Growing up, my parents always made travel as a priority, and I am so grateful they instilled the travel bug in me early on. We took a big old-fashioned family road trip to the Grand Canyon along with some family visiting in Phoenix, a journey to Chicago, Cleveland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, and Toronto all in one trip, and several beach vacations to South Padre Island. They also took a lot of trips without me and my sister, and now that I have kids, I know exactly why they did that!
One of my high school teachers took a group of students each year to Europe. During my junior year, I decided I was going no matter what. I don’t think I even asked permission from my parents. I basically said “I’m going on this trip.” I paid for a lot of it with money from sacking groceries, and my parents helped as well. That trip in 1998 made a huge impact on my life. Coming from Amarillo, a town in the middle-of-nowhere Texas panhandle, I hadn’t been exposed to culture like this. I came back a new person, and that’s what put me down the path to be an art museum educator and an art history major in college. In a month, we visited Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and England. Pretty amazing experience for a 17-year-old (or anyone actually)! I feel this inescapable and emotional draw when I think of travel, read of it, see others do it, etc.
When I was in college at the University of Texas, I decided to study abroad again despite my complete lack of money. I did the summer 2001 Study in Italy program at UT to Castiglion Fiorentino, which is a tiny Tuscan town between Florence and Rome. On the trip, I also spent a week in Paris alone and went all over Italy over the course of two months. It was an amazing experience, which I think I am still partly paying for as I did it all on student loans and credit cards (I was super dumb with money in college, *sigh*).
I love exploring new places. I long to move to new cities and towns. Since college, I have only taken a couple of trips. Quark and I went to Colorado for our honeymoon and last Thanksgiving because we were considering a move to Denver. I also went to Boston alone twice, once for a conference and another to visit a friend going to grad school there. We also went to Portland and Seattle in 2008–our first real vacation since we were married in 2003. We took our first vacation with Yoshi when she was about two and a half. We went to Atlanta to visit my sister and then to the beach in Destin, FL.
Up until recently, we haven’t had enough money to travel as much as I would like which is devastating to someone (spoiler alert: me) voted “Most Likely to Move to Europe” in high school. It was a major struggle just to stay afloat until Quark went to school and got a good job in 2009. Now we are working on our finances and vigorously paying off debt Dave Ramsey style (affiliate link–see below*). I have big plans to make travel a priority in my life and working on instilling the travel bug in my homebody hubby.
I can’t sit back anymore and let the world go on without me. There will be much more on that to come starting with an upcoming trip to New York City! 🙂
How do you make travel a priority with your family and finances?
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