Tag Archives: long term travel

Adventure planning


the open road - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

We’re full steam ahead in the planning stages for our next adventure. No name for the trip or anything yet, but accommodations are booked, national parks have been chosen and the route has officially taken shape. We’re open to suggestions and hoping you’ll come along with us for the ride. Read the rest of this entry

Pastimes and Fans


A few weekends ago, we spent a lot of hours in the car. San Diego to Phoenix, Arizona for Spring Training baseball and then onto Las Vegas, Nevada for the International Rugby Sevens competition. It was a three states in a day type of weekend complete with dust storms, trips to Subway and accents the world over. There was time to play and time to think. There were hours of throng-filled crowds and others of shared silence between a couple in a car. No matter the moment, there was far more than sport.

Spring Training Baseball 2016 - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

Yes, there were hours of baseball and rugby, but the soft skills or colour commentary that played out amongst the spectators spoke far more than the chants for their home teams. It all told a story of something much bigger, much greater than a country’s pastime or a people’s favourite sport. Here, in these stadiums, life was being lived. Louder than chants or jeers, there was a spirit that filled the air. People, from all walks of life had driven, bussed, or flown to a spot to spend an afternoon or a few days to purposefully bring out their happy. There was so much unspoken wisdom in those stadium seats and bleachers, so many untold stories that played out on fields and screens – it was a pleasure to be a part of it all. Read the rest of this entry

Firsts and trails in a cross country visit

San Diego's USS Midway - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

The USS Midway at San Diego’s Embarcadero

My dad came to visit for a long weekend at the end of February. It was the longest flight he’s taken in over a decade and he managed beautifully. If you didn’t already know, my dad is a pancreatic cancer survivor. Hopefully, his story of surviving and thriving will become a greater reality for more in the future instead of an anomaly. Read the rest of this entry

Change of venue


Welcome to San Diego

In geographic terms, my life went from New York, to Massachusetts, and then back to New York via travel and a stint in Melbourne, Australia. As a young child, I had ear infections and respiratory yuck often. In training for my lifeguarding exam, my arms and legs could always go longer and further than my lungs. My university suite mates had to deal with a lot of late night coughing through countless bouts of bronchitis, viral tracheitis, pneumonia and more. My students got used to their teacher constantly having some sort of something including varying degrees of laryngitis or insane sinus pressure from October through April and then the itchy, sneezy, teary attack of allergy season would begin. By twenty-five I was diagnosed with asthma and have been on bucket-loads of meds since. Insert San Diego – this may be the biggest change yet. Read the rest of this entry

What’s on your travel list?


Every other day, there’s another quiz to take, list to click or post to like. Magazines post their 2016 list of places to visit and newspapers tell you exactly what to do with 36 hours in a city. Tour groups share their ‘best’ itineraries while bloggers respond with their favourite top 10 list for a specific spot. We all sit somewhere in the middle either ignoring it all, clicking like and share or retweet with gusto, mad that we can’t figure out how to get to that destination with the cash that’s under our mattress or looking at it all and saying ‘I want to go there, but not like that’!

Maldives Read the rest of this entry

How do you wander?


Not all who wander

I’ve heard much mentioned recently about The Camino, Machu Picchu, and The Pacific Crest Trail. My social media connections talk about the Rick-shaw Run, Ghan, Orient Express, Great Ocean Road and Pacific Coast Highway. I hear whispers of ultra-marathon races like the 4 Desert Series, discussions of Euro-rail travel and conversations about how ‘best’ to road trip Australia or the United States. More and more experiences wind up gaining my attention and joining my list of ‘I’d like to’ and ‘in which trip can we do this?’. JRR Tolkien coined the phrase ‘not all who wander are lost’. I couldn’t agree with him more. How do you wander? Read the rest of this entry

How travel changed me


Travel changed me - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

I was asked the other day if I traveled much before I met my husband. He’s Aussie. I’m American. The question came from a Kiwi. She knew that it wasn’t surprising for an Australian to love to and make time for travel, but struggled with the idea that that same love would come from an American. ‘You’re a good match’, she realized quickly.

Travel has changed me. Before travel me and after travel me are two different pieces. There’s the girl who grew up in the sheltered shadow of Long Island, NY and the one who’s slept on the edge of the Serengetti National Park in Tanzania. The first girl was scared more often, thought New York was the center of the universe and couldn’t really imagine ever feeling like a minority in the population. The second has seen a fair share of life outside of her comfort zone, tries to put fear in its place and knows what a small place she holds in the world. These are two divergent approaches to life with travel as the barrier of change in the middle. Who knew that’s what it could do. Read the rest of this entry

Looking forward


Rottnest Island, Western Australia - the gift of travel

Do you ever find yourself in a rut? A few days go by and you’re in a funk and can’t get out? Sick, have to stay in bed for a few days and can’t find the motivation to move forward when you’re feeling better? Have an inkling that something might be wrong but can’t put your finger on it? In a moment of clarity you kick yourself and say, ‘get out of that funk – stop being depressed and find the happy’; but sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. I have no medical degree, and I’m not speaking (of course) about serious depression or diseases you can’t control…I mean that bit of sad that creeps in every once and awhile an attempts to dim your sparkle. Read the rest of this entry

Missed connections, found connections


with emily

This past weekend, I reconnected with a former student. Now in her thirties, my former Student Government officer is a successful athletic trainer for a professional sports team and travels with another of global fame. While she was in San Diego with the latter, we had a chance to catch up and take in a game. Two days after our 1-hour chat, I received a message that her flights were unable to take off (due to the ‘snowmaggeddon on the east coast’) and needed a place to stay for a few nights. Without hesitation, she was here. Is this a message from the universe or just a simple missed connection? Read the rest of this entry

The planning stages


Planning Stages: thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

International flights and Red Centre tour booked and the rest is under construction..this is the part I love! As we pull together the research, the investigation, the lists and the growing suggestions from friends – the planning stages are underway. What’s your favourite part of travel? Read the rest of this entry