Feed Your Passion! What I Learned At WITS 2016

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The worst part of travel is coming back to your daily life. After spending a fantastic weekend in Irvine last weekend attending the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), hosted by Wanderful, I am all of a sudden deluged with the responsibilities of running a home — laundry for my family, meal planning and grocery shopping for the week, unpacking from my trip, updating our family budget and expense tracker, and straightening up the house after the kids have spent all day making a complete mess of it. On top of all that, I come back to work to find 143 unread emails in my inbox which I had been ignoring all weekend, along with pending deadlines that were waiting upon my return. This past weekend, I had met so many amazing, inspiring, and fearless travelers, but I wonder how many of them got to go home to something like the organized chaos that my daily life often is.

There is some comfort in knowing that this arrangement is not permanent. One day, my kids will be old enough to do their own laundry. One day, my husband will not be so overwhelmed with work and freelance that he will actually be able to help me with planning meals for the week or chores around the house. One day, we will be able to return to a somewhat normal routine that doesn’t require so much micro-management. But in the mean time, I have what I have. And all I can do is try and carve out some time during my day to pursue my passions and interests.

One of the biggest takeaways I gained from WITS was that in the end, everything we do is because we are passionate about doing it. I am lucky to be able to work in a field that allows me to o something meaningful and feel connected with the world. I am lucky that my work affords me the means and the time to explore the world. And I am lucky that I am able to bring my family along for the ride. This past weekend, my husband and kids accompanied me to Irvine, and even though I was away from them for most of the day, I did get to spend my evenings with my family, which always feels like a blessing. I am following my passion for travel, connections, and exploration, and with this blog, I am hoping that other parents will be inspired to follow their own passions, whatever they may be.

The kids playing with their food at Joe’s Crab Shack
at Newport Beach (March 2016)

There were so many inspiring sessions and memorable moments from WITS, from getting to meet my travel blogging idol, Erin Bender from Travel With Bender, to hearing the incomparable Catrice Jackson of Catriceology speak about living your personal brand. By far, my favorite session was a panel discussion on how you can be a mom and travel too. Although I didn’t learn anything new from the session (I’ve been a traveling mom for eight years!) it did make me realize that I do have some level of expertise when it comes to family travel. I’ve been doing family travel since 2008, with kids of all different age groups. When I think about my past travel experiences, I realize that I can provide all sorts of family travel tips, from road tripping with a three month old infant, to how to keep a teenage boy engaged during a family trip. My goal now for next year’s WITS is to be a speaker in one of the panel discussions, because, damn it, I have a lot of things to say about travel!

This is all to say that after a weekend of learning and soul searching, I am all revved up and ready to take on this blogging thing with full force. Stay tuned for new developments and new directions for this blog!

Panel discussion on moms and travel at WITS 2016 (March 2016)

Did you attend WITS 2016? Share your thoughts on the conference in the comments.

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2 Responses

  1. It was so great to meet you at WITS and you should definitely be a speaker for WITS'17! I did not make it to the Yes You Can Be a Mom and Travel panel, but I wish I did. I'm not a mother, but feel like it would be good to know for the future!

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I'm a travel-loving mom of three from Seattle. Join our adventures as we explore the Pacific Northwest and the world!

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