kyle and tate in greece

The art of simple travel

After I graduated college almost two decades ago, a friend and I did the prerequisite backpacking-through-Europe thing. I dipped my toes in the waters of Irish pubs and Indian street food, and I left thirsty for more.

Before that, my heart pounded when, for the first time, I walked around a few blocks alone, breathing in the smoky air and icy gray exterior of a Latvia that had just unshackled its Communist chains a few months prior. I was fifteen. That was when I was also spending my Spring Breaks in Mexico border towns, hosting VBS for brown-eyed children and drinking Coca-Cola from dusty-glass ten-ounce bottles.

Eventually, I moved to a tiny dot on the map in war-torn Yugoslavia, met my eventual husband, then married him and had a baby before we moved to Turkey for a bit.

For whatever reason, I can’t seem to stand still for too long (in fact, as I write this I’m on a plane to Frankfurt, headed eventually to Tuscany). I love exploring the great big world, and I also have to routinely check my heart, to make sure i’m not clamoring for adventure just for the sake of adrenaline or escaping the mundane.

I travel—we travel, as a family—to remember that the world is so, so much bigger than us. To risk discomfort and sore legs from cramped airplanes in order to taste, see, and smell that which can only truly be experienced in the flesh. We travel, much like reading, to know we’re not alone.

And we’re mostly regular people (mostly). We adjust our budget and our priorities so we can drink up the world, which means saying no to an awful lot. We don’t travel nearly as much as we like because we want to be responsible parents and provide our brood with things like food, electricity, and a splash of stability.

But when we’re able to go, we go. And I am so ridiculously psyched to tell you that after a year of dreaming and months of planning, there’s now has a companion space to AoS, where we can share with you our joy of travel and to encourage and equip you to get out your front door, too.

Head over and see our new sister site, The Art of Simple Travel. I hope you dig it as much as we do.

Nope, I’m not leaving this place—wouldn’t dream of it. This blog is an online home to me, and it’ll stay that way for a long while. I’ll continue to write here with my friends as I join my daughter and husband over there—this way I can write about both my passions. One dedicated space to go deep in to the world of global exploration, leaving room and freedom here to celebrate simple living and revel in the everyday.

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." -Robert Louis Stevenson

See, for our family, these two things are simply two sides of the same coin—we live simply so that we can travel. We travel to further deepen our simple lifestyle. They’re yin and yang, salt and pepper, that perfect glass of wine paired a smudge of brie on crusty bread. Both enhance each other.

As you know, our clan of five is headed out in just a few months on a long-awaited round-the-world trip (first stop: China). We’ll continue to live and work and learn in some ways like we do here, running this site and living a familial liturgy. But on the road, we’ll also partner and pray with non-profits, expose our kids to the tapestry of taste and colors, and go where the wind takes us.

And share our experiences with you. Of course we’ll do that. If you want to journey with us, subscribe to the travel blog, and you’ll get updates. And our tips and our stories, both from the grownups’ perspective and the kids’ (thanks in advance, Tate, for writing with us).

I’m closing comments on this post because you’d thrill my socks off if you headed over to the new post today on AoST, said hi, and shared with us any thoughts you have about travel—where you’re dreaming of going, what stuff you’d like to read there, any questions you may have about making it work. And perhaps a travel memory or two.

And in the meantime, you’ll now find me both here and there. Celebrating both sides to my coin.

Join the Conversation
blue bike

The great affair is to move: 9 truths about travel

We just passed exit 204 somewhere between Greensboro, North Carolina and Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s 10:39 p.m., and while the youngest one has managed to dutifully pass out in his carseat, the older two are up late watching a movie on the iPad. This marks the end of Day Seven on our family’s road trip, wandering (read more…)

Join the Conversation
bike gears

What it means to hop on a bike

Sigh… I’m a happy gal right now. It’s near 11 p.m. on Thursday evening, my boys are playing on the iPad (shock! horror!), and my mom is sitting next to me. Tonight, we had so much fun. For those of you who came, thanks. I absolutely loved seeing all your kids—mamas sling-adorned with three-month-olds, strollers (read more…)

Join the Conversation
pazar

Of beignets and brisket and börek

When I’m busy or stressed, I tend to grab whatever food is nearest—not the best culinary habit, I admit. So with the book release this week, I’ve taken to eating some fare that hasn’t exactly settled my stomach. I’ve been craving vegetables for weeks, which is a wee sign that my body longs for health. (read more…)

Join the Conversation
sm_travelgame_image1

Printable travel game

A few weeks ago our family hit the road as we made the big move from Alberta, Canada, to sunny Arizona. Along with packing, cleaning, and the various tasks that come with a move, I knew I’d also need to prepare for the long drive ahead of us. With an ample snack assortment,  a handful (read more…)

Join the Conversation