Like most families, we’re able to take a week-long vacation every year. Twice on a good year.
Steve gets 24 days of Paid Time Off (PTO) every year, which includes personal days, religious holidays, and sick days. Some of that time is dedicated to the time between Christmas and New Years, when his parents come to stay with us. Some of that time is needed to cover childcare, if I have to travel for work. And other days are needed to make a long weekend, so Steve can recover from his job.
Also, vacations cost money. Sadly, our pile of money is finite.
For the past couple of decades, those vacation weeks were used up visiting extended family or doing obligatory American family vacations, like Disney and Universal. There were a couple of trips to Cape Cod and the Jersey Shore. We tried to add some adventure to those trips by taking round-about driving routes that took us to the hills of Virginia or sleepy fishing towns in Delaware. But those adventures were small and rather tame.
What Steve and I really love to do is travel to far-off lands. Before we met each other and made babies, we both found ways to roam through Europe on shoe string budgets and a Eurail Pass.
Every couple has to have one or two things that both enjoy doing. A couple can be complete polar opposites in most ways, but they do need that “something,” a common definition of fun, the peanut butter that glues the bread together.
Because Steve and I met in grad school and in our late 20s, we have way more in common than most couples. in terms of books, politics, taste in furniture, we’re identical. But I think it’s our common enjoyment of travel and better yet, our enjoyment of the same type of travel, that really makes us hum.
We like to go places that feel like the end of the world. We like to find remote villages, eat weird foods, get lost, and get drunk with fellow travelers and locals. On our honeymoon, we backpacked through Spain and Morocco. Taking trains deep into the desert, we were the only Americans on train platforms.
Last week, we were in London, Edinburgh, and Inverness. I’ll tell you about our adventures throughout this week. It brought us back to our roots as a couple and as a family, because it turns out that we are lucky enough to have kids who also love to roam the planet. Even the autistic kid.