Friday, May 11, 2007

“I’m (not) Leaving on a Jet Plane”

About this time last year, Doug and I were leaving for vacation—a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas with a night’s stay in Ft. Lauderdale on each end. This year, we’re already learning the sacrifices of being parents. We’ve realized that having a baby is pretty pricey and have decided to forego any vacation plans. If we’re lucky maybe we’ll get in a weekend getaway sometime, but we’ll trade a big trip for enjoying our new daughter when she arrives in August. I know we’ll find the trade is worth it. :)

But I won’t lie and say I’m not a little disappointed that we can’t travel this year. Doug and I both love to get away and see new places or visit a favorite again. For me, traveling is relaxing, fascinating, and inspiring. I love to think about all the stories behind each new place and person I see. Someday I want to write books about them all!

What about you? I know many of our authors are travelers and have gotten plenty of research done this way. Where are your favorite, most inspiring places that are just brimming with stories to be told?


Becky said...

Yellowstone. I've been two years in a row, and I'd like to go back soon.

Linda Ford said...

I LOVE travel. Paris two years ago was the highlight of my life. But as to places that create ideas--I have to say Banff does it for me every time. It's about my favorite place in the whole world though it is getting far too crowded the past few years. I also visited several states for research and loved an in-depth look at each of them.

So sorry you won't be able to travel this year. But a baby is worth foregoing a trip.


Drema said...

Though we moved back to Indiana last year because of my father's illness, Nashville, TN is where my heart is! It's so much more than country music. We're getting ready to go there in a few days for our daughter's wedding and I can't wait!

Love your title, by the way. Yes, parenting does make you forego some of life's vacations and sleep, sigh. :) But oh what a joy!

JoAnne said...

Becky, you know I love Yellowstone, since I got to see it for the first time with you! What a great trip - just way too short!

Linda, I've never been anywhere in Europe but I'd love to get there someday. Honestly I had to google Banff because I'd never heard of it. It looks beautiful!

Drema, I love Nashville! I've been there several times. Tennessee is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

My favorites are right here in the Upper Midwest. The Badlands have a stark beauty that is extraordinary. The Black Hills are filled with history and exciting things to do. And the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota (sadly, battling fires at the moment) is wonderful--forests right on the edge of Lake Superior.

The Bahamas sound wonderful, but a baby sounds wonderful-er!


Rhonda said...

I love going to Florida! The ocean and theme parks set my mind to jumping with stories. I also find Oklahoma a place where stories jump out at me. The history and people are great to set stories on. I love the mountains, trees and feeling of stepping back in time.

Jess said...

I got to spend six weeks in Scotland with a side trip to London, but I have to say my favorite place is Boston, and all along the East Coast. I wish I could spend six weeks there... just roaming around at my leisure. My favorite book is set in Boston, The Sea Coast of Bohemia by Arona McHugh. I've read it three times, and when I was in Boston, I looked into every face remembering the characters, and thinking: are you Michael? are you Sally, are you Deborah? are you author Arona McHugh? {{sigh}}

Lynette Sowell said...

I love New England, because of my roots and because now that I live 1800 miles away, I can visit. :) I love the Texas coast--the beach just about anywhere. :)

We discovered the fun of road trips. When our kids were small, we took coolers and paced ourselves, taking the back roads when we could because it was easy to stop for a picnic. All over Texas, to the coast, over to Tennessee, and up to Colorado--the kids traveled well (no, we didn't go all those places at once:) ). Now they're teenagers and they're use to me saying, "Wow, this would be a great place for a book." :)

Lisa Harris said...

I love traveling just about anywhere, and have been blessed to see much of the world from Hungry to Japan to Kenya.

Paris is so romantic when you know the off-tourist routes, the tulip gardens in Holland took my breath away, and a few months ago I was able to swim in the Indian ocean along the coast of Mozambique. Absolutely stunning.

Writing about these places, especially Africa, is a passion of mine. There is something captivating about this place that was once named the Dark Continent that will never let me go.

From the people, to the food, to diverse back drops like a Kenyan tea plantation, the roaring Victoria Falls, a drive through the bush, and Mount Kilimanjaro.

That's what's so wonderful about a book. It can transport you to a pirate ship, a Victorian english manor, or a village along the Congo River--all for the price of a couple lattes. :-)


Blissful said...

Venice from my trip last year - already got a mystery in the works.

And of course, the adventure I am living right now on the Appalachian Trail! :)

Mary Connealy said...

The thing about needing to uh... redirect our financial focus (or in other words, quit spending money on ourselves) that you don't realize until the baby comes is, yes, they cost a lot of money and yes, you have to give up some things. But the love you feel for that baby overwhelmes any trip or fun night out. You don't give up vacations because you can't afford them, you give them up...or cut back, because you don't want to leave your child ... at least not much. That baby will be the precious and most fun part of your life (yes, there are tough days, I know). But you'll still take vacations, you'll just take the baby along and pick locations that aren't so far and are comfortable with a child.
We, maybe 15 years...going to the same lake in Minnesota because it was close enough the car ride didn't kill us, traveling with the kids, and it was such a great place for kids, with this shallow bay that made it hard to drown and a great park nearby and fishing boats and an ice cream parlor and pizza place within walking distance.
That same old boring 'resort'... resort is sort of a high falutin' word for these very modest cabins :) is part of a long list of wonderful memories we can talk about for hours and picture of the girls with their sun burns and mosquito bites, holding their first fish or their biggest catch or playing or inflatable toys and learning to water ski.
As far as vacations, we are hoping... my baby graduated from high school just last Saturday ... to do some traveling now. We're not sure where but we've got a solid 'see America First' plan. I want the mountains first. I want a slow trip, lots of breaks, stop when we're in the mood and stay a while.
Ivan, my husband, is more the, "If we never stop for a break and put in a 20 hour day we can save $100 on a motel, so don't drink any liquids" kind of guy, so expect some fireworks there.
Our only firm vacation plans right now are to go visit his mom, who is a Winter Texan (she lives three miles from us in the summer) So we'll go see her next January and stop at South Padre Island and maybe go into Mexico. (A violation of our See America First policy but...oh,'s just for half a day)

Sandra Robbins said...

I've traveled in Europe and all across the U.S., but I think my favorite spot still has to be the Great Smoky Mountains right here in Tennessee. The beauty of this wilderness and history of the Cherokee and the settlers who inhabited it make for fascinating story ideas.

Sandra Robbins

Cecelia Dowdy said...

I LOVE traveling, but my travel time has lessened a lot since I've gotten married and had a baby. I love visiting hot tropical places with beautiful beaches! Cancun, Cozumel, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, etc, are my favorites. Oh Hawaii is great, too, and I'd love to set more of my book in hot tropical climates! These places stay in my head for a long time, and I look forward to using them in future stories!