Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Travel Tuesdays: Trip Planning

"Travel, undertaken with mindfulness, can be a powerful vehicle for transformation."
~ Joseph Dispenza, The Way of the Traveler

My family is in the early stages of planning a trip to Sicily and Lipari to trace my husband's family roots. We had planned to go last year, but skyrocketing airfare due, in part, to the Arab Spring, led us to postpone. We scaled back travel plans last year, saved up our travel money, and now we're ready to plan in earnest.

I love this early dreaming phase. We've been pouring over guide books, perusing sites that rent villas, and agonizing over airfare. I love the dreaming, the endless possibilities, that excited feeling in the base of my stomach. It's exhilarating.

And maybe a little bit tiring. Where should we stay? Is this other place better? Will that place meet our needs? Should we fly to the islands or take a ferry?

But here's what I've learned from previous trips: No matter what decisions we make, it will all work out in the end. The trip may not be what we expected, but it will provide a life-changing adventure. Travel is just like that. It's impossible for me to travel, particularly to another country, and not be changed in some way.

And, hey...there's a hotel on Lipari with Cusolito in its name, so that's pretty exciting! Maybe we'll find distant relatives.

What life-changing trips have you taken? What changed? What did you learn?

Related Posts:
Travel Tuesdays: Top 10 Tips for Traveling with Children
Travel Tuesdays: India
Travel Tuesdays: Morocco


  1. It sounds like you're getting ready for an amazing trip! My family spent a little over a year traveling the U.S. in an RV, visiting places we had read about or seen on TV. It was an incredible experience for us as a family, learning about our country, living in a very small space and realizing that pursuing dreams doesn't always have to be "someday". Good luck with your planning!

  2. We scaled back travel designs last year, saved up our travel money, & now we are prepared to plan in earnest.

    taxis in new barnet

  3. Heather,
    Cross country travel is something we've flirted with, too. Perhaps some time soon...

    I would think you'd learn lots about yourselves as a family being so cramped like that. True enough about pursuing dreams...what are we waiting for?

    Jacklynmartin, Where are you scheming to go? Will you share?

  4. How long are you going for? Sounds like a wonderful trip.

    So much of our traveling has been to family since the kids were born. My sons think of their cousins as close friends, and the grandmother as a real part of their lives, so that was fairly successful.

    Their father's family lives in Greece, and they clearly see that as an available destination, but sadly their Greek is almost non-existent so they can't really talk to that part of their family.

  5. How I love to travel. And planning is half the fun. After college, and before grad school, my husband and I took a month off and traveled through Europe with a EuroRail pass. It was such a fun trip - stopping in at Internet cafes, reading books aloud and dreaming about what lies ahead. I think money saved and spent on travel is always worth it - good luck planning your trip!

  6. It sounds like an amazing trip - I took a Mediterranean cruise to Spain, France and Italy a few years ago. It was incredible. I loved Barcelona - it's such a beautiful, laid-back city.

    I am a total non-planner when it comes to vacations - I tend to just wing it and usually have a great time.

  7. Ha! I guess it's that time of year - I've just posted today about our travel plans for the year. It's such an optimistic, enjoyable part of the process, the planning, isnt' it!

  8. Beth, We plan to go for 2+ weeks. The specific timeline hasn't been worked out as of yet. Much of our travel since children has been to visit family, as well. We have relatives in CA and in the UK (We're in MA).

    Too bad your kids don't know Greek. I hope their dad will teach them! Knowing 2 languages is so useful in this global world.

    Camille, I certainly agree! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Madigan, Thanks for dropping by! Your trip sounds wonderful. While we don't make specific plans, we do tend to arrange accommodations, especially since having kids. Our time is unscheduled, though. We go wherever a whim takes us once in country.

    Hello "Playing by the Book." I'll hop over and read about your plans now. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. I have never been anywhere in Italy I haven't enjoyed! I only live a 45 min drive from the border, which is so cool! Enjoy Siciclia!

    I travelled in the US for a month last summer, couch surfing (at 47) and had one of the best vacations of my life. I met some deeply interesting and objective people. It helped that I went to my first writers' conference too, LA SCBWI 2011... which completely wowed me!

  11. You sound like the perfect traveler, Michelle. I agree: things, even when they don't work out as planned, generally work out okay.

    Traveling is just an eye- and mind-opening experience. As education goes, I think it's one of the best tools for teaching just about anything.

    A month speaking Spanish in the Galapagos is one of my most recent eye-opening and life-altering experiences. I was the only member of my party with any Spanish, so I got to do all the communicating. What a challenge!

  12. Joanna,
    Couch surfing is such a great way to meet new and interesting people. Did you find hosts at http://www.couchsurfing.org/ ?

    I haven't attended a national conference, yet. Our regional one is so fantastic that I keep going to that one instead (NE-SCBWI).

    Oh, JenFW, "perfect" is overstating it! I try to be open and flexible but I have days when that's hard.

    I was part of a trip to Ecuador when one of the men in our Earthwatch group was the only person truly fluent in Spanish. I could see how tiring it was for him to translate all the time. I truly appreciated his efforts for all of us. I hope your group felt the same about you!