Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saving Today to Splurge Tomorrow

Photo taken by Callie Prier Photography
Riding the train to Munnich, 2009.

Over my twenty-seven years of life, I have been blessed with amazing opportunities to travel around the world! Belize, Italy, Poland, Dominican Republic, Germany, Czech, Caymen Islands, United Kingdom, Jamaica, and so on... Traveling has always captured a large portion of my heart and has remained one of my all-time favorite pasttimes. I've traveled lots of different ways (family vacations, guided tours, cruises, comfortable resort stays, etc) and with lots of different people (my parents, friends, cousin, the scuba diving trip to Belize was with my dad and some random people he met at the lake one weekend)... but BY FAR my most favorite form of travel is backpacking!!

Cruise with college friends, 2007
There is something so exciting (I call it exciting, others may call it stupid...) about getting off of an airplane in a country you've never seen before, where no one speaks your language, and you don't have a reservation to anything! You can go wherever you want, whenever you want! If you like a place, stay a while. If you don't, just keep moving! There is no agenda, no itinerary, just you, your map (and if your smart, a resourceful travel book) and backpack... trust me, it's the adventure of a lifetime!!

Italy, 2008. My first backpacking adventure with the my
best friend/most wonderful travel partner in the world, my cousin Callie.
This trip still holds the title for "Best Trip Ever."

When my parents got married they made a "bucket list" of sorts... They listed places they wanted to visit, things they wanted to do, stuff they wanted to purchase and the very last thing on the list... ME! (Actually it just said "have a baby.") My dad always tells this story that after a month of traveling across Europe, he and my mom climbed on the airplane to head home and he looked at my mom and they both realized everything on the list had been marked off except the baby... He never says that this moment got him all excited and gave him butterflies like you'd think the thought of having a baby would, actually he says that it was one of those "Oh crap" moments! Nevertheless, 9 months later I arrived and he's been full of butterflies ever since. (My words, not his... although I'm pretty sure he'd agree!)

Infront of the Berlin Wall with my Dad. 2009.
Definitely not Dad's first backpacking adventure, but the first with me!

So, Brandon and I decided a "bucket list" sounded like a wise idea. We haven't put ours on paper... although I think we should. I so wish I had a copy of my parent's list (I really should ask about that. Mom or Dad, if you are reading this, did you write it down? If so, can you find it? I want it please. Thanks). Written down or not, I know generally what's on our list. First thing is real life, "grown up" bedroom furniture. Currently we have a little of this and a little of that from our college days and while it works just fine, we decided to combine the generous gifts that people gave us for our wedding to make this one big purchase. We remain overwhelmingly humbled by people's generosity and the sacrifices they made to bless us on our wedding day. We didn't want to spend their money on things that would quickly fade - groceries, something trendy, etc. Instead we decided it would be put to the best use if we purchased new bedroom furniture... something we would appreciate and enjoy for YEARS! So, I've been doing some shopping and we've found a few sets that we really like, now we are just waiting on the "after-Christmas" sales! I'm all about getting the most bang for your buck!

The most amazing beach I've ever witnessed. Kaui, 2006.

The second thing on our list, is a backpacking trip! Brandon has never been to Europe, nor has he ever been backpacking (I'm not sure I would suggest backpacking in the States, Europe has a very lovely rail system that makes getting around MUCH more convenient... plus for some unknown reason, it just seems safer there).  So, we decided there was never a better time than now! We have been tossing around the idea since pretty much the day we got married... But now we have officially started pinching our pennies and planning! We couldn't be more excited!! I just know Brandon is going to absolutely love it and I cannot wait to introduce him to an entire new world! It is literally a dream come true for me - traveling to a foreign country, making memories that will last a lifetime and snapping pictures with my handsome husband!! It doesn't get better than that folks!

Our first trip together - our HONEYMOON!
Dominican Republic, 2011.

