Why I’ve decided to travel and own less

Some of my earliest childhood memories include traveling and waiting around airports. After leaving the Marines in the early 60’s my dad, Rick, was hired as an air freight agent with United Airlines in Los Angeles.

While living in LA, he met my mother Judy.  Her parents and two siblings were from Hawthorne, and though now considered the ‘hood,’ at the time any turf in Southern California was the place to be.  The Mamas and the Papas and the Beach Boys played on the radio and mom’s home was a stone’s throw to her favorite beaches, Redondo and Manhattan.

My parents added three little girls to their tribe.  My older sister, Robin, me (Christy) and my younger sister Julie.

My dad was from a large and tight-knit German family from Pennsylvania.  Growing up, they gathered in Tolchester, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay at a family cottage built by my grandfather in the early 1950’s.

“Tolchester” was a summer magnet for all my dad’s siblings, their spouses and kids.  The family was so large and included everyone, whether friends or friends of friends, that sometimes there were so many people it was a Woodstock of sorts with people sleeping on couches, chairs, floors. Sometimes tents popped up on the sizable lawn to accommodate spillover.

At the time we were living in LA, dad was the only immediate family member living out of state, and so we would traverse the country from LA to Philly and to Tolchester on a regular basis.

My dad’s work at United had us relocating from LA to Philadelphia for 6 years and then onto Denver in the mid 70’s where our family would settle in.

Facing the winters in Colorado sparked interest in mid-Winter beach vacations. Since my mom grew up in Southern Cali she shared the love of the water, sea air and sand between her toes and she hated to be cold.  That turned out to be a boon for the rest of us.

 

Being an “airline kid” inspired my nomadic life

Christmas of 1978 my parents decided we would all go to Hawaii.   We would completely skip the tree, decorations and eliminate shopping in exchange for the experiences of a two-week vacation in paradise.

This decision had two profound effects on me:

  1. I developed a love of the Islands which I still treasure today.  Since that date my family spent the next 40 years traveling from Denver to Kona.
  2. Skipping Christmas shifted my thinking about the importance of experiences over stuff.  From that time I would strive to have a life that included more travel and fewer physical possessions.

Of the three little girls in this family, my older sister Robin opted not to travel.  Instead, she preferred local jaunts within Colorado and Wyoming.  She developed a shared loved of photography.

My younger sister, Julie, would follow in my dad’s footsteps by joining United as a flight attendant.  She worked for United 20 years and loved it traveling as much as she could to various destinations and often to Hawaii.  Tragically, we lost Julie to brain cancer at age 47 in 2014.

AS for me, after graduating college I went to work for a large Fortune 10 company.  My career and personal travel took me around the world from Africa, Australia/NZ, Asia, China, Europe, South America and North America..

After leaving my job in 2016, I throttled up the nomadic life. Having United standby passes is an incredible gift and I use them as often as I can although I also at times  will purchase tickets outright for tricky itineraries or just have to be there situations. It has been a fabulous time.

Often friends, family and neighbors ask me for tips on places I’ve been and for that reason I’m sharing my most recent travels.

Posts I share on this site are generated based on request.  Feel free to reach out to me if you are headed to any of the destinations below, and I will give you top tips for that location.

Glimpse into where I’ve been in 2017 and so far in 2018

  • San Diego – January
  • Hawaii – December and January
  • Telluride – October
  • Aspen – October
  • Cape Cod – September
  • Italy – July/August
  • Spain – July
  • Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida – May and June
  • New Zealand – March
  • New Orleans, LA – February (Mardi Gras)
  • Kona, Hawaii – February
  • Havana, Cuba – January
  • Costa Rica for New Years 2017

Countries I’ve been to over the last ten years:

  • Amsterdam
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Caribbean Islands
  • China
  • Costa Rica*
  • Cuba
  • England*
  • France*
  • Greece
  • Germany*
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy*
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mexico*
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • Ukraine
  • Zambia

‘*denotes two or more trips to this destination


Where did your inspirations come from?  What or who influenced you?  Share your story below.

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