WOW!! It is a full-circle moment getting my Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation officially today and knowing that the future of my travels / combined with my passion for Real Estate holds so many opportunities and adventures in store.
When your kids are in school and there are events and things going on – sometimes you have to see the opportunity to really get out there – for the sake of the kid of course 😉 My middle son had the opportunity to play Baseball during the World Sports Festival held in Austria in 2009. This was a different type of travel – being there was a full agenda for him and little for us outside of the games. He was able to stay in a dorm and meet new friends and experience a baseball camp like none others, all while getting to play the sport he loves.
During the none-game times, my youngest son and I were able to explore the city; we visited the aquarium, a Palace and even an amusement park. However, neither of us spoke the language and so it became obvious that SOME language is helpful when needing to find places, get directions, or to just be courtesy. While we certainly had a good time – we were on someone else’s time schedule and that gave little “freedom” that otherwise helps make the trips special.
While my sons and I have traveled many places, the adventure we set out to take in Ireland 2005 was certainly the one that could have caused me to stress (a little). When you are young and free – traveling is easy, you go with the flow and just make things work. When you are traveling with young(er) children and the sole responsibility of the trip / everyone’s safety / and the planning is all on you – it can be overwhelming. It is only due to careful planning and determination that such an international travel was successfully maneuvered by us all! And no – we didn’t kill each other in the process LOL.
Travel by plane for long distances can be difficult – and certainly boring for children. Bringing activities for them to stay occupied is important. Also having snacks available – because you can’t just go run somewhere and pick up what they are use to eating. We found our week flew by and although a little rain on our Dublin day, we were lucky to have glorious weather the balance of the time. It was an adventure to say the least, and although I felt semi-comfortable that language would not necessarily be an issue – when you were hearing full Irish speaking, it was not the brogue you can make your way thru – but a heavy accent and words and sounds likely not heard previously. It was enchanting to visit and knowing what I know now about travels – it is a trip to go back and explore MORE someday!
Does a Girls trip to Cancun count?? OF COURSE! And I’ve really had to think about that – was that the first time I traveled outside of the US?? Actually, I know that my mom has told me of a trip to Nova Scotia while I was very young – so young that I have no memory – so that does not count. However, I did take a trip to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic when I was 21, so that would have to be the first official international visit. Traveling on a cruise ship was a “safe” way to explore multiple locations, but we were restricted to time spent and activities and that feeling of “freedom” was not as obvious – still blessed to have been able to do that trip at such an age, and Snorkeling became a new love of mine as a result!
Girls trip then comes in a close second – but the “freedom” was certainly felt during this trip! What an experience to be able to board a plane and fly to a new country and see ALL THE THINGS YOU CAN SQUEEZE INTO A LONG WEEKEND. Given that, with all the Senor Frogs and Tequila – the memories are still present thankfully! Again a snorkel trip to hook me further into the pass time activity and I have more blessings to count!!
Thinking back thru my years, I have been very blessed to have “vacations” as a priority. As a young girl growing up, my family traveled once a year to take a vacation (often combined with some other activity to be efficient of course) and it lit the torch for travel within my soul. My favorite childhood memory of travel was our trip thru the New England States – during the fall, as teacher in our area had gone on strike and so school was cancelled. That two weeks was an amazing opportunity for me to see other places and explore and have a sense of freedom that came along with the travels, all while being in the care of my parents of course.
Getting to travel and explore for my own family, children in tow – was an even bigger adventure, because it allowed the “new” feel to come back alive as seen thru the eyes of my sons. My hope was that they would take the time to explore and travel on their own so that their journey in this world could be as wonderful as I have found my own.