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Reflecting On Our Family Travel

January 07, 2009

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May your year be filled with blessings! I find this a reflective time of year and wanted to thank all of our readers for supporting Soultravelers3 and our family travel.  As  we enter into our third year of around-the-world travel, we continue to be amazed by this life of freedom and the beauty we find everywhere.

We did not really expect all the connection that we have had through web2.0 when we started our trip.In some ways it seems like we are traveling the web20 world as we explore the real world. So many wonderful people have come into our lives through this medium and it allows us to stay connected to old friends. Thank you. I can not tell you how much it enriches our journey and touches us. The world is getting smaller!

We usually do a Christmas letter  online, but since we just went home for a visit and are still trying to catch up, we thought we would do a bit of a year review now. It is a quick look back and also seeing what is coming up.

It was an exciting year for us and I still have much to share about it in greater detail. We headed off from our winter Spain with a bang we did not expect. We loved discovering Portugal this year and northern Spain. We ended up driving a lot more this year on our ambitious plan. That part was a little exhausting, so we will definitely be doing more slow travel this year.

We loved seeing more of France that we had not been to. People tend to just see the highlights of Europe, but we are grateful that we get to see so much by driving the land. They are much bigger countries than most Americans realize,  with so much to see everywhere. I could spend ten years in just Spain or France and barely make a dent. Bordeaux and the Dordogne  were highlights for us, as was Puy Du Foy.

A less fun moment was when our RV got rear-ended on our way to catch the ferry from France to Ireland. We are still dealing with that one, but also even had blessings involved with that which we will go into in  a post soon.

The British Isles were mostly cold in July and August, but we managed to find a few sunny days and had lots of fun in Ireland, Wales, England and finishing with the famous Fringe Festival in beautiful Edinburgh, Scotland. We will be getting those stories, pictures and lots of videos up soon.

Sweden became one of our favorite countries, thanks mostly  to our ultra-generous friends who provided us with a cute red cottage and spoiled us to death,  while they immersed us in the culture. These were friends we met on the internet who were even more delightful in person. We did not want to leave, but also enjoyed the spectacular fjords of Norway, lots of charming Denmark including the original Legoland and a yummy taste of Finland.

We had lots of fun surprises in Germany and particularly enjoyed the Romantic Road, before we were back into France and exploring Colmar, the Alsace wine region at harvest time & a quick dip into Switzerland. We rested on the Cote d'Azure where we met a great traveling family from Oz with 3 kids for Mozart to play with and "talk shop" about the roaming life, then we saw Monoco.

Next, we had a mad dash down to Barcelona for another rest, then deeper south to Marbella. Our loving friends in Malaga nurtured us and watched our RV while we jetted off to Madrid, then onto NYC where we visited thousands of school kids that follow us virtually through Reach The World. We met them in Harlem, Bronx, Queens and Lower East Side, did our first power point presentations, then fell in love with them all plus the great teachers and principals that support them.

We had the best Halloween of our lives thanks to our generous online buddy Wendy Perrin from Conde Nast Traveler and her fabulous travel loving family. Then we were off on another jet to see family and friends  in California which was a rare and wonderful treat after being gone for  2 1/2 years. We had two Thanksgiving dinners, stuffed ourselves with favorite food, hugged family members like there was no tomorrow and bought a few things.

Another two jets to Utah, then Denver where we met the most wonderful family at the famous Castle Marne B&B where they spoiled us in every way. Mozart met her match with their daughter and even did a sleep over!

We had to rush back to San Jose, then onto NYC again for a day and then to Paris and onto Malaga. So many people complain about planes, but we ended up with all good flights and it went like clockwork, partly because we traveled with just a small daypack each, despite needing 3 seasons of clothes.

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We love being back in "our" village and it has been exceptionally sunny. Today was the 3 Kings festival and we enjoy that tradition very much. We enjoyed just hanging out together for Christmas and simple pleasures like reading or watching dvd's together snuggled in bed.

