Travel: Highlights of Where We Went 2017

As a character in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy noted, “Time is an illusion,” but that doesn’t stop me from absolutely loving New Year’s. Not because I enjoy staying up to watch the ball drop; I’m always in bed sound asleep well before that. But I love the opportunity for reflection and goal setting that it provides.

Hitchhiker's Guide
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is full of nuggets of wisdom.

A couple of years ago we started a new family tradition of writing special memories on index cards and adding them to a large jar throughout the year. Then on the first day of  the new year, we read off what we did the previous year as a family. It’s a fun and easy way to start the new year off positively. Many of our favorite moments involve travel, whether it’s just a day trip or something longer.

family memories jar
Our family memories jar.

It’s definitely a challenge to travel when you have children and are on a budget, but it’s not impossible. Many of the trips we took were day trips or were made possible through budget conscious actions like packing food for our travels instead of eating at restaurants and taking on side work. It takes some extra work, planning, and preparation before the trip but it’s well worth it, especially if it means difference between you going somewhere or staying home.

In an alternate universe, I would be using my flexible schedule as a college professor to travel all over the world pretty much all of the time. But until that is more of a possibility, looking back at these photos from 2017 makes me realize that I’m doing more than I feel like I’m doing. My kids are learning new things, seeing new places, and creating memories that will last them a lifetime. And none of us need to spend a lot of money to do any of those things.

family travel
2017 highlights left to right, top to bottom: Boston, Philadelphia, Harriet Tubman National Historic Site, Ocean City, Blackwater Falls, Joey Ramone’s burial site, Winchester, Philadelphia, Treehouse Campground

As a kid, my parents prioritized travel and made it possible through being very budget savvy. Some of my best memories are of trips that we took in our old motorhome all over the country. Often, my dad would pick me up from school on Fridays in the motorhome and we would hit the road right away.

Top: The motorhome with my grandma and mom on a weekend trip. Bottom: Sassy me and friend at Sequoia National Park on a cross-country road trip.

Traveling has given me a broad perspective on our world and how other people live in it. I’m happy to be sharing this gift with my children. When my oldest daughter was asked if she would like a traditional celebration or to take a weekend trip for her birthday, she didn’t hesitate and immediately chose the trip. We love exploring and learning.

family travel
More 2017 highlights left to right, top to bottom: Paradise Stream Campground, Savannah, Mount Vernon, Ocean City, Baltimore, Key West, Washington DC, Wild Florida, Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

I am excited to see what 2018 has in store for me and look forward to creating new memories with my family and friends in new places as well as visiting old favorites.

Where will 2018 take us? (Sculpture: Ugo Rondinone)

Where was your favorite place you visited in 2017? Where do you hope to go in 2018? Please share in the comments. Thanks!

Stay tuned for future posts on Florida and Savannah. Want to check out more about where we went in 2017? Have a look at Travel: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park and Travel: The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground .

Looking for some inspiration on where to go? Click here to purchase Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… Ranked and Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 . A portion of your purchase from Amazon will go toward keeping my blog going. Thanks for your support!

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