Revealing The Family C From A to Z

I am a beginner.

I like to take it easy at first. You know the easy runs before the black diamond ones. Just to warm up…

So why did I sign up for something called a CHALLENGE already?

Allyson, officially my step-daughter, but I tend to say daughter, tells me it is because I is for insane which describes my new blogging life.

Well… whether I am insane or not and the jury is out still, I have committed to an A to Z challenge for April; blogging each day on a topic (loosely used term) beginning with a letter of the alphabet.

And hold on to your hats (winter ones still if you live in Canada!), the time for the big reveal is here.

Me (a forty year-ish mom of 4) “Coping” With My OTD (Obsessive Travel Disorder) Through Adjectives 

Hang on for the trip! April is just around the corner and then check in to see what A will be for…

When Your Kids Travel and You Stay Home or Otherwise Known as Me Pouting

I was so excited when Erin first mentioned Uganda.

She had met some university friends from Uganda and her other friend wanted to visit them. Bonus! Not only someone to travel with, but people to stay with. It doesn’t get much better than that. As well as… this is Uganda, need I say more. Often called the Switzerland of Africa and touted as “one of the favs on the African backpacker trail”, I didn’t hesitate to encourage her to go. In fact, it probably went something like this,

Erin, you would be insane to not go. I would die to go to Uganda. You will love it! And if you don’t, you are nuts.

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But then, it dawned on me. Someone in our family is going to someplace great and I am not. Oh, that hurts, just a little. I know, I know, be happy for your kids so I was… but still I felt a tad travel envious of the Facebook updates as they came in. Darn that Facebook for the constant reminders of what else is out there and how much fun it looks.

Now Jade, this week, is going to Europe on a school trip. Secretly, I wish it was only to places that I have been to (I know… more confessions of a travel obsessed mom and on that note, you can read this if you would like Confessions of A Travel Obsessed Mom for more gory unconventional details. You see, I really really want to see Budapest and Krakow and of course, would love to see Berlin and Prague again. But as with Erin, I am so happy for her and will patiently await her return for every travel detail possible.

So as we get her prepared for her trip (and remember this is Europe = expensive in our travel books) we will tell her to have fun, to explore, to ask questions, and to eat all her lunches (not covered) outside, picnic style, to save us a little money. 🙂

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The only kind of lunch the C family can afford in Europe.

From Flea Bag Dives to This… Flashpacking Rules (Sometimes)

When I backpacked for 9 months from Mexico by bus to Costa Rica and then from Colombia to Bolivia, I travelled on broken down buses, chicken buses, flat-bed trucks, anything that didn’t cost very much. Every now and then, I would spend more than 5 dollars on a room and upgrade to a luxurious 20 dollar room. Food was off the street, local places, bakeries and grocery stores. Sometimes a splurge on a pizza place but overall the food was the easiest to handle. The flea bag dives and crappy buses got old but then 9 months of travel was the reward.

Fast forward to a family with 2 teens and a senior who is more than 70 travelling in Morocco in extreme heat for about 3 weeks. This is where flashpacking comes in. A new-ish term for me but yes, it defines us. We do travel for a shorter period of time and therefore certain luxuries are a bit more affordable. Every now and then we upgrade to a room that might cost more than 50 dollars (and yes this is an ouch!) but the perks are there. You might actually want to put your feet on the floor now and even take a shower without flip-flops!

I loved the places we stayed and where we ate in Morocco but… given the choice of this vs. the sorta flea bag but getting to travel longer… well…tough call. Backpacking rules too sometimes.