My wife. I blame this all on my wife (in the best way possible). Ever since I quit my corporate job and became a teacher, school breaks are blank pages for her to fill in the travel book. Here is the list of places we have been in the past 12 months:
Bryce National Park, New York City, Baltimore, Washington DC, Anchorage, Katmai National Park, the entire Kenai Peninsula, Chaco Canyon, Moab UT, and myriad of locales camping, backpacking and exploring throughout Colorado (Creede, Lake City, Fruita, Grand Junction, Salida, Denver, Buena Vista, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Eagle…)
My wife loves having something on the calendar to look forward to. Through her passion for travel, we have been able to do more, and see more amazing things than my typical “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” model that I historically employed.
A perfect example of planing in advance is the trip we recently returned from. My family (wife, 9 year old son, and I) traveled to the wilds of Alaska this summer — a trip that started 18 months prior. I could not have taken the picture you see below without planing this in advance (taken with a Sony point and shoot — not some fancypants camera).
This photo was taken at Books Falls in the Katmai National Park in Alaska. The only way to reach the park is via float plane — no roads, and the only way to stay at Brooks Lodge is to call at midnight (AK Time) on January 1st. To be clear, we had to call at Midnight Jan. 1st 2016, for a July 2017 reservations — over 18 months in advance!
Knowing we were headed there so far in advance allowed us the opportunity to look for other AK adventures. Lucky for us, my sister lives in Anchorage, and she and her family are avid outdoors people as well. Combining with my sister, we planned a 3 night 4 day sea kayaking excursion into Blackstone Bay with both of our families. After setting up camp, we headed out to the see the glaciers the next day.
Not only did we see bears and glaciers, we happened upon a pod of orcas while on a tour boat, a romp of otters, 51 bald eagles, moose, and one or two mosquitos :)
I blame my wife. I have to. Because without her planning and desire to “look forward to something”, we would never have had such a great adventure.