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Trip update

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With just a few weeks left to the beginning of my journey to visit 50 places I’ve never been the year I turn 50, I wanted to give you a trip update on the progress and planning.

I have one of two reactions when I look at my calendar these days. I’m either like a toddler having the best day ever or one having a breakdown in aisle 7.

On one hand, I am beyond excited that this adventure is finally beginning. It has been two years in the making. Two years of planning. Two years of talking. Two years of dreaming! Now it’s getting real.

On the other hand, I feel overwhelmed, wondering how the balance between travel and work and my daughter is really going to play out. I consider the early morning flights and late-night returns I took to get cheaper flights and maximize my time at each place and I wonder if I’ll be tired the entire year.

The good news is that word is getting out about the project.

When I set out to do this it was about survival for me. I never expected that what I went through would inspire anyone else. It’s been a cool side effect of this project.  I’ve been featured in the digital magazine Voyage ATL and a local magazine is doing a story on me in January! I’ve even had interest from some tv stations about what I’m doing and how I’m pulling this off financially.

I am really moved by most people’s enthusiasm for the project and can’t wait to share what I see and learn. I am also still trying to figure out how to do that and still preserve the sanctity of the experience. That’s super important to me so if I don’t post in real-time you’ll understand why.

I keep praying and trusting that God will make it all work.

I’ve even started a  youtube channel… Please please please subscribe . I’m going to be sharing all kinds of videos and behind the scenes stuff from the touristy to the off the beaten path observations… from great hotels to traveling disasters (which I hope are minimal but with this many trips I’m pushing the odds! LOL).

Most of the 50 places are planned… but there is a little wiggle room.

I leave on my first trip in January but I don’t know where I’m going … so there’s that!

No, really, I have no idea. Not because it hasn’t been planned but because I DON’T KNOW. In fact, I won’t know until the morning I leave. No, I am not crazy or drunk or having some kind of medical issue. I’m using Pack up + Go… a surprise travel agency. It’s super cool, actually. You give them a budget. Answer a few questions and they do the rest —booking flight and accommodations and giving you a researched suggested itinerary you can do or not. And so begins the first lesson I’ve learned … not being in control won’t kill me and can actually be fun. It’s testing my daughter’s anxiety for sure but I’ve got to say with the craziness of the holidays it is actually nice that I don’t have to worry about it! Somehow it makes total sense to me to start these trips this way! To embrace the unknown. To roll with the punches. To let go of control. Heck, that’s how this whole thing started!

Lots of tickets are booked. Among them, Spain, Paris, and Los Angeles for the start of our Amtrak Train ride up the coast. I’ve booked some cool places to stay like an Airbnb in Key West near Old Town and a renovated caboose in the Smoky Mountains for Mother’s Day. I’ve still got quite a few places though to book.

I’m in the process of planning a trip to Cape Cod for Memorial Day Weekend with some old friends! and just getting started on a Fall trip to Greece!  Taking all recommendations for where to go and where to stay—email me!

There is more to be done like finalizing where I’ll need to go and when for a few book signings since my children’s book comes out in the Spring. I’m also trying to determine the best way to use points. I’ve been building up hotel points, American Express, miles, frequent flyer miles, etc and want to make sure I get the most out of them.

So uh, yeah,  I guess this is really happening….