Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Oct 8th 2010 1:06PM The Hyatt Resort at Scottsdale looks divine!
Jan 30th 2010 10:27AM Some good ones, but I'm really surprised that you didn't mention home/apt rentals or camping.
We've been on an open ended family world tour since 2006 & although we have been to 4 continents & 32 countries so far, much of it's been in Europe. We travel/live very large in Europe on just 23 dollars per person per day!!
All Europeans (and many from OZ & NZ) know that this is the smart way to go for those who want high luxury on a low budget, and a fantastic way to meet and spend time with Europeans, but we almost never see Americans.
They tend to think of camping as "roughing it" and have no idea that some of the best ways to see all the best sites in Europe is via a campsite (many of them 5 star resorts with every amenity from wine tasting, to water parks to horseback riding & all with cottages to rent) from Venice to Paris to Tuscany to Satorini.
Weekly apt deals ( monthly are even better) can save you a lot. Hostels are much too expensive for our budget, (not a great fit for families) so we rarely use them, but one can rent a beautiful Med sea home for a pittance off season.
Dec 22nd 2009 5:11PM Now you're talking! I blogging both these posts because they are valid points. Thanks!
Dec 18th 2009 3:46PM Interesting read! When I saw the title, I thought, that must be a very different "life on the road" than mine, as we are into our 4th year of an open ended world tour and I haven't experienced any of it "sucking" thus far.
So, I think much depends on how one does it and possibly inner perspective or age. We have the luxury to go at exactly the pace we want to go (slow) and exactly where we want to go "winging it in the moment" & we travel as a family, so our most important relationships are along for the ride. ;) We experience everything together and adore the freedom.
I hate to travel in bad weather and think deep immersion is valuable, so we follow the weather and we have spent the last 4 winters in a tiny village in Andalusia, Spain where my child goes to the local school, takes flamenco lessons & we fully participate in village life and all the elaborate festivals. We have all made deep friends here that we will cherish and keep forever. They are fine with it too, if we take her out of school for little excursions.
We've been to 32 countries, 4 continents & over 175,000 miles (most overland) but we also go "back" to places regularly like Barcelona, Italy, France, Austria, UK etc & I think that supports connections too. We've been to Barcelona 8 times since 2006 (often staying a month) and have some friends there that we see every time. I suppose it also helps that we speak the language.
We like the style of half a year of mostly traveling & 5 months of mostly resting & deeper immersion/explorations. We did it for our child, but works for all of us. I do remember having great bouts of homesickness when I lived in Italy for a year in my 20's, but we have never gotten homesick or had "travel burn out" on this one.
We have found webcam calls along with blogging, twitter, facebook etc a great way to keep connected to family and friends. No they can't really relate to what we are experiencing ( although some have come to visit, so have a taste) but we don't expect that, nor do we need that.
I can't say we can relate to any of these "sucking points", but we are very different travelers., so that makes sense. Everybody's "on the road" will differ.
We certainly have our moments of that "colicky baby" kind of travel ( I'm writing this with just my left hand because I am recovering from a serious injury via a bike wreck on the Danube in August that landed me in the hospital & surgery etc), but for the most part I find it more like the ideal baby, that is soooo easy to love!
Nov 7th 2009 3:14PM Love it! I still have fond memories of roadtrips from Michigan to Fla twice a winter with my family while growing up, taking a 6 month road trip from Boston to Key West then over to SD and up to SF in a tiny red fiat spider & pup tent in my 20's, and doing winter runs from Santa Cruz to the Sea of Cortez in Baja in a Datsun mini truck with a teenie 6pack camper with hubs & out cat!
Now we are on an open ended world tour as a family since 2006 ...perhaps one of the ultimate roadtrips...4 continents, 32 countries & 175,000 miles (most over land) so far!
Gotta love road trips!
Jan 5th 2009 9:16AM I so agree! I think it is going to be a great year for travel for the smart folks. DO see Morocco & Slovenia ( Montenegro while you are near too).
I think 09 will be a fantastic year for extended travel & it has never been easier to be a digital nomad ( which will be on the increase this year!).
Yep your #3 and #8 makes lots of sense, but then they all really do. Thanks! We needed this up view from a major travel source.
Can I add my post about how to do extended travel for those interested in planning such?
Dec 27th 2008 10:12PM Ah, but American and International schools are very different experience than a homeschooled child or one that attends a local school. Our child is out of school for 7 months out of the year when she is with both her parents for 24/7 as we travel & is only in school for 5 hours a day when in Spain.
Funny, we find Europe much LESS transitory than the States.We are in a small village of about 1000 people & almost all have lived here for generations. My daughter has 3 sets of different cousin pairs in her small classroom alone...not something we have ever experienced.
