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Give Yourself Permission to Travel, Even if It Means Going Solo

July 2, 2019

Give Yourself Permission to Travel, Even if It Means Traveling Solo

So, you have this nagging dream to see the world. To travel. To feel alive. To meet new people. To be someone new, in a new place.

But, there’s a catch. You haven’t been able to do it yet. Perhaps you’re afraid, perhaps you have excuses, perhaps you’re worried you’ll let someone down or your relationship may end if you leave, or maybe these 7 Fears are Stopping you from traveling.

Sometimes, in order to make changes or take action we feel like we need permission. Permission from someone, anyone. We need to hear, do it. You can do it. It’s okay. Go for it.

When we don’t hear these words from family or friends, or to the contrary, our dreams are met by resistance, discouraging words, threats, hostility, or feigned support, it is easy to doubt or discount our dream–or the possibility that it could ever be successful.

Give Yourself Permission to Travel

This is your life. The time has come to make it yours. This means letting go of anyone’s expectations for your life, except your own. Anyone can include a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, parent, best friend, child, neighbor, etc. … anyone.

The time has arrived for you to give yourself permission to travel. To follow your dreams, wherever they may take you.

Giving yourself permission to follow your dreams means accepting change. Change doesn’t always feel good initially, but it inevitably brings forth new opportunities. It means accepting that you may initially feel uncomfortable and alone, before you feel comfortable. It means accepting the good and the bad. While this certainly can sound scary, if you flip the view for a moment, you can see, it’s actually quite exciting–and liberating to shed other’s expectations and be free to be you.

You Deserve to Feel Happy

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be doing things with your life that bring you satisfaction and put a smile on your face. You can begin to cultivate a life of happiness by making changes that bring you closer to your dreams. So, for example, if you wish to take a weekend trip out of town but your spouse or significant other refuses to go with you, you may need to give yourself permission to do it anyway. The consequences of doing something for you may seem discouraging or cause you to reconsider what you want to do, but that is probably all the more reason why it is important that you stay true to what your heart is calling you to do or experience.

How Do You Start to Give Yourself Permission to Be Happy and to Do What You Dream About Doing?

Start now. Start small or start big, by making changes. Tell yourself, I give myself permission to…. [fill in your own blank here]. I give myself permission to follow my dream of travel, and to come up with a way to make it happen.

Start to do things to love yourself. To accept yourself. Start saying yes to the things you want. Start saying no to the things you don’t want–or to the things you don’t want to do. Start listening to your inner voice, your intuition. Start being kind to yourself. Listen to your inner dialogue. Start replacing negative thoughts or words with kind, accepting messages.

Give yourself permission to dream. To travel. Even if it means going solo.

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Are These 7 Fears Stopping You From Traveling with Children?

July 2, 2019

Are These 7 Fears Stopping You From Traveling?

It’s easy to come up with real , real-to-you, or imagined reasons why you can’t travel with your children. But wait. Are these ‘reasons’ simply excuses or fears in disguise? Read on to see if these 7 fears are stopping you from traveling with children.

1. Money! I just can’t afford to travel.

It may come as a surprise, but you don’t need a lot of money to travel. If you want to travel, there are cheap ways to do it, especially if you are willing to be creative. For example, if you are traveling with a family, you can sometimes save a bundle by buying one way airline tickets – one outbound itinerary, one return itinerary. I recently was able to travel, 4 kids + moi, to Europe from New York for about $120 one way per person. Once in Europe, I was able to fly to different locations with my crew using low-cost airlines, such as Easy Jet and Ryan Air; I took one flight between London and France that was £ 4.99 per person/one way (that’s about $6.00 USD)!

There are a number of discount travel sites out there. You just have to look for them! There are also ways to stay cheaply abroad, from home exchanges, hostels, to couch surfing, to long stay AirBnB rentals, to family volunteer abroad opportunities that give you free accommodation in exchange for your time. Some families even rent out their home while they travel to earn extra cash. Also, depending on your destination, you may discover that some places are soooo much cheaper for a family to live in than home…you might actually save money being away from home!

