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What Does Living a Travelful Life Mean?

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

To me travelful is many things … both the obvious and not so obvious. Yes, it means live a life full of travel and adventure. But it is so much more than that.

Travelful also means finding a way to fill your life with travel and adventure even when you can’t leave your home. This became especially important for me this last year after I closed my business and my COVID depression quacked into overdrive.

So how do you live a traveful life when you can’t just hop on a plane? This one took me a while to figure out. Let me share with you how I am now helping myself, and my depression, by living a travelful life even when I can’t travel. For me it is as easy as 1. 2. 3.

Okay … it wasn’t easy … it was ducking hard … but it came down to three things.

  1. Enjoying our community

  2. The mmm factor

  3. Family traditions

Focusing on these three things really helped me to enjoy life more, and keep travel in the front of my mind, even when I couldn't get on a plane and visit some exotic location. I hope these tips and tricks help you too.

Enjoy your community

FIRST … I recognize that I live a privileged life by living in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Sure we had to evacuate in August of 2020 because of the fire danger, but our neighborhood and those we know were all fine. Aside from the yearly threat of fire, I probably live in one of the most beautiful locations someone could ever want to live, with idyllic weather, high variety of outdoor activities, and large number of parks. Within a 1-hour driving radius of my house, there are world-renowned national parks, state parks, hiking, rock climbing, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, beaches … you get the idea.

Itsy Bitsy enjoying hiking along the Falls Creek Unit (August 2020)

And those are just the natural wonders. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the numerous farmer's markets, art shows, music festivals, community theater events, recreation days … you name it, we got it, for free, or low cost.

I know that not everyone can live along the central coast of California, and not everyone can have a State or National Forest for their daily commute and not everyone has the community organizations we do that are constantly hosting events. I’m ducking lucky. I get it. But every community has opportunities to be enjoyed.

Fat Mama Tip: Not sure where to go hiking? Don’t think there are any good trails near you? Check out AllTrails online or through their app. You can search by a known trail, region, or by the city you are in. I even LOVE the fact that you can search for “wheelchair friendly” trails which I always read as TWF friendly! So even if you are not surrounded by world famous parks like I am, you can still find fabulous ways to get quacking in the great outdoors.

Itsy Bitsy is a "rough and tumble princess" ready to run barefoot through a freezing creek with a flower in her hair.

In the summer of 2020, we started to enjoy the abundant State Parks our community has to offer. Our favorite adventures became hiking the Fall Creek Unit part of Henry Cowell State Park and the Porter Family Picnic Area in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Both offered easy hiking trails that 4-year olds Itsy Bitsy and Codster could do, and access to year-round creeks for some fun, refreshing water play. It felt so good to get outside. I had completely forgotten that travel doesn’t have to be a big to-do. Travel can be exploring the wonderful things your own community has to offer.

Codster and Itsy Bitsy taking a break from hiking (August 2020)

Exploring the State Parks in our own community also reminded me how important it was for Itsy Bitsy to be outside. She learned so much that summer from getting outside and doing. For her a travelful life was all about experiencing new things away from air conditioning and electronic input. She grew so much that summer, and ever since we have been doing more to explore the Parks of California.

Dr. Fabby Note: Not only is getting out in nature a great way to keep up your travelful lifestyle, it's also super-healthy for kids!! Current literature supports a positive relationship between nature contact and children’s health, both physical and mental.

The Mmm Factor

When I travel, I am a BIG fan of sampling the local fare. Whether that is wool from Wales, lavender from Washington, cheese curds from Wisconsin, green chili from New Mexico, or dark chocolate and coffee from Kauai. I also enjoy collecting different knickknacks from my travels, In particular, rubber ducks, cups, magnets, and post cards … plus the odd shelf adornment here and there.

Kauai cacao pods at Lydgate Farms (April 2021)

The point is, when I am at home, and I can’t travel, these are all things that make me think about my travels. They make my life feel full and transport me, even for just a moment, back to where the item came from. It’s the comforting “mmm” as I sip my Poipu Estate Roast Coffee from the Kauai Coffee Co. or the “mmm” of snuggling into my warm wool scarf from Wales on a cold winter morning. The mmm factor.

Recently we traveled to Yosemite, and whenever possible, I would go into the gift shops at welcome centers because I was looking for specific things. A t-shirt, rubber duck (found two awesome ones), patches, coffee mug, trail book … etc. The point is, as an adult who collects things, I had a very clear idea of what I was looking for and what I wanted to purchase. I knew what items were going to give me the mmm factor at home.