Tag Archives: travel

Headed for parts very well-known

DSCN0668This past year has been a whirlwind of travel for me. It seems like every time I turn around I am either planning a trip, taking a trip or just getting back from one. One of my friends jokingly asked me if I planned to spend any time at home this summer. I laughed, and answered, “Maybe a day or two.” In hindsight, I don’t feel like I was that far off.

In the past year, I have been to New Orleans, Las Vegas, North Carolina (twice), Georgia (twice), Florida (twice-once to Disney World and once to Tampa), and Colorado. Looking into this year, I will be heading off to Florida four times (once to Tampa, twice to Disney World and once to Universal Studios), Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Georgia (at least twice), Greece, Italy, and probaby Charleston, South Carolina (once or twice…it’s up in the air right now). I would be heading back to Tampa a second time, but two days would overlap my Greece/Italy trip, so I had to put that trip off another year.

And these are just the trips I have planned. Who knows what other opportunties might present themselves to me.

close up Oxford CakeI’ve always loved to travel and this blog, which I have neglected for WAY TOO LONG, is littered with posts about fun places I’ve discovered while traveling (mostly within the U.S.). I have a habit of finding fun, quirky little corners of the world that far too many other people neglect in their haste to only see the big, splash sights. I love avoiding crowds and seeing quirky things like the Tree That Owns Itself in Athens, Georgia; historical things like Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh castleScotland; haunting things like The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City; and delicious things like The Cake Shop in Oxford, England.

It is partly because of my love of actually traveling and partly because of my love for trip planning that I decided to add another hat to the many I already wear and become a Magical Vacation Planner. I spent about a month going through quite a bit of training, taking lots of quizes about amazing destinations, and taking oh so many notes about all the different ways I could help other people make their vacations as magical and as mine have been.

It sounds hokey, I know. But in my 22 years as a teacher, one of my biggest joys has been taking students on trips around the the world. I am just about bursting with excitement about our trip to Greece and Italy this coming June. I can’t wait to start having meetings with my kids so that I can get them every bit as hyped up as I am. I want to help them find the quirky, historical, haunting and delicious parts of the world they didn’t even know existed.

For this reason, becoming a Magical Vacation Planner makes perfect sense to me. Instead of just dreaming about my next big trip somewhere cool, I get to help other people plan their big events. Although I’m just starting out, I am already having so much fun. Today I got to send a client suggestions for places at Disney World where she can surprise her husband with a delicious dinner for his 50th birthday. I also got to give her all kinds of tips for rides that her kids are going to love (it’s their first trip). And, when I put in their reservation, I got to work with Disney to add an extra little surprise for them all. What’s not to love about this new gig?

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Yes, I know it’s going to be extra work, especially on those nights when I have 90 essays that I also need to grade, but to me it is completely worth it. I’ve already gotten several excited messages from my clients about all the cool suggestions I’m making to them. I get to hear their excitement and it makes me want to work twice as hard to make it as perfect as possible. As much as I do love teaching (and despite it being year 22, I still do), I find every minute I spend planning helping people plan their vacations even more exciting! I have a meeting with another client this coming Saturday and I cannot wait!

I love bringing a little extra magic into people’s lives!

 

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Filed under chocolate, cool links, cool places, Disney World, entertainment, food, life as a teacher, love, Magical Vacation Planner by Shannon Schiller, travel, what makes me me

Wildcard Wednesday: I’m the birthday girl

Yes, that’s right, it’s my birthday. Happy 43! Wait, am I 43…let me do the math again…yes, I am 43 today. I don’t know if it is a sign of my age or a sign that birthdays have become much less of a to do or a sign that I am still trying to hold on to being younger than I am, but I almost always have to stop and really think about how old I am.

I don’t generally consider myself someone who is embarrassed by my age. If someone really wants to know, I have no trouble giving it. In fact, I’ve used it quite often in debates on social media when someone gets condescending and tells me that when I get a little older I’ll understand. This happens to me quite a bit since a) I have always looked younger than my age and b) I have a lot of friends on social media who are former students who are quite a bit younger than I am. Many of the other “adults” in their lives like to blow off their opinions and insights because they don’t have enough “life experience.” I’ve had quite a few people who clearly just assume I am also college-aged based merely on my association with former students and try to belittle me in the same way. That’s when I’m thrilled to throw my age out there as a badge of honor.

I know some people still make much ado about their birthdays, but I am not one of those people. It’s not because I don’t like a good soiree. It’s because my birthday always comes during crunch time at school (my AP Lit test is once again on my birthday this year). Plus, I have two elementary aged kids and a lack of babysitters in the area, so I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like. Generally my family goes out for dinner and sometime near my birthday I’ll get together with some of my good friends for a girls’ dinner or brunch. And that is fine by me.

I’ve even gotten bad about helping my husband figure out gifts for me. I think I’ve hit that age that if I really want something, I’ll just go buy it myself. Why wait to get it as a present? I’m not a jewelry person. I have a dozen or so necklaces, and maybe half as many bracelets, but I just forget to wear them. I always want books, but if I truly tried to feed my literary addiction, I’d be broke. Mostly I borrow from the library (thankfully I have the public and school varieties to pick from). I like music, but usually I listen to audio books in the car. I’m very picky about my clothing, so that’s usually not a good gift. Chocolate is always an option, but there is only so much chocolate one can get. That basically leaves small, knick knacky items and I have so many of those.

It’s not that I don’t want presents. I’m getting older, but I’m still human! I just can never think of any specific thing that I want. In reality, what I really want is to travel the world and see everything. But unfortunately, that’s not in the budget. I know it is frustrating for my husband as he wants to get me something I’ll really like. I just never know what that is.

So, it’ll be interesting to see what he gives me tonight at dinner.

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