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:

Why I Love to Take Teenagers on Small Group Tours

Posted by on February 21, 2017

traveling with teenagers

Travel broadens people’s views. And a teenage mind is a petri dish for being broadened. As a kid your world view is small, it’s your family, friends, and school. For most teenagers it doesn’t go much beyond that. Sure they get exposed to friends of their parents and their friend’s parents, but it’s all still […]

What the Niece Project Taught me About Traveling With Teenagers

Posted by on February 9, 2017

what to expect when traveling with teenagers

“You should put more sunscreen on because you look like you are burning.” “Did you bring snacks with you? We may not be able to eat lunch at our normal time.” “Make sure you go to the bathroom before we get on the boat as there may not be another opportunity.” As soon as these […]

Flying Tips on How to deal with Long Flights

Posted by on February 2, 2017

Tips for long haul flights

The Niece Project 5.0 had a bumpy start. We had no idea that simply getting there would be so hard. Throughout the continuous bad news of delays, lost luggage, and changed itineraries, I thought about the learnings and flying tips we could take away from it. Specifically I thought about the lessons it would teach […]

New Zealand In-stagram Review

Posted by on January 5, 2017

New zealand instagram

“It’s like Hawaii and Colorado had a baby” – that’s how my niece Lindsey described New Zealand, and that’s actually pretty damn accurate.  I have been in few places in the world with this beautiful of turquoise waters, beaches, wildlife, and snowy mountain peaks.  A country where you can do it all, and we did. […]

Niece Project 5.0 Travel Decisions

Posted by on November 14, 2016

aunt niece travel

“Have you decided?” I asked Lindsey with excitement and anticipation on where her big choice was going to be. However, this was niece number 5, I should’ve known the answer is never that easy. When I started this Niece Project journey in 2012, I thought the travel decisions on where they wanted to go would […]

Rome for the First Time

Posted by on March 29, 2012

sunset church

We 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 in the back of the taxi. […]

The Heart of Food in Rome

Posted by on April 3, 2012

Rome Market

Locals 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 flowers in the air of the […]