I’ve been out of the country for the past two weeks, spending almost the entirety of that time in Israel. Along the way, I’ve learned some interesting things about taking an extended global trip while parenting.
Contrary to what you might think, there are some pretty sweet perks to traveling with a child. I made the trip out to Israel with just my son and while there are some challenges traveling as a solo parent, I also noticed some up sides. People tended to treat us with more patience and kindness then when I travel solo (and I do, often). We bypassed regular TSA security to go in the fast lane, where shoes blissfully remain on and you don’t need to take out laptops or toiletries. We were also allowed to board first if we wanted to, we got meals served to us earlier, and there were more smiles and less scowls from airline employees — although perhaps this is just an Air France thing? They were pushing the free booze … Keep reading »
This serene scene isn’t a buried relic from the Roman Empire or a magical underground fairy beach (which was my first thought, honestly), it’s actually a reservoir buried under one of the busiest, most crowded cities in the world. Built in 1874, the tank lies undisturbed beneath the streets in the south of Paris, and still supplies about 1/5th of the city’s population with fresh, clean water. It’s obviously closed off to the public to maintain its pristine quality, but oh, what I wouldn’t give to go for a dip… [MNChic]
The day I realized that Kyle and I weren’t going to get married was the day he told me how he’d always dreamed of honeymooning at Disneyland Paris.
My family was into nature. Most of our vacations were spent hiking through national parks. But Kyle’s family went to the same place every single year: Disney World. They stayed at the same hotel, ate at the same restaurants, and rode the same rides. These people were okay with paying a lot of money to be an audience year in and year out. I mean a lot of money: tickets, fast passes, souvenirs, overpriced food, hotel rooms. When they came back from Disney, all they could talk about was when they were going to go again. Did I mention the youngest member of their family was 25? Keep reading »
I remember a few years ago when argan oil was first becoming a hot new beauty trend in the states, my boss at the time said, “You know where argan oil comes from, right? Goat poop.” Of course, I initially wrote her off as a goat poop conspiracy theorist, but it’s true. Goats in Tamri, Morocco have learned that a bit of acrobatic climbing of the local argan trees will earn them a sweet snack: argan berries. After enjoying their lunch high up in the trees, they digest the berries, which are then easily harvested from their droppings that fall to the ground. After the berries are removed from the excrement, they’re pressed to make oil for cooking, hair, and skin products. Kind of gross, kind of amazing, but definitely intriguing enough to add “go watch goats climb trees and poop out a high-end beauty product” to my bucket list. [When On Earth]
A few years ago a study came out that said the anticipation of a vacation actually makes people much happier than the vacation itself, and as much as I enjoy traveling, I must admit I find this to be true. I just booked a trip to France, Switzerland, and Iceland for later this year, and I’m SO excited. Of course I’m stoked for the trip itself, but I’m almost equally thrilled about spending the next few months researching, planning my itinerary, and staring wistfully at photos of sidewalk cafes in Lyon. Nothing makes my life feel more colorful and energized than having a trip on the horizon — even if that horizon is pretty far off. Here are 5 things I love about traveling, none of which happen on the actual trip itself… Keep reading »
The small community of Solothurn, Switzerland, is having a crisis, and maybe you can help. You see, there’s a cave just outside of town, the Verena Gorge Hermitage, which for the past 600 years has been inhabited by a hermit (not a single immortal hermit, obviously, but a succession of hermits). The current hermit recently had to step down for health reasons (perhaps related to not getting enough sunlight? Just a thought) and now the town is scrambling to find a replacement to keep the hermit tradition alive. Unfortunately for introverts who are salivating at the prospect of getting paid to live in a cave and never talk to anyone, this hermit job is a decidedly social one. According to an ad the town placed in a local newspaper, “The new hermit should have a religious background, have an idealistic attitude, be willing to speak with the visitors and answer to their questions or give them advice.” But! If you can put up with advising tourists about the meaning of life, the gig does come with a free cave, a monthly salary of $1,140, and paid vacation. As far as hermit jobs go, this seems like a great one. [The Daily Beast]