Yeah, My Life is Awesome! I’m a Rock Star. You Should Take Notes

Hafekekarrinne, Innsbruck
I hesitate to share my deepest thoughts or actual crazy experiences because I was brought up to be a good girl and you don’t share those things. I’ve been blogging for more that two years now and most of my posts are travels and adventures but it’s difficult to convey the real me. Tonight,  however, after half a bottle of wine, with Athena and Darren in bed, I have a few things, both positive and negative, that I want to say. Like most bottles of wine, there is a body and a lingering after taste and the dreaded wine headache to follow but it’s always worth that indescribable taste in your mouth while it’s happening. That’s this post for me. I’ve never been able to just type so freely so here goes.

Traveling has brought the entire world to my doorstep, literally. But it’s like I’m inside the house and the walls are all falling down around me, making it impossible to get to the door. I get hate mail like I’m the President and I’m just a blogger. People hate me for traveling with my daughter. People hate me for leaving her home. People hate me for traveling without my husband. People hate me for traveling with him. People hate me for traveling period, I think. I don’t know what day it is; heck, I don’t know what month it is. I have a permanent tan and I no longer pay for my vacations. My life is a vacation. I get why someone who works every single day, day in and day out, at a job they despise to put food on the table and pay for rent would be annoyed with my constant perky travel posts and my apparently perfect life but the reality is a gravely different experience.
Destination Wedding Jamaica
My husband and I struggle. If you’re in a marriage that doesn’t struggle, I’d love to speak with you more. You’ve obviously figured out something that I haven’t been able to accomplish yet, but we struggle. He works at a 9-5 job, I travel for “work”, and we have balance issues that we haven’t been able to address and it’s difficult to find a middle. But I love him and I want to make it work. I wish that he, and Athena, could join me on all of our trips, but our reality isn’t there yet. I would give anything to make all of his dreams come true like he has done for me. For now, we creatively schedule his vacation time so we can enjoy family time and when I’m not on the road, I’m thinking about ways to truly enjoy our time together. It’s precious and I don’t waste it. We both try, in our own ways, to make it better, but there will always be issues that need to be addressed. I think it’s just part of marriage.
Athena Playing in the Grass
Then, my toddler daughter, who travels with me regularly, is still not potty trained, which is yet another struggle. I feel like I’m in an impossible situation with her. I want to make sure she’s potty trained. I want to travel with her. I want to be part of the potty training process. Yet, the two can’t go hand-in-hand. She’ll do amazing all week then we’ll hop on a plane and I’ll have to ask her to hold it for an extra 20 minutes because we’re taking off or landing or the seat belt sign is on and it all goes out the window. I want to be a good mother. I want to show my daughter the world. I want to teach her that we can live a life without restrictions but then flights impose restrictions on potty training and jet leg is difficult. I also struggle with leaving her home during the more extreme travels and finding the ideal balance for us as well. It’s all one big struggle.
Norman and I playing at Christmas
I have brothers and sisters who still live in eastern Canada that I never see and hardly speak to anymore. They are the light of my life and you never turn your back on family, but I don’t know what has happened to us. I’ve lost them. They are mad at me for a number of reasons, one probably being that I left Canada and have no intention of moving back, and we’ve changed into completely different people.
I feel like I’m alone. I’m surrounded by people. My world keeps getting bigger but I’m lost in the crowd. I struggle with my husband, I struggle with my daughter, and I struggle with my siblings and then all I ever hear is how “lucky” I am and how great my life must be. I mean, seriously… do you really believe that anything is perfect?
Standing on the bridge at Neuschwanstein Castle
