Our Summer Away…
This is one of those posts that I am not sure how to write. I did not start nor do I continue to write a blog to sound anything but genuine, heartfelt, sincere and passionate about design and about life. I am fully aware that I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to travel and design and live a life full of adventure. Mark and I forwent our entire college life to build a life we began to envision together at a very young age. Not one single day of it has been easy and together we have probably been through more ups, downs and in-betweens in our marriage, in our health and in our finances than most ever will in their lives. And I do try and share lots of that as inspiration here on the pages of my blog. But as you know, I also just share pretty much everything. Our home and our family and yes, our travels…
Mark says I worry too much but I guess some things will never change. I really just wanted to say that I know this post is crazy and I am in fact very grateful for the opportunities I have in my life. Although this Summer-ing thing we do may not be accessible to everyone, I just always hope to inspire women to go for their dreams. Whatever that may mean for them. We as women are strong and we are capable and we are enough. If we want to do things in life, we can do it. I am living proof. I said many many many years ago that I just want to live all over the world. And I want a career and I want kids. I will make it all work. Somehow. And in some way.
As I first shared about this same time last year, I decided to start “moving away” for part of the Summer every year. A dream to live all over the world that I have dreamed for as long as I can remember. You can READ THAT POST HERE. I had this crazy idea one day that my girls and I could “live” and adventure somewhere new each Summer and then Mark could come and go as he pleased. And was able to get away from our companies. I just wasn’t sure how far fetched this dream would seem once the words left my mouth.
But last Summer for our kick-off year, it worked. And we are hooked. The girls and I had an absolutely incredible Summer living in Portland, Oregon. We put 2,300 miles on our rental car, played in 11′ of snow in June, rode a mile high summit to the top of Mt. Hood, watched sea lions swim in a river, saw a bald eagle fly out of it’s nest, hiked up the second tallest waterfall in the United States, visited lavender farms, went whale watching off the coast of Canada and made more memories that Summer than probably the entire year combined. The girls still reference the trip every chance they get.
For this upcoming Summer, I played around with quite a few ideas. First I was set on doing the Vancouver and Banff areas of Canada. And then I thought maybe the NorthEast Coast of the United States. But then one day I just decided to go for it. I want to live in France for the Summer. A dream I’ve had since minoring in French in college. I want to visit Paris and live on the coast. I want my girls to experience Europe and be immersed in another culture and in another language. For me personally, seeing the world has shown me that there is so much more to this life than Monroe, Georgia. It has given me dreams larger than life and the passion to put those dreams to work. It has shown me that there is so much in this World to see and do and pursue. And that is what I want for my girls. I want them to see it all, do it all and then decide what they want for themselves one day.
So this Summer we are living in Europe for a month and a half. Almost one month in France and the rest we have actually decided to spend in Switzerland as well. There is definitely .0001% of me that is the tiniest bit nervous about it all but adventure is my love language and I am up for the challenge. Mark will be once again “bringing us” and “picking us up” and helping me get accustomed to driving there and all of those fun things. The girls will be taking French language camps in Antibes, France and hopefully making lots of new friends. We are planing to drive all over and experience everything we possibly can. To say we are all excited would be the understatement of the century. Here’s a peek at where all we are spending the Summer…
Image Via: Thrillest
Image Via: TimeOut
Image Via: Green-Acres.com
Image Via: HapiMag
Image Via: Pinterest
Image Via: LonelyPlanet
Image Via: Tui.co.uk
Image Via: Tui.co.uk
Feel free to leave your travel suggestions!!!
XOXO, Brittany Hayes
Hollie M says
Sounds amazing! We are avid travelers and I love the idea of being able to take your time and really explore. You should be fine with driving – with the exception of the UK and other former English colonies like Australia and NZ, most of Europe including France and Switzerland drive on the right. Same as us 🙂
Brittany Hayes says
Oh my gosh you are so right! I don’t know what I was thinking! LOL. Mark and I have been all over Europe twice now but it was over ten years ago. Hard to remember anymore! So excited! Thanks for sharing! XOXO
The best thing about traveling with young children in Europe is that Europeans have so much respect and care so much fir the little ones. No waiting in lines fir anything. It starts at the airport when someone comes straight by you and escorts you and the kids to the beginning of the line. Same at the museums .
An important note however. Make sure you have change for restrooms. For someof them require you to pay before you can use! Happy traveling .
That will be great! My parents lived in the 7th arr. in Paris. My mom did all her shopping on Rue Cler which is a really cute street without car traffic not far from the Eiffel Tower. Your girls will love the Metro. We also went to Disneyland Paris. It was fun! Go to Versailles and if you can rent a boat behind the castle. Monet’s Gardens too! My favorite museum is Musee D’Dorsey. Lots of impressionist paintings in the old train station. My son loved going to buy his fresh baguette every day. And going to the top of everything…Arc, Eiffel Tower, and Norte Dame.
I can’t wait to read about your trip.
Brittany Hayes says
How cool! I bet that was so incredible for her to live there. I LOVE Paris. Mark and I have been twice but haven’t taken the girls. Addison would LOVE all of those museums and castles/homes! Thanks so much for sharing! XOXO
Haley Haas says
I live in Switzerland, originally from Nebraska! Don’t leave out Bern, it’s a beautiful city! Stop by and visit!
