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Vacation brain….

I wonder if it’s possible to have too much to write about that it all becomes a jumble of nouns, verbs…adjectives connecting and running together? Or it’s just vacation brain. That’s also highly likely. We’re about 23 days in to our trip and my brain has turned to mush. I’m sure it’s the sand, the sea and the copious amounts of ice cream to blame. That and being on sensory overload with the culture, language change and 100 % of my time being spent with my family. I also miss home just a bit…

Of course that is the point of a vacation but boy is it fabulous & exhausting!! We are even sleeping with the kids, a divide and conquer method that has proven to be a great solution for insuring our children sleep but not such a great one for us. We can’t sleep. The girls are terribly wild sleepers and I’ve determined I should sign then up for modern dance or martial arts. We have bruises when we wake up in places we didn’t know were bruise-able and half the night is spend holding onto a hand or a foot to ensure the next half hour won’t end with a blackened eye.

I have the starts of so many write ups that I can’t wait to get home to start trying to organize them. The culture, the food, the islands and the beaches. All the new experiences for my daughters and how travel changed for us now that we have children. Travel tips with kids that we have figured out. Generation and cultural connections and differences. Dietary challenges in other countries, laying not with the food options but in the culture. These are just a few of the topics waiting to be taken from notes to final drafts.

This trip has opened a new door for our family that will circle around travel which we all seem to adapt to well and truly love. My daughters are already excited to plan our next big trip and have proved to be amazing travelling companions! My husband and I are thrilled! We can’t wait to see the world through their eyes.

to be continued…..

 

 

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Internet cafés and the island of Vis

Quick quick post from the Island of Vis! We are in the town of Komiza in the middle of the Adriatic Sea where it is laid back with the main pastime being swimming and drinking kava and vino. We’ve eaten many wonderful local treats like sladoled (icecream) and thin pizza (like Italian style), riba (fish) and palacinka (similar to crepes). Food is big here so you will definitely never be hungry!! There are so many languages being spoken around us its fun to try to figure them out. This is a big spot for European tourists. The girls have made friends from Holland, Slovenia, Croatia, Spain, and Ontario to name a few. All kids love the beach! 😊 Internet cafes have made it all the way out here since we were here 7 years ago which is making this post possible. We are sitting here with the girls coloring in their journals drinking fresh squeezed lemonade! We are hoping to travel to Bisevo tomorrow for a few days where there will be no internet and not many people. This is good. I think it would ruin
the remote experience. It does have one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen and holds a special place in my heart. I got engaged there standing on my husbands families property surrounded by an amazing 360 degree view of the Adriatic Sea 💜 Until next time!

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Lessons learned from the beach on an island in Croatia

Lessons learned from the beach in Croatiabeach1

1. Everybody wears a bikini, and I mean everybody and every BODY! All ages. There is no body shaming here. It’s hot, you swim. No one gives a you know what! 😉

Lesson: Don’t worry about what you look like in a swimsuit! Enjoy yourself. That is why you are at the beach and definitely more important.

2. Kids under the age of 4 swimsuits seem optional. Tops on girls under 10 seem optional (and some beaches tops are optional period). Naked kids are running around and no one cares. No impossible attempts to discretely change your toddler trying to hide them in a towel. No swim diapers ect. Kids are just kids. No one worries about it or thinks anything of it!

Lesson: Modesty has a time and place. Your kids are fine. No one is looking at them inappropriately.

3. Crocs must be the number one beach shoe. I have seen more crocs here than anywhere. On everyone. Maybe it’s the most appropriate footwear for an island where you spend 90% of your time on a beach!

Lesson: Crocs are great beach footwear.

4. Kids pee on the beach. Girls sitting on the edge just in the water, little boys stand at the waters edge and just go right there. Again no one is stressing out about it. Urine is sterile. No biggie!

Lesson: Don’t worry about this. Pee is just pee. Don’t drag your child up some tangled mass of bushes to hide them while they go.

5. People relax here. They spread out their stuff and they stay a while. No rushing, no hurriedly picnicking to speed to somewhere else. They are here to enjoy the beach and they do!