This year, I’ve been able to accomplish more than I thought possible in my lifetime. I visited Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Latvia, Austria, Bonaire, Namibia, US Virgin Islands, Germany, Panama, Mexico, and St. Lucia. I fed monkeys, dove into waterfalls, flew jetpacks, hiked rainforests, jumped from buildings, and tried every new bucket list adventure that I could imagine. I should be 100% grateful for my life and never complain. But shouldn’t everyone? Isn’t there always someone out there who has it better or worse? How can I complain when I have a beautiful life, a supportive husband, a healthy, loving daughter, and a dream job? Well I am! And I have every right to complain and you have no right to continuously judge when your life has ups and downs as well.
Monkey Photobomb
So many readers comment that I’ve never seen a difficult day in my life. You’re rich, right? You travel around the world at your leisure and don’t worry about a thing.You don’t have a day job, do you? You’re playing and living and indulging your “bucket list” in luxury. Are you really in need of anything? These are the comments I receive on a regular basis and from people who have only read a few posts. What do you know about my life?
Dalhousie University Dorm
I went to university for 7 years and worked two jobs while I was there. I was a full time student with student loans and I worked at Statistics Canada and a call center to get by. I ate Mac & Cheese (Kraft Dinner in Canada) almost daily and I walked two miles to school and three miles to work every day, even in the severe winters of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I volunteered at an elementary school and the hospital during any other free second that I had. Life was busy but full. I managed to travel to a few countries during this time. By volunteering at camps and working in schools, I was able to see the world. There were times that I tented, slept in cars, and found the cheapest hostel possible, but I make it work. I found ways to travel and experience the world because there was too much out there not to.
Teach
I taught high school for another 8 years and worked another job on the side to pay for my experiences. I coached basketball, volleyball, and soccer so I could develop a deeper connection with the students and explore the provinces where I was working. I was the editor of the school newspaper and tutored students on the side. I worked in a remote community in Northern Canada to pay my student loans and I lived in isolation. International travel was restricted to the summers because I had over $70,000 student loan to pay. I did take the summers, though, to volunteer, teach, and work in others countries.
Destination Wedding Jamaica
This is my second marriage after what seemed like a lifetime of complete and utter failure for the first. I married young and while my ex-husband is a wonderful person who deserves all the happiness in the world, we were not right for each other. We became like a plague, spreading and destroying everything in our path. After spending a decade together, we finally separated and it was at that moment that I decided living a “regular” life was not for me. Being ok with the ordinary was no longer acceptable. It was then that I realized that the more unrealistic I am with my dreams and goals, the more I’m able to achieve.
Destination Wedding Jamaica Trapeze
My life wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter. I worked and continue to work hard for everything I have.
Kids' Club at Windjammer
Then, I started blogging. It was the accumulation of all of my dreams come true. I write and write and write; I’m addicted. I’ve made it my career. If I’m not writing, I’m social networking to make it all come together. This is my job. It may not seem like work, but should anything that you plan on doing for the rest of your life?
Himba Tribe, Namibia
Now, my blog is seeing enough success that I’ve been able to have some of the unbelievable experiences in exchange for media coverage. I’ve used that to help others make their dreams a reality as well. People send me there bucket lists regularly and I do everything in my power to make them a reality. You can see examples here. I organized and found a way to offer these experiences for free for my readers. One reader drove a NASCAR and hung out in the pit with the crew, another reader went skydiving, another flew a jetpack, and another went heliskiing. These are just a few examples. I struggle like everyone else yet I want all of your dreams to become a reality. I hope you want the same for me.
Skydive Fiji
So, yes; my life is awesome! I’m a rock star at my job and you should be taking notes because if you don’t love your life, you could be doing something else.

