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 – 5 down,  and only 1 to go!  We’ll be heading out in Summer 2018, so stay tuned!

Posts In This Series:

Are we There Yet?

Posted by on June 27, 2013

airplane sculpture

I stared at the numbers. Elapsed Time: 23:10 hrs, Miles: 9,940 – shit, we are flying halfway around the earth – I hope we don’t run out of gas. I will soon be getting on the longest non-stop flight in the world. For someone who has always gushed about how much I like long flights, […]

Assuming Responsibility

Posted by on September 3, 2013

Vietnam flag

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 […]

Finding our Stride in Hanoi

Posted by on September 5, 2013

Jet lag was wearing off, and now we were rapidly adjusting to a new culture and environment. After 4 years of being away from Vietnam, my brain was happy to be exposed to all of this new and sometimes baffling culture again. Evie was also taking a lot in trying to make sense of Vietnamese […]

What to Expect in Halong Bay

Posted by on September 10, 2013

I stared out the window of the van and watched as the city gave way to suburbs, to industry, to rice fields, that would eventually deposit us in Halong Bay. As I watched our driver play chicken with big trucks, dodge motorbikes, and zip by the slower bicycles and buffalo – I thought that not […]

Taking the High Road Hai Van Pass

Posted by on September 17, 2013

In today’s travel world where most people rush around trying to get from place to place, I love any opportunity to take the slow path. After all – the fun is in the journey for me – not necessarily the place. So when our Intrepid Vietnam Travel Itinerary called for overland transportation from Hue to […]

Hunting for Photos in Hoi An

Posted by on September 19, 2013

“May I take your picture?” I asked while I also mimed the action with my camera around my neck so that I could make sure I was understood. The baby duckling vendor who a few moments ago was smiling and laughing with her friends looked at me and said with a stone face “Yes – […]

Saigon Unseen

Posted by on October 22, 2013

Many travelers talk about wanting have more local experiences – but how far will you go to get access to those experiences? One of the main things locals do in Saigon is ride motorbikes – so would you get on the back of one to ride around like the locals do? Most people think that […]

The Incredible Edible Egg Embryo Hot Vit Lon

Posted by on November 1, 2013

hot vit lon vietnam

As I looked at the egg (hot vit lon) and I could vaguely hear people providing me encouragement and instructions, but in my mind I kept thinking – how do I get myself into these things? However I couldn’t take the blame for this situation – this was all Evie’s fault. Yes, I’m throwing my […]

Saigon Street Food

Posted by on November 5, 2013

Street food Saigon

There were three ‘rules’ to this Saigon street food tour: We recommend that you don’t drink too much water as it will fill you up too fast. You should pace yourself. Know that you don’t have to eat everything given to you. This is exactly what you want to hear when you take a food […]


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