Now that my kids and I have officially set foot in and explored all 50 states I am constantly asked "So...what are you gonna do next-start visiting every country? While that sounds like a truly amazing goal...um, I don't think that's going to be happening for me and my kids. For starters, we will no longer be blocking out 12-13 days of summer for the obligatory road trip which as my kids have gotten older has sort of put a burden on summer jobs and other activities that were on their agenda list. So somehow I wouldn't be surprised to know they were mumbling under their breath "Free at last, free at last". But yes, I would like to do some international travel and tops on my list are Australia, the Greek Islands, and the Galapagos.
Anyone bitten by the the travel bug knows that the passion and wanderlust doesn't ever subside and this adventure seeker is already mulling over the possibilities. First of all, there are still plenty of places in this beautiful country that are still on my list to see like Arches National Park, The Grand Tetons, and Sedona, Arizona for starters that I would love to get to someday. There are still so many state capitols that were too far off our route to check off our list-like Tallahassee, Carson City and Cheyenne to name a few-and even a couple we missed just because we forgot in our haste to get to our next stop like Richmond, Virginia (yep, I am still beating myself up over that one...ugh!). Who will go with me?-I have no clue. My boyfriend Jordan isn't really the traveling type and my kids now have their own lives to lead. One thing I can tell you for sure, I am still going to go. I credit my good friend Sandy Hayman, a cancer survivor, who keeps a list of things that she hopes to accomplish in her lifetime known simply as her "wish list". She's got things on there like hold a koala bear (which she did in Australia), hike on a glacier (which she did in Alaska), and swim with an Arapaima in South America (which she hopes to do at some point). She squeezes the most out of life through these wish list adventure not because life will at some point come to an end and she needs to pack it all in, but rather because achieving her goals is what makes her feel most alive....So I'll be following Sandy's lead by making a "wish" list of my own and ticking things off one by one as I continue of my epic adventure of exploration and discovery. (Sandy wants to swim with one of these bad boys pictured above-Yikes, I think I'll pass)
The second thing that I plan to do and that has been a goal of mine from the get go is to start writing a book. My kids and I have had such epic adventures and my goal has always been with this blog and now my upcoming book to inspire other families to get out on the road and explore. I see it as a combination travelogue and guide coupled with our story -a family's journey of growth and the creation of a family history. Each itinerary will be accompanied by what we learned about where we visited, how it affected our lives and growth as individuals and as a family. I have a little loft space in my home that I am going to transform into my writing area by tricking it out with all kinds of stuff we've acquired on our trips and all sorts of Americana for inspiration. When it's done I'll post a pic.
Would love to hear your thoughts if you've got any creative titles to share. Post them in a comment here or email me at Alisa@exploreall50.com.
-Safe travels always, Alisa