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.
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 with non-profits, expose our kids to the tapestry of taste and colors, and go where the wind takes us.
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