances with me vomiting in the back of a station wagon (those weren't my favorite). My first trip to Europe was with a family exchange group. We spent a portion of our time staying with a family in Bath, England and traveled from there. Then, in return, we hosted that family at our home.
Dan and I have cut our expenses for this Christmas present trip. Three out of four plane tickets were purchased with our credit card miles (cost $11 per ticket plus the one we had to buy) and the four-star hotel was the deal of the day on Booking.com, saving %40. Plus not having to stress about what useless something to put under a tree.....priceless.
One of my best friends just returned from an Ireland trip that was a Groupon. She said it was fantastic. Another friend visited Thailand this summer where if you can do the plane fare everything in the country is dirt cheap. There are so many ways to open up the world to yourself or your children today. Airline credit cards, discount websites, last minute deals and date flexibility can all lead to very affordable but amazing life experiences.
That's what it's about, experiencing life. I'd rather have memories of new places, people, cultures and time with my family than a new gadget, jewelry or fancy phone and thankfully they all feel the same. We don't have a lot of time on this planet, see as much of it as you can.
"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."
~Mary Anne Radmacher