Lesson: Relax!

6. Kids talk to other kids. It doesn’t matter if they speak the same language. They still play. Smiles are universal!

Lesson: Let your kids make friends in their own way. They will figure it out.

7. Parents let kids have some freedom. No helicopter parenting here. Kids are allowed to wander. Parents and grandparents are still attentive, just not attached to the kids. They will shout out a warning if needed!

Lesson: Let go a little. Kids need to learn independence. Allow this.

8.  People help each other. A rock stairway is slippery, someone warns you and offers a hand. Your inflatable is floating away someone will stop it and hand it to you. Your shoe gets caught in the surf, someone will throw it back to the beach.

Lesson: Be helpful

9. People acknowledge each other. They smile and say Hello…in many languages. Say Hi back. Smile. Try to say Hi in the native language of where you are. People love the effort!

Lesson: Engage with the people around you. Say Hi!

10. Take your trash with you or put it in the garbage. No one leaves their trash on the beach here. No plastic, no bottles, no junk.

Lesson: Be respectful of shared spaces! Do not leave anything.

Enjoy the beach…that’s why you’re there 🙂

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10 things about Kukljica that make me smile!!

We are on vacation and our first stop is an Island in the Adriatic Sea. The island is Ugljan and the town is Kukljica. Here are 10 things that make me smile about visiting here.

1. The sky! It couldn’t possibly be more blue!

10 smile sky

 

2. The colors here!! Everything is so vibrant, it’s a Technicolor dream! The sky, the water, the flowers….

10 smile colors

 

3. The fresh produce at the market. I bought 2 tomatoes, a cucumber, two nectarines, two peaches for 28 Kuna which is about $5.50 dollars (the stand owner threw in 4 plums). All fresh and local!

10 smile market

 

4. No packaged meat, cheese or bread. You buy meat sliced at the deli, a hunk of the cheese of choice and how much bread off a loaf. Whole, half, quarter, whatever, all fresh!

10 smile meat cheese

 

5. The fresh-baked breads and rolls. The girls are quite fond of the chocolate filled buns. All from the town bakery!

 

6. Pistachio yogurt! I have never seen this flavor where I live but I will be looking closely when we return. Yummy!!!

10 smile yogurt

7. Many of product packaging look like they are from the 70’s. I don’t know why I love this but I do!

10 smile 70's

8. The smell. The air here smells like pine trees and lavender!

10 smile pine

9. The kava (coffee) the waterside cafés everywhere are so lovely! You can’t beat the coffee or the view!

10 smile kava

10. The sunrise and sunsets are lovely.

10 smile sunrise

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Jet Lag, Lost Bag, Airport Tag

So after being in airports for three days connecting to free wi-fi intermittently now I can actually sit down and try to organize my thoughts a bit. I have written a few previous posts about our big family trip to Croatia (these can be found under the travel/adventure tab) and we finally made it. A friend of mine commented after hearing about our mishaps that if someone had told me that all of these things would have happened I probably wouldn’t have gone. That got me thinking.

That may have been true before, but here’s where this experience has changed my thinking. We made it. It did take three days and some extra trouble but we made it. Best thing is I learned some very important things about my family.

The main thing is that my kids are awesome! They slept in places I wouldn’t have dreamed them EVER being able to. They didn’t complain. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t know any better, they didn’t have any preconceived ideas about the trip or because they are young. But they just rolled along with it. The treat bag I had packed came in handy. The little strawberry shortcake dolls were a hit! We also had mini color books, pens and stickers. My girls did get a new stuffed animal in Vienna, but mostly I was amazed at the made up games they played in the airport. They were bears hiding in between the seats in a cave, they sat in the airport chairs playing beauty parlor and they played mermaid tag (similar to duck duck goose). I was ready to tell any evil eye givers that they’d been in an airport for just under 6 hours with no such luck. Nothing but smiles around us. 🙂 My tip, let them be kids. Give treats, make it a special occasion. Tell them how awesome they are and that they are true travelers. Let them know you are proud of them. Let them explore the airport with you. Play I spy, tell stories, play cards. Take time to get to know them better during the time you are stranded. Make it worth while. I wouldn’t trade it now for anything.

