Education Thru Travel

Pretty much everything we do provides a learning opportunity for the girls.  So when we plan travel, we like to make sure it’s something we will all enjoy.

In the past, we have made our travel plans and then simply looked forward to what was in store.  This time I’ve decided to change it up a bit and will have the girls work on some projects leading up to travel time.

For those who have been following my blog since the beginning of the year, you are aware that one of our favorite ways to travel is by boat.  To be exact, by cruise ship.

During our cruise in February, we booked two more cruises.  Since then, hubby and I have spent quite a bit of time discussing our plans and decided to change them completely.

No, this doesn’t mean we’ve cancelled the cruises.  That would be crazy!!!!!

We simply changed the cruises.

Both cruises will be to the Caribbean, which is my favorite winter destination.

This winter we will be traveling again on Allure of the Seas.

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This time though we’ll be heading to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico.

The following winter we will be on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas.

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She is so new in fact, that she is still being built and won’t sail until Spring, 2018.  Cruises will begin in Mediterranean before she sails to the U.S. in October, 2018.

On Symphony we’ll visit St. Kitts, St. Thomas and the Bahamas.

So what kinds of things can the girls be learning between now and our cruises?

  1.  How cruise ships are built?
  2.  History and facts on each of the islands we will be visiting.
  3.  Caribbean sea life.
  4.  Caribbean geography.

The possibilities are endless.

 

 

Varied Interests

Reading thru past blog posts, it is very clear that I have three primary interests . . . . .

Children/Family

Travel

Gardening

I lump children and family together, but could also add adoption and foster care into this group.  Adoption brought Lili and Naomi into my life.  They are my children and therefore my family.  Foster care has also been a big part of my life and the children who have come into my life because of foster care are very important to me.  Hubby, my children, extended family, foster children and friends who I consider family are so very important in my life.

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Travel!  I adore travel and everything about it from planning to new experiences.  Without travel, I feel like something is missing in my life.

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Gardening is my hobby.  I am in my happy place when my hands are in the soil.  I enjoy the planting a seed and get excited when I see the first signs of life emerge thru the soil.  Picking my first ripe fruit or vegetable gives me a thrill.  Seeing bumblebees and butterflies fly from flower to flower puts a smile on my face.  I get excited about exploring and trying new gardening techniques or growing something for the first time.

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(It was windy when I took this picture.)

What are your interests?

 

 

Busy Day

I’ve been trying to get into a better blogging routine in the last week and was doing pretty well until today.

We head out on our cruise this Sunday and I am in full cleaning and packing mode.  As such, my blog has taken a back seat.

While we’re gone, I will be disconnecting, so there will be no blog posts published.  I do, however, plan to write a little something every day.  When I return, I should have several posts, with photos, ready to share.

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Castles

Hubby and I had a short discussion about seeing castles in Europe.  I jokingly said we should go on a castle tour of Europe.  He didn’t agree.

He did suggest we see the Neuschwanstein Castle (or is it Castle Neuschwanstein) in Germany though.

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And of all the places we’ve talked about visiting in Europe, here are some of the possible castles we could see.

 

Castle of Coco in Spain

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Brodick Castle in Scotland

 

Eltz Castle in Germany

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Mont Saint-Michel in France

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Castle Frankenstein in Germany

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Chateau de Versailles in France

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Prague Castle in the Czech Republic

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Like I said, I was just joking when I told hubby we should go on a castle tour in Europe.  Although, maybe seeing a few of these wouldn’t be so bad!

 

 

Homeschool Dreams

Lili loves studying history.  Naomi is just okay studying history, but her study of the fall of Rome and the rise of the Renaissance seems to capture her interest a little more.

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Lili is studying Victoria’s Empire currently, and their studies makes planning a European vacation more appealing than ever.

My homeschooling dream has been some book study at home, with travel to help the girls better understand what they have learned.  So completing our history studies this year followed by a trip to visit some of the places they have been learning about will help fulfill my home school dream.

In Hindsight

We all look back and wish we would have made different choices at some point in our lives.  It doesn’t mean the choices we made are bad (although I’ve made some of those), but it’s the realization that different choices may have been better.

For example, in high school, I chose not to take a foreign language class.  I went to a high school, out in the middle of corn field (literally) and really didn’t envision myself ever needing to speak Spanish or German, which were the only two languages offered.

Fast forward all these years and I realize how knowing a second language would have provided more opportunity.  I also realize that being able to speak Spanish would have come in helpful many times.  Especially since we adopted our oldest daughter from a Spanish speaking country.

So hubby and I are trying to learn now.  Which also makes me realize how much easier it would have been to learn another language in my teens.  Seriously, how many times do I have to hear the same word over and over before I remember it?!!!  Certainly I should be much further along in a week 🙂  LOL!!!

Then there is travel.

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I wish I would have done more travel in my life.  Instead, I made other choices, like having babies.  I’m able to do more travel now, but I feel like I’m playing catch up and don’t really see a way to visit all the places I would like in my lifetime.  But really, can anyone truly see everything?!!! Plus, I wouldn’t trade my children in for travel.  However, in hindsight, I wish I would have saved more money so I could travel more now.

I also think I would have enjoyed living outside the U.S. for a little while.

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I wasn’t raised by dreamers.  I was raised by parents who were much more content to stay in one place.  Honestly, I can’t say I understood that really.  I had a pen pal from Belgium which gave me a little taste of what life might be like outside the U.S.  I was not afraid of moving away from the little town that had been the only home I knew.  Although my first move away was to another small town in the same state.  Still, I found moving away exciting.  It was a new adventure.  It was the opportunity to experience a different life.  I was also able to experience life living in California and Washington.  Not quite the same as living abroad.

Hubby was in the Army and was able to experience living abroad for two years.  I don’t know if he would agree or not, but I believe that experience changed him in positive ways.  I think there is something to be said about moving away from the comfort of your home and being able to experience a life unlike the only one you’ve ever known.  It changes a person and gives a new perspective on life.

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My list of things I could have or should have done differently could go on and on and on I suppose, but I don’t want to live a life of regret.  Instead, I want to take what I’ve learned, move forward and experience new adventures.

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Traveling Europe

We’re 6 days away from our next cruise while hubby and I discuss a possible trip to Europe.

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Hubby lived in Germany, but that was 32 years ago and as he tells me now, he really didn’t care about travel when he was there.  He regrets that a bit now and as we discuss what countries we would like to visit, we realize our dreams of seeing Europe will require many weeks of travel.  We’ll likely only have a couple of weeks at a time, so we are beginning to do a little planning around which countries we want to see first.  We are making decisions on what we want to see in each country and deciding the best order in which to see each country.  We’re also checking into the best form(s) of transportation to get from country to country.

Hubby and I are in agreement on several countries . . . .

– Ireland

– Scotland

– Sweden

– Denmark

– Germany

– The Netherlands

– Switzerland

– France

Hubby is also interested in seeing Italy, where I’m interested in seeing the Czech Republic, Norway, and Spain.

At least we have a start and can begin planning our Great European Get Away (GEGA).

We’re also hoping to make a trip up to Toronto, Ontario sometime in the next year.

Great adventures await!

If you have traveled to Europe, which countries are your favorite?

Are there any others you recommend we consider?  If so, why?