 

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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159 thoughts on “Yeah, My Life is Awesome! I’m a Rock Star. You Should Take Notes

    • Even when it’s family or close friends, you never really know what someone else is going through or experiencing.

      As a family, we try to make the best life possible for us together. That doesn’t mean that all of my travels need to be with Darren and Athena and that doesn’t make me a bad mother for wanting to see as much of the world as humanly possible.

      Life is difficult and we are all just trying to make the most of it.

      I don’t even mind the negative comments from time to time and I understand where most people are coming from but it’s always better to try and see the good in people rather than look for their faults.

      I’m happy in life and grateful for my family, friends, and what I’ve made a career.

      I wish that for everyone.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Sweet pioneering woman of the world ~ this post mimics my feelings in so many ways after 10 years of constant travel and writing some very successful books in Hawaii. I enjoyed unexpected success and I earned it, just as you did. It was torturous to learn so many people thought I was a spoiled brat from New York (dirt poor grew up in Outback Australia) with millions in royalties (ripped off by ex-publisher who then published copycats of my unique and well-known series without permission …). What I have learned is people who insult you, don’t actually even want to hear the truth: they are only good at being company when you are battling or when they milk from you. Once you ‘make something’ of your life ~ all the leaches come towards you and the roaches scurry away. When I read your posts it reminds me of my big travel years and the secrets I also keep about how I managed to complete them or how ill I was during every trip. Now, after teaching journalism for half a decade to the new generations and after much pondering I have decided we female trailblazers are extremely important role models and all those who ridicule, taunt, insult and try to cut us down can go where all rusty chainsaws go. I am utterly overwhelmed to read this post and will be keeping it to remind me of the adventurous, spirited, beautiful, completely jaw-dropping amazingly gutsy family of people out there who are my tribe ~ THANK YOU. ALOHA xxx

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    • I’ve had this… “they are only good at being company when you are battling or when they milk from you” and learned a lot from it. I think that has shaped me as much as my positive experiences and makes me that much more grateful for my husband and parents/grandparents.

      We should look to others like ourselves for support and encouragement. They are the people I want in my life.

      Thank you and I wish you a lifetime of continued happiness, health, travel, and new experiences.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much Lesley ~ just lovely ~ we kindred spirits are a lantern to each other. Whether we are sailing the universe or simply in awe to hear each other’s fantastical tales of adventure. We are a very special tribe of spirited seekers.

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  2. Dear Lesley, My heart goes out to you. As someone who also leads an ‘irregular’, non-traditional life, far from the shores of eastern Canada as well, on a tropical island in fact, I can relate, empathize and understand you; there are his, lows and in betweens, but we carry on because when we choose to opt for a bigger, healthier life – with joy and wonder – in this big world, those dreams come with their own of challenges. Kudos to you for living big & helping others reach their dreams;)

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  3. As I stand in this situation where I am forced to make decisions on what path to take with my working life, I draw tremendeous energy and inspiration from this post and your blog in general. Do not apologize for making your life what you want it to be 🙂 Marriage and children, never easy. I feel mothers are doomed to live with neverending guilt 😀 I will have a glass of red wine for you tonight 🙂

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      • Yes I am. As I was made redundant from the corporate world I am taking a short breather to figure out what it is I want to do next. Continue with the old or take a step to a totally opposite direction.

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  4. I used to work seasons overseas, and I regularly heard the phrase ‘So you’re on a paid vacation, right?’ When people ask what life overseas was really like, I tell them it was a rollercoaster. Travelling and working in different countries had been my dream since childhood and I am soooo lucky to say that I achieved my dream. So, the high points of the rollercoaster were incredible experiences. However, on the flip side, the low points were lower than I ever thought my life could get. Finding myself alone on a Greek island in the middle of the night with all my worldly belongings and a stomach bug, being miles away from home when a loved one suddenly passed away, sleeping in a park in Lake George NY for the night… These are all terrible situations that I had to deal with, to mention just a few. But I did deal with them, because it meant I got to continue travelling and working. I moved back to the UK six years ago, and travelling is still important to me. Now the phrase I hear is ‘You’re going on another trip!’, but once again my reality is far different from what people think. I live a simple, cheaper life so that I can save money. I’m currently working a full time job, two part time jobs and I’m starting my own business. I’m saving for another trip to the USA next year (fingers crossed!). So I totally understand where you’re coming from. In my experience, the people who criticise you and complain to you are the ones who wish they were as brave as you, who wish they had the courage to follow their dreams like you do. For every one person who sends you a hateful message, there are ten more of us out there who are hanging on your every word and sharing your amazing adventures through your blog with you 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Traveling has become such a major part of me. It has shaped me in a way that nothing else has. I’m grateful that I have a supportive husband and an adventurous daughter. We will continue to shape our lives into something spectacular for all of us.

      It is the encouragement and support from readers, friends, and family that has given me the courage to make the impossible a reality and sometimes the naysayers are equally important. I will always have negative comments because I’ll continue living outside the norm.