zagreb airport sleeping 2zagreb airport sleeping

 

 

 

 

 

We worked together as a family. I do have to say that if my husband wasn’t as calm a personality as he is then I may have been more likely to freak out and not give the situation a chance and thrown in the towel then and there. Also since being stuck in Paris wouldn’t be half bad (where we missed our connecting flight). Nothing fazes this guy, I mean seriously! He just takes things as they come. Pretty amazing actually. Some of you may be like that as well. But I am not. If there is a freak out allowed to happen (meaning my kids aren’t present to witness semi bad behavior) I am likely to be the one to do it. I am learning that if I take these type of situations one small step at a time then the problem doesn’t seem as horrendous. Plus I got to eat some French food, in France, yum!! It was in the airport but I swear the Quiche was the best I have ever eaten. My daughter was sad we couldn’t make a quick trip to the Eiffel Tower, but our 11 hour mostly middle of the night stay and 6am flight time didn’t allow for that. We have made a family plan to go back ASAP. My tip, be like my husband if you can. Model calm behavior and your kids or significant other will follow. Take it one small step at a time. It will work out.

 

ferry 4to paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for our lost bag…We have found some tips for recovering lost luggage. We are hoping to get our bag tonight. Some tips are from the blog foxnomad.com’s post How to Prevent, Track and Recover Lost Luggage. He suggests taking a picture of your bag so you can accurately describe it to the airport lost and found. He also suggest pictures of what you pack so that if your bag isn’t recovered you have pictures to submit with your claim to insurance. We have a pic of the outside, but not the contents. We will do this next time!! Do not pack electronics such as iPad because they have a high likelihood of being stolen. Our big tip, Do not take I don’t know as an answer!! We heard that so many times in the last 3 days that we were feeling extremely frustrated. Waiting is the worst. Finally we thought to just work our way back calling all the airports and airlines we had been on to see if someone could give us some information. Both our flights on Croatian Air had no idea where our bag was. Our stop before that was Vienna on Austrian Air. My husband called the airline first and got an automated message, so he called the actual Vienna International Airport Lost and Found and got a real live clerk! This man was able to find out that our bag was in fact still in Vienna and he was able to tag it urgent and get it on the next flight to Zagreb with a connecting flight to Zadar. My husband will be at the airport in Zadar at 10pm to get our bag!! (If all goes to plan). If we hadn’t gotten any answers from Vienna our next calls would have been to Paris and then to our starting point of Seattle.

Our checked bag

Another learning point for me was about Jet Lag. It didn’t manifest in ways I thought it would. For some reason I thought we’d just be tired at the wrong times. Naïve me. Having only traveled internationally with just my husband pre kids I had been able to just sleep if needed and force myself to stay awake. I hadn’t thought I’d rally experienced Jet Lag. This trip proved much different. I was exhausted, foggy and giddy at random times not just times related to my home time zone. My kids would just fall asleep at random times. My oldest literally while eating dinner last night. Just out cold pizza on her fork. My little one fell asleep at her normal nap time in the afternoon but would have slept for hours if we hadn’t tried to wake her. Trying to do that was heartbreaking. She just kept saying I need to sleep. It had hit her. Both of them were just goofy giggly messes most of the time. There silliness and random story tellings were hilarious. They kept our spirits up for sure. We are back on a pretty good schedule with my oldest sleeping through the night and the little one waking the last two nights at 3am being hungry. after eating some small snack she goes right back to sleep. We’ll see how tonight goes. My husband and I feel pretty good today after having more of a set schedule.

zadar airport cafe audrey2zadar airport cafe nora2

 

 

 

 

 

 

This taught me that as much as I plan and have my ‘ideas’ about how anything should go I need to understand nothing is set in stone. There is room for change and even if it doesn’t go as I thought that doesn’t mean it is a failure. I am actually glad our trip went as it did. I am even more likely to take my girls all over the world now knowing that they (and we) can handle most issues we encounter!!

zadar airport cafe norazadar airport cafe audrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the ‘what if’s’ stop you from going where you wish to! You’ll miss the beauty this world has to offer! Happy Traveling!

croatia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel woes and whoa’s!

