20 May 2016

a new world travel chapter and blog page!

one of the things i am most dripping with passion about is world travel - for a lot of different reasons. i love traveling because it keenly teaches me about the stunning diversity of humanity (and the natural earth!).  i love traveling because i love coming home, and because it enhances the elements of my day-to-day life. i love traveling because it can be incredibly challenging and stretching. indeed, traveling is tremendously and uniquely enlightening, enriching, engaging and ennobling.

i am extremely privileged to have been afforded opportunities to travel around the world since i was a very small child. when i was six months old, my family lived for a summer in japan, and we spent several months of the next year living in england. a few years later, we went to the phillippines. when i was seven, i was deeply impacted by poignant experiences working with my parents and siblings in orphanages in romania and bulgaria. as a twelve-year-old, i hiked around machu picchu; as a thirteen-year-old i summited mount kilimanjaro; and i have vivid memories of the evening of my fourteenth birthday strolling along the ponte vecchio in florence. this smattering of experiences, combined with many other domestic and international travel adventures with my family throughout my childhood, implanted in me an intense wanderlust. i have been really lucky to be able to continue to feed my passion for travel throughout my twenties.

by my count, i've now visited fifty nine countries on six continents. {there's so many different and non-agreeing lists of countries out there! the boy and i accept the list on the "been" app we have on our phones as our standard for counting :) } every new place i visit (and, indeed, each place i make a return trip to!) further teaches me how incredibly awesome this earth is. i'm so, so very grateful to have been able to see so many fascinating and beautiful corners of our planet.

the past year and a half has been particularly travel-heavy - a truly fantastical chapter in my travel history. and soon an entirely new stage of life and travel will begin. although the boy and i definitely plan to continue traveling as our family grows, the dynamics of our explorations will absolutely change after we've begun the greatest adventure of all - parenting. as we're getting ready to turn that page, i thought it would be worthwhile to gather the documentation that i've made on this blog of my travels all in one place.

and so i just published a new "world travel" page! - you can access it by clicking on the link on the floating navigation at the top of this (and every) page on my blog. i've also included the graphic i created for the page below. not all of the listed countries are clickable, because i visited them before i started blogging! i'll continue to update this page as our travels continue and i hope it can be a useful resource for travel dreamers and planners.
{because i know how much thought and work can (and should!) go into travel planning, i am always very happy to answer questions about the experiences i/we have had around the world, so don't hesitate to contact me via a blog comment or email (charity eyre at gmail)!}


i hope you all have a happy weekend!
here's some of my favourite quotes about travel for your friday afternoon:

“to my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – bill bryson

“traveling is a brutality. it forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. you are constantly off balance. nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – cesare pavese

 “travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – freya stark

{globe image via courtneysnowden on instagram} 

38 comments :

  1. I love your zest for travel! As a mom of 3 I think it is wonderful to fully engage a child in travel and experience... I however think you should give yourself a bit of a "grace" period after having baby. It's wonderful to have plans however it could put a lot of pressure on yourself... What if your recovering from a c-section, baby with colic, postpartum. After every baby I gave myself a Grace period to adjust to life.... I love your blog! i just feel like your expectations before baby and after baby might change and you and your spouse should prepare for that instead of planning trips all over the world.

    You might appreciate developing a real life routine in London. Instead of jet setting.

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    1. thanks for your comment!

      if you only knew the anguish (dramatic word, i know, but honestly, it has been wild) we've been going through over the past weeks (and especially the past few days) regarding our travel to the usa after the baby comes! it is very complicated for many reasons and wrenching to try to figure out the right thing to do. i would prefer much more of a "grace period" for recovery and adjustment, but we're in a situation that won't allow that, all things considered :(

      after our trip to the usa, we are definitely planning on settling in to a routine here at home in london with the baby. i am seriously, seriously looking forward to that! our next international trip won't be until thanksgiving - so we can be with family (the boy's brother will be living in germany). and then we'll see if we are up for traveling at christmastime (hence the "maybe" on morocco!).

      we will definitely be slowing this charian travel train down once there's a baby along for the ride. and i am really excited about that!

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  2. I think your blog has good intentions... I think your travel plans are unrealistic to most!

    You and your husband come across as happy and ambitious however I think if you focused your blog on things like "living affordable in London" " what struggles has it been for you to be a Mormon" "fears on expecting a baby". People(gomi) would actually appreciate. I hope that your baby comes into the world easily and peacefully I just think you may be setting yourself up for failure... Sometimes it's ok to say" geeze I would love to travel to the USA after baby... But I'm scared because of what life will look like". More people appreciate honesty of real life... And sometimes your blog comes across as a bubble which isn't real life.

