We are a family of three who lives high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Ever since our son Eli was born, we have tried to take advantage of every opportunity to travel as a family. We’ve found spending time together without the distractions of day to day life to be invaluable.
Here is our story –
Hi, I’m Diane, the author, and creator of this blog. After years of hard work I finally have my dream job – full time stay at home mom. I adore spending time with my family. I’m in my element when I’m outdoors hiking, snowboarding, stand up paddle boarding, and camping. I’m a passionate cook, an avid reader, and a huge fan of anything travel related. My parents always loved to travel and instilled the travel bug in me at a young age. Growing up my family moved a lot so life on the go has always been normal for me.
My husband Chad is a restaurant owner, fisherman, snowboarder, chef, and the most wonderful husband and father in the world. He is an avid hunter and not only hunts but also processes his own meat and makes homemade sausage. Our freezer is always full of elk or deer. Chad grew up completely opposite me. He lived in the same house from the time he was born until he moved away to college.
Our son Eli is a happy, outgoing, fearless, adventurous kid. He’s quite a talker; we always joke that he started talking really young because he has so much to say and needed more time to get it all out. Eli has loads of personality and is constantly making us laugh. His favorite things are riding his bike, baseball, skiing, playing outside, legos, and nerf guns.
Chad and I met in college and instantly hit it off. We are so completely opposite. Chad is extremely outgoing and personable and I’m a bit of an introvert. Chad is a little high strung and I’m very laid back.
I opened Chad’s eyes to travel not long after we met and he was instantly hooked.
It took us both a long time to graduate from college because we spent three summers in Alaska working near Denali National park and one winter working at a ski resort in Colorado.
We got married days after graduating from college, spent one more summer in Alaska, and then moved back to the mountains of Colorado.
We both scored full-time year-round jobs and felt fortunate because those are hard to come by in a ski resort town.
A few years later Chad had the opportunity to buy the restaurant he was managing (long story).
It was a drastic change; from being seasonal workers who moved every six months, to working full time and owning a business.
Luckily our settled lifestyle didn’t stop our travel adventures.
Where we live in Colorado we have what the locals call “mud season” from mid-April until the end of May. It’s when the ski resorts close for the season but there’s still too much snow and mud for any summer activities. We don’t really have spring here at an elevation above 9,000 feet. It goes from
It’s like a ghost town here during mud season, hardly any tourists at all.
Mud Season became our travel time.
Money was tight when Chad was working to get the restaurant established but we’d funnel every extra dollar into our travel fund.
During the ski season, Chad would be working 80 to 100 hours a week (restaurants are so much work). He would stay motivated during those long months knowing that mud season was right around the corner.
As soon as the ski resorts closed he’d close the restaurant for the six weeks of mud season. I’d save up all of my vacation time from work and we’d take off to see the world. We went on so many epic adventures together over the years.
A Family Of Three
We were both really young when we got married so we waited about five years before we thought about having kids. Little did we know at that time, we didn’t have much control over how or when we’d become parents.
It took us 7 years and a lot of heartbreak for our miracle Eli to finally join our family.
Words can’t even describe how happy we were when Eli was born. I tell Eli every day that I’m the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world to have him.
Although Eli’s arrival had been much anticipated, we were like all new parents and had no idea what life would be like with a new baby. We knew we still wanted to travel but weren’t sure about the logistics of bringing baby Eli along.
The opportunity to travel came when Eli was four weeks old. My brother’s wedding in Alaska was planned for two weeks after Eli’s due date and there was no way we could travel with a two-week-old baby. Well, it turned out that Eli arrived two weeks early.
We were hesitant to even ask our pediatrician if we could bring Eli (we didn’t want him to think we were completely crazy). But, he surprised us by giving us the green light to go. So, off we went to Alaska for 10 days for my brother’s wedding when Eli was one-month-old.
I’ll admit it was hard at times but it was such a great experience. It was amazing to spend those 10 days adjusting to life with baby Eli, surrounded by family, in a place that we love. Ever since we’ve been traveling as much as possible, learning as we go.
Has our travel style changed since becoming parents? Definitely. Although we still traveled a lot; for the first few years we chose to travel close to home. Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico were as far as we ventured. When Eli was three we started traveling into Central America.
Is traveling with Eli always easy? No, traveling, in general, can be difficult at times. When you throw a child into the mix it’s definitely harder. I’ve had Eli’s diaper blow out onto my lap on a flight (without a change of clothes handy for either of us). Then there was the time we were in a highrise hotel in Cancun Mexico. Three-year-old Eli ran down the hall ahead of us to push the elevator button. The elevator happened to be open and he got in and the door shut before we could stop it. He was gone and we had no idea where he was headed. After a frantic 15 minutes going floor to floor, we finally found him waiting patiently on a bench near the pool.
Is it worth it? Absolutely! Seeing the look on Eli’s face when we’re on a hanging bridge in the jungle of Costa Rica and the howler monkeys start their spooky chorus all around us; or, Eli’s excitement roasting marshmallows over a volcanic vent in Guatemala is priceless.
What does the future hold?
Our dream is to take off for a few years and travel the world as a family. We’re constantly looking into every possible option to make this dream a reality.
For now, we’re either planning a trip, traveling, or just enjoying family life in the mountains.
Come join us on our adventures.