This past few weekends, we have really started to put together the nursery. We are taking it piece by piece, a project here and a project there. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to incorporate our love for travel and adventure into the babies room in some way. As the room has slowly come together, it has me thinking more deeply on exactly why travel and exploring different parts of the world has made such an impact on me my whole life.
As a kid my family and I traveled a lot within the US as my dad is a college basketball coach and we took every opportunity we could to tag along when his team played in a tournament in places like Alaska or Hawaii. I always loved the excitement of seeing a new place for the first time. I felt really stimulated and alive when we were able to get out of the habit of everyday life of whatever little college town we were living in at the time.
I didn't make it out of the country until graduate school. I remember attending a study abroad luncheon in my first couple of weeks at the University of Kansas, where I was a new student on track to earn my MBA. I remember thinking how amazing it was that a graduate program had so many study abroad options, when my undergraduate program (at a different University) only had one or two available for business students. At the luncheon, one presentation on the program in Asolo, Italy seemed to really speak to my soul (as cheesy as that sounds!).
I knew at that moment that I wanted to go to Italy, I wanted to walk the cobblestoned streets and eat gelato and pizza and wake up to the view of the Italian Alps in the distance. I signed up, bought my ticket and I was on my way.
It was a four week program, plus an added ten days of travel after the program had ended. Without getting off track with too many details and stories (which would be easy to do) I am just going to summarize by saying that it was the best month of my life. Its almost too difficult to describe in words how eye-opening and liberating that trip was. Navigating a new culture, a new pace of life, surrounded by beauty and mystery in total appreciation and wonder.
I met a boy, (a boy from Kansas too!) who further opened my eyes to just how amazing Italy was - the people, the food, the language - everything. He shared my love for adventure and everything he had to say was deep and captivating and exciting.
....Later, that boy became my husband and our shared love for travel has been a foundation for our lives together....
The opportunities I have had to travel have been an absolute blessing. I realize not everyone gets this opportunity and I always am so thankful and have to pinch myself when a planned trip becomes reality.
We are currently packing and getting ready for our very last trip before 2 becomes 3 and I can't help but be nostalgic looking through all our old travel photos. We are so excited for this one last trip, but also excited for all the opportunities we have that lie ahead to travel as a family and to share our love of new places with our son.