“For all the places I have been, I’m no place without you”
– Andrew McMahon
Well, as if new parenthood wasn’t a challenge enough, Paul and I have decided to start a travel blog to document our adventures as a party of 3! Though we are not technically a party of 3 yet, baby Guetter is most certainly on his or her way and since we are planning our next trip to California while I’m pregnant, we figured no better time than to start now!
But first, a brief background before we dive into our California adventure:
Those who know me know travel is an important part of my life and has been for quite some time. My curiosity was piqued as a child with the many amazing family trips my parents planned, but I truly caught the travel bug when I went on my first cruise, at the age of 17, with a friend and her family – away from my parents and away from the confines of the North American continent, which was all I had ever known until then. Returning from that trip with a newfound independence and an even deeper curiosity to see what the world had to offer, I knew this small taste of travel was only just the beginning. In my junior year of college, when I was 20 years old, I traveled to Australia for 6 months through a semester abroad exchange. I followed that the next year with a month long study abroad trip to Tanzania, Africa, and a month long solo backpacking journey through Europe – and in 2008, at the age of 23, I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After returning from Thailand, in the very same year, I signed up to move to Tucson, Arizona, to work with an Environmental Conservation agency, and traveled throughout the American Southwest. To say it was difficult for me to stay in one place during my early 20s is an understatement.
But then came love
Meeting Paul has been the single most wonderful thing that’s happened in my life, and while our life together has taken a more ‘stable and grounded’ turn (2 mortgages tend to keep you in one place permanently), I’m lucky to have found someone willing to join me on the travel path I once began alone. Together we have made travel a priority in our life, and our adventures as a couple have taken us through most of the Caribbean, to Costa Rica, Mexico, Columbia, Belize, Germany, France, Italy and Greece, and have even included a fairy tale wedding on the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Maybe someday we will reflect on each of these past travel experiences in more detail and dedicate an entire post, or more, to each one, as they are certainly worthy of inclusion in this blog. It certainly helps that Paul is an amazing photographer and has taken spectacular photos of our trips thus far – can you say travel blog dream team? But here is not the time nor place. Here is where we ponder what’s next – our biggest adventure together yet – parenthood. Paul and I have had many lengthy conversations about the kind of future we wish to have and the kind of parents we will strive to be. Though initially afraid of losing touch with our independence and our curiosity to see the world, we came to the conclusion that there is no reason why we can’t continue to travel with our future children, and instill in them the very same curiosity and cultural education we so deeply appreciate. Of course we realize this may be difficult, and our travel life as parents may look very different than our travel life beforehand. And yes, we will need to continue to work stable jobs to support these children and this lifestyle, and we understand some of our trips over the next few years may need to be more budget friendly and more centrally located. But what is travel, really, if not the experience of seeing a new place, or doing something you’ve never done before? And the beautiful thing is, this can be accomplished anywhere you’ve never been, no matter how close or how far that is to the place you call home. We have big dreams – no, we will call them goals – as to the places we will go and the things we will do when baby Guetter finally arrives. Will we accomplish them all? Only time will tell. But whatever we accomplish will be documented here, to serve as a reminder of who we were and who we wish to continue to be.
Well… my brief background has turned into quite the lengthy introduction. But with that being said, we can look ahead to our next trip along the Pacific Coast highway – our babymoon, as we like to call it. To us, this trip will be important. It will mark the end of our ‘single’ travel life, but with it, we carry excitement for what the future will hold. We’re taking a more relaxed approach to planning and doing on this trip – meaning, we’re not really making any plans at all! We’re ready to trust the path and go where our hearts desire, with no set plans to be anywhere specific at all. In the words of Lao Tzu, a favorite travel quote of mine, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving”. Consider this our motto for what’s next to come – in travel and in life. We look forward to sharing more of this journey called life here.