I really don't have a travel bug. People don't believe me, but I naturally do not. Traveling has been something I've been coerced into, by hubby, of course.
I call myself a "shallow traveler", focusing on the architecture, foods and everyday life of the destination. I am not much of a sight seer. It all stems back to a perfectionist trait. Why see some of it when you can't see it all? There is always something we are missing. This is not something many people can understand.
I am also not much for bragging rights. Sitting around at a dinner party and saying, "when we were in ______ ...".
Oddly enough, that is usually what happens.
The other reason why traveling is not a favorite past time of mine is all of the stress. I am a planner...with as many details as possible. I don't like the unknown. I wish I could be more laid back and a free spirit, but alas I am not. No matter how much preplanning and prepping I do, the control is still given up. That is why I prefer to travel to places I have already been, many times. I have a sort of "home away from home" mentality about traveling. I say, "I would be happy just going to Lake Tahoe and Kaua'i (and Disneyland a time or two) for the rest of my life." I also feel that taking all of that money and putting into our home, making our home feel like a relaxing getaway, is a great idea! Can anyone say beach house?
It really makes me seem spoiled and ungrateful, doesn't it? You see, when you are an expat in Beijing, you travel. I am not talking about coming and going from your homeland. I mean every chance you get, every holiday, you go somewhere and see something. We have friends who are students here in China and they still scrape together every last bit to see and explore. It is just part of the expat experience. We have friends who have been to Cambodia, Africa, Paris and Bali recently.
For me, I sit back and relish in the fact that for these two years we are able to visit a side of the world that we would normally not be able to. And, I hope, these posts do not feel like bragging to you! I know that many will not have these opportunities, and sharing them with you is one of the things that brings me pleasure!
So mark your calendars because we have some trips planned!
First, at the end of September/ beginning of October (National Week here in China
) we will be heading to Phuket, Thailand! Stressors? Heck yes! Hubby will be meeting us there since he will be in Africa for business prior. Also, he and the kids decided to get scuba certified there. Yay for them, boo for me since I will be four days on my own.
Next, for Christmas and New Years we will be heading to Kauai meeting up with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. On the way back, we are stopping in Seoul, Korea for three days.
Newly added is our plans for Chinese New Year. Remember this? We decided to take others' advice and to stick around only our first year to "experience" CNY and leave the second. Oh, don't worry! Hubby and D are already planning getting in their firework fun on week two after we come back from (drum roll please)....Sydney, Australia! Yep, we are headed down under. Wish we had more time but we will spend a week in Sydney and a day in Singapore on the way there.
We are still working on plans for spring break. My vote is something in China...time is ticking and we need to see the pandas!
complaining joking aside, I am really grateful to hubby who pushes me out of my comfort zone and arranges such amazing memories for our family! He works very hard and we cherish our travel time with him!
If you are wondering how we do it...we are not filthy rich. Having American Airlines frequent flyer miles and Marriott hotel points sure does help! Oh, and we've been known to make the "executive lounge" snacks into full meals.