Doing the right thing for our girls!

We have taken the first step…we booked our one-way flights to Paris! This is a dream of a lifetime and we are getting ready to embark on our 7 month European adventure.  There is a ton of planning involved and it has kept me up at nights, but it is just my mind working overtime, trying to think it all through.  I really want to make sure that we are doing the right thing for our daughters.  I believe that they are at the perfect age (8 and 10) to take such an adventure.  I hope that this trip will spark in them a lifetime of traveling and adventure.  The world is getting smaller and I want them to be comfortable in it, wherever they happen to be.

We thought it might be a good idea to have them make a pro/con list so they can really think about what we are heading off to do.  Here are the results:

I know they really are not going to get the whole scope of things it until after we get there.  So, time will tell, but what a life changing time it will be for them and for us.  The lessons they will learn on the road will hopefully stay with them their whole lives.  I do really hope we will meet some families and that my girls will have a chance to make some friends.  I will have to work on that one…  Anyway, I just want the best chance for my children, as I know everyone does, and I just think this is going to be an absolutely wonderful experience.

Great App for Travel Daydreamers

Planning our extended trip to Europe has me looking at lots of different resources, one being Travel and Leisure magazine.  A recent article that I came across had writers expressing why they love to travel so much, and many expressed how nice it is just to get “lost” somewhere.  When traveling you usually have the time to get “lost” so let the adventures begin. Yes!

One of the writers, Gary Shteygart, talked about how these days, with our iPhones and other electronic devices, it is almost impossible to actually get lost.  He writes about his favorite app, Plane Finder AR ($2.99) which allows you to identify planes that are flying overhead.  How cool is that? How many times have you looked skyward and have seen a plane and wondered which exotic locale those lucky passengers inside were jetting off to, well I have…and now I can know!  This app doesn’t help you get lost but at least you can daydream about it!

Here is to getting lost my friends!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love a day about LOVE! Whats not to love, right? I love to spend this lovely day with my family. For dinner, we all get to choose a food we “love” and then we will have a love feast. My oldest daughter, enjoys healthy food so she requested broccoli and mashed potatoes. My youngest daughter has more simple tastes, so it is all about ice cream sundaes for her and my husband can’t resist a delicious steak.  I am looking forward to enjoying this day with those that I love.

To get this beautiful day started off right, I took out my two other loves for a walk.  I am lucky to be able to walk out my door and have hiking trails to explore.

Hope you enjoy your day and experience lots of love!

Setting a Budget for our European Adventure

Well, this is always the hard part for me but it definitely needs to be done in order to prevent coming home to my own personal major debt crisis.  Thankfully, we have some savings and some investments that we will most likely have to sell in order to do this but we are coming back to jobs already lined up, and our mortgage is being paid, as we have rented our home.  I think we are doing okay and not being completely irresponsible, okay maybe only a little, but to be able to experience this with our kids when we are still relatively young just seems to make sense.  Yes, we are going to have to be careful but I am hoping to be so inspired that my design business will flourish once we return. I do not think one can put a price on the time that we will be able to spend together, priceless I think!

So now to the details, our plan is to spend approximately $4,000 a month. This money will have to cover housing, food, cell phones, gas and special events (museums, soccer games, festivals, The French Open, tours).  No, sadly, this is not going to be a shopping trip but I think I can get over that.  Some countries will be more expensive than others so we are looking into staying in the less expensive countries for the majority of the time while going on special trips to the more expensive countries.  We also have costs not included in our $4000 budget which are our flights, leasing a car in Europe and all of our expenses back home storage costs, car loans (which can be deferred for two months) health care costs and insurance costs.

So with this in mind it is time to begin planning the itinerary.  I am sure adjustments will be made and there are always those unexpected costs that can really throw things off but at least this is a start.  Okay, now that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed…just keep swimming, that is all I can do!