So, this is where you come in! I would love you thoughts, suggestions and insights on where we should go! What was your favorite trip and why? Where have you always dreamed of going? What is the place that everybody should see before they die? We were thinking Europe, but if you have other suggestions we are definitely open to them! Leave your comment below (I've had people tell me they have had problems commenting, but I've reset the setting to allow ANYONE to comment... Just make sure you select something from the drop down menu "Comment as" or it still won't work!). We can't wait to hear your fabulous ideas! Also, you can start praying that God shows us the best time and place for us to travel... Finding free days with B's residency schedule is tricky, but we know that spending time together is important and so we're going to figure it out!

Be Blessed!


  1. I went to Italy, Ireland, and England.. So far, Ireland has been my favorite. I went with my cousin and we took trains and buses and even walked miles and miles to the prettiest castles and such. It was completely beautiful and breath taking. The irish are so friendly and the pubs are a lot of fun! But most importantly Ireland is simply beautiful. I want to go again so badly! Enjoy your trip wherever you may go!

  2. I personally thought the honeymoon you went on with your HUSBAND carried the title of "Best Trip Ever," but apparently I was wrong... Rude!

  3. Well, I am a carribbean girl through and through. I love sand, and sun, and relaxing little waves. The only place in Europe we've been is Spain and I highly recommend it. I will give you details later bc I know you don't have all day (and I can talk/type all day about it). Also, I have had some of my best times on good 'ol US soil. We took a two week vacation last summer (Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon, California, and Arizona) and saw some wonderful places. I LOVED Mackenzie Falls, Oregon. It was 100+ here and we woke up one morning in a lush forest and 55 degrees. It felt like Heaven. I was suprised to like the sonoran desert in Arizona. Although, outside of it there is nothing to love. (I am NOT a desert person--at all.) And Charleston, SC has been a fun place for us.

  4. Well Ecuador & Galapagos Islands has to be on top of my list I got to go with a college roommate I've been to Sydney Australia If I was going backpacking that's were I would end up just a thought but it sounds like you will have fun no matter where you end up. My wife and I was married two and a half years before deciding to have kids so I say live it up till then. I have to say disney world and disney cruises, sea world aren't that bad but it's not backpacking in Europe ;)
    Kids will bring a whole different joy to your life but until you have that joy do everything on your list!!

  5. I've never been backpacking, but I've been to the Bahamas and it was absolutely amazing as was Hawaii. I really think a good backpacking adventure would be in the jungles of Costa Rica...the rainforest would be amazing!

  6. There's a hidden gem in Europe called Stockholm. You would love it. Beautiful architecture - old and modern styles seamlessly married together. Gorgeous city - it is made up entirely of islands. Gorgeous and fashionable people. Amazing shopping. But I would definitely go in summer where the sun barely sets. I promise it would not disappoint. Going back to Stockholm definitely tops the list of my future European destinations.

    Keep up the blogging, friend! You're doing great!

  7. '96 I spent the summer in France...well...mostly France. However, part of the time I spent backpacking. The highlight of my trip was taking the train from France...short stop at Port Bou, Spain and then to Madrid and then on down to the southernmost tip of Spain to a city called Algeciras. There is a ferry there that will take you across the strait of Gibraltar about nine miles??? to the continent of AFRICA. I knew of some missionaries in a city called Fes/Fez in Morocco so me and an ancient little Korean guy that attached himself to me at the dock in Spain traveled across the strait (yes you can see the Rock of Gibraltar in the distance) to the port town of Tangiers, Morocco. Was really strange looking one direction while on the ferry and seeing the continent of Europe and looking the other direction and seeing the continent of Africa. Crazy wild. Anyway....we then took a bus on a 7 hour trip (that stopped occasionally in little towns) to the city of Fez. Indescribable. If you ever go there...go to the Medina (old city). Its like stepping into 2000 years ago. I stayed with some missionaries that lived there for about 3 days and then headed back out for a meeting I had to be in in Albertville, France. Exhausting?? Yes. Stupid?? Possibly. Priceless?? Definitely.