The Niece Project

What is the Niece Project?

As a woman who never wanted kids, I wanted to form bonds with my 6 nieces. After all, they would be my lifelines as I age. I decided to stop getting them gifts for their birthdays or holidays or even graduation. I didn’t want to bring more meaningless stuff into their world, but instead I wanted them to see the world. I wanted to awake their wanderlust and thirst to experience new cultures and ways of doing things. So the answer was easy…I would give them the gift of travel.  I told each of them that once they turned 16 years old I would take them anywhere in the world they wanted to go. Originally my thought was that it would give them something that I never had – a passport and a chance to travel internationally. However once I announced this mission and it settled in, I realized that it was giving them more than that – it gave them the chance to make their own decision. It got them thinking about the world and considering their own desires.

“I mouthed the words, “It’ll be ok.” through the front window of the car as we pulled away. After all, I was taking away my sister-in-law’s oldest daughter to a place halfway around the world, a place she knew very little about, a place that was completely foreign – this was a big step. Yet Michele confidently let us go and waved goodbye from the garage, however I absolutely realized that she was not confident inside.”

Read about my niece project travels – 3 down, 3 to go!

Posts In This Series:

Rome for the First Time

Posted by on March 29, 2012

sunset church

+13 Tweet36 Pin10 Share6 Share3 Stumble78Shares 136We turned off the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and my body swayed with the motion of the taxi; happy to finally be in Rome. After days of stressing out about meeting my niece at the airport (since we both arrived from different countries), I was finally able to relax […]

The Heart of Food in Rome

Posted by on April 3, 2012

Rome Market

+16 Tweet76 Pin173 Share8 Share27 Stumble48Shares 338Locals bustle around the market picking out fresh vegetables and carry on in conversations in Italian with the shop stall owners; the ease in the conversations lets you know that they’ve known each other a lifetime. A breeze blows through the open air market leaving the scent of fresh […]

Taking the Path Previously Traveled

Posted by on April 12, 2012

Amalfi coast italy

+17 Tweet46 Pin37 Share5 Share10 Stumble4Shares 109“I know you, you’ve been here before?” I was stunned that they would remember me after 4 years and countless travelers coming through their doors. I don’t really think that I stand out at all, I have no real defining features, no distinct accents, and with each year the […]

How to Eat Pizza Like an Italian

Posted by on April 17, 2012

naples pizza

+111 Tweet246 Pin31 Share31 Share543 Stumble250Shares 1.1KThe waitress brings out my pizza straight from the wood oven. The smell of the bread and the wood from the oven makes me salivate. It’s thin, crispy and on an individual little plate just waiting for me to dig in. The waitress sets down a knife and a […]

The Next Niece – Destination Unknown

Posted by on November 8, 2012

Sherry and Evie

+1 Tweet29 Pin Share Share50 Stumble1Shares 80Where in the world did she get a crazy idea like that? A 16 year old who has never been out of the country, no passport, and wants to go to Asia or Africa? Her exact words, “I want to go somewhere culturally shocking. So I’ve narrowed it down […]

Modern Family

Posted by on June 20, 2013

mongolia family

+110 Tweet73 Pin1 Share9 Share36 Stumble110Shares 239I look at the little square on the electronic form and my mouse hovers over the top of it. I hesitate, think about my life as a solo, independent woman, husbandless, childless, boyfriendless – and I suddenly I feel bold. A smile forms across my face and I click […]