Brittany Hayes says
Oh wow that sounds AMAZING! How fun! I have heard it’s amazing! Will have to add Bern to my list. Thank you! XOXO
Sorry to Hijack this post, but haley can you please give me some info of must see places in Switzerland? Planning a trip this summer. What are our best options in terms of hotels/air bnb?
Kelly Ward says
I’ve traveled all over the world and Lake Geneva in Switzerland is heaven on earth. It is simply breathtaking. The lake stretches between France and Switzerland with the tip of the lake reaching to Montreux. The train is awesome and you can see so much of the countryside by train that you may not even need a car. Be prepared for a really high cost of living. Two meals at Burger King at the airport was in the $26 range. That was 2 years ago, so hopefully prices have gone down. It is worth it though!! Enjoy!
Brittany Hayes says
Thanks for sharing! I will definitely make sure and add Lake Geneva to my list! I have heard that about it being super expensive. Looks like we may be cooking in a lot ;-)! XOXO
This is such an amazing choice!!!! I am headed to Switzerland this summer for a vacation – I can’t wait to hear more about what your plans are! PS – having two girls about the same ages, I think this is the very best thing you can do for them. What a fantastic opportunity you have – good on you for taking it.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for what you have, you both worked hard for it, you deserve whatever blessings come your way. You never sound boastful, nor does it come across as rubbing our noses in it. You choose to share parts of your life in all its forms and we are lucky to come along for the ride….even if it is through stories and photos.
I traveled abroad for the first time with my husband this past September and we stopped over in Paris for 2 days before going to Italy. I have to say, Paris was my favorite and I was def. not expecting that! I am itching to go back and explore around so I cant wait to read about your adventures.
Love the idea Brittany , but I want to ask… how in the world does someone afford to do ALL of this ?? I mean my husband and I own two business and make pretty dang good money but all the high end expensive furniture you buy, the home decorations in your house, the traveling. How in the world do y’all afford all of this without putting it all on credit cards ??? I loveeeeee following you And all do respect , I want to know how ??? I know I’m not the only curious one too ….
Katherine Kennedy says
You should go to Europe for the summer. It is VERY affordable. My family traveled around Europe for six months and another time for a month and a half. You can rent apartments that are reasonable-especially if you don’t stay right in Paris. If you stay out by Disneyland Paris or on the coast, you can get great deals. Also, a lot of places will give you a discount if you stay 30 days. For flights, you can sign up for flight trackers that will alert you of good deals. My daughter is a graduate student (she doesn’t have money), and she is traveling to Europe for spring break. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, there are other options like Eurocamp, Keycamp, or hostels. I have stayed a Eurocamp with my family, and there were a lot of young families from London there. Also, if you have a lot of followers on social media and are willing to share where you stay, you most likely will stay for free.
Ahhh so fun! I’m here to comment and say not to worry about how the post may come off to some….you guys work HARD so you can play hard! I love that you’re showing your girls that!! Go, Mama, go! And also setting a good example for what kind of supportive spouse they should have 🙂 Merry Christmas!
Wow, really what an amazing experience to look forward to. One of my very favorite places is Annecy, France. It is the most charming beautiful town. Looking forward to following your adventure.
Christi (Jealous Hands) says
What an amazing summer this will be!
I wish I’d had the vision and work ethic you have when I was 20 years younger – my boys are almost grown, and how I would’ve loved to have done this with them. xoxo
All the love on this post! You should be so proud of yourself for living your dream and giving your children beautiful experiences! I can’t wait to get travel ideas from your posts!
This is amazing and I CAN’T wait to read all about your travels! This is inspiring as well; to follow your dreams and just live your life as you imagined. The older I get and each day I look at my daughter I think about all the places I want to go and want to see and want to explore and how much I want her to be educated on the beauty of the world and to be along for each trip. Thank you for sharing your life with your readers.
You guys worked hard to get where you are, don’t feel bad about sharing your adventures. You’ll always run in to people who don’t necessarily react in a positive way, it’s unavoidable ♀️ Once i get my blog up and running, i intend on sharing our family adventures no matter where it is. Not to show off, but to share in the joy
Of it! Love everything you share and inspire me constantly to finally get my little dream up and running! Can’t wait to “go” to Paris with you guys! hope it’s the time of your lives!
Interlaken is one of my favorite places! Make sure to go canyoning, the girls should be old enough. We did France pre kids and I would love to take the kids there someday to experience the magic. We are currently are living in Okinawa, Japan and while there are
days we miss home and miss the comforts of the US, we always remember that we are raising our kids in a foreign country! How cool is that? Have a brilliant time in France!
Love this! We spent 10 weeks during summer in Germany when my kids were 5 and 2. It was the most amazing experience. Last year, we spent 3 weeks (kids are now 10 and 7) in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Don’t forget about the trains! Paris is a couple hours train ride from some great locations – London, Amsterdam, Brussels, etc. They are beautiful ways to see the countrysides. And, if you are driving around, the rest stops have AMAZING food. It was one of our favorite parts! We are headed to Greece this summer! Safe travels!
LINDSEY STROMBERG says
Hello! I can’t seem to find your 2019 summer plans! Can you please share?