Tag Archives: Stories

Dear Parents,

Image by RCompass.

Image by RCompass.

Here are the top 10 things I learned on a recent vacation with a nine year old. These are quick reminders for parents of simple things that can be done while traveling but also at home and after work!

  1. Power Down: I find that I text a lot at night to stay connected with my friends. Although its not as time consuming as a phone conversation-it is definitely distracting.  The first day of our trip, I was returning a text to my cousin who was buying tickets to a concert for us when I noticed that my son visibly slouched in his seat with disappointment.  He wanted my time (one-on-one). I text my cousin back and explained that I was going on vacation and would get back to her in a few days. And to my son, I promised to power off my phone for the rest of the trip.
  2. Digital Revolution: Speaking of digital technology; When I was younger my mom gave me my first camera which used the titty-bitty 110 film. Every photo cost money to develop whether good, bad or ugly. Thanks to digital cameras, my son (a budding photographer) was able to click freely and creatively.  Which meant that I was able to save big bucks knowing that we had the freedom to delete and then print the best of the best.
  3. Big Kid: Let your hair down and don’t be afraid to channel your youthful spirit. Laugh at yourself and get silly at unexpected moments. It will lighten everyone’s mood and maybe even allow your kid(s) to see you in a whole new light.
  4. Follow the Leader: We often try to navigate and take control of situations (its a parental survival skill). Consider letting your kid(s) take the lead. They instinctively want to show off for their parents (it gives them a sense of approval). You might be surprised and proud of what they do.
  5. Game on: Think back to when you were young playing with friends, cousins, siblings, or neighbors-almost anything can be turned into a game by simply scoring, counting, comparing and/or tallying. Competition still is a great motivator for most any child (especially boys).  Keep it safe, clean and rewarding!
  6. Get Out: Even if your pillow (or book) seems to be calling you, take time to interact with your child. It isn’t enough to physically be next to each other. Connect in a real way. I find that even though the thought of another hike, tour or bike run is exhausting; once I have committed to it, I almost always find it pleasurable.
  7. Clean Up Crew: Even though you are on vacation, you will undoubtedly still need a clean-up crew. Simply keep a small bottle of water and a few sheets of paper towels (wipes or napkins) with you at all times. You will be surprised how often they will come in handy. Now I know why my parent’s glove compartments were always filled with leftover *(unused) take-out napkins.
  8. Navigator: Every pilot could use a copilot (or two).  Take the time to teach your child how to read maps and work a compass. Back seat driving can be a good thing. Note: We stayed in a small town in a valley where even my Android didn’t work anyway-it was fun to roll old school.
  9. Reflection: It takes time to absorb and reflect our experiences. I still remember moments from my first family vacation almost 20 years ago. You might be surprised random thoughts that your child will share day, months or years after your trip(s).
  10. Present Day:  Children have the gift of living in the present. They aren’t bogged down by the past or worried about the future. Everything is real-time. Try to live in the moment with them. Theses days seem to cruise by:-)

And one to grow on….11. There is always room for ice cream (need I say more). Tip:For a special twist on this favorite we bought ice cream flavored Jelly Bellies-just to mix things up!

Gifted Travel Treasures: A Parisian Painting

Image by DarkRose42 some rights reserved

Image by DarkRose42 some rights reserved

As a sophomore in college; I wanted to study abroad in Toulouse which is located in southern France.  I had a passion for the french culture and language after studying five years both in high school and post secondary. For many reasons, some outside of my control, I never studied abroad. And as a result, I stopped my studies and refocused on a very different career path.

Years later I took a trip to Paris in July. Alongside the Sacre Coeur, I wandered through what I refer to as an artist’s quarter. It was a street exhibit area filled with stands brimming with art. I searched for an original drawing or painting to commemorate finally arriving in France. But, the time passed too quickly and I was late returning to the tour group. I never found my treasure that day.

The following Christmas my brother and his wife came to visit for the holidays. They handed me a small rolled canvas brought back from their recent trip to France and the same artist’s quarter. To my surprise, it was a one of a kind, impressionist style painting. The image was of couples around the early 1900’s (based on attire) walking along a lamp lit street. The Eiffel Tower was projected in the background-washed in a warm sunset.

Whether you are an avid or a novice traveler there is something enduring about acquiring tangible items to reflect our intangible experiences. RTreasures can be bought by and for ourselves. Or for others with the intent as simple as a thinking of you gift or something with extreme intrinsic value. Today, this small Parisian painting is still one of my most prized possessions! And it reminds me of my trip, that one choice can change the future, and how blessed I am to have family.

I invite you to share your stories in the comment section.

R Possibilities!


Life can have its own set of rules which may or may not align with a person’s master plan(s). And it is in these times that we strive to look deeper-searching for meaning when hit with another unexpected turn of events. Whatever the cause, the effect often launches a person into a quest for answers. The first step is to often ask why or how? Then when a person realizes that if their master plan is no longer feasible or desirable-what is? And even more importantly you begin to ask what can be?  In a quest for answers some find inspiration in another person’s story-like Lily. She documented her personal journey in her blog Explore for a Year”.

 Lily’s Story:

“I left behind my corporate job to travel around our beautiful world for a year. Sharing my adventures in real-time on Facebook & Twitter. Started my journey in India, Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle-East and currently in northern Thailand… read more⇒”