There are many ways to make money online while you travel, too. I previously wrote this post about 21 side hustles, which might give you ideas. There are also job opportunities abroad, such as teaching English as a foreign language. If you already have a work-from-home job or one that allows flexibility, this may make it even easier financially to travel.

You can always start small too. You don’t need to book a six month trip to Europe to enjoy the benefits and experience of travel. Staycations, weekend trips, or overnight adventures close to home are also ways to soak up the travel lifestyle. One of my favorite travel destinations is only a few hours away from my home, and it’s always a fun, easy adventure to pack the kids in the car, fill up the gas tank, and go.

Yes, traveling costs money, but if you really want to travel, there are ways to do it affordably, cheaply, and sometimes free. With a bit of creativity, you really can’t hide behind this excuse.

2. They are too young to travel. They won’t remember any of it.

Recently I was talking with my children about tabula rasa. This is the concept that children are born as a blank slate, waiting to be shaped and molded. Somehow a child learns to walk and run, but they don’t necessarily remember learning it, yet it stays with them. The experience of travel is sort of like that too. Children are like sponges. They absorb, study, and soak up everything around them. You may not see the impact immediately, but somewhere the experience is stored and shaping them.

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Hiking New Hampshire’s 4000 Footers with Children

June 30, 2019
Stopping briefly on the trail to Mount Pierce, one of New Hampshire’s forty-eight 4,000 footers, in the White Mountains.

Hiking New Hampshire’s Forty-Eight 4000 Footers is a tall challenge, and for some the perfect short or long-term adventure.

In the tiny little state of New Hampshire, you can find forty-eight (48) 4,000 ft high mountains. Locals and avid hikers call them the 4,000 footers. The majority of them are found within ‘the Whites’ (White Mountains), including Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft.

The idea of hiking all 48 peaks is fascinating to many people who love to hike and also to those looking for a short or long-term challenge. I have several friends who love hiking in the White’s, some of them make peak bagging in the Whites a regular outdoor activity.

People come from all over the US and world to hike in New Hampshire. People who hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000 Footers can earn a respectable NH48 patch.

If you’re looking for a new life goal or short-term project, hiking in New Hampshire might make a good adventure. It should be said, however, don’t be fooled by the precautions and preparations you must make to hike in the Whites. The 4,000 footers may be smaller than say mountains in the Alps, but the conditions, geography, and isolation of the mountains can make hiking unprepared or hiking without smarts, simply dangerous. Mount Washington alone is known for its unpredictable weather and warning signs inform hikers that it is one of the deadliest mountains. Even in summer, one can find snow, freak storms, and other dangers, such as rockfall.

A few years ago, the kids and I attempted a hike in the Whites in mid June and turned back after several hours of hiking due to the snow and ice we encountered.

Early this month, we lucked out with early summer weather and had the opportunity to hike two of the forty-eight footers, Mount Pierce and Mount Eisenhower. The bugs, however, below treeline were horrendous–and I accidentally left the bug spray in the car!

Peak Bagging in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Hiking 4,000 Footers with Children

While my list of 4,000 footers in New Hampshire with my children is short, we have extensive hiking experience, as I have previously blogged about, including our recent 100K St. Cuthbert’s Way Hike in Scotland, The Camino de Santiago, and The Tour du Mont Blanc. I have previously followed a family of three on Instagram who recently finished hiking the forty-eight, and I recall seeing a blog one of a woman who was attempting to hike them with her two young daughters.

I certainly believe that many things are possible with children. This adventure may certainly be one of them, provided you do some independent research on the peaks before you set out so you know what you are getting yourself and group into, including ensuring that you are prepared, know the weather, have some prior hiking with kids (or outside) experience, are adequately packed with the right gear, have a map and know how to use it, and have a backup/change of plan strategy. Keeping in mind its imperative to consider the age, fitness, abilities, and unique personality of your child, and know that this adventure is not for everyone, not only so you don’t bite off too much to chew too soon, but to ensure that everyone has a good, positive experience.

Some people complete all 48 quickly; some in less than a year, others over a span of many years. Whether you’re hiking with children, solo, with a friend, or in a group, with plans to do one, several, or all 48 peaks, you’re sure to create an experience you’ll remember. And, if you can’t make it to New Hampshire, look for trails closer to home and create your own challenge! Happy hiking!