Everyone has a different reason to travel and enjoys traveling in a different way. No way is the wrong way if it is the right way for you.
Kevin and I have both loved to travel even before we knew each other and since being together our reasons to travel and how we do it have changed over the years just as our lives have changed. We have always been thrifty when we have traveled right from the get go.
One thing that hasn't changed is that we like to take our time. On our honeymoon we drove down to Florida and went to Disney World. We drove along the coast all the way down and when we returned we came inland and through the Blue Ridge Mountains. We took back roads most of the way and almost always stayed off the interstate which is still the way we drive most of the time now. At the time we picked Florida because when we were in school many of our friends went there with their families and we had always wanted to go but our parents never took us. We stayed in cheap hotels and watched every penny we spent but we had a great time.
When we had children we did a lot of camping trips. In those days camping was a cheap way to travel with a family. That's also when we started to get into hiking which has never stopped since then. Again, it was an affordable thing to do as a family. One of the first big trips we did was out to Newfoundland and then another time we took the children to Disney World (we weren't going to be parents that didn't take their kids there, lol). Both trips we were camping and both times we went for two weeks.
Lindsey (7) Alex (6) and Ruth nearing the summit of Gros Morne Mountain, while on our 16km hike up Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
As the kids got older our ideas on travel changed. Our son, Alex played competitive baseball throughout the spring and summer so our travel revolved around his baseball games and tournaments which meant we didn't get proper summer holiday, instead we started doing the one week all-inclusive holidays down south in the winter time. We can get some great last minute travel deals out of Canada and one of those holidays took us to Cuba for a week. It was a great cultural experience for both us and our children.
View of Old Havana taken from the balconey of the Capitolio Nacional (Governement Building), Havana, Cuba
Again, times changed and our children are out of the house at least temporarily, so we decided to take a holiday out to Alberta and British Columbia. We took our camping gear and flew to Calgary where we rented a car and drove to Vancouver.
View of Lower Joffre Lake and the glacier in the distance, taken from the Joffre Lakes Trail, Joffre Lakes Provincial Rec. area near Pemberton, B.C.
Our travel was constantly changing but our love for it has never died. We wanted to explore more, see different countries, experience new cultures. In 2007 we got together with my cousin Helen and her husband, Tony to take a trip to Portugal. We did this on our own, Helen found a beautiful little cottage up in the mountains in the Algarve away from the tourist crowds and Kevin found a car rental. We stayed for two weeks and explored the whole area sometimes in place where no English was spoken, this was when we decided we liked this kind of adventure.
A pretty cove in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
It was in the summer of 2007 that we decided to sell the house buy a motorhome and travel North Amerca, including Mexico. We did this up until the spring of 2012. We love this lifestyle and we found that we loved Mexico. We also discovered that we like staying away from tourist areas. This way we were able to learn more Spanish and really experience the culture.
Sherman parked up by Lago Avandaro at Chago's embarcadero, Nautica las Olas de Valle de Bravo, San Gaspar near Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Mexico
Once our dog, Whiskey died it again changed our way of traveling. We miss her dearly but it also opened up new adventures for us. We could now travel by air freely. The summer of 2012 we traveled to Europe. We stopped first in England, spent time in London and the ventured out further. Did you know there is more to England than just London. Once you are outside of the big cities things suddenly become a little cheaper, and just as interesting. We spent a week in Leeds which is quite a bit north of London in West Yorkshire. What a beautiful city and the countryside around it is gorgeous.
The Kirkstall Market inside of the Leeds City Market building in downtown Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
We continued on to other areas of England before heading to Prague, Czech Republic and this is when we really noticed the difference in getting off the beaten path. It's also when we noticed that the majority of people who visit Czech Republic and many other countries just head to the capital city, forgoing many of the other smaller cities and towns. For us, we have found that you don't really get the true feeling of the country just from the major tourist city and the fact that it is always more expensive. We spent one full day in Prague. Don't get us wrong it is a beautiful city and has lots of history but the smaller city of Olomouc is just a beautiful, has lots of history, is less crowded and wonderful friendly local people. We spent three weeks in Czech Republic exploring many small towns and villages and loved it and even then there was still so much that we didn't get to see.
The Holy Trinity Column (a UNESCO site) and Town Hall in the Upper Square (Horní náměstí) in downtown Oloumoc, Olomouc Region, Czech Republic
Have you heard to places like Svitavy, Boskovice, Zašová and Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. These were all places that we visited and were full of interesting things to see and wonderful places for hiking. We can confidently say that we have visited Czech Republic. We did the same thing in Slovakia and we never even made it to the capital of Bratislava. Boy, I sure visit we had more time there, the hiking is some of the best that we have ever seen.
Kevin standing on an outcrop of rocks with the town of Terchová in the distance at the summit of Malý Rozsutec in Malá Fatra Nat'l Park, Biely Potok not far from Terchová, Žilina Region, Slovakia
I could go on and on but this post is already long enough.
What motivates us to travel? Well I guess it is the idea of seeing new countries, learning about their history, understanding their cultures, enjoying their food and exploring the countryside and the cities. We love to go places where we can hike, this way we can get away from the crowds and see things that only those that hike can see. We love being off the beaten path and doing things that the normal tourist wouldn't do.
Staying in amongst the locals at Bulungula Lodge on the Wild Coast in Eastern Cape, South Africa
Let us know what motivates you to travel?
Today's header picture is from December 2008.
At dusk looking onto Laguna de Catemaco just across the road from our campsite in Catemco, Veracruz, Mexico.