I have only added one country to my”visited” list since I started this blog a little over a year ago. I had this vision of starting this blog and then jetting around the world. Oh, the fantasy of it all!
But wait, I have kids… there are days that it’s just too much to go to the grocery store. But still, I write this blog and call myself a travel blogger. The audacity!
A Little History
My first international trip that involved flying came at 11 years old. My mother, a former French and Spanish teacher, took me to France, Monaco, and Switzerland. My next jaunt flying out of the country wasn’t until I visited Grand Cayman Island (and survived a hurricane there) as an adult. In between, I visited Canada multiple times and multiple US states.
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Why I Choose To Focus on Travel
Though it took me awhile to realize, I love traveling. I’m most influenced by beautiful beaches, but every time I watch travel shows, I’m absolutely smitten with the destinations. The same thing happens when I read posts by my favorite travel bloggers. And the excitement that bubbles up within when I’m actually traveling somewhere? I can barely contain it. Even when I’m carrying 15 lbs of carseats, 20 lbs of luggage, and 30+ lbs of children. And even when my child is awake throwing up on me all night before an international trip and then throws up in a TSA bin.
There are studies showing that just planning a vacation increases happiness, even more than actually traveling and this article talks about that. I’m in favor of planning a trip and hopefully, actually taking one. For awhile, it was enough to watch travel shows and read travel memoirs, like Lauren Juliff’s How Not to Travel the World. Now, it isn’t. I want to experience a place.
on being authentic
Is a travel blogger only authentic if they are nomads? Or with 100 countries under their belts? Maybe a travel blogger needs to see a certain number of countries in a short amount of time? What is the line that screams: this person is an authentic traveler? And what does that even mean?
As I am so very slowly working on seeing the world, I’ve taken some big steps towards that goal. First, the country I’ve added to my country count is Mexico, where I’ve moved and plan to be for a few years. Why is this move a big step?
I had really hoped to do very slow, immersion travel with my kids. I wanted to be consumed by a language and a place, to explore food and culture. With that in mind, making a huge move through my husband’s work made a lot of sense. In addition, we sold our house and cars, which leaves us with extra traveling funds. Visiting Chile, a country that is both on my wishlist and my husband’s, is a more realistic possibility.
My husband just mentioned visiting Chile again the other day! It may even be possible to visit Easter Island, since we have a larger travel budget now. Can you see the hearts in my eyes, like that heart-eyed emoji?
My country count is up to 8
And I’m not even in a rush to get it to double digits. I don’t have a goal to make it to two more countries in the year and a half before my next birthday with a zero in the end. I will still keep track of the number of countries I visit. My kids will still go with me. Even when it feels like the hardest thing ever.
I want them to have more self-assurance at a younger age than I did. They will definitely have a different perspective on life than I do, because they will (hopefully) have more global experiences. Moving to a different country and also slower paced immersion travel will really cement a different perspective. I don’t know exactly what their adult world will look like. However, I do know that travel teaches a certain skill set that it is likely will help them in their future endeavors. We are trying prepare our children for a world that will be different than the one we live in now.
And if they have a bit of wanderlust? That’s okay, too.