      Thank you for always being a light in what can sometimes be darkness. 🙂

      Like

  5. Awesome post, Lesley! I love your honesty. I especially love this line: “If you’re in a marriage that doesn’t struggle, I’d love to speak with you more.”
    Yes, yes, and yes.
    P.S. Don’t worry about potty training, for heaven’s sake. Your daughter will eventually “get” it. I mean, we all do, sooner or later. My son was almost three before he was potty trained and he recently graduated with high honors from a private college so yeah, it’s really nothing to stress or feel guilty about. And, get this, I also forgot to teach him to tie his shoes, lol. He wore those Velcro ones until third grade, when I bought him new sneakers and suddenly realized, OMG, I forgot to teach him to tie his shoes. I felt like the crappiest mother on the planet but he caught on fast and it didn’t stunt him and the sun continued to come up each morning.
    Cheers, big hugs and take care.

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    • Thank you! It seems simple, right? Just let her figure it out on her own time but as a mother, it’s a lot more difficult to just let it happen. If I struggle with anything, it’s “am I a good mother?” I do everything in my power to make Athena happy, healthy, educated, and loving but I don’t think it will ever feel like enough. I want so much for her. I want to be great! I am a mother; it’s normal, I’m sure. When I see her doing things like saying words of encouragement or sharing with others, it brings me more happiness than I thought possible in life. I want goodness for her, you know?

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  6. I have followed you for a long time and know how hard you work to achieve your dreams. I like the analogy of the roller coaster when it comes to marriage or long term relationships. It has it’s ups and downs but as long as you love each other and commit to making it work. You are a great mother and the hate mail that you get from others is just jealousy. If they don’t know how hard you worked to get to this point then they really don’t know you!!

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  7. when my daughter was toddling around with a bottle in her mouth I used to be really stressed about it. Then one day a kind lady said to me “she won’t walk down the aisle with it, so don’t worry.” I wonder if this little gem will help you when you find yourself worrying about your little girl not being potty trained yet? I hope so 🙂

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    • Thank you. I just want what’s best for her, you know? She is a good kid and I am so grateful for her shining personality. I don’t think I will ever stop worrying about if I’m doing everything in my power to be the best mother I can be. I think it’s part of being a good mother 😉

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  8. What a beautiful, moving and honest piece of writing this is. Thank you. PS: I agree you shouldn’t worry about the potty training. Kids seem to get it as soon as they are competitive with other kids who are dry, day and night. In my experience, mothers are less effective in getting the toddler potty trained than peer pressure is!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. WOW! I am so sorry I had no idea that people could be so unkind to you. I find extreme pleasure and total enjoyment whenever I read one of your posts. I love that you get to lead this life and offer it to your daughter. You have achieved such remarkable things across a very condensed time and I am guessing bought loads of happiness to your ‘fans’ and ‘followers’. It is good to vent and after wine it is easy to vent. Please continue on this journey if it still calls for you. Think of the nay-sayers as people who may be struggling with their own issues and have no clue how to address them – wish them well and continue onwards. Your family of three is what’s important! Lesley go forth and conquer where you can, you are inspiring to many. Cheers

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  10. This post is amazing. Thank you for sharing all these details of your life. Everyone struggles regardless of who they are and it is part of life. I think our struggles are tests from God who wouldn’t put us through them if we weren’t capable of overcoming them. So I think you will be fine and you’ll manage in time ❤

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  11. very good and honest post!! I still don’t understand how one can make a living from travelling financially, but I am sure it is not an easy life – especially regarding these issues you have brought up!! People often don’t know what “real” travelling is like anyways, they don’t even have a concept of the world or most countries… so don’t worry about “haters” concentrate on the positive! 🙂 All the best!! 🙂

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  12. Dear Lesley,
    First,I started reading your blog when you liked a post on mine. Thank you very much. I loved that moment!
    Second, there will always be those folks who can not hold or hide what essentially boils down to jealousy. Bearing their jealousy is not your responsibility. Easier said than done, of course. But it’s not.
    Third, bearing our joy with you on your trips is your responsibility. I’m thrilled to bits when a new post comes up and I can dream of some cool place that hadn’t occurred to me to visit.
    Fourth, anyone who thinks that this is an easy life has not traveled anywhere lately. Making sure that everything is in order from clothes and feminine hygiene products to medications and toddler hygiene products and getting to the airport in time to go through the screening process, experiencing whatever delays that happen, hoping to make the connection at the next airport then the terminal is about a mile away. Uhm yeah. This is hard work.
    Thank you for doing everything you do so that I can travel with you from my recliner. You will find a good rhythm with your husband.
    And Lesley, I know this is “ecologicially unsound” however print up all those emails and have a big bonfire. Let go of that negativity.

