Everyday Wanderer is the travel blog of a middle-aged, Midwestern, single mom of four who was bitten by the travel bug as a preschooler when her family moved abroad for the first time. Because I lived half of my most formative childhood years abroad and have frequently traveled as an adult — both for work and pleasure — I understand the tremendous benefits of travel. But as a single mom with four kids, three cats, two dogs, and a mortgage, I also know that not everyone is in a position to travel the world for a living.
Everyday Wanderers are people who love travel but who aren’t able to be professional travel bloggers, and Everyday Wanderer is a travel blog for people with wanderlust and a real life.
Meet the Fam behind Everyday Wanderer
I selected this photo to introduce you to my four children for a few reasons:
- It’s a few years old, so it gives them a bit of anonymity here at Everyday Wanderer
- Every time I look at it, I laugh! It illustrates perfectly what happens when your “baby” is forced to become a middle child at age 6.
Bo and Juliette, in the back, are my twins. They are now 20-years-old and out in the world. Bo is a junior in college, and Juliette is currently living in Vietnam teaching preschoolers English and art. Charlotte, on the right, is enjoying her freshman year of college. And just like that, this full house has just Louise left at home. She is my 12-year-old travel companion, and we use the heck out of our Southwest Airlines Companion Pass together!
Pro Tip: See how I’ve managed to pull my kids out of school to travel (without making enemies in the classroom or front office) and why I’ll never take my kids to Disney.
A History of Blogging
When the kids were little, I started a password-protected blog as a way to share photos and stories with my family. Since all of my family lives several states away, it was a great way to keep in touch and share the cute (or sometimes cheeky) things that they did or said with grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
As 2012 dawned, I read an article about 365 projects and how they were the best kind of New Year’s Resolution. The idea behind a 365 project is that you pick one thing that you want to focus on in the coming year and commit to doing it every day. Jerry Seinfeld has often shared that writing a joke every day (and then marking a big “x” through that day on his wall calendar) is one of his secrets to comedic success. I had always wanted to improve my photography skills, so I launched ShutterbugSage.com as a 365 photography blog on January 1, 2012. I took, edited, and posted one photo a day through 2012, and kept going, although not as religiously, for a few more years.
Which brings me to the present.
My goal for 2016 was to evolve ShutterbugSage.com to EverydayWanderer.com. Then, while I was on vacation in June, a water supply line burst in my house, causing extensive flood damage. We experienced an 80% loss on our main floor and a 100% loss in the finished basement. The main floor was so saturated that the basement ceiling fell. That sucked! But, as FDR said, “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”
And just like the storm eventually passes at sea, a year and a half later things are mostly back to normal and I’m finally moving forward with Everyday Wanderer.
I won the lottery by being born to my parents, a scientist dad and an artist/teacher mom. We moved a lot when I was growing up, which means that I’ve lived on both US coasts and many places in between. For nearly seven years, I lived abroad in Germany and the Netherlands. My parents took full advantage of every place we lived, exploring it and the surrounding areas to the fullest. If we had a long weekend or any other break from school, we were out exploring. History, geography, art, French, and other subjects are never more fascinating than when you can experience them outside of a textbook!
While I absolutely appreciate the incredible, life-shaping opportunities that came with my upbringing, I wanted my children to have deep roots in one place yet know that the world was bigger than their bubble. I’m grateful that I have been able to raise them in Kansas City, a lovely cosmopolitan environment that is centrally-located, relatively safe, affordable, and full of opportunity. At the same time, I’ve tried to get out and explore, both near and far, as often as possible so that they are exposed to all of the benefits of travel without constantly moving or changing schools as I did.