I’ve been life listing a lot in the last couple of years. Living like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a surfboard, and I’m only planning on ramping it up from here. And while I’ve been living all this *life*, I’ve been thinking a lot. Thinking about purposeful living and what it means to live life to the fullest, happiest, most badass it can possibly be.
What does that look like for you guys? For me, my Life List changes every year. I go back to the original Life List (aka Bucket List) I made in 2010 and change it up all the time. Things that sounded awesome to me 4 years ago sometimes sound stupid to me now. So I take things off the list, add new things, and all the time try to cross things off, having fun in the process.
For example, #30 on my Life List is to be in better shape at 40 than I was when I made the list. The last few years of my health have been pretty awful. What am I doing about it? As much as I can, really. Well, a month ago I … >> find out more…
We’ve never hesitated to tote our kids around the world. Our son made his first flight overseas before the age of one and our daughter before the age of two. We broke them in at an early age.
I remember one time, several years ago, my husband and I were sitting at P.F. Chang’s in Austin, TX. We were on a little kid-free getaway. Somehow, we started talking with the manager about some of the work we’ve done in Africa with orphans. He left our table and came back later. You could tell he had been pondering the conversation. He said, “I’d love to travel like that, but we have kids.” I countered him and said, “We have two little ones.” He was so blown away that he comped our meal.
Kids don’t have to keep you from traveling.
In fact, I think it’s important to travel with your kids. Let me tell you why…
1. It’s educational. Kid’s minds are like a sponge. They learn an incredible amount of knowledge in their childhood. How awesome would it be to not only read about the Rosetta Stone but to see it with your own eyes? Last Fall we were … >> find out more…
I remember sitting in High School English class listening to fellow classmates talk about how they had never been to Dallas, a 45 minute drive from our small town. The thoughts in my head went something like this, “Really? You’ve never been to Dallas? That is NOT going to be me. I’m going to get out and see the world.”
That’s where it started nearly 18 years ago, and I haven’t stopped.
With twenty one countries under my belt, there’s three things that continue to drive me to see and experience more outside of my home country of America.
1. Culture. Culture is a beautiful thing to experience. It enriches our lives. It makes us appreciate the values and traditions that are handed down to us. I love experiencing cultures outside my own. It’s like inhaling a breath of fresh air.
2. Food. Let’s be real here. I love food. I love ethnic food. There’s so much creativity and flavor explosion that happens when trying new foods. You know what’s even better than going to your local Indian restaurant for a good curry? Going to India for an amazing curry. Or how about eating a plate of prawns fresh from … >> find out more…
Please welcome Pilar to Petit Elefant as one of our esteemed Contributors. Readers and friends, meet Pilar. Pilar, meet readers and friends.
A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared on Babble, Yahoo, and Fandango (where she’s Contributing Editor); and she’s been featured in and on cool places like CNN, Good Morning America and Huffington Post. A true bohemian (no DVR) and eclectic travelhound (all the wanderlust), Pilar is also an avid photog, and though she’s photographed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Skywalker Ranch, a lot of Scotland and Anne of Green Gables’ Prince Edward Island, her favorite shots always end up being the ones with her kids in them. Ok, and the one she snapped while tripping over Chris Hemworth’s foot. True story.
Still more awesomeness coming your way. Meet Jen, another of our new contributors.
Hi! My name is Jen Price, mother of two and wife to the hottest redhead around. I grew up in small town Texas. Despite the beauty and loveliness of the Lone Star state, it couldn’t contain my hunger for adventure and desire to see the world. Visiting 21 countries around the globe has only whet my appetite to see more.
In 2006, I co-founded Ten Thousand Homes
, a movement dedicated to bringing HOPE and HOME to orphans and vulnerable children. I wear the hats of wife, mother, photographer, storyteller, communications director, writer, traveler, and lover of dark chocolate. I write for several websites including my personal blog, I Believe In Love,
where I share my creative ventures, my photography, and the stories of the orphans I love on in S. Africa.
At the beginning of the summer I traveled to the French Riviera to attend the Cannes Film Festival with one of my best friends, Rachael, like you do. Like one does, one who isn’t me. Anyway no surprise: I loved it, every minute of it, especially the naked massage on the beach. I might just up and fly to France one of these days just to experience that again. The grocery shopping and resulting food purchases were ridiculous (insanely delicious.) France is awesome, and the Cannes Film Festival, the reason Rachael and I headed to the South of France in the first place, was otherworldly.
I didn’t know this prior to heading into the festival, but one cannot purchase a ticket to the Cannes Film Festival. Period. You either are “someone” or you know “someone”. I obviously belong in the latter category, which is awesome. I was given a ticket to not only the film festival but all sorts of behind-the-scenes shenanigans as well, for which I’m super grateful. I only had about 48 hours notice to get a red carpet dress, which proved trickier than you might imagine. I would’ve been in a huge pickle had I … >> find out more…
France. It’s okay I guess. If you happen to like gorgeous countryside, cold sparkling water, French men (that’s a whole post in and of itself, short story: they’re hot), cheese, delicious bread and shopping of any variety. Oh, and the south of France is the WORST. So boring and perfectly sunny with warm wave-less ocean and blue skies forever.
Basically France and Spain were a wonderland. Plural. It’s a thing.
A few months ago I went on a whirlwind 2 week trip to France and Spain with one of my very best friends, (BEST IDEA EVER) and when I came back I was so exhausted from the amazing happiness of it all, I basically took the entire summer off to dream about it by the pool.
I did manage to post about what to do on the French Riviera should you ever find yourself in Antibes, Cannes or Nice and are out of ideas (you shouldn’t be).
The short version is that France and Spain are beautiful and fun and lovely in every possible way. The long version will be laid out in a whole bunch of future posts, starting with this one. So let’s get … >> find out more…
Having to pack before a trip, any trip regardless of how awesome, is the lamest. I hate packing. I loathe it, detest it, want to scream every time I do it, procrastinate until the very last minute, and in the end stay up until the wee hours of the morning of travel jamming stuff into every available corner of my suitcase.
But now, after traveling extensively over the past several years, I’m here to tell you I am now a packing ninja. Let me repeat that, for those of you who know me and have traveled with me in the past:
I am (now) a NINJA, of the packing variety.
(You see these ancient, winding stairs, 4 flights up in our apartment in Barcelona? Yep. They were a breeze for my carry-on. Not so much for my traveling bestie Rachael and her ugly American suitcase.)
Learning how to pack properly took me years to figure out, YEARS of trial and mostly error. Since I’m OCD, the thought of coming home from a trip and tagging everything I didn’t use in my suitcase with a post-it note, writing down what I used, keeping a master pack list of useful stuff, then … >> find out more…
What to do, what to do.
Let’s say your friend calls you randomly one nasty freezing grey day in the Spring and says casually, ‘Hey so I’m headed to Cannes at the end of May, wanna come?’. How would you react?
I was on my way to swim practice with the kids on my headset in the car, on a cold and rainy grey day in early April. It had probably snowed 6 inches the day before. I was in an endless cycle of work, swim practice, dinner, groceries, dishes, and laundry with a touch of regular migraines thrown in for spice. What would you have said?
I’m pretty sure some profanity came out of my mouth, let’s get real here, and I sputtered something along the lines of, ‘DUDE. Dude. DUUUUUDE. What the fuh? For serious? DUDE.’
My speech gets really articulate under duress, stop judging me.
Initially I said no. No, I’m sorry, I can’t leave for two weeks at the end of May right when the kids are finishing school for the year and doing all the end of school performances and plays and all the rest of the end-of-year-wrap-up-nonsense. We don’t have piles … >> find out more…