MOM (Ann): I am a travel writer focusing on family travel and memory keeping. I worked in the travel industry for many years. I started planning trips for individuals and eventually organized study abroad programs at a large university in the United States. I love learning about other cultures through first hand experience, but I also don’t mind a good film or a good conversation or even a good frenzy of clicking links online. Show me a map, and I’m likely to fantasize about my next dream trip, remember one from my past, or ask you about yours.
Speaking of which, some of my favorite trips include either long car rides or train rides, especially on a tight schedule. I like to cram just one more thing into our schedule. Or take it easy and dawdle. Now that I have kids I’m more apt to use the laid back approach.
I also love taking pictures. On a trip to China I took, on average, 400 photos a day. Thank goodness for digital cameras. I started a series of photos called “abandoned buildings of the Caribbean”, but had to pause the project once we moved to Germany and our travels became more Euro-centered. That and I mostly take pictures of the kids in front of statues now.
DAD (Chris): The travel bug bit him before he even really started traveling. With expat grandparents who lived in Europe and then Asia most of his youth, he knew that one day he would have to live abroad, too. He saved his paychecks from after school jobs and funded his first trip to Europe when he graduated from high school. In college he studied in both Ecuador and Slovakia. Though life continues to take him to more densely populated (and often cold) areas, he feels a stronger connection to the laid back lifestyle of the islands. That’s good news for me, as I’m ready to continue my “abandoned buildings” project.
SON (W): At three years old, he’s only known a life of travel. Before he was 7 months old he had been on several extended flights, train trips and car rides. He’s been fortunate enough to experience his first birthday in Paris, celebrate New Years Eve in Edinburgh, and consume countless bratwursts at Christmas markets all over Germany. When he sees our suitcases out, he runs into his room and grabs some of his favorite travel companions. And when we check into our hotel rooms, he’s the first to figure out where everything is.
DAUGHTER (S): She’s recently turned one and has discovered both her walking feet and love of people. She’s the travel turtle family member most likely to want a complete stranger to hold her. She loves trying new food, which means we can go almost anywhere without worrying if she’ll like the food. Bonus.