“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Okay, I will be the first to admit it.  I have a traveling addiction (in that I really like to travel!).  There are many things a family can commit to doing together. For now, our family has decided that we would like to visit a new country every year. When Jim and I got married, the first countries we visited together were the United Kingdom and France. My oldest brother lives in London. Then, it was July 2002 and our first born, Emma was 5 months old. We traveled together again the following year to my homeland, Malaysia. In May 2005, when our second child, Ian was 9 months old, we packed up and the four of us visited Ireland. My little brother lives in Cork, Ireland. We took a hiatus from traveling overseas and restarted as a family of five last April. By then, Emma was 8, Ian was 6 and our third child, Spencer was 4. We visited Nicaragua. This past July, we traveled back to Malaysia but before heading there we stayed in Hong Kong for a few days.

We like to travel together as a family and believe it is important to expose our children to the amazing world outside of Pittsburgh.  It is a blast to witness our kids’ comments and expressions when they see or hear something new – these precious images will forever be embedded in our memories. To date, all of our trips have been dual purpose trips – we are very fortunate to have family and friends who live around the world. Traveling has also helped us value the United States of America and the freedom our democracy gives us.

Before I end, I want to share one tip on how we are able to make this happen as a family.  It probably comes as no surprise that you need to save and plan in advance as much as possible.  For us, it means giving up on driving a new vehicle every other year or purchasing that flat screen plasma TV.  In the end it is all worth the sacrifice.  We have a long bucket list and can’t wait for our next adventure.

NICARAGUA, April 2010