Drinking my morning cup of coffee in a cafe in Toronto. Waking up to frozen pipes in a quaint hostel in Ontario. Wandering the streets of a seaside town in Halkidiki, Greece. Soaking in a hot tub under the starry night sky in Hissar, Bulgaria.
I can remember each of these moments, and dozens of others, as if they were only yesterday. They may have seemed like fleeting moments in time, but they’re imprinted so firmly in my mind that I can recall them in an instant. When I think of them, I can’t help but smile.
Travel is the one thing that I will never regret spending money on.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to travel. It started off innocently enough, with camping trips and road trips back in my Girl Scout days, and it grew into an insatiable desire to just go.
There’s almost nothing that thrills me more than a good old-fashioned road trip. In ’08, I spent 3 weeks going across the US and Canada, sleeping in hostels, eating junk food from roadside cafes, meeting various locals and fellow travelers, and loving absolutely every minute of it. Those 3 weeks on the road were truly a turning point for me. I knew that I could never be totally satisfied with a stationary life.
Being a travel addict presents some challenges, however. There’s the issues of time, money, and now, family, which need to be addressed before every trip.
Time is a tough one for most of us, as the need for steady employment means limited vacation days throughout the year. In my twenties, I was able to work seasonal jobs to maintain my nomadic lifestyle. As a responsible parent, I don’t really have that option today.
When it comes to money for travel, it’s something that we have to save and budget for. Even a simple road trip a few hours away is going to add up, with gas, food, and a place to stay all needing to be factored in. I would definitely say that we’re budget travelers though, and we know how to cut costs. We fly economy, we don’t eat at pricey restaurants, and we pick the cheapest accommodations.
At one time, I could throw a few things into a backpack and be ready to hit the road. I had to kiss those days of simplicity goodbye when my daughter was born. Traveling with a baby, while not impossible, is not exactly easy, and it isn’t always enjoyable. Even when you’re as minimalist as I am, you still end up with a lot of gear to lug around.
My daughter is 3 now, and I’m happy to report that traveling is becoming much easier. Arranging childcare for an adult-only trip is another challenge. M. and I have been very fortunate in that we’ve taken several trips sans kiddo, thanks to willing grandparent babysitters.
As my daughter gets older, I hope that she’ll share our passion for exploring. I hope that we’ll be able to give her some amazing travel experiences that she’ll look back on fondly, and it may even light a fire within her, too. She’s already lived in 2 countries and flown more than some adults I know, so we’re getting her off to a good start 🙂
I am passionate about traveling, seeing new places, and exploring. My list of places to go is a mile long, and that’s okay. I take it one trip at a time, whether it’s to a new country or a new town, I’m happy with every little journey. Travel is the one thing that I know I will never regret spending money on, because it truly makes my life richer.
What’s one thing that you will never regret spending money on? Has travel made your life richer?