    I think you and your husband do great by the community as does your family... But sometimes a bit of humble pie does you good too...love your blog!! Just wish we saw a bit more real authentic charity

    Ps I think it would be great if a Mormon admitted to doing something i.e. Drinking
    And explaining that it wasn't the right thing, I feel sometimes Mormons come across as so perfect.... I appreciate rules and religion but everyone slips up and it's ok to be real... I would love to talk to a Mormon who could admit mistakes... It just doesn't seem possible?!

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    1. hi anon! thanks for the feedback. it's helpful to know that sometimes my blogging doesn't come across as humble or authentic. that makes me really sad! i do try to incorporate a lot of "everyday life" and some realness around things that are difficult for me, but it's good to know a larger dose might be worthwhile.

      soon enough i will probably blog about why we are going to the usa soon after baby. in the meantime, just trust me that there are things you don't know about our situation :) and that i certainly am worried and scared (although i'm trying to practice banning fear, as it can be a huge negative influencer on childbirth -- and on life in general!).

      i don't tend to actively admit mistakes on a public blog on the internet, but i take your point about slipping up and being honest about it! i make mistakes every single day - as does every mormon. it may not be breaking a "visible" "mormon" "rule" like drinking alcohol, but certainly every single one of us (mormon or not!) fails at following the example of jesus christ in kindness, compassion, patience, etc very often. i full-heartedly admit mistakes!!

      thanks for reading and for your comment!

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  3. First off, yay for travel plans! I love that you are at least paving the road for good intentions and hoping to give your baby the same amazing travel experiences you had. My sister travels from Australia to England every 6 months with her child, starting when he was 2 months old. Simply what must be done when you live away from family.

    Please take people's advice with a grain of salt (as I'm sure you do!) who knows how travel will go with a baby, but hey you can only try!!

    Thanks for making your travel posts on the one spot, so much easier!! Thanks for providing your email too, I'll be air to use it intone future!

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  4. So very exciting your travel plans, but you left off AUSTRALIA :)
    I did a bit of travelling growing up and haven't since we were married and had kids. We went to the US in February and the trip reminded me why I love to travel so much. I am definitely taking your lead and planning yearly trips for our family somewhere. Next year I want to take everyone to the south island of New Zealand. I have done it before but I want my husband and kids to experience it. It might be tricky with 4 kids, but I'm excited to take them on their first overseas holiday!!!

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  5. "At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you." Elizabeth Gilbert

    I understand you love travel, that is obvious but what is wrong with finding contentment at home? Be still and love that baby, find joy in the everyday. It sure seems like you're seeking for the big highs, this travel schedule is crazy!

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    1. hi! i really like that quote. i am not sure how to emphasize more emphatically how excited i am to slow down and be still as we we enter this new chapter of life. the replies to comments i have made above may give some context. we have to travel to the usa soon after the baby comes because of a big family event that i can share more about soon. i am struggling quite a lot with that timing and wish it could be different. after that we are not planning on traveling until thanksgiving, when we would like to be with family (especially because we live so far away from our parents and siblings and dearest friends) - and luckily we have family that will be a very short plane ride away! then, come december, when we have a bunch of time off, we will decide if we would like to travel a bit more to spots that are pretty close to home.

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    2. It has nothing to do with the family event, i get that. It has to do with the rest of the year. Sri Lanka, the Maldives etc etc. etc.

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    3. okay. we have been dreaming of that trip for a while so we booked it last month. that's all we have definitely planned for 2017 - the spring and summer plans are tentative (as i thought might be evident given there's no specific month attached). certainly taking one big overseas trip as a family isn't too, too crazy! :)

      thanks for sharing your perspective, and that beautiful quote!

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    4. Take as many trips as you like. If it's fine with the pediatrician, go.

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  6. To me you are an inspiration that with planning and determination you can achieve so much, go so many places/do things that at first might seem impossible.
    I feel your taste for wanderlust and often note that I thrive on keeping busy and on the go. I often feel my heart is bursting from so much wonder existing around the world and so little time to see/experience all and even when I˝m at times tired or overwhelmed from my own plans and the first steps are hard to take in the end I always feel it was worth it.
    and yes, there are people who don´t understand this. they wonder why I don´t use my energy and money for other things, and sit still more, but it´s perfectly normal I thinks, for all of us to be so different with different desires and aspirations. the important things is to make the decisions and be conscious that we make our decisions.(for example I choose to live in a minuscule flat instead of upgrading to a better one to be able to afford travelling. whenever I feel frustrated with aspects of it, I remind myself of why I am in this compromise; i don´t shy away from less comfortable means and hours of travel, all kinds of low budget accommodations, I am happy that we live in times when there are so many possibilities)
    I am not mormon and I certainly treat myself to things that you wouldn´t (some fine wine, drinks -not excessively though--, good coffee) and I actually sometimes wonder if not having these in my life would make a difference too in being able to stretch time and finances further....but that´s a whole other discussion :)))

