Next week Bret and I are lucky enough to be able to travel to Hawaii to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Okay, it is true that our anniversary is actually in August 2013, but when you live in Minnesota, you’d never leave in August to go to a warm destination if you can help it. August is beautiful in Minnesota. It’s Lake Season in August!
When arranging our lives to prepare for our absence, people inevitably said, “You’re going somewhere again? You’re always going somewhere!”
They’re right of course. I am convinced that I was born to travel. Since the time I was little and my parents would load us into their Buick Electra, which pulled our Mallard travel trailer, to go on a family vacation, I’ve had the travel bug. I sleep best while in motion, preferably rocking back in forth in a motorhome someone else is driving.
I love to travel so much that as a high school senior I was determined that I would learn Japanese, French and Spanish in college so I could be an interpreter. Never mind that I’d taken French for six years already and still couldn’t hold a conversation. No, foreign languages weren’t going to be my key to travel.
When looking for my second career, (you know the one you have after staying home with kids for 12 years becoming irrelevant?), my husband had a job where he was traveling quite a bit. So I decided to make myself a career where I could travel along with him sometimes. I became an Assist U Virtual Assistant. Have laptop, can (and will) travel! When Bret’s job started to demand he travel more and more often, we looked at it as our golden opportunity to be able to use frequent flier miles to go to those places we’d never been able to go to before. It seems like a worthwhile trade for single parenting many weeks of the year.
Most of the time, we take road trips. It not only saves on money, but it is actually our preferred method of travel when going on a family vacation. We don’t have a fancy trailer, but we have one that allows us to stay comfortably on family trips.
And when I decided I really, really wanted to buy into Disney Vacation Club, I realized I would need to find a way to pay for it myself. So I got a part time job until I earned enough money to pay for it in full. The end result? Next week we’re flying to Hawaii on frequent flyer miles, and staying at Disney Vacation Club’s Aulani Resort on Oahu, all nearly free.
Are we amazingly lucky? You bet we are. But when you look at our house, you’ll realize that sacrifices have been made along the way (much to my mom’s dismay). Carpets are getting threadbare, our bathroom is circa 1979 and a ton of stuff is broken or needs to be replaced. My makeup doesn’t come from a department store and most of my clothes come from Kohls (to my sisters’ dismay), but it’s okay because for us, it’s all about travel.
Life shouldn’t just happen; it should be the culmination of the decisions you make, based on your values and priorities. We’re the Shroyers, and we love to travel.