husband and I have always known that travel would be a part of our lives, even
once we had kids. Many people wonder how we can afford it. The simple answer is
thatit's important to us,
so we budget for it the way others budget for a new car or a flat screen TV. If
you live a moderately comfortable life, travel is possible for you, too, even
if you think you can't afford it. I know not everyone truly can afford to travel, but many who say they can't really can. Perhaps they can't travel to China, but they can enjoy more modest trips. And many people who take trips to Disney World with their families spend far more on their vacations than we do. It's simply a matter determining your
own one TV and it's an OLD one with a tube. Our cable plan basically provides
TV reception (you know, the cheap plan that costs about $10 per month). Our two
cars are 5 years old. We bought one new back in 2007 but we bought the other used. Our cellphones
are just phones. Not fancy phones with a data plan. Those things just aren't
important to us. But travel...now there's something we really care about.
isn't to say you need to forgo cable or a new car or a fancy phone. But if
you are a regular reader of this blog, you’re either interested in exploring
nature with children or learning about other cultures, so travel may be
important to you too.
wish you could travel, maybe it's time to talk with your family about your
priorities. I've had many people say something like, "I wish I could take
a trip like that." So consider this...Is taking a trip important to you?
To your spouse or partner? To your kids? Often, you really can afford to plan a
trip with some changes in your spending.
you've heard it all before- cut the $5.00 latte from your daily purchases, pack
a lunch instead of going out, carry a refillable water bottle instead of buying
water. The list of ways to save money is endless. But, the truth is...you see
those lists over and over again because they're true. Most of us can cut some
daily expenses if we determine we'd like to use our money for a different
purpose. The key is to decide what you want and go after it.
decide to travel, the location you choose will have a big impact on your costs.
For example, traveling to Italy in the summer will cost you a small fortune in
air fare. We had planned to go to Italy last summer but changed plans when the
budget didn’t allow it and went to Mount Desert Island in Maine. Our only real expenses were the cost of renting a cottage and gas for the drive up. Other
than that, we cooked most meals at the cottage, so we had limited meal
expenses. All of our outdoor recreation was free except for the cost of an
inexpensive park pass for Acadia National Park. We could have spent even less money if we had chosen to camp.
is a topic that interests you, I highly recommend you read Alexis Grant's blog,
The Traveling Writer. She backpacked solo through Africa and blogged about the
experience. Recently she's been blogging about how to "Take a Leap"
and go after your dreams. If you dream of travel, Lexi has some great advice to
offer. While most of her recent advice is for folks wanting to take a
professional leap and become a solopreneur, her ideas work for travel, too.
(You can also search her archives for posts more specifically about travel).
Blogger Elizabeth J. Bird over
at L’appel du Vide has also been offering money saving tips for travelers
lately. And, if you’re a really adventurous traveler, check out Rolf Potts’ Vagablogging (author of Vagabonding). If you're interested in longer-term trips, he's the guy to read. You can spend less money traveling than you will living in the US for the same period of time if you're flexible and adventurous.
How have you budgeted for travel? Do you have any
money saving tips for travelers?
My family had such a fun night last night. First was the monthly Old Time Fiddle Session at The Brick pizzeria in New Bedford. These sessions have been going on for three years now. They draw people from the South Coast area and beyond. It’s an open session which means that anyone can show up and play or simply come to listen (like me). All players need is an acoustic stringed instrument (e.g. fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass) and enough skills to play along. It’s casual and fun. People teach each other tunes, play together, and generally have a good time. Plus, we get to enjoy a glass of wine or beer and eat delicious pizza.
Jeff ( @rhubarb_andjelly )added a new event following the session: a free ukulele lesson open to anyone who showed up. And boy did people show up! Jeff has 20 ukes available and they were all in use. At least 6 people had brought their own, and I handed mine off for someone to play. Loads of people had heard about the event and came for it, but others happened upon all of us in Wings Court, paused to see what was going on, and were welcomed in by Jeff. Most people stayed the whole time, but some had to leave after a while (young kids who needed to go to bed, for example). No sooner would the uke be returned than a person would walk up, pause, be invited to join and start strumming on that newly available instrument. It was pretty magical. One couple was from NY. Another woman was from Wisconsin. They told me they felt really welcomed by all of us. And it’s all because of Jeff Angeley’s big heart and vision. He knows music brings people of all ages and backgrounds together. He knows music builds community. He’s building it one instrument at a time and I am grateful for that.
Special thanks to the New Bedford Economic Development Council for seeing Jeff’s vision and helping to fund these free community lessons.
If you want to know about future events, follow the South Coast Lessons page or The Old Time Fiddle Session pages.
Today’s basil harvest. From one plant. We have 10 more. 😳 #PestoTonight
It’s been a stellar #gardening year for heat loving plants.
This lovely lady came to visit us with her husband and teen-aged daughter. More than 25 years ago, she was a Rotary Exchange Student who lived with my family. We’ve stayed in touch for all of this time. She has visited a few times since then and my parents attended her wedding. When we lived in Dublin, my family of 4 flew to France to see her family of 5. (On that trip, we also visited a different, lovely French sister, @florence.pit, who lives in Paris). Watching our kids play together was a real joy. It’s always such a pleasure to have her around. #citizensoftheworld
We have friends visiting from France right now so we took a little day trip to #Boston. Here are some pics from @newenglandaquarium. (Yes, I’m always extra happy to see an octopus). #science #ocean
The newest plane by @dantecusolito #STEM #STEAM #FutureEngineer
Some photos taken around my parents’ farm yesterday. The cozy coop in front of the corn makes me smile. My nephew left it there when he visited. The egg is so small because the chicken just started laying- that was her first egg. Also, my dad grows the best corn around. #farmlife #NoFarmsNoFood
I received THE SONG OF SOLOMON as a gift many years ago, back when I was still teaching. It was the night before winter break ended and I decided to read a little before bed. 100 pages later I had to force myself to stop reading and go to sleep. I devoured that book. Next I read BELOVED. Damn, did that book challenge me as a reader. I had to work so hard to understand it. I had to lean in and really concentrate. I was so thankful for that gift- it reminded me what reading must have been like for many of my 4th graders for whom reading was not yet second nature. It made me a better teacher. And what can I say about PARADISE? Another book I had to lean in to understand due to the complex interconnected family trees. Once I was too far in, I wished I had drawn up family trees to help me remember all of the relationships. I’ve been meaning to go back and read that one and make the trees from the beginning. Maybe now is a good time to do that.
RIP Ms. Morrison. The world is a better place for you having been in it.
Our garden is super prolific right now. I’m harvesting zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, jalapeños, sweet basil, Thai basil, and purple basil nearly every day. There are loads of green tomatoes and bell peppers I’m hoping to start harvesting soon. But the zucchini and summer squash...OY! The last picture shows what I harvested THIS MORNING. And we only have one plant of each. We’ve been eating it regularly, and I’ll freeze some, but we can possibly use as much as we’re getting. (This is what happens when you use compost from your parents’ farm!) There are loads of squash blossoms on the plants. Anybody want some? Because we know what those blossoms will soon become... (Seriously local friends... hit me up if you want some squash or blossoms). #organicgardening #gardening #wondersofcompost
With his gourd banjo completed, @dantecusolito decided to make a remote controlled tug boat. Isn’t this thing the cutest? #STEM #STEAM #summertime