As you know Zach is graduating high school this year and as I’ve mentioned before my gift to them both when they graduate high school is to take them on a trip anywhere in the world for two weeks.

Zach has always been a big history buff (clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on that front!) ūüôā and so he’s chosen to backpack from Berlin to Prague, Vienna, Krak√≥w, Budapest, Salzburg, Munich before finding our way back to Berlin.

There’s no question that he has an ambitious itinerary for our 15 day trip, but as I think he’ll soon learn ‘less is more”. ¬†The opportunity to spend quality time in some of these cities vs. a day per city with travel time in between may be the best option, but then again its his trip not mine.

Last week I booked our flights for the first two weeks of August, mostly because its the high season and the longer I leave it the potentially more expensive flights and accommodations become. ¬†The good thing is that flights are now out of the way, and I’ve squarely placed the responsibility of owning the remainder of the travel details in terms of how long in each city, train schedules etc…on him to plan out.

I’m willing to help, but the grad present is also a lesson in learning how to live¬†and survive on the road with nothing but a backpack and¬†a few bare essentials. The intent is to teach him how to¬†look for deals – flights and hotels, book his trips, and generally hone his ability to explore this huge world in which we live in a smart and informed way.

I know he’s up for the challenge! ¬†When I was in Europe recently I grabbed him a Eurail map (yep, going old school) so he could chart out the trip, trains and length of stay in each city. ¬†Hey, remember I’m merely along for the ride and because its his trip the expectation is that he will do all the planning etc..

I’ve always been a big believer in travel as¬†the consummate classroom and¬†that to gain a real appreciation for a culture, people and a country there is no better way to learn about it and/or appreciate it than to travel there and explore all it has to offer.

I was 22 years old and frightened to death when I boarded my first flight…fortunately it only took one trip¬†to get me hooked. The feeling of excitement¬†as¬†the plane hurtles¬†down the runway before lifting its¬†nose and soaring into the air and knowing that you’re about to embark on a adventure is timeless.

Although a late bloomer if you will with regard to travel I’ve certainly made up for it in the subsequent years. ūüôā

Seriously its sheer bliss knowing that I’m going somewhere that will undoubtedly¬†lead me to a cool adventure. Nope, its truly the elixir of life in my book and I think that I’ve been able to provide Zach and Sami with a view into the world via¬†our travels.

I often wonder where my lust for travel and adventure came from?  Considering that my childhood consisted of zero travel, or holidays I suppose I dreamed of a different life so often that it eventually became deeply rooted in my psyche.

My year of backpacking around the world in 1985 was supposed to cure me of my wanderlust, but in actuality¬†only exacerbated my¬†thirst for it…and soon after arriving back into Australia began saving in ernest for my next trip.

And so it goes…

I suppose I’m passing the torch if you will to Zach and Sami in terms of developing a healthy appreciation of the world and all it has to offer.

Surprisingly I’ve had a few people challenge me on why I travel so much…what am I trying to run away from? What am I searching for? ¬†Why are you always traveling?

Clearly there are lots of¬†people that only know me through my blog, nor have they listened to my podcast series on iTunes – Reinvention – creating the life you want. ¬†Or visited my website to get a full appreciation for the life I’ve created for myself and¬†kids. ¬†Everything about my life has been purposefully planned, with lots of trade off along the way, but a life that is a¬†conscious choice in every aspect, not luck as some people might think.

I choose¬†to live life on my terms…full of travel, exploring and adventures¬†with no regrets or “wish I had’s” haunting me. ¬†As you know I’m a big believer in taking control of your life, after all there are¬†no guarantees. ¬†We have no idea when our expiry date is, hence I want to live every moment now…

So can’t wait for my backpacking adventure with Zach and the memories that we will create on this epic trip.

I just can’t wait to savor every minute of every day exploring with him…