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22 Countries-But Really, Who’s Counting?

I once read an article somewhere, someplace, sometime, that said you are not really a “traveller” until you have been to 30 countries.  I remembered thinking two things: I need to get to 30 countries and does this person have a job, mortgage, car payments or kids??

At 15, I convinced my parents to send me to France  for 3 months on a student exchange and a wanna be world traveller was born.  After arriving in Switzerland, I lived in Grenoble and went to school.  During our summer vacation the family I was with took me to Italy, Monaco and Nice.  I spent a final week in Paris before returning home. After that first trip abroad, I travelled to Mexico and the Caribbean, making it to some of the lesser known islands like Curacao and Margarita Island (Venezuela) but something was missing at the big all inclusive resorts I stayed at.

I knew I wanted to see the world outside of a gated resort but then work, relationships and life took a different route. At 23 I got pregnant with baby number one and then two and three quickly followed.  With 3 kids in 4 years the idea of travel seemed like a long lost dream.

By 30 I was divorced with 3 kids under 7.  Eight months later I unexpectedly met the man who would eventually become my husband (and in 2010 the father of baby four).  When he first asked me to go to Mexico with him (without kids) I was hesitant.  We went and  as they say the rest is history.  Sitting on the plane and knowing that when I landed we would be in a foreign country was intoxicating.  Yes it was to an all-inclusive and again it didn’t feel quite right but it did re-ignite the wanderlust.

Ten years later we have been to some pretty incredible places both on and off the beaten path.  We have done all-inclusives with the kids in Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican and we have have been to some bucket list locations too-Prince Edward Island, Netherlands, Iceland, Costa Rica (twice), Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and the Galapagos.  Most adventures have a kid or two or four in tow but some have been solo or couple adventures.

What I have learned is that for me it is not the number of stamps in my passport anymore.  Sometimes our adventures are far away and sometimes we find them in our own backyard-and for this yogi mama that is the perfect balance.

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