Step 2: Deciding Where To Go – Part A

Are you already sick of me talking about this extended vacation?

Imagine living with me.

I’m at that early infatuation stage where you stop talking to your friends and start listening to his favorite band.  But there is so much I need to know!  So much to learn!  So many decisions that need to be made before decisions can be made!

I’m actually a little proud of myself because I tend to get really great ideas at the very last minute.  Like the time I asked Crocs to give me shoes two days before I left for BlogHer, and they were like, “ummm, ok… you know this conference is next week, right?”  Or that time I had to have the marketing guy at Aquatica called at home on a Saturday because we were just finishing up details of my visit about 8 hours before I was supposed to show up and review the place.

A planner I am not.  And while I find that characteristic charming, it’s not exactly efficient.

Extended vacations have to be at least a little efficient, I think.  At least while you’re planning them.

All that to say, yes.  I’m talking about it again. Still.

Imagine living with me.

Now that we have evoked sufficient sympathy for my husband, let’s discuss the next decision.  It’s really the first decision, I suppose, unless you count “decide that if other people are traveling for months and years at a time than you can, too.”

Anyway, where we’re going.

We went back and forth on whether or not we should explore the United States or hop on a plane and have a grand adventure in farther flung places.

My heart said we should head to the most exotic place I could think of.  I explained to Jared that it was easy to replace buying shoes with long weekends on foreign beaches.  I had visions of the kids and I pedaling through rice patties on rusted bikes with quaint baskets stuffed with local produce.  I would learn to wear socks with sandals and eat with sticks.  My children would learn multiple languages and come home with pictures of rainbow colored children and an appreciation for life beyond materialism.

“Yeah, we can see most of the stuff in the United States over a long weekend,” Jared agreed.

And it was decided.  Overseas it would be.  Now we had to decide on the continent(s), countries and cities – but we had the ball rolling.

And then 2:30 in the morning happened and I’m lying wide awake in bed thinking about all the things I have not seen in my own country.  I’m thinking of figuring out the most economically friendly way to travel long distances and wondering if it would make the most sense to use one of the vehicles we have or look into some kind of hybrid.  How much would that cost?  Reliable internet access in a first world country that could be accessed by one a monthly wireless card would certainly make working on the road easier – and the ability to work while we travel is the only hope we have of making this dream a reality.  Using my contacts and experience as a travel blogger might be easier in the United States.  No, it would most definitely be easier.

We’d be able to see friends and family.  I know a hell of a lot of people in the United States, thanks to the Internet.  Some of those people might let a strange family of four sleep in their backyard for a night.  Maybe we could even score floor space, which is infinitely less expensive and easier to reserve than a hotel.

By 3:00 it was useless to pretend like I was going to be able to go back to sleep.  I got out of bed and started trolling travel blogs.  I started making lists of places in the United States that I wanted to see, share and experience with my husband and children.  I ate scrambled eggs at 4:00.

When Jared finally woke at 6:00 I was hesitant to tell him about my change of heart.

“So, um, I was thinking that maybe we should take this first trip around the United States.”

“I told you that would be more practical.”

Right.  Of course.

So it looks like we’re headed… home.

And hopefully when all is said and done, we’ll have a better understanding of what that place is.  What this place is.  Maybe we’ll know our countrymen better and have a deeper appreciation for the things that unite us, because it’s easy to forget that we are still a united nation some days.

Our maybe we’ll just end up with a lot of pictures in front of signs that say things like “World’s Largest Ball of Twine”.

Can we stay with you?

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