Monday, June 11, 2012

Flower Owls and Dream Trips

flower owl
flower owl in Nantou County, Taiwan by Ernesto JT on flickr.com

I found these flowering owls on Pinterest this morning and added them to my Round The World board, just in case.  I have this notion of one day heading west, sticking close to the equator, except for flower-filled Europe and the botanical wonderland of South Africa, and then finding our way back to North Carolina about a year later.

Okay so it's a little...well...ambitious, if not delusional.  I prefer to think of it as visionary (haha!), but at any rate my husband has a way to go before retirement and we have a child still at home, pets, a garden...you know how it is.  Maybe we'll decide instead to hike the Mont Blanc Trail or drive across the US, or just stick to towns we haven't seen in the Carolinas, who knows?  I love it all and the planning is fun, either way.

I come by this desire to go places and see things pretty naturally.  My mother just got back from Machu Picchu!  I was so worried about her spending time at such a high altitude (16,000 feet), that I was having trouble breathing!  :)  But, she's back, did fine (with the help of some coca!) and has all sorts of exciting things to say about the beautiful pictures she took.  Go, Mom!

Machu Pucchu, photo by Pat Scattergood

And, my amazing father loves to travel, too; he's up for a trip at the blink of an eye, treating one grandchild or another to London, California, Florida or a new roller coaster in Sandusky (just to name a few) --or me to the Grand Canyon.  So, go, Dad, too!


Incidentally, I'm not talking about unlimited funds here for any of us.  I'm talking budget travel, which I prefer to think of as smart, not lacking.  Barbara Sher's book, Wishcraft, factors in here, because I learned from her (when she was on the Donahue show, remember that?!) that living the life you want has very little, if anything, to do with how much money you have.  It's really true.  I bought the book, read it, and took her advice to heart.

Then, I took my family to Europe for a month!

Oh, it did take a few years of dreaming and saving and strategizing, or in other words trying to convince my well-rooted husband it wouldn't cost too much and was a great (not totally stupid) idea.  But we did it and we're all glad we did.  Travel memories are some of every family's best, aren't they?

For now my RTW board is a bunch of pretty pictures (with a surprising amount of sparkly aqua!), but eventually I'll do some pruning and weeding and create a feasible path--a path that winds through plenty of gardens and parks, with vistas of lots of weird and wonderful plants.

Do you like to travel?  What are your favorite gardens and natural places?  How will you get there?

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Here's an armchair travel treat for you:  Susan Branch took off on a dream trip during the first week or so of May and is keeping everyone updated on her blog.  It's almost as good as being there!  She and her husband sailed across the Atlantic on the QEII and are visiting friends and gardens and historic sites all over England.  Today she tells about her visit to Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Farm in the Lake District.  Beautiful!  Here's the link to the very beginning of the trip, so you can catch up.  Get a glass of tea and make yourself comfortable, you're going to want to stay a while:  http://www.susanbranch.com/2012/05/links-to-travel-queen-mary-ii-ocean-liner-souvenir-doll-flower-moon/

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Wishcraft is now available as a free eBook.  Lucky you!

12 comments:

  1. What a great post! I especially love the idea of doing what you want if you plan well enough. And I'm going to get the book on my Kindle right now. Perhaps I'm not too old for a little Wishcraft. Thanks

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    1. thanks, carolyn! we get old when we stop dreaming, right? i hope you like the book.

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  2. I loved this post! I must admit, I spent some time this morning stalking your Pinterest boards, following and pinning quite a few things--including the owls! How fun to stop by here to visit--and find the owls! It's also interesting, because we leave in 18 days for our trip, and I was just Googling things to see and do in Northern Germany, where we'll be for a for a family reunion for part of the trip. Peter and I always say we'll be excellent retired people, because we love to travel. For now, though, I'm just celebrating that we're heading to Europe without a diaper bag for the first time! I'm definitely going to check out Wishcraft. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. thank you, julie! isn't pinterest fun? i'm really envious that you're leaving for europe soon. this time of year, i always get an itch to go back. i hope you all have a great time and enjoy your family reunion! will you be able to send pictures to FB? that would be great!

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  3. Daricia, I get to daydreaming about travel myself every month or so. (Will your mom and dad adopt me and pretend I'm one of the grandchildren?) I have been to Beatrix Potter's house and love the Lake District. Will check out the Susan Branch blog. I have Barbara Sher's book "It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now". Someone "borrowed" by copy of Wishcraft and I never saw it again!

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    1. DJ, i had a feeling we might be kindred spirits when we first met! it's always nice to know there are other dreamers out there. after seeing susan branch's pictures of the lake district, i'll have to add it to my "one day" list. would love to hear about your trip sometime. re: wishcraft, i've bought it over and over...keep giving it away! i'm glad it's online for free now.

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  4. I think about travelling all the time. We are trying to narrow down our choices for this summer and finances are a big issue. We have an invite to Colorado and New Mexico. However, it is going to be cheaper for us to drive than fly, even with the hotels and meals on the road. Driving is just such a time sucker. The first time we went to Co. all of us had a severe recation to altitude on our second day there while we were at 14,000', so I know what you mom experienced, but bully for her for being so adventurous.

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    1. i really am proud of my mom! i don't do well with altitude at all--anything over about 6500 feet is a problem, so when i heard about how high she would be, i nearly freaked out! it didn't help when her doctor told her HE wouldn't be going to peru...ever...because of the altitude! anyway, she's loves mountains and was determined, and thank heaven it all worked out for her. i hope you get a super vacation this summer, and that you tell us about it on fb or your blog!

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  5. I love to travel! How wonderful you have adventurous parents! The past several years we have been traveling locally (within the US) since the children are younger. Soon they will be of age to appreciate travel to Europe. My son is desperate to go back to the Netherlands since he was born there but doesn't remember it because he was so young when we moved back to the States. I definitely think our family must make a concerted effort to plan trips because life gets busy and then before you know it time has gone by and we haven't gone anywhere. I'll have to check out the book and blog you mentioned. It is fun to live vicariously through others travel experiences. Enjoyed this post!

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    1. karin, your philosophy is a lot like my sister's (the one who lives in chapel hill). they've been to national parks all over the country while her little ones were growing up. i thought traveling anywhere with little ones was fine as long as we stayed long enough to make stressful travel days to and from worth it. now i have some second thoughts about it because my youngest doesn't remember at all some great places we went, and it bothers her like it does your son. but there are 13 years between my oldest and youngest, so we had to just take the plunge if our oldest was going to be able to go with us. thanks for the comment! will have to chat with you about the netherlands sometime. we stayed at edam for a couple of nights...one of our favorite spots!

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  6. Love this. I hope to hear more about your mom's trip. We have some dream trips to visit new places (for me) -- Colorado where our nephew just moved and to Seattle to see our 'son' who is stationed at Fort Lewis. His mom and sister just went and the gardens under the Space Needle with Chihuly glass is out of this world!!

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    1. how fun! enjoy yourself! love seattle, have never been to colorado, but would love to see the botanical garden in denver...lots of interesting rock garden and alpine plants.

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