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!
When you turn 16 years old you can choose anywhere in the world and I will take you there; that’s the premise of the Niece Project. My fourth niece, Allie, chose Belize for her first trip out of the country. Over the last 8 days Allie and I learned a lot about each other as […]
2012 begins a project for me that has been in the making for a long time. But first, let me back up a few years and start with this statement, “I don’t want to have kids.” For a handful of women, this statement rings true, but for most women, they probably cringed at the site […]
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. […]
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 […]
I listened to man in the suit in front of me and really tried to concentrate on what he was saying. I took notes rapidly about dates, religious timelines, leaders, and wars. He authoritatively stated the names and periods as if he had given this lecture a thousands times. My mind started to wonder how […]
I was given few directions; Rome was pretty much up to me. I had asked Bethany months ago what she wanted to do in Rome and she replied, “Eat pasta.” “Ok, I like to eat, but what do you want to do beyond pasta? What do you want to see in Rome?” I probed further. […]
“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 landscape of my face changes with […]
The 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 fork and says “Buon appetite!” I […]
Where 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 to Asia or Africa for sure.” […]
Imagine being 16 again… If you could go anywhere in the world – where would you go? If someone had asked me that question when I was 16 I most likely would’ve answered New York City. I didn’t really dream outside of the US boundaries at that time. But I did dream about getting out […]