Traveling seems to have a mind of its own. You never know what wrench might be thrown in, but then will be surprised what skill that wrench helps you build. There are a few situations I considered travel woes, some of which I was terrified of happening. Many of those happened this trip but (whoa!) was I surprised what came of them!

1. Missing a flight. I was so afraid of this ever happening…but now that fear is gone. It happened. It made travel a bit more stressful there were a few quiet tears, but once we got a new plan there was no choice but to roll with it. Life is an adventure and there needs to be flexibility. We adapted and the world did not end as I had feared.

2. Sleeping in an airport. Airport sleeping was not high on my list. After finding ourselves in 4 airports at all hours of the day and night we learned to sleep wherever we could. Across benches, in chairs, the girls half in the stroller half out, on our laps, leaning against each other. There were no rules. We just did what we needed to do. All of us can now sleep wherever. Which brings me to number three.

3. Having no where to stay. I feared this scenerio. I am a planner and there would be no reason not to have a hotel reservation waiting for you. Except maybe when your travel plans have changed multiple times and a lightning storm has delayed a flight five hours, putting your arrival time in a new city and country at 3am. There were no taxis, busses or anywhere to walk to. We slept in the airport. Pulled our stroller right up to a bench put the girls in covered it. Shoved the bags we had (see number 4) under the bench, laid down and slept for a few hours until the airport cafe opened at 5:30 am.

4. Being the ones whose luggage gets ‘misplaced’. Waiting at the baggage claim at the end of our travel we didn’t have super high hopes our bag would make it. We had ended up on so many different flights and delays it didn’t surprise us when everyone had grabbed their luggage and we were left empty handed. There is still hope but until then we may just need to take a mini shopping trip. Souvenir clothes!

On this trip we learned to roll with what happens, be flexible, be grateful for what we have, make plans but know they can change, sleep where we could and not care what people thought of us , smile and move on. My kids were awesome. My husband was awesome. I even smiled and was kind of awesome too 😉

I saw my daughters just expect the unexpected. It was all part of the adventure for them. They thought it was exciting. All new and all okay. I was able to learn from them that life just happens and it all works out. Maybe not as planned, it may take more time, but a final destination will be reached eventually 🙂

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Travel Tips: Family Friendly Luggage

This summer our family is taking our first international trip to Croatia. We will be taking 3 airplanes, a bus and a ferry and then a car to our destination, an island in the Adriatic Sea. We will be doing this with our 3 & 5-year-old daughters. By the time we reach our final destination it will be just shy of 24 hours of total travel time!

Are we CRAZY? I’m sure of it! Are we EXCITED? Absolutely!!

Here are my Travel Tips for Luggage: *Note we will be gone for 30 days*

Pack light. Unless you are traveling to an extremely remote destination, you will be able to buy most anything you forget or choose to leave at home. It may cost a bit more but will be worth it not lugging umpteen bags through the airport, waiting to weigh and check them all in before the flights and then finding them all after landing. And no re-lugging them to your transportation for the next portion of your trip.

So don’t panic or obsess over what you MAY need…if you need it. Get it there 🙂

Chose articles of clothing that can be mixed and matched. Fabrics that can be handwashed are good options as well especially if you won’t have laundry service available.

We are checking ONE bag for the 4 of us. (We have laundry available where we are staying so we do not need to bring more than a week of clothing for each of us. Plus shoes). This bag is a large wheeled backpack. Packed to just under 50 pounds. My husband will be able to put this on his back for our walk to the bus we will catch from the airport to the ferry.Our checked bag

I will pack a wheeling carry-on size backpack and bring it onto the plane. This will have a change of clothes for my husband and I, plus toiletries and a swimsuit for each of us. Just in case our one checked bag gets lost. This will give us a day or two to hopefully have it show up or worst case buy a new outfit or two 😉 I also have some more fun activities for the girls in here. Playing cards, wiki sticks, puzzles, new markers and story cards. bag

We will also have any over the counter medications we need to bring and my daughters allergy pills and asthma inhaler, and any prescriptions with their proper labeling. All of these will be in ziplock baggies so when on the plane, if I need something I don’t have to worry about anything falling out and being lost. I will be able to carry this bag on my back when we walk to the bus. We have liquid for the nebulizer but medical liquids have a different airport security protocol depending on the medicine. We will put this in a ziplock, but it doesn’t count in the one quart bag of liquids of 3.7 oz or less each per traveler.

