Itinerary Planning Update

We’ve spent the last 24 hours updating our itinerary page for our two upcoming visits to the USA!! Much excitement has ensued – even Kate has thrown off the travel Malais now that she can see the end of Asia!!  We fly into Los Angeles from Vietnam on 14 April!!

Please visit the page and see how we’ve split the two visits up and tried to list the states in order that we will visit.  We’ve put beside each state a rough number of days that we will spend there.  This includes travelling time (though we don’t know Continue reading

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Embracing Change – How travel has changed us.

I had a good think about how travel has changed us when it came time to write this post.  I was amused that the topic was embracing change when we had decided that our trip next year will be life changing!  Kind of like today’s topic was made for us!

There were lots of things to choose from but I think the one thing that has really had a lasting effect on us was squeezing our fat bums into those aeroplane seats on our trip to Vegas last year!!!

Our flight was a bum-numbing Continue reading

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Halloween in the USA! Bring on 2012!

It’s Halloween tonight and all the neighbourhood kids have been banging on the door with their bags ready to collect their candy.  They are soooooo cute all dressed up as fairies and vampires and ballerinas!  It’s so funny when some of them go catatonic as you open the door – can’t get a word out of them until they run to the letterbox and tell their mum or dad about their loot!

When we first started to plan our RTW trip we were thinking of new things that we would get to do.  Every couple of days someone would catch their breath, sit up straight and look at me and say things like “are we going to Mount Rushmore?”  I would say “yes” and we would all get excited about another amazing thing we were going to see.

I vividly recall being on a weekend scrapbooking camp with my friend Kim back in August.  As I’m sticking my photos down and being tortured by an Elvis song on the stereo a thought suddenly occurs to me.  I catch my breath and sit up all straight in my chair.  She looks at me (Kim, the Elvis lover does) and I say sweetly “Did I mention I’m going to Graceland next year?”  I will let you use your imagination to fill in for what she said, but suffice to say she’s really jealous!  lol

A month ago we were watching a TV show and the kids on TV were trick or treating.  This goes on for a few minutes until I suddenly catch my breath and sit up super straight in my chair.  In a strangled voice I say “guess where we are going to be next year for Halloween?”  The kids all look at each other as realisation dawns on them.  There’s suddenly screaming and jumping (mostly from me!) and everyone is talking at once.  We’ll be in the US!!  What will it be like?  Where will we get costumes.  What is the best place in the US to be for Halloween?

I had forgotten that excitement until tonight.

To see them all dressed up and the girls helping their brother with his vampire make-up and gelling up his hair brought it all back to me.

We are really going away for a whole year.  We are really going to see amazing sights, meet interesting people and do amazing things.

We are going to ride Elephants and visit temples and give alms to Monks in the wee hours of the morning.  We will see snow (some for the first time) and meet family we have not known except on facebook.  If we are very lucky we will manage to visit all 50 states of the US as well as another 19 countries.

But most exciting of all, especially tonight, we will get to see the magic of Halloween like we have only seen on TV and in movies.

I, for one, can’t wait!!

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Life Changing Year – How did this happen?

So. Here we are. We’ve decided to chuck in our jobs, pack up our children and travel the 50 states of the U.S.A in 2012. But how exactly did this happen? What possessed us to make the decision to have a year that would hopefully be life changing? Basically we have a missed trip to Vegas, a volcanic ash cloud, a chance book purchase and a few sleepless nights to blame!

I was still mental over a missed trip to Vegas this year when I was stranded in Melbourne due to volcanic ash! It was extremely cold and very difficult to get a flight out. After an almost sleepless night I went to the airport to make sure I got on my flight. There I purchased two books. 1. How to Retire in 12 months by Serena Star-Leonard (looked like a fairly easy read and I wondered about the title!). 2. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris (problem right there!)

Book one was finished at the airport.  And that baby was GOOD!  I started the 4-Hour Work Week on the plane. By the end of the flight, I was desperate to get home and keep reading. I couldn’t wait to see where this was heading. I finished the book over a couple of nights and thought about it all the time. By Sunday 3rd July I was unable to sleep and posted on Facebook “Can’t sleep. Wondering how to manage a whole year travelling the U.S.A with the kids. Any bright ideas anyone?????????”

To my surprise a few people commented (thought they’d all be asleep) including 2 of my children (who really should have been asleep) and my husband who was interstate. A couple of people from work and some friends volunteered to come along! It was a lost cause from there…

That night I did a quick calculation of what it might cost and how much cashola we could raise – savings, tax returns, sell the car and some junk around the place, hold a few Creative Memories classes, turn off the Foxtel, holiday leave, bank interest on the money we saved, next year’s tax returns while we were away, actually cook instead of eating out (!) etc etc.

Turns out it will be a stretch but we can do it!!! No doubt many more sleepless nights are ahead but we will be spending all of 2012 travelling in the USA!!

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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