We are into attachment parenting and find the traditional ways of this village ( and probably most small villages in Europe) are very attachment oriented. It is a very embracing village where we walk to everything we need & my child will always have strong roots here as most of the people will be here forever.
Now the tiny expat community ( about 98% are native here) is much more transitory & I imagine you ran into more of that with international schools with kids of diplomats or corporations who are in an area for a short time.My child is immersed in the local culture/language all day and international or American schools are separate from the local community.
I grew up doing a lot of moving and feel it was the most beneficial thing in my life that helped to make me an out of the box thinker. I think I would have been a lot unhappier had we stayed in one little place my whole life, although I know it does really suit some personality types. My husband had that kind of life and could not wait to leave and still hates to go back to that "confining" environment.
That said, we thought long and hard about these issues and how to make the most out of them. If I had a shy or rigid child who needed more structure to be comfortable, we would not have made the choices we have made. Not everyone handles change well, but our daughter thrives on it and is very outgoing and adaptable.She is naturally adventurous and loves people, learning and exploring.
I think much depends on the child, family and how it is all handled. Certainly, a child growing up outside of her home culture will have a different experience than one who never leaves it ( like most American kids). I just think that for most children in today's world, it is a great advantage that will help them adjust to the changes of a 21st century world that is getting smaller by the minute.
It happens that my child's Godmother, now 60 took a world tour at 5 and spent a few years living abroad then. She says that experience still has the biggest impact on her life even today in a most positive way.
Isn't it great that today we can reap all of the good of extended stays and little of the disadvantages now with the web?
Dec 27th 2008 7:52AM The problem with almost all of the research on Third Culture kids, is it was done before the internet which has totally changed the nature of living abroad.
There is a huge difference in kids that were brought up say in China in the 50's as missionary kids, or even Obama's childhood. They were extremely isolated. There was only snail mail & expensive calls and the world was much less connected.
I did lots of research on this topic because we are a family going on our 3rd year of an open ended world tour. (http://www.soultravelers3.com).
We find that all the benefits of third culture kids remains, but no longer do the negatives apply thanks to technology ( and the family bonding that we do).We are doing our 3rd winter in Spain where my daughter goes to the local school, immersing deeply in her 2nd language, culture and literature.
She can go to festivals here or her flamenco class, then talk about it to friends or relatives back home an hour later via free Skype webcam calls.
Today there is no isolation, she can immerse deeply in one culture, while maintaining her own culture. We live in an authentic 15th century small village in the winter, but there is also a Burger King and ToysRus not far away. Most of the kids are from here, but she also has friends from UK, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Italy, Poland, America who have moved here.
My child also takes her piano lessons in Spain with a teacher in Chicago over Skype. She has been interviewed by school kids in Boston during their school day, while she is here in Spain ( via webcam).
We even take thousands of disadvantaged school kids with us virtually through a non-profit ( and recently met them in Harlem, South Bronx etc) so even kids who might never travel can experience what life is like in other countries.
I think the trend toward a "global society" will continue as more people are able to live mobile lives. We have found it to be the best way to raise a global citizen for the 21st century. Travel does enrich the child and family more than anything else and helps us all realize how small and connected our world is!
Dec 10th 2008 11:23AM I see your point, as traveling alone with a young baby is harder, but I guess I just have a different idea than most and prefer things the old fashion way. I was alone most of my daughters first year and had no problems with out this or other contraptions. Never used a baby bath, crib, pram, stroller, or diaper changer etc, so sure did not need this.
I did use a sling a lot which allows one to have hands free for every need & even allows one to nurse a child while standing in line for groceries at the store with no one the wiser. ( I did that a lot).
Why not just wear a sling with your baby? Keeps hands free everywhere including bathrooms. I used mine constantly when out and about, took up no room, was washable and organic. Baby loved it and I loved it.I never worried about getting dehydrated, nor tried to postpone going to the bathroom.
If one breast feeds and does family bed, that is all one needs IMHO. A sling ( possibly a Bundler too).
The rest is just endless marketing to try to make people think they need "stuff" that they don't. I prefer to think simple like native people and invest my money (saved from buying such things).
I think babies are much more simple than the marketing world makes them out to be. My mom raised 4 in the fifties with none of the crapola we have today. ;)
I want more experiences and less stuff. But, hey, if it works for you or others, that is cool with me too!!
Dec 10th 2008 7:12AM Jeesh! What silly contraption will they think of next for babies? Poor new mom's get suckered into this nonsense and marketing.
We never used or bought even a stroller or crib and got along just fine and certainly would never use something this silly.