    Teri

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  13. This the first of your posts I have ever read. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your honesty. You are correct no one has the perfect life, and you certainly don’t deserve to be judged because you are doing something about living your dreams.
    I hope it all comes together for you and your husband. Don’t stress too much about the potty training – it will all fall into place when your precious daughter is ready 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. WOW, in my opinion this was the best post you have ever written! If I admired you before, now I do even more! I love your honesty… people need to see that nobody is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect! Traveling is amazing, having it as a job must be even more, but surely has its price, as everything in this life!! I loved reading this post and getting to know you better, I really hope you can manage all your personal issues and at the same time accomplish your dreams… you are a good person and you deserve that! I wish you all the best, and thank you for sharing this! ❤ 🙂

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  15. Lesley,
    Like many of the comments above, I can fully relate and agree. I began my business (Bliss Travels) in much the same way. Everyone I meet, see and talk to says “wow, I want your job. You vacation for a living.” And I react much like you: Yes, my job is awesome. I love what I do. How could I not? But, I live in a suitcase, travel constantly, spend more time sleeping on planes than in my own bed, “work” every Christmas, and o this while I’ve been raising two kids! And it took years and money and worry to get to the successful point at which I am. It’s hard for you to see now, but this will benefit your daughter tremendously. My daughters saw the same thing. They now think that dreams are possible, women are invincible, their mother is strong, and that hard work and determination are important. The example is more important than the minor inconveniences.

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  16. Wonderful heart felt post sweetie! I hope that you and Darren and Athena can continue to make your lives work in harmonious ways! I love seeing the travels through your eyes and reading your wonderful adventures! People probably post negative responses out of jealousy!! You should write a book with wonderful photographs of your many adventures! Continue to do what you do best!! Hugz always, Lisa and Bear

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  17. No apologies necessary. You didn’t get here by accident. I enjoy living vicariously through your posts and pictures. If I was angry or jealous, I wouldn’t read your posts. I am happy in my life – you, and everyone else should find happiness too.

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  18. How inspiring….so real and honest. I think people assume bloggers just ‘make it’ out of nowhere but don’t realise how much hard work all of this actually takes. I love this post and am looking forward to all the other posts as well. 🙂
    Nicole x

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  19. As you know, we travel for a living. It’s hard work to travel. It’s hard work to maintain a family life. It’s all negotiations. It’s not easy. If anybody could do it, they would. The only to things I can recommend are:

    To those who are haters just remember this phrase. “You don’t know what it’s like to be me.”

    About your family, as Leroy Jethro Gibbs would say. “Family first.”

    From an editor with whom I once worked. “Perfection is for angels.”

    If those are your internal operating principles, you’ll be good.

    My only suggestion is reach out to your family. Sit down with them. Take the heat if they are angry with you. Even if you think that they are wrong, just listen. Think. Then talk.

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  20. Thanks for honesty and enlightening us on the “outakes” aspect of your “perfect” life. Truthfully, I was about to unfollow soon because as much I appreciate traveling vicariously through your blog, I couldn’t relate to how so much of your life involved not being with your family. Now I know the pain that causes you. So thanks for bringing the world to my doorstep, thanks for allowing us a peek behind the curtain. Maybe including a bonus features with a behind-the-scenes mini-doc will help people understand there’s thorns amid your roses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m considering a reality section for the site that shows my true life as well as my adventures or travels. We’ll see how it goes, but this post has been encouraging for that direction. 🙂

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  21. Who is writing you hate mail? As the great William Shatner once said, “get a life.” Seriously, just chuck it into your delete folder and move on. Most people who enjoy your work are not going to take the time to comment. Only trolls have the time.

