traveling on a budget

I thought it would be timely to post on this topic, as we are away at the moment, visiting with friends, on a distant (and warm) island…though this trip is more like ‘coming home’ (we had lived here before Finn was born) than traveling, but its’ got me thinking about travel…

So much can be said about traveling. There are so many variables to consider – are you traveling for a few weeks or longer? Will you be visiting one country or many? Are you traveling alone, with a friend, or as a family? Are you ok out of your ‘comfort zone? Can you stick to your budget? Are you able to ‘go with the flow’?…

But before deciding to go anywhere (or do anything really) you need to be able to save money. Saving a little each week can quickly add up to big savings. Putting aside $25 per week ($3.57 per day) will add up to $1300 in just one year. Michael and I saved for two years prior to leaving on our big trip years ago…we worked a lot, we worked so much we had no time to spend needlessly…yet, we didn’t see it as a sacrifice, we saw it as a way to accomplish something we really wanted to do – we had a goal and stuck to it. And in the end, all those things we chose not to do, wouldn’t have made a big impact on our overall life, but our travels did. Traveling changes you. It gives you a much larger view of the world. It reminds you – there is so much out there – there is so much to learn…and appreciate.

You can choose to see what it is your ‘giving up’ as a sacrifice or  as an avenue towards the things you really do want. 

We’ve made choices which may not be easy for most, but our choices have allowed us to do things we feel are important, to us.  And now our choices have allowed Finn to enjoy his first travel experience. And that to me is worth so much more than any dinner out could ever give…

hermit crab in shell



It also helps having dear friends in beautiful places! Thank you…

What do you wish to save for?


there’s no place like…

home. After being away for awhile, I am thankful to be home, in Maine.

We took a road trip to visit with my grandmother (Finn’s great-grandmother) at her beach house on Long Beach Island NJ.

We also decided to break up the trip and stop off to visit with Michaels parents in Connecticut too – it’s a long trip for a two year old…The drive reminded me of how differently we live here – what we’re exposed to and not exposed to – Maine is vasty different than the states we drove through as well as the states we stayed in…and while we had fun among all the busyness on the Jersey Shore (no boardwalk, thankfully) and catching up with everyone (and watching everyone trying to keep up with Finn), I am appreciative to be back home, in Maine, where life is little less populated…and a little more grounded…far from perfect I must say, but for now, just right for me.

I’ve realized I like less populated areas more than overpopulated areas – granted I love NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Portland (both) and enjoy all the things a city has to offer, but, for now, I prefer living in a more rural area…well, maybe not so rural…rural enough to enjoy quiet natural surroundings and open spaces, but not so rural that it takes 30 minutes to get to the nearest town (as it does for us at the moment). While it’s not easy living, I do enjoy having space to think.

Home has been many different places for me throughout my life. I wasn’t the kid who grew up in the same house, on the same street and had the same friends throughout childhood and then into adulthood. My parents divorced when I was young (they were young too –  parents at age 17, yikes, not easy to say the least) – my mother had primary custody of us and for one reason or another (I think mostly financial), we moved around a lot. Never very far, but far enough that we needed to change schools, make new friends and basically ‘start all over’ in the world of school and neighborhoods – life was often turned upside down.

Two constants in my life (in terms of home) were houses owned by my grandparents (on both sides). One, on a small lake in Mid Coast Maine (the lake house) and the other on the very busy island, Long Beach Island, on the coast of New Jersey (the beach house). I was fortunate. I had a beach house and a lake house. We weren’t always able to visit both – for a few years we didn’t visit either, but I knew they were there…

Both places always felt like ‘home’ to me; each holds it’s own nostalgia for me – and more so now that I can share them with my son…these two homes mean so much more to me than simply being the family beach/lake house. They are a part of my past, they are a part of me. Theses are places I can share with him – places which always feel like ‘home’ – places I could always depend on, they were always there…they were my constants.

Until the age of 34 I never lived anywhere for more than two years. Granted, I did live in Boston for three years while attending college, but only stayed during the school year – I would move for the summer break – not back ‘home’ as many other students would – I didn’t have that home – but I did have the constants…thankfully.

I’ve called many places home up until now – Massachusetts, NJ, Pennsylvania, Washington and Florida are a few of the states I’ve lived in as an adult and while traveling I experienced a variety of homes. I called my tent home for months while in Australia, a small flat in Rarotonga, my 1970 VW camper while traveling across the U.S., and a three bedroom home in Mexico while I was teaching there, as well as a 20 foot sailboat in the Caribbean, and now a 200+ year old farmhouse on the the coast of Maine – home, to me, is where you want to be, or where you are now…

We’ve made this house we call home, home – at least for now that is…we chose to fix it up and make it ‘ours’. I feel wherever you are living, you should make it yours.

Having said all this, I also know it is not my permanent home. I’m not sure I will ever be the type of person who ‘settles’ into a house and never moves, perhaps I will?  Maybe I just haven’t found that place or perhaps I am destined to enjoy a variety of homes/living situations throughout my lifetime…who knows – all I know is I am appreciative of where I live now, how I got here and where I’ve been.  I also look forward to finding and making my next home…wherever that may be.


Enjoy the weekend and enjoy being home…wherever that may be.