This is a log of the Adventures of …

The Glassblowing Travelers

Our adventure will start in Palo Alto, California, August 2010.  We will have packed up our stuff, gotten rid of a whole lot more, *** unburdened ourselves! *** and began backpacking as “vagabonds for a year,” wandering around the world, meeting a whole heap of people, learning about who they are as people, cultures, and desires, and taking with us not only many photographs, but amazing memories and experiences to share with other who wish to hear from us.

It’s been a mind-expanding experience just THINKING about going on this adventure.  As a dream of mine since I was in fifth grade – which is ironically how old Amy is now – I have heard this as a wish from many other people when I mention what we are going to do for a year.

Since I am now in my fifties, my question to those who WISH they could go around the world – “What are you waiting for?”  My “Bucket List” is LONG, and I have many places to see, things to do, dishes to taste, chocolates to eat!

Once decided and the planning began, I felt it was a load off my shoulders, to know I could determine my destiny, direction, and desires.  For the kids, their anticipation, fears and concerns, and their curiosity piqued, they have been such wonderful sports and game for what we are about to embark!

For my son, Chris, a high school graduate, his dream was to blow glass for as long as he could before he starts college.  One year was his plan – at “hot spots” around the States.  Since we both are glass artists, I proposed traveling the world to expand our horizons, and our thoughts immediately went to Murano, Venice, Italy.  Blowing there will be the high point of our trip – Mecca to glassblowers.  Hence, it happens near the end of our travels.

While planning our travel, Amy felt left out and piped up, suggesting that she ought to go with us, and that I could home school her!  It was a tough choice for her to give up being on the gymnastics team, her first year in that venerable spot.  After months of indecision, the coaches decided – they scheduled the team to compete in January 2011.  It was too far off, so it made sense for Amy to join us as originally planned.

I am thankful for my travel companions, who themselves are flexible, accommodating, and open-minded for what may come.  May our skills, knowledge and experiences get us through the travel.  Our goal is to “live by our wits.”  This is different from book knowledge.  It involves “on-the-fly” learning of situations in which we will find ourselves, assessing the what’s on hand, and then playing by the “local rules.”  The experience will keep us in the Present, aware of our surroundings, who we are with, and … ALIVE with our five sense!

I would like to thank Rolf Potts, the author of Vagabonding – an Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, published in 2003, the same year I allowed the germ of travel back into my life!  I would also like to thank Tim Engler, a friend who told me about the round-the-world trip tickets, Rolf Potts’ book, and who encouraged me as well as showed me that my dream was possible by taking off and traveling himself in March 2010.  I would also like to thank Eugene (Yevgeniy) Aseykin, a Russian web designer (www.CreativeRoads.us), a graduate of San Jose State University who lives in Brazil, though his business is based in the Bay Area.  That’s the strength of partnerships!  I am also very thankful for my chocolate partner, Olena Poplavska, who has bravely and gamely taken on the fledgling Not Your Normal Chocolates business (www.NotYourNormalChocolates.com) I started in January 2010.  Please DO support her and our business by ordering from our website, shops, or at our Samples Events!

Wish us the best,

Namaste – the best in me to the best in you,



5 Responses to About

  1. Chandra says:

    Wow! What an adventure! I have dreamed of travel since I was a little girl too, but am single and can’t leave my job. How great that your two kids can go along with you. I’m curious, is your husband staying at home working to pay for all of this? or did you win the lottery 🙂 ? How did you find such a wonderful partner?

    • I had a bit of money saved from investments, and not based on any partner. I have been separated since 2002, and once we leave, our living expenses and trip funds will be based on this limited budget. When my son graduated, I figured that that money would have gone to him anyway, so decided to use it for us to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip together.

      Of course, my daughter didn’t want to be left out, so she suggested I home school her so that she could join us, too! They’re both great travelers, and very flexible, pleasant, and would truly appreciate seeing the world.

      They’re not the touristy type, so living and being amongst the people and cultures in the countries would give them the connection and understanding more so than if we were just visiting for a vacation. We are going to the countries because we want to interact with populace. This would be worth spending every penny I have!

      As for the money, when it runs out (though our RTW tickets will be already paid for), we will then have to use our wits to make more to get to the next stop! THAT is the REAL reason we’re vagabonding it!

      The inspiration? Around the World in 80 Days – the original version with David Niven (right?). It wasn’t Phineas Fogg that was the interesting character so much as his man servant, Paspatu (sp?), who seemed quite capable of handling himself and others quite well. A wonderful role model to keep in mind if and when we get into any trouble!

  2. Youngsin says:

    I genuinely admire your courage! This is something many people wish for but most of people can not do. Best wishes. I know you, Amy and Chris will have a lot of fun!

  3. Chandra says:

    Wow again! What an incredible gift you are giving to your kids. You are very brave to do it all by yourself like that. Several of my friends home-school their kids and they love doing it. How does it work traveling, with the books and all of that?

    • Chandra, I’m hoping to have everything pretty much online. The most I’ll consider bringing might be some CDs from a group that promotes homeschooling and has their curriculum on the CDs. It costs only $200, so I’m wondering what’s on the CDs. Last time I home schooled was when we spent a month abroad September to October in Greece and one week in UK. My oldest was also in 5th grade (as my daughter is now), so I have books from that time – and remember how heavy those books were. Of course, it didn’t help that Chris was 3-years-old and an avid rock collector. Beaches at Crete are rocky, not sandy… so, … lots of rocks at our doorstep where we stayed. We limited him to bringing five of them home.

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