So what's next for me? Well, now that I've gotten high-rise downtown living out of my system, I believe I am now almost-solidly, semi-fully committed to becoming a hiking-biking-take-a-walk-in-the-woods-critter-loving-all-things-outdoors-nature girl.
Wild. Wild? Not a word you'd typically associate with Ireland. Pubs? Check. Shamrocks? Check. Guinness? Oh definitely, but wild? Yes! It's the sea, you see.
I lived in Manchester for the past year and explored North England's gorgeous countryside from there, but I also found time to squeeze in a couple of jaunts to nearby Wales.
There's nothing quite like the freedom of camping -- packing up a home away from home and heading wherever your itchy feet take you.
The leaves clinging to the few live branches on the tall trees alongside the freeway waved listlessly in a dry wind as we drove to the airport. We flew out of drought-stricken Los Angeles for Minnesota, the land of a thousand lakes.
you don't have to take your kids hundreds of miles away to a national park or wait for your next vacation in order to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors.
In the very instant, I felt the magic of inhaling the present knowing that is the only moment that I have firmly in my grasp. Seconds that occurred before or ones that happen in the future fall away when you realize the absolute urgency to live in the vessel of the present moment.
Tech gadgets would certainly compete with the immersive experience that sleep away camp creates for the young people. But does technology have no place whatsoever in the lives of campers?
I'm not about to bring another free loader with bodily fluids into my house. I've occasionally considered a goldfish and deemed them too much hassle less than 24 hours later. We are gloriously pet-free and I refuse to feel bad about that.
What is it about my generation? Like Navy Seals, the "Mom Squad" stands at attention, ready to swoop down and scoop up our children at a moment's notice. But from what? From growing up? Do we spend too much time with our kids and need to get a life -- as the expression goes?
Once I let go of the unreasonable desire for perfection, I actually noticed where I was: breathing in slightly-salty ocean air, engulfed in ancient and mossy trees, smelling kind of bad and not caring, watching the sun dip into the Pacific.
Experiencing what the Czechs do every summer brought me closer to understanding them and their wonderful culture. I only went for two days but some Czechs spend weeks traveling from camp to camp along the river.
If you're looking for a fun, affordable beach getaway, visit Puerto Rico, home to plenty of beaches and nightlife, and enough options to satisfy every foodie, nature lover, and history buff.
I've been with Adam, my husband, for 13 years. Well, we're not actually really married, per se, but I consider him my husband, and I refer to him as such.
I've seen your kids zooming around, going the places they think they need to get as quickly as possible. I'm not writing to say they're going too fast, which they probably are. Or that the buzzing is ruining our family's quiet vacation, which it likely is. I'm writing on behalf of your kids.
In our last eight and a half months on the road, we've had the opportunity to put all the items in our bag to the test -- some proved useful and worthy investments, others not so much.