I will also have a snack bag packed with squeezy applesauce, yogurt smoothies pouches (all in their own zip-lock weighing under 3.7 ounces each for the liquid restrictions for air travel)fruit snacks, dried fruit, turkey jerky, nuts, granola bars…easily eaten disposable snacks. I want these available because I know that my daughters won’t be hungry when the food is served on the plane, it’s just Murphy’s law, I also can bet with pretty solid odds they will not want to eat what is served…so snacks are a must! They each also have a water bottle that we will fill one through the check in. One on the plane, unlimited requests for water and juice. The more bathroom trips the better. I want them well hydrated. I know that the one thing worse than a tired traveler is a hungry tired traveler which quickly escalates to Hangry (hungry + angry).

My husband will have his carry-on bag with the laptop (he has to work a bit while we are gone), the ipad, our camera/lenses, and my daughters nebulizer machine. He will be in charge of everything that is expensive to replace 😉 I only left one bag one time at a bus stop on an international trip…one time! Ok, I did feel really bad and I would rather not have that responsibility. We also thought since all electronics have to be taken out of the bag for check in having it all in one place would be best.

Our daughters each have their own rolling backpack to bring as their carry-on. The bags are size appropriate. It was tempting for more space to get them adult size backpacks, but then I wouldn’t be able to expect them to carry them. So, I went with the smaller ones. They actually fit everything perfectly, with room. They will each have a change of clothes, head to toe, swimsuit and extra undies just in case. Their toiletries are in a baggie. They choose one blanket and small stuffed animal for their lovey. *Our first flight is 10 hours…including the next two flights total flight time is 13 hours, including layovers we will be in a plane or airport 16 hours* They each packed a paperback book of multiple stories. They also have some surprise activities in there as well. A color on canvas bag with pens, sticker book, jewel mosaic picture, beading activity, and a notebook with pencils. These were packed only as full as they could carry. No stuffing them. I do not want anything to be more awkward than it needs to be.Both backpacks

I wanted us each to have one bag that we could wear on our backs while we were in and outside the airports. We ill be on a bus, and a ferry as well. I wanted my husband and I, as well as our girls to have our hands free to hold on to each other. Much more important that holding on to our stuff! ❤

 

Easy travel tips:

  • Pack light (bulky, big, heavy luggage/carry-ons are no fun!)
  • Don’t panic you can always buy what you forget
  • Roll your clothes (more will fit)
  • Pack an extra set in you carry on, just in case of delayed or lost luggage
  • Activities
  • Snacks
  • Keep it simple 🙂
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10 seated yoga poses good for airplane travel

Yep, I plan on doing Yoga on our 10 hour flight From Seattle to Paris with my two children. I figure we’ll need to move some anyway, me because I know I should and them because at 3 & 5 yrs old they can’t help it. I figured having their movement look somewhat structured (if I can achieve this) may help my sanity and that of those around us.

I used to have my 3rd grade students do some simple yoga stretches and poses before big tests or when they just seemed squirrely. They loved it and I could see a difference in their behavior. I am by no account a yogi, not even close but I will try to have as many tricks available as I can! I do believe in preparedness! And who can’t use a little relaxation while flying 😉

Chair modified Yoga for kids and adults while on a plane…
1. Head rolls (loosen tight muscles in the neck & shoulders) : They sit cross-legged on their plane seat. put armrests up and this should work for them (I will keep my feet on the floor) Relax shoulders with hands on knees. Inhale and gently lower you right ear toward the right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale bringing head to center. Repeat with the left side. Finish with inhaling and lowering chin to chest. Shoulders straight. Then exhale bringing head back to center. Repeat.

