Note: If you're semi new to the blog go back and read this entry to see why this year has been themed the year to experience.
I said this year was about experiences and if you were worried I would let you down perhaps I can give you hope. This is the year to go for it. This is the year of no-holds-barred. I've laid the ground work, and I'm enjoying the benefits now.
I determined that even though I will be headed to see my best friend in 10 days (whoo hoo), to Haiti in April, and to DC in May...it was time to get some travel on the books to see my sister, my bro-in-law, and my beautiful baby niece, Noa. The great thing about budgeting for travel is that I get to do what I love...go. And since that budget is always growing, I don't have to wait 6 months to buy a ticket. I talked to my sister Sunday night about an Easter weekend trip, and Monday on my lunch break, I booked it!
Let me note here my absolute love of Southwest Airlines. I do all my travel with them and so I was able to buy one leg my flight in 'points', and the other leg on sale for $94. It was budget friendly, easy to book, and hey - I can even over pack! Nothing but love for the Southwest way of travel (hey Southwest, you should totally make a flight to Haiti!).
What I have grown to appreciate about being responsible with my money is seeing my hard work pay off. I have learned to live simple, save hard, and prepare for these exact moments. Because I want to be with my sister to celebrate my nieces first Easter. Because I value the chance to be a part of my brother-in-law's church congregation and see him in action. And most of all because I have learned the value of experiences over things.
When I think about my role as an Aunt and what I want Noa to admire about her Aunt B - I hope that she sees my unfailing love for her first and foremost and that she treasures the time I'm creating for us to be together. I hope she grows up knowing that being there for her every step of the way has always been a top priority. And hey, I wouldn't mind if she's telling her kinder garden classmates how cool her Aunt B's life has been with a shoebox full of postcards from the places I've been, either.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - you're on my books.