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  7. Such exciting plans! I admire you for taking so much time to travel and discover new things. Would love to do the same!
    And, please, when you're in Belgium, I'd love to show you around :))

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  8. I truly don't understand why people give you such a hard time about your travel schedule. I think it's amazing that you want to keep seeing the world as much as possible, even with a baby in tow. I'm sure it'll be difficult and stressful at times to take these kinds of trips with your son when he's young, but that's something you and Ian will deal with. Not something that strangers on the internet need to be up in arms about. I grew up with parents who tried their best to show me the world, and I'm grateful to them for that. I'm sure your kid(s) will feel the same way.

    On a happier note, here's my favorite travel quote, and one of my favorite quotes of all time, to add to your list: "Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination." - Jhumpa Lahiri.

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  9. Sometimes I read the comments on your blog and almost wish you'd turn off the comments. You are wonderful. Your dreams and ambition is inspiring. I hate that others feel the need to bring you down.

    That being said I am 33 and had my first baby 4 months ago. I was so stressed before I had him by comments women made about how hard it would be. It has been such a natural, beautiful experience and I know it will be for you too! And I think you'll have know no problem traveling... Or I hope not because my baby and I will be traveling without my husband to Europe this summer for 3 weeks before he gets there and we travel another 3 with him. Thank you for the inspiration!!!

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  10. Exciting! I have loved seeing how your family travels. Growing up we did not travel much, mostly camping and Yellowstone every year, so hearing from you about how you traveled as a child was neat. My husband's family travels more mostly domestic travel, but now I love seeing new and familiar places. Once my husband is done with school we are hoping to go abroad with our son for a while. I work with people from all over the world and it is creating a huge desire in me to see more of the world and experience other cultures. Thanks for sharing. Oh and it wasn't as long or as far of a trip as you will take but we took a small road trip, about 4 1/2 hours away, when my son was a month old and he was awesome! For ehat it's worth I remember some advice my dad gave me and my aunt once about our children becoming used to what we do. He mentioned my child would probably be used to camping as a young child because we like to go camping, where my aunt's son wasn't as happy because it was out of his norm. This advuxe was gicen while we were csmong and my aunt's son was cery unhappy. I am guessing your child/children will find traveling to be natural because you make it that way. And if not like others have said you and your spouse will figure it out. Sorry for the unsolicited advice/comments. Best of luck and thank you for sharing your thoughts, insights, and perspective. I love reading your blog and experiencing, learning, and dreaming through you.

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  12. It's funny that you've posted this, because I was just counting yesterday how many countries I've been to, and I was SO disappointed to find out how few countries were on my list. And now I'm conflicted (as per usual) with all that I want to do in my life. Next summer, wanna go to a new country together?

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  13. I love your blog and your love for travel! I too have such a great desire to see and experience new things with travel..you are so so inspiring to me!

    My question is, with the craziness of the world and all the terrorist attacks going on, are you ever fearful? Do you have any fear of flying?
    Thank you for being such a positive light in the world!!

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  14. Yay for crazy travel plans!! I can say that our travels have brought the most discomfort/stress and the most fun for our family.

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  15. I believe people do what they believe they can do. I did so much with my little ones, and I've known others who use children as excuses for not being able to do anything or go anywhere. I love that you travel and I love that you share your travels. I have never been a materialistic person and I don't really put much value on things- I always said if I had the finances, I would take vacations and travel with my family, because we do get to keep memories and the relationships we build with loved ones. I love that your family appreciates the beauty of the world and you desire to see as much of it as you can. If you have the ability to do it--why not?!
    Thanks again for sharing your travels and adventures with us. I really do love seeing the world through all of your photos. Wishing you the best.
    Lisa in WA

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  16. I love your positive energy! You are so correct about fear. It serves no purpose in childbirth, marriage, travel planning, family life and life in general. Jesus admonished his followers over and over to fear not. Comparing our lives to others, especially as those lives appear on social media, is another form of fear. It prevents us from being creative and finding and following the unique path that God has laid out for us. I recently heard a most excellent and encouraging commencement address by Father James Martin. He reminded each and every one of us that to compare leads to despair. I wish everyone would remember that what people share on their blogs and social media is only a portion of their lives. You are not obligated to write about every thought, fear, insecurity, intimate moment. I do think you do a beautiful job of finding a balance and I find your blog very encouraging, inspirational and real. I'm the mom of six and have been married to my husband for 32 years. We've adventured with our children all over the world, including two trips to China to adopt our youngest two. My only piece of advice is be flexible, laugh a lot and stay positive! You will have even more fun travelling with that beautiful baby boy, as you know from your big beautiful family role models. I wish you a very blessed birth and a life of continued adventures.