2. Shoulder shrugs (releases tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders): Sit cross-legged or with feet on the floor. Inhale and relax your arms while lifting both shoulders up toward you ears. Exhale and release them down again. Repeat.

3. Sitting palm stretch: Sit cross-legged. Inhale, interlace your fingers, turn the palms away and stretch your arms. With your arms stretched out lift your arms up to shoulder height to loosen upper back muscles. Exhale and continue to lift arms up over your head and open palm toward the ceiling. Hold briefly then release. Repeat.

4. Sitting side twist (help elongate spine): Sit on seat feet and knees hip width apart resting hands on knees. Inhale and rotate to the right placing the back of your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Exhale and deepen the stretch by pressing on the outside of your knee and pulling on the back of the seat. Turning your hips, waist, chest, and finally shoulders until you are looking over your right shoulder. Keep relaxed, hold briefly and release. Repeat on the left side

5. Eyes around the clock: Sit comfortably, start by moving your eyes up and down. Then look up toward twelve o’clock. Then look toward six o’clock. Repeat a few times then close your eyes and rest. Next move your eyes from side to side. Then move eyes toward the side to three o’clock. Now move eyes in a straight line toward nine o’clock on the other side. Repeat a few times then close eyes and rest. Finish by going around the whole clock starting at twelve, then three, then six, then nine and back to twelve.

6. Foot circles: Sit with feet out in front of you as far as possible.  Imagine you are drawing circles with your feet in the air. Circle each foot one direction then each foot the other. Repeat.

7. Seated Mountain Pose: Sit up straight in your seat. Roll your shoulder blades back and down, arms relaxed at your sides. Pull your bellybutton in toward your spine, engaging your abs, and keep  feet flat on the floor, if possible. Inhale through your nose and raise your arms over your head. Keep your arms shoulder width apart relaxing your shoulders. Look straight ahead and slowly raise your gaze to the ceiling. Stretch through 5 breaths then release.

8. Seated Eagle Arms:  Sit up straight in your seat. Roll your shoulder blades back and down, arms relaxed at your sides. Pull your bellybutton in to your spine to engage your abs, and keep your feet flat on the floor, if possible. Extend your arms out in front of you at 90-degree angles, palms facing each other.  Then place your right arm under your left pressing the backs of your palms together. Inhale and sit tall, then exhale and tuck your chin to your chest to stretch the back of the neck. Hold for five breaths, then switch arms and hold five breaths.

9. Seated Cat/Cow: Sitting in your seat roll your shoulder blades back and down, relaxing arms at your sides. Pull your bellybutton in to your spine engaging your abs, and keeping your feet flat on the floor, if you can.  Inhale, arching your back (leading with the chest) and looking up toward the ceiling (this is the cat pose).  Lift your chin and allowing your arms to relax at your sides. Exhale, rounding your spine and letting your head drop forward. Tuck your chin and allow your shoulders to roll (this is the cow pose). Repeat five times, moving fluidly from cat to cow with each breath.

10.  Chair Pigeon: Sit in your seat. Nice and tall. Arms relaxing at your side. Bring your right ankle to rest on your left thigh, keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Hold 3-5 breaths. Repeat with the left leg up. You can lean forward to intensify the stretch.

I have no idea how this will play out, but I feel better just knowing I have some movement options when the girls get squirrely. We of course will be making our semi hourly rounds walking up and down the aisles of the plane to keep circulation going. (That is when they aren’t hopefully asleep) Fingers crossed!!! 😀

 

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A Family Set of Passports

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Unknown
Traveling internationally with my young children will be a new experience. We leave for our 30 day Croatian adventure in about a month. New experiences make me nervous and when they include my children anxiety sets in. It has taken some time for me to be able to visualize what a trip of this magnitude would look like for my family. Now that I’ve come to the comfortable place I am today when I think about international travel with my daughters, it’s all I can think about. I am giddy with excitement and I know we are ready!

