Sigh… I’m a happy gal right now. It’s near 11 p.m. on Thursday evening, my boys are playing on the iPad (shock! horror!), and my mom is sitting next to me. Tonight, we had so much fun.

For those of you who came, thanks.

I absolutely loved seeing all your kids—mamas sling-adorned with three-month-olds, strollers rolling back and forth in shushing cadence while we chatted, kids running around fully imbibed with cupcakes. There’s not much more that makes my heart happy.

For those of you stuck in airports iced over, thank you for your kind tweets, DMs, and texts. Sorry you were stranded—I hope you’ve made it to Austin okay.

Blue Bike launch party
Blue Bike launch party
Blue Bike launch party
Blue Bike launch party
Blue Bike launch party
Blue Bike launch party

And for those of you who’ve read here daily this week, thanks for your genuine support—your comments mean the world to me.

These friends have written about living intentionally this week, and I’m encouraged by their words:

Keep on showing us those blue bikes (the proper and common noun variety) on Instagram, enter Thomas Nelson’s DisneyWorld giveaway while there’s still time, and if you’d like to receive the e-book and art, you’ve got till tomorrow to order the book (tomorrow—that’s like 24 hours!).

woman walking a bike
Photo source

It’s not an accident that I’ve kept writing about travel for this last day. If you’ve already read Blue Bike, you know how it ends…. it ends with travel. My family and I, storing the blue bike with the padded white seat and metal basket in the garage, strapping on our backpacks, and showing the flight attendant our passports.

There’s not much I’m dogmatic about, save this—I believe everyone should travel, even just a little.

I was 15 on my first international foray, to Russia, and I’ve been bit by the travel bug ever since. The majority of my formative moments in my 20s happened cross-culturally, and I don’t think that’s an accident.

All five senses are engaged when nothing around you seems normal—and that’s when the good stuff happens. Sure, we introverts have to couple that with lots of down time, but that’s what a good book and a pair of earbuds on a high-speed train is for. To not step into the unknown because it’s unknown is asking for a lifelong two-dimensional perspective. That Augustine was on to something.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. -Augustine

It doesn’t stop when you settle into parenthood, either. Any sort of positive shared experience strengthens a family bond, but there’s something magical about travel that acts as a superglue. The sheer quantity of time together during travel means a tighter relationship, but when you’re collectively thrust out of your comfort zone, your family unit becomes the truest thing you know. Sometimes you cling to it like your life depended on it. And in the end, you’ll have shared stories for the rest of your life that’ll reunite your family with each telling. There’s not much better glue out there.

This summer, I’ll start sharing more of how my family and I plan our travels, especially as we gear up for our year-long trip around the world that starts this fall. I can hardly wait to share what we’re learning—we’re chomping at the bit to get on that transpacific plane already, but it’s not quite time. Not yet. But soon.

In the meantime, start mulling over how you can save pennies for more travel in your life. You won’t regret it, and your life just might be saved for the better.