It’s Maddie! As most of you know, it has been my goal now for almost a year to start a travel blog but I just kept making excuses for not doing it. “What if people think I’m dumb for trying to start a blog?”, “What if no one even reads it?”, or “What if I can’t keep it up?” Finally one day I just thought, “Who cares?” Nothing ever gets done if we just sit around thinking about all of the “what if’s”, so I decided that I’m just going to go for it! I’m doing this for me because I love to write, I love to travel, I love to take pretty pictures, I love to document every little detail, and I love sharing with people little hacks that I found while traveling! So if you’re reading this and think it’s dumb, that’s fine! I’ll still keep writing and traveling and taking pictures because I love it and it makes me happy! So now, to the point of this whole blog post- the why.
TRAVEL ADDICT FROM DAY ONE
Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember always being so excited to travel or go to a new place (except for visiting castles on the weekends while we lived in London, but I was 7 so I’m giving myself a break on that one;). My dad traveled a lot for work and I would always ask to go with him- I just loved getting to go out and explore different places. Most of my trips when I was younger consisted of traveling to see family within the United States or in Canada, where my dad’s family is. So we would visit North Carolina every summer, go on ski trips to Utah or Canada every Spring Break, and sometimes an additional state here and there sprinkled throughout the summers.
Then, we moved to London when I was 6 years old, and we got the opportunity to travel to several European countries close to us.
My parents also loved to travel and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of living abroad to help me and my siblings explore as many European countries as possible since flights on RyanAir were so cheap- i’m talking like 10 euros.
In fact, one time my mom said she got flights from London to another European country for a couple of dollars. Needless to say, during the two years we lived in London, my parents took us to visit 6 different European countries along with all of the weekend adventures visiting different cities and regions within England, which is where I complained that all we ever did on the weekends was visit “boring castles”. Ha! If only that could be my weekend now! I’m sure my parents got a laugh out of that, or just realized how absolutely spoiled their child was. Although I was too young to remember most of the details of these adventures, I wasn’t too young to remember how much I loved them. By the time I was 8-years-old, I had already been to 8 different countries.
A CREATURE OF HABIT
After moving back to Texas from London, we would still go and visit our family in North Carolina and Canada with annual ski trips during Spring Break, but I kind of started to become a creature of habit. When it came time for me to decide which ski resort I wanted to go to for our daddy-daughter ski-trip, I chose the same ski resort that we had already gone to several times.
I was too scared to branch out because I was already so familiar with what that resort had. When you find something you love, why try something new? That was my mentality back then anyway. Haha! So from middle school on, all of our trips were usually places we had already been, besides a couple of new cities in Canada or the U.S.
After my freshman year of college, my parents wanted to take all of us on an international trip and they gave us two options: China or Italy. We had already been to Italy as a family but we were all so young so we all collectively decided to do Italy. That is the trip where I fell in love with Italy and Europe all over again. It was only about 4 months later that I received my mission call to serve in Portugal for 18 months. I was ecstatic! I had fallen in love with Europe and was now able to live there for a year and half!
WE FOUND THE SWEET SPOT
After returning home and getting married, I really wanted to take my husband to the place that had become my second home along with visiting a new country that I had never been to- Ireland. So now, at 23, I’ve only been to 11 different countries but I think I have finally found the sweet spot for me- travel to a new place while also visiting a place that I’ve already been and loved. For me, that has been the happy medium. I love to visit new places but I also don’t want to forget about the places I have grown to love! So, my husband and I made a goal that each year we will travel somewhere new, whether that be internationally or within the U.S., along with visiting places we have already come to love and adore. My goal is to have visited the amount of countries at least equal to my age throughout my whole life, so I definitely have some catching up to do! At age 23, with 11 countries under my belt, that means I have to visit 12 new countries before I turn 24 in July… This is almost impossible but we have found a way to reach that goal in the next couple of years.
2020 TRAVEL PLANS
Sooo…this year we are going on 3-WEEK BACKPACKING TRIP ALL AROUND EUROPE!!
We will be visiting 10 different countries in 3 weeks, and yes we are counting the Vatican. This is the perfect mix for me because I’ve already been to 5 out of the 10 of these countries!
But we will be visiting a city or place that I haven’t been to in each country along with those I have been to because I want Quinn to experience and fall in love with them like I did. We will be flying into London and using trains to get around to all of the different countries and staying in AirBnB’s the whole time. This trip will bring me to a total of 16 countries, which means I will have 7 to go to meet my goal!
Here is our tentative travel schedule:
ENGLAND > BELGIUM > THE NETHERLANDS > FRANCE > LUXEMBOURG > GERMANY > SWITZERLAND > AUSTRIA > ITALY > VATICAN
WE ARE BUDGET TRAVELERS
Since we are still both full-time students and only working part-time jobs, we are trying to keep it as cheap as possible. We would much rather be able to see and experience more than travel in luxury so this whole blog will be all about how we are able to travel on a major budget! We want you to learn from our mistakes and be able to travel the world while still keeping a budget. For the next blog post, I will talk about tips for traveling on a budget and how to plan your travels accordingly.
Feel free to send along any suggestions or questions you have for us!
*All pictures posted on this site are taken by me and property of Madison Everett Photography*