Like many of you, we sense a change in the air with 2006. We are trying to learn new ways of doing things like this talking video and plan to start some podcasts on itunes. We are going to be getting up lots of new videos soon, so make sure that you are subscribed to our Youtube Channel where they show up first! If you are not subscribed to our blog, please make sure you do that in the upper right hand corner.

DaVinci will also be working on organizing our photos in Flickr and I think I am going to start a photo a day post of random photos. That will give you some fun travel thrills and give me time to do other writing assignments in between these longer  posts. We are still trying to learn the fine art of how to travel and blog all that we are seeing and learning.

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If there is anything that you would like to see us do, just let us know in the comments. It is that time of year where we are gathering our plan for the year and how we can best serve your needs and ours. Your feedback is really important to us. You can also leave us a comment on our email contact page.

Thanks again for being the best group of blog readers in cyberspace!

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HappyCampers

What a great recap of your year! I can't wait for all the "more details later" to be filled in :)

Does Motzart have/use the camera? Is she interested in photography? I would love to see some posts about your travels from her point of view...her artwork posts are some of my favorites. I think as adults, we have one view, but to hear/see what a child interprets is always so fascinating :)

Have safe travels as always & we love the updates!!

HappyCampers

What a great recap of your year! I can't wait for all the "more details later" to be filled in :)

Does Motzart have/use the camera? Is she interested in photography? I would love to see some posts about your travels from her point of view...her artwork posts are some of my favorites. I think as adults, we have one view, but to hear/see what a child interprets is always so fascinating :)

Have safe travels as always & we love the updates!!

Karen (KayKay)

Thanks for the recap of your wonderful year. Wishing you all the best for 2009 with safe, exciting, and happy travels!

zelkity

i know you are busy but if you have the time then can you please update your map? im a visual person. love the posts thanks

Caitlin

I saw the links to this on Twitter - Three Kings Festival sounds absolutely fabulous!

Dominique

Happy 2009 to the three of you, also :)

wandermom

Happy New Year to you too!
And I really enjoyed reading your summary of the year - it's inspirational.

soultravelers3

Thanks Happy Campers, Karen, zelkity, Caitlin and Dominique!

selkity- DaVinci works on that & it is time consuming to do. He will get to it as soon as he finishes getting more videos up which is what he is working on now.

Happy Campers- that is good feedback too. I will do more of that. Mozart has started her own website, but I need to help her with that so we have not made much progress so far, thus have not announced it.

soultravelers3

Oops, missed you wandermom! I think we posted at the same time. ;)

I also wanted to answer HappyCampers more fully. Yes, Mozart has a camera and she loves taking photos. She actually has taken some really nice ones.

She took the photo of me with the present in the last post. I had planned on putting one up of her, but the one she took of me turned out better than the one I took of her! lol!

She journals about everywhere we go & often does pictures. I hesitate somtimes to publish them because I don't want to bore, so your comments were a very useful reminder. Kids do experience travel different than we do.

Meg (Backpack to Buggy)

Happy New Year and wonderful travels in 2009!
I love Kings Day and am seriously thinking of making it a big part of our Christmas celebration as we develop traditions.
I would love to learn how you traveled with the backpacks for so long. Please. I need help (and inspiration).

Kristina

I have loved reading everyone of your updates - can't wait to hear about your travels through England and Ireland and more about your return trip to the states- are you planning a trip to Aust?

Peace (Cairns Family Holidays)

What an amazing year you have had and what an incredible childhood for your daughter - you are such an inspiring family!
Peace

Carolina

As I just started following the blog, the update came in real handy. Funny I just wrote a post on Monday about how I was celebrating Dia de Reyes here at home (California) with my son. Would love it one day if he could back with me to celebrate it in my birth country to see what all the fuss is about.

Lola

Happy 2009 to you guys and wishing you a year blessed with more travels, great health, joy, and every thing good!

Nomadic Matt

happy new year!

Travel Packages India

Its great to hear such great recaps on the past year you have spent. Happy New Year to all of you.

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