When it comes to travel, I’m something of a late bloomer. As a child growing up outside of Chicago, I always looked forward to taking trips with my parents, and was lucky enough to visit Disney World and Hawaii before the age of 18. Torch Lake, MI was a regular destination, as was Door County, WI. Even a train ride to the big city was an adventure I loved!
After college, I relocated to New Jersey to get married and start a family at the age of 25. Due to a lack of both funds and time, my own first trips were short and sweet. A road trip to Myrtle Beach. Visiting family in Florida and Virginia. With a full time job and a growing family, for many years there was little time for anything but a weekend at the Jersey Shore.
I enjoyed planning a few family trips – a surprise trip to Disney World for my children, a cruise, and a rented condo in Bethany Beach, DE. I researched, budgeted, and booked everything. Somehow, my husband was never quite happy with my choices.
After a 2007 divorce I should have seen coming (but didn’t), I decided that the best way to regroup would be to take my two sons, then 12 and 7, on a trip to Sweet Home Chicago. With no husband to second guess me, I felt that peculiar mix of discomfort and excitement that sparked my travel addiction.
So off we went, the “three musketeers” as we began calling ourselves. We stayed in hotels, navigated mass transit, visited friends, and toured museums, skyscrapers, and ballparks. I introduced the boys to all my hometown favorites: deep dish pizza, the “El”, Michigan Avenue, and the Cubs!
When I got home, it quickly became apparent that there was only one thing to do: begin planning my next adventure. And the next, and the next…