Travel Transcends Age

Someone recently asked me if I feel too old to be traveling? Don’t you just want to stay home and relax, Kristen? Isn’t it exhausting–all that packing, walking, dealing with airport delays, standing in customs lines, etc? Isn’t travel for those in their 20’s?

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Here’s my response:

Aging is a privilege.  We can complain about it, give in to the aches and pains, give up on taking care of ourselves and let the aging process dominate our existence.  We can sit in our homes day in and day out and live each day as a repeat of the day before.  I believe this disease is called GHDS–Ground Hogs Day Syndrome. (actually made that one up but it applies!)

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Our French Exchange Student- Finding Common Ground

Hi All! It’s Brooke.  To summarize our first week with our French Exchange student, I have to be honest; it was not easy and not what I expected.  Our student, Auriane, is extremely shy and introverted–probably the most shy person I’ve ever encountered in my entire life.  At first I thought she was just probably terrified, but have come to see that besides the fear of being across the world from your family in a country where you barely speak the language, she truly is just a very timid person.  I, on the other hand, am probably the most vocal, outgoing person, so our personalities really conflicted.

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The Henderson Castle-A Royal Trip Back in Time

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While visiting Kalamazoo for my son’s college orientation at Western Michigan University, we had the incredible opportunity to spend a night at The Henderson Castle.  This delightful step back in time was more than we could have hoped for and was an enchanting reminder of our trip to Europe a few years ago when we resided in an Austrian castle.  Immediately upon entering, our senses were ignited with the spark of history–the aroma of old wood, the creaking of the original flooring and the soft melody of piano transported us to a royal destination.

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Gettin’ Our Kicks on Route 66

Hey guys! It’s Brooke.

So on our way back from our incredible Southwest National Parks Tour, Jon, our guide, surprised us with an awesome stop along Route 66, saying our trip wouldn’t be complete without a nostalgic pit stop along this iconic route.

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Meson Sabika– A Restaurant That Nourishes The Soul

 

Not sure if it’s my Italian blood, but fine dining ranks right up there with breathing.  Over the years, I’ve had significantly memorable experiences at many beautiful restaurants around the world, but there are only a handful  that could be described as feeding more than just one’s appetite.  Meson Sabika is one of those quintessential  cuisines that is in a class all its own—an experience that feeds your soul.

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Pack For A Purpose and Sandals Foundation-Making a Difference One Book at a Time

Being a teen travel and life-style blogger is more than I could ever have dreamed of.  Having the opportunities to travel all over the country and world have been such a blessing. I am grateful for each and every trip, journey, excursion and adventure.

But now it is time for me to give back.  Since I began travel blogging with my mom, we have both said we want our purpose to be meaningful.  At first we weren’t sure exactly what that looked like. Inspiring girls to travel and take risks seemed obvious at the time, and is still an aspiring goal.  However, being an influencer, I feel there are more important jobs to be done.  There are animals suffering, refugees ill and lost without homes, homeless people cold and alone, girls that cannot attend schools due to lack of hygienic products, schools that barely have resources for students to learn and the list unfortunately goes on and on. I have been asking myself for months, ‘What can I do to make a difference?’

And then fate took flight!

A few weeks ago my mom was contacted by another mom whose daughter follows Pedisnpassports. Her name is Gabi Frank, a 13-year-old girl from Downers Grove.  She told me she has collected 2,000 books for children in the Caribbean through Pack for a Purpose and Sandals Foundation. I was so thrilled to hear about this noble charity and immediately wanted to partake.

Pack for a Purpose was founded by Rebecca Rothney and a team of a few wonderful volunteers. Their mission is “to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travelers who want to bring meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit.”

If you are planning a vacation, you should definitely go to their website and see if the community you are visiting is in need of any supplies. I mean what is better than going on an amazing vacation and helping people simultaneously.

Pack for a Purpose provides supply lists on its website for destinations in over 60 countries. The needed items range from school supplies, to personal hygiene, to clothing and all sorts of items (many other requested items). People all over the world are in need and if you are fortunate enough to travel, it is a humanitarian responsibility to give back.

So Gabi and I are asking for your help. We would like to collect 3,000 new and gently used books for children ages 3-6 years old for libraries in Jamaica.  We cannot accept encyclopedias or textbooks.

If you are willing to donate a book or two, please email us at: pedis.n.passports@gmail.com or HLaw97@comcast.net as soon as you possibly can for shipping/drop off address informtion.  We are planning to visit the students at their schools in Jamaica this fall.

Please spread the word and help make a difference one book at a time.

Sincerely,

Brooke Noelle