I believe in living simply, although it can be hard to do. I believe that we do not need to consume as much as we are told by media, society, and others. Again, it’s hard to fight this societal expectation. I believe in living within our means. I believe that our money is better spent on helping others than personal material stuff. I believe that giving makes us richer than getting. And that by helping others we really help ourselves. I believe that life experiences are priceless.

One of the life experiences that I find invaluable is travel. Travel is expensive. Airfare prices do seem crazy, but if you think about it, you are paying for the luxury of quick transport to other parts of the world. In reality it should be expensive! Totally worth the price tag! Of course I still love finding a great deal 😉

 

 

I think traveling is the best education one can give a child or themselves. Seeing the world promotes the idea that we are all in this together. This is our planet and we are its people. I routinely talk with my girls about other countries and kids who live there. We talk about What their lives may be like in ways that are similar to or different from what my daughters know. My oldest who is 5 especially loves to hear about other kids. She is very excited to see “kids who live in Croatia and speak Croatian”.  She is also very fond of the idea that she may make a friend there. I really hope she does!

 

A common trait that my husband and I share and what brought us together is our need to travel. We love new places, new experience, and different cultures. Traveling brings out the best in both of us. A sense of freedom and excitement that isn’t as apparent in our normal daily lives.  If we passed any of our traits on to our girls, I hope this is it! We have big plans for this family and its wanderings…Among my many lists I have one of places I want to experience and share with my daughters and husband!!

And so it begins 🙂

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There’s Something About Live Music

I went to a concert last night. I know! I actually left the house, kid free looking like I was going somewhere fun. I had forgotten how much I enjoy live music. I haven’t been to a show in ages. Probably pre-kids! I didn’t know the band well but there is something about the energy a live show sends out no matter who it is. (*Disclaimer, all artists send out energy, we all may have differing ideas on whether we like that energy). Anyway, this energy moved through the crowd, and you could feel it wrap around you and carry you with it. The sound deafening at first as my ears adjusted to the volume. (I know, old mom alert) Sound waves vibrating in my chest, me becoming part of the sound. My blood pumping to the beat. Getting enveloped by the music, the experience of it all. It is an adrenaline rush.

I couldn’t make out all the words to the songs with the background noise and the sheer volume so I found myself imagining what the band felt like being up there. Their energy mingling with the fans. Giving of themselves so boldly, being fed by the excitement in the room. All part of a shared experience. I thought about everyone there. The mom with her young daughter and son dancing and waving their light wands. The dad trying to take a picture of his daughter, trying over and over to get the phone to work, smiling and laughing with his teenager. The woman in the white tennis shoes and rhinestone belt who danced the whole time even when those around her were seated. The teenagers screaming and jumping up and down as the lead singer ran around the stadium. Connecting with the audience, sharing a bit of themselves with each other, a quick clasping of hands. The young and the old, the connection this music brought.

I found myself envisioning the days when I will take my daughters to a venue such as this. (Taking note of bring earplugs in my purse…) Wondering what the music scene will be like when that day arrives. Hoping they will want me there, that it can be something we can share. Witnessing their excitement and joy on their faces as they soak in the experience. I can only imagine for know having really no idea until it is actually happening. Like everything with parenting. The thought makes me smile.

I also realized I am not the 20 year old concert goer with limitless energy. Ok, so I knew this going in since I am very close to 40. The opening band didn’t start until 7, followed by a second group, with the main band beginning at 9:40. I began feeling tired but then would be amazingly re-energized by the music. I swear it’s contagious. The next song, the changing of instruments reeling you in for more. Wanting the last song, the encore, the continued connection.

And this morning I had a concert hangover. I didn’t have any alcohol, but because I stayed up later than usual. I invested in the experience, letting myself become part of the music. I was present in the moment allowing all time to be consumed by the sound. Moving with the music from start to finish like a wave from crest to shore. Now, basking in the remnants of a wonderful night I can’t wait to go again! I have a feeling this year will be one full of music. Live, loud, heart pounding, make you feel alive, music. ❤

I agree with the band I enjoyed last night…

When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over
When everything is out you gotta take it in.

Oh, this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life… ~One Republic (Good life Lyrics)

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