I have a wonderful plan taking shape.
I hope the beginnings of it will take fruition in five years.
You see, summers are insanely busy for James in his work. April to October is the busy time, and it means long, long, long hours, six days a week, and seeing him very little. But then things slow down, and by January and February it is vacation time. Being a summer girl and hating the cold and snow, I've never been overly excited at 4 weeks of vacation in January.
But that plan, taking shape, is making me very excited.
My plan is that every year, we will take those 4 weeks and go live somewhere else in the world. A whole different country and city and house. Italy. France. Japan. Brazil. India.
I love to travel, but I hate being a tourist. I hate the rushing feeling of trying to cram everything in. I hate long lines at the usual tourist haunts. I hate the packaged feeling the locals give you at the things you're supposed to see. I hate that it's never really a taste of what that country and people have to offer.
Instead, I want to rent a little apartment and just experience life. I want to walk the streets and buy lunch in a cafe. I want to buy groceries and cook local cuisine. I want to learn about the city's life and history from locals.
I want to make contact with a family from that city/country the year before. I want our families to write to each other, discover each other. I want a local "in" to help us see the genuine life. I want to make friends around the world.
I want to open my children's eyes to life outside our home, our town, our country. I read a quote the other day that said "Travel is the cure for intolerance." I don't think (I pray!) we suffer from intolerance, but we inevitably suffer from innocence: innocent of what life is like around the world. North American life is so incredibly different from much of the rest of the world, and I'm not sure that makes it better. I want to see more, and I want my kids to see it, too.
(how I love to dream)