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  22. Living at home and going to work is also stressful so finding your own unique way is surely good for you and your daughter and your husband. I find your blogs fascinating. Thanks
    My hero, George Mallory once said
    “If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge….and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you don’y see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy….We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”

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  23. You don’t need to justify what you’re doing. It’s great! As someone who finds travel very difficult, I admire your energy and stamina. I feel that it would indeed be hard work to travel all the time. But every time I’ve made myself do it, I was glad I did.

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  24. Enjoy every minute of every day! Your daughter will be wiser and richer for her travel experiences and potty training will be a distant memory one day (soon) – A hard working mum is a great role model!

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  25. Oh, Lesley, I’m so sorry you are getting hate mail, of all things. Have people nothing better to do? It seems like some people feel they can say whatever they want when they are not standing face-to-face with you.
    Marriage is a struggle with balance at the best of times; the most important part is love. If you can always feel the support and love of your husband and daughter, you can get through the hard times together.
    As for the potty training, it will come in time. It’s a developmental skill that children learn at their own pace, it can go on and off for awhile, and then one day you realize you haven’t cleaned up a mess or carried a change of clothes for your daughter for weeks. Please don’t feel guilty because your daughter can’t hang with an airline’s capricious schedule. As long as you don’t make her feel bad for soiling (she is still in a diaper, after all!), she will not even remember the struggle.
    Your blog was one of the first I read when I started blogging, and you were one of my first followers. Your adventures are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your life with the world.

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  26. I think your last paragraph sums it up-people should be taking a page out of your book, you absolutely should be enjoying the work you do. It’s what we ALL dream of. I certainly do, I struggle daily to figure out how the hell to make my dreams a reality. I know precisely what elements are missing- the balls to face my fears, and perseverance. You overcame that! You deserve your life, and of course there are issues. You are still human. People that have the time and the gall to say shit to you clearly need to channel that energy into repairing their own shitty lives. To quote Taylor Swift, though-“haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…Shake it off!” Lol! Keep GOING! We love you. Thank you for inspiring and helping so many.❤️

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  27. Lesley, your post was brilliant! I love your honesty. Continue to be a rock star and making it work with your husband and being a great role model to your daughter. You’re inspiring! For all those negative people, it’s sad that rather than focusing on their own life they would expend all that energy throwing negative words and vibes at another human being that’s just trying to live life and be a woman, wife, mother and so many other things. It’s very unfortunate for them. Keep being a rock star!

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  28. Thank you for sharing not only the good, but some of the “real life” stuff. The potty training bit reminds me of a story with my own son that happened – well, many years ago… I realized there were lessons in it, as with most things, and wrote about it: http://wp.me/p1vH6t-1l
    Take care – really. more than a few of us live vicariously through your stories.

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  29. Others will project the things they aren’t happy with in their life onto you when they see you doing something they want to do. Thank you for showing that we all have struggles, no matter what awesome things we are doing. Keep being you and doing what you want to do.

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  30. Hi Lesley,

    Thanks for sharing your more personal feelings, I know that can be hard. I am in similar situation. I built a software business, sold it and retired at 50 years old. I’ve been retired for 2 years but I still have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. I worry about money, family, and whether I really deserve what I’ve accomplished. So unless you walk in someone else’s shoes, you never know.

    Regarding haters, haters will be haters, simple as that. They are most likely trying to transfer their unhappiness to you. I know it’s hard, but you really just have to ignore it. Someone once told me “What some else things of you is not really you’re business”. I agree with that, but it would be nice if they could keep their thoughts to themselves. 🙂

    All the best, keep on checking off the bucket list.

    Steve, http://www.WeBeTripping.com

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Lesley, just go on with your bucket list, your life, your family, your lifestyle because it makes you happy not a bunch of blogging readers! Each of us are living Intentionally the way we want. I live in paradise each and every day I know I am blessed and content! Cheryl

