Shameless Repost: Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World

Thrifty Travel Mama

Monday mornings suck the life right outta me.  From grocery shopping with a cranky baby to figuring out where to stash the stuff in my Barbie kitchen, by 10am I’m already beat.  At least I have one thing to look forward to: Simple Mom weekend links.  Though Tsh publishes these posts on Sundays, by the time I get them, it’s no longer the weekend.

No matter.  I love seeing what kind of thought-provoking, inspirational, and downright hilarious links she’s got in store.  One from this past weekend begged an instant click-and-read.  Just thought I’d pass along Why You Should Quit Your Job and Travel Around the World.

Though the post is a few years old and despite the fact that I can’t quit my job (I’m a mama, hello), it’s a fantastic read.  I am not as traveled as Chris Guillebeau (again, kids), but I often hear the same objections as to why people don’t travel…

  • “I don’t have money to travel.”
  • “The rest of the world is dangerous.”
  • “I like staying at home.”
  • “I’ll do this kind of stuff when I retire…”

To see Chris’s responses to these objections and to read the complete post, click here.

Shameless Repost: London’s Coolest New Attractions

Doc Sci and I in London, 2006.

We’ve been watching the Olympics this week – have you?

The games have been inspiring my boys to make up new sports in their room and inspiring me to dream of traveling again soon.

Ahhhhh, London.  Doc Sci and I were in the British city in 2006 for a missions trip.  We spent two weeks (including Christmas) there and we loved it.  From where we live in Germany now, its possible to fly, drive, or ride a train to London.  We may just have to take the boys there in the not-so-distant future.

And, while visiting London during the Olympics will be impossible for us this year (and probably for most of you reading this), rest assured that this year’s events will leave their mark on the city.

For a list of London’s Coolest New Attractions, visit Travel + Leisure’s website for a slideshow of the latest and greatest.

I’d like to see The Shard and the ArcelorMittal Orbit – what about you?

Shameless Repost: With Six Kids and No Car, This Mom Does It All By Bike

Wow.

That’s all I could think when reading about Emily Finch of Portland, Oregon, who bikes around town with six kids between the ages of 2 and 11.

Well, wow – and I’m a wimp.

I rode my bike with one child until 30 weeks when I just couldn’t peddle around my baby belly anymore.  And I gave up pulling a bike trailer with two boys in it long ago.  I thought biking around with almost 100 pounds of boy flesh and gear was too much.  This woman once estimated her load at FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY pounds.

Are you feelin’ the “wow” yet?

I wonder what kind of reaction she gets.  I know Portland is rather green, but it’s still the US.  Most people would choose a hybrid automotive over a bike for commuting any day.  And that would be just for one adult.  Piling all your kids in one bike instead of a minivan by choice?  Yeah, right.

In Germany, lots of people bike.  It’s not only good for the environment; it’s cheaper.  And totally normal.  Well, as long as said bicycle does not contain more than two children.  I think it’s safe to say Emily would be stared at in Germany as well, though more for the number of children than the bike itself.

If you haven’t read the article yet, you can do so here.

And then leave a comment to let us know – could you ride around town by bike with your children – no matter how many of them you have?  Would you?

Shameless Repost: 25 Tips for Travel with Kids

Caz and Craig from y Travel Blog recently posted 25 Tips for Travel with Kids.  If you haven’t visited y Travel yet, you should!  Caz and Craig are also traveling parents with lots of experience.

I thought Craig’s post had some fantastic tips, and I encourage you to head on over and check them out.  Among my favorites..

  • Slow Down
  • Be Flexible
  • Consider Apartment Rental
  • Keep Meal Costs Down
  • Do the Free Stuff
  • Travel with an Open Mind
  • and more!

If you have your own tips you’d like to add to this list, add them below.

Shameless Repost: Are German Parents as Superior as French Parents?

I don’t often think about if German parents are different than American parents.  That’s a no-brainer.  I just know they are.

But one thing I haven’t given much thought to is the question of how German parents differ from their American counterparts.

Several weeks ago, I ran across an article listed in Simple Mom’s Weekend Links that happened to be from the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why French Parents Are Superior.”

I loved it.

Since then, I’ve been consciously thinking about two things I took away from the article: delayed gratification and teaching my children to entertain themselves by playing alone while I am busy.

As I read the article, though, I wondered how similar French and German parents are.  The last time I spent more than one day in France, I was pregnant with my first child and not at all into hanging out at playgrounds or observing child rearing techniques.

And, even though I have lived in Germany for a year and a half, I am still no expert on German parents.  So, I was quite pleased to run across a comparison on the German Way Expat Blog of French and German parents based on the aforementioned Wall Street Journal article.

Head here to read the full comparison.   (Or you can cheat and read the final count here: Similarities – 3 and Dissimilarities – 2.)

Shameless Repost: Alternative Airports for Flying Around Europe on the Cheap

Today Travel (msnbc.com) has an excellent article by Gabrielle Zunde of Budget Travel with an organized and informative list of alternative airports for flying around Europe on the cheap.

I realize my last post was also pointing you to an outside article, but know that I wouldn’t send you anywhere that wasn’t worth my (and therefore your) time.

And speaking of time, these days mine seems to be lavished on thrilling things like expat taxes (more on that to come!), German government forms, visa paperwork, and the like.  This makes me dirt poor when it comes to minutes and hours for fun things like blog posts and Pinterest.

Anyway, back to the article!  Head here for a list of alternative airports for destinations like London, Paris, Munich, Milan, etc.  For each city,  Zunde lists the distance from the alternative airport to the main destination, the best way to get there, the cost, and the names of the budget airlines.

What a great research time saver!

Shameless Repost: Free Things at Airports Around the World

Waiting in airports is often a bore for adults, but it can be downright painful with children.  Taking kids in the duty-free shops is a potentially expensive and guaranteed stressful experience.  Running around an empty gate area gets old or impossible if all gates around you end up being used.

So, what to do?

Homework, of course!  Research the airports you’ll be flying through, and find out what amenities they offer.  Since we’re thrifty around here, you won’t see any recommendations suggesting pricey day passes to airport lounges or expensive in-airport spa treatments.

Msnbc.com recently posted a great list of Free Things at Airports Around the World.  For the full msnbc.com article, click here.   Here’s a quick list of the airports included in the article:

  • Singapore Changi Airport
  • Washington Dulles International Airport
  •  Tallinn Airport, Estonia
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 
  • JFK International Airport, Terminals 2-3
  • Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei

For more airport reviews, check out Skytrax.com.

Marathon Mom

While doing some research for our upcoming trip, I happened to notice this in the sidebar.  This woman must really be in shape!  I tried to run while pregnant with Screech, but quit before 20 weeks.  I just did not have the energy to run with all the extra weight.  I have no idea how this woman made it through labor & delivery after a marathon!

Full story: http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-marathon-baby-oct10,0,1647610.story

Shameless Re-post: Traveling the World with Kids

I rarely re-post other people’s blog content here (recipes aside).  In fact, I don’t think I’ve done it here yet.  But, I came across an article via Simple Mom from BootsnAll called 21 Reasons to Travel Around the World with Kids…From Those Who Have Done It.

Whoa.  I loved it.  We’re not exactly traveling the world.  Well, okay, maybe we are.  But I somehow don’t see myself as having achieved this kind of travel.. yet.  Perhaps we’ll be there someday.  For now, I’m content to just be inspired.  Let me know what you think!