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July 28, 2015   1 Comment »

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:

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 […]

Vatican 101

Posted by on April 5, 2012

Raphael Room Vatican

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 […]

Taking the Path Previously Traveled

Posted by on April 12, 2012

Amalfi coast italy

“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 […]

How to Eat Pizza Like an Italian

Posted by on April 17, 2012

naples pizza

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 […]