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Journey around the World

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Journey around the World
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An Incredible Journey of Discovery

    Our family’s six month journey around-the-world – was much more than taking 20,000 photos, visiting 14 countries, climbing 15 towers, walking some 825 miles, flying at least 52,000 miles, eating 11 flavors of gelato, schlepping 200 pounds of luggage, logging onto 10,200 minutes of Internet access, driving on the left-hand side of the road in four European countries, and visiting one emergency room.

    It was an incredible jourMilford Sound, New Zealand – The 22-kilometre fiord is just  off the Tasman Sea and is lined with majestic cliffs, peaks and  beautiful rainbows. The highest peak is over 5000 feet. Thanks  to the heavy annual rainfall the waterfalls are spectacular.ney of self discovery, a discovery of world cultures, and of making new friends along the way. We viewed history galore, we reconnected as a family, and the whole experience greatly exceeded our expectations. The time we shared for six months allowed the three of us – husband Robin, 60; daughter Tricia, 12; and me, Marla, 44 – to learn about our respective limits of tolerance and patience in regard to not only hunger, sleep, boredom and obtaining directions in foreign languages but also our respective passions for art, history, people watching, sleep, and ice cream.

    Prior to departing O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, the three of us were frazzled with business obligations, school commitments, and personal responsibilities. Add to this the trip planning necessary for our six-month journey and let’s say it was a bit stressful at our house.
    But once underway on our around-the-world trek we delighted in simple pleasures like trying local foods, reading books by local authors, attending unfamiliar sporting events like rugby, biking over country paths, and visiting city walls. We sought out sites of archeological, religious, creative, and historical relevance like New Zealand’s fjords and glaciers, Australia’s rain forests and Great Barrier Reef, China’s terra cotta soldiers, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel in Rome, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Viet Nam war history in Ho Chi Minh City, and Van Gogh’s yellow house in Arles, France.
    Not only did we learn grand-scale geographic facts about each country visited but we also enjoyed walking Bangkok, Thailand: Wat Arun – Tricia (left) and Marla are pictured at The Temple of the Dawn. The temple dates back to the 19th century and unifies Khmer and Thai style architecture. The outer layer is adorned with Chinese porcelain and glazed ceramic tiles. The Thai people are genuine and have beautiful smiles.the streets with no particular destination. In this way we found smaller neighborhoods and met local folks. We learned that there are countless others who, like Robin and Tricia and me, also yearn to know more and want to seek out people and cultures that can enrich all our lives. And enrich they did. This was not just one big history lesson.
    We laughed and ate our way around the world! For example, favorite flavor of Italian gelato: tiramisu. Funniest adventure: Florence Botanic Garden for a poetry reading, in a foreign language – Italian. Favorite country: Australia. Most picturesque country and most waterfalls: New Zealand. Least enjoyed food: Scotland (too many animal innards). Summary of European “old art,” as 12-year-old Tricia called it: naked; bloody; or, Christian. Least favorite country: Viet Nam. Most difficult road to cross as a pedestrian: Ho Chi Minh City. Scariest moment: when the oxygen masks dropped during our flight to Sydney. Number of times daughter Tricia and I lost husband and father, Robin... countless!
     On our journey we also learned about the mythological, cultural, and spiritual importance of many cultures. And, of course, we also visited the familiar tourist spots like the Coliseum (Italy); Sydney Opera House (Australia); Great Wall (China); golden palaces and Jade Buddha (Thailand); Big Ben and Tower of London(England); and Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle (Scotland). But we also combined seeing these tourist sites with many off beat locations for local culture, shopping, cafes, coffeehouses, and restaurants.



 

Where are Tricia and Marla?


Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
Click here to find out. 

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Traveling with our Children

"I’ve been traveling with my son since he was 13 weeks old and I love it!  Actually, I discovered that traveling with my child was easy for I was already committed to including him.  I find it a challenge to plan ahead and anticipate his needs... and well rewarded with fun, family adventures." -- Publisher/Editor Deb Cornick 

    So, what do we parents who travel with our children know that others don’t?

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