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  17. When I had my first baby I thought it would be crazy to travel right away (especially on a plane). But I now realize that early on is the best /easiest time to take a baby on a plane. All they do is nurse and nap. I fee like I didn't get off my couch the first two months of my son's life! So, why not do that on a plane??

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  18. Oh geez, I'm just rolling my eyes as I'm reading through people's comments critical of your travel plans lol. You guys are awesome for making travel experiences together a priority. Everyone seems to think their own way of doing things is the right way when it comes to motherhood, which leads to some really unnecessary and critical interactions between women who should be supporting each other. I'm excited to hear about your experiences and tips for traveling with a little one!
    By the by, I'm so excited for you to see Dorset and the Jurassic Coast! Message me if you want any tips!

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  19. Ever concerned about your personal carbon footprint? Accepting personal responsibility is tough, but can be done...

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    1. It's a legit question. Just because you don't care about your carbon footprint, doesn't mean others can't.

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  20. Carbon footprint? do you not have another hobby whilst you sit in your trailer being jealous of their ability to travel?

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  21. Traveling with a new baby is the best way to travel! They fly for free, sleep on you constantly and easily, and can nurse during take off and landing. And they can sleep anywhere once you're in a new place. Toddlers are trickier but still doable. Seriously, travel away and have so much fun! We traveled quite a bit until my kids turned two. The price gets so expensive then, so we haven't gone anywhere in forever. :( love your blog!

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  22. I took my 3 week old across the USA for Christmas this last year and it was great! I had a two year old in tow too. I was a little nervous and stressed beforehand but seriously that newborn stage is a dream to travel with! They sleep all the time and don't care what the time change is etc. you'll have plenty of family to help too, I'm sure it will work out great! We also took our baby to Europe at 5 months and that was harder because of the time change but still very doable (as long as you accept the fact that sleep won't happen much). I was in Saydi's ward in Boston a couple years ago and that's how I stumbled upon your blog but I love reading about your travels! Everyone has a different threshold for travel, I love reading about how much you guys can handle!

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  23. Charity hello!! Two things. First, my grandparents just got called to be President and Matron of the London, England temple (they start November 1st) so you should definitely go say hello sometime :) They lived in England while your parents were mission president there I believe, so they know each other a little!! Second, have you ever been to Australia?! My dad is from there and I've visited four times and if you haven't been you need to move it to the top of your travel list. It is AMAZING I love it so much. It's beautiful and such a lovely culture that is just fun to explore and be around. So just some food for thought :) p.s...I think I've finished my New York/Boston itinerary (i emailed you several months ago asking for suggestions) and I'm so dang excited. It's going to be amazing. Also, my friend and I decided to stay one night in Boston just for a little extra time so I knew you'd be excited about that :) So now we should be able to easily fit in everything you recommended and some other things I found as well. Anyway, love your blog as always!!

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  24. Charity hello!! Two things. First, my grandparents just got called to be President and Matron of the London, England temple (they start November 1st) so you should definitely go say hello sometime :) They lived in England while your parents were mission president there I believe, so they know each other a little!! Second, have you ever been to Australia?! My dad is from there and I've visited four times and if you haven't been you need to move it to the top of your travel list. It is AMAZING I love it so much. It's beautiful and such a lovely culture that is just fun to explore and be around. So just some food for thought :) p.s...I think I've finished my New York/Boston itinerary (i emailed you several months ago asking for suggestions) and I'm so dang excited. It's going to be amazing. Also, my friend and I decided to stay one night in Boston just for a little extra time so I knew you'd be excited about that :) So now we should be able to easily fit in everything you recommended and some other things I found as well. Anyway, love your blog as always!!

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  25. Yay!!!! I'm delighted that you've added the World Travel portion!! I've loved your posts on different countries and things you did, and have been wishing I could just jump right to them or refer other friends so we can add some of the great ideas to trip planning - and now it's here! I noticed that you list Lake Como for May - I'm a little behind, so I probably missed the post, will have to keep scrolling backwards. :)

    No travel quotes to give you, because this one from Queen Victoria is the one that frequently comes to my mind when reading through the comments, and also when reading your experiences with others while on your travels: "The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them." It is very clear that you are eager to meet new people all over the world AND think well of them - one of the best of traits. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your Little Guy very soon, hope you sail through these final weeks with joy!

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