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  32. I think the hate mail you receive is from people who don’t truly understand how hard it can be on a relationship when one has a very nomadic lifestyle and the other a more sedentary one. I have seen marriages on the verge of collapsing because one had to constantly fly across the world for business trips. Anybody would think “that’s awesome, the company pays you to fill your passport with stamps”. But at home, there would be people, or pets, or things that need to be dealt with in person, that would be waiting, and growing tired of constant absence from the other one. I had some years when I had to travel a lot for my work, and my relationship suffered from it also. Your lifestyle is not an easy one. A dreamy one, maybe, looking from the outside. A lucky one, for what it enables you to do. But definitely not an easy one, and kudos to you for following it and doing all you can to make it work with your hubby and daughter.
    PS: Re: Potty training: maybe until she’s fully potty trained she needs to stay home with her dad while you travel, and once it looks like she’s good to go, you try a short flight, before moving onto longer ones? Just an idea, though. Maybe the fact she’s travelling with a diaper also doesn’t help. I know you don’t want her to soil herself in the middle of the plane (who would? :D), but maybe she sees that as a safety net, and doesn’t make any effort once she’s airborne?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’ve been reading your adventures for over two years (yours was among the first sites I followed when I started with WordPress) through amazing adventures and breathtaking photo opportunities, but I think this entry may be one of the bravest things you’ve ever done. Many travel bloggers are afraid to open up, let readers see behind the curtains, and write this candidly about how much work these kinds of experiences require, the sacrifices involved, and the sweat and tears it can take to chase your dreams. A lot of people look at vacation blogging and think it’s a nonstop partying lifestyle, and all they’ll show their readers in turn is that shiny happy veneer when they try doing their own version…but my wife and I are well aware, just from our own annual interstate road trips, that it takes a toll on every aspect of life — on the financials, on the psyche, and, yeah, sometimes on the family.

    Thanks very much for sharing all of this with us. You, Darren, and Athena will be in our prayers, and I look forward to many more years of your escapades together. A lot of countries are still out there waiting for you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very well said, Randall, and Lesley, I agree with everything Randall there says. Not all is hunky-dory, pulling the curtain back a bit to the real life is very brave, and very appreciated. Take care of yourself, and I look forward to more of your adventures, whether they’re in far-off lands, or close to home. Don’t forget to take care of you in all of this. 🙂

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      • Thank you, Randall and Tom! There is a balance to blogging as well I guess… a little bit of me personally and a little bit of the travels.

        I’m not sure if I see this post as brave but it certainly does put “me” out there.

        I will continue making our dreams a reality and I will always put everything I have into my marriage and being a mother. I don’t always get it right but I will never give up. It’s not about trying harder; it’s about trying smarter and differently. If at first I don’t succeed, I try again but a different way.

        I want to explore and discover new destinations for the rest of my life; that will never change 🙂

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  34. Sadly, people judge, but it is about them, not us. I am alway so shocked when I witness the negativity out there on the web…It is about them, not you. And, we sometimes come to a place where we feel we have to explain or justify. I understand. I’ve been there and often revisit that place with family who feel my life is easy and without responsibility, and, they can not fathom my wanderlust and my life as a nomad, which is being done with limited funds and compromises at the moment – often a struggle, but I can’t go back to who I was or how I was living before traveling. I have to remind myself that it is our responsibility to live our authentic life and it is okay that I do that, despite what others think. And, those who are criticizing or judging are usually not taking the risk to do so or feel stuck in their lives. Reading your stories are always inspiring because you are following your heart. Your daughter will achieve those developmental milestones and she will also have the beautiful experiences that she has had. We all have our mixed childhood experiences and they enrich us. And, she will receive the gift (through your example) that living your authentic life is imperative. May financial abundance come to you easily and effortlessly so that your husband can join you on your travels. Best to you…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Sounds like you have truly earned the awesome life you lead! Even if you hadn’t had to struggle much to get where you are now, to be in a position to live life to its fullest and to waste that opportunity would be itself a thing worthy of scorn. So disregard the haters and keep on enjoying the endless beauty of this world. It is a pleasure to read about!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. It’s YOUR life, no one else’s. Some people just have to complain and patronize, that’s who they are. Inside, they are sad and dissatisfied with their life and think everyone should feel that way, too. Ignore them. Do what YOU know (and feel) to be right. Living the life you want takes a tremendous amount of faith, especially if it’s outside the norm. If you were living at home, working a normal (boring) 9-5 job, you’d have a whole new set of problems and things to worry about. It’s about balance. So good luck, lady…I’m subscribing, and I hope to be at your level one day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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