“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Hi! My name is Samantha and I live in Hermosa Beach, California, with Hot Hubby and two gorgeous boys, Sebastian and Julian.
I was born and raised in Derby, England. Derby isn’t particularly a glam town, but was home for 17yrs non-the-less, and during my pretty traditional childhood we were fortunate to take annual holidays to Europe. Not that I appreciated them during my surly and tumultuous teen years, regardless, my parents forced such atrocities on us as traveling to Spain, Italy, France and Yugoslavia (when it still existed!) Although I would never admit, these holidays were fantastic, and stirred a yearning for different countries, cultures, and people. I realized the world was accessible and exciting.
I left high school at age 15 (the education system in the UK is very different, and my birthday is in August, so I was always the youngest in my class, which I hated then, but now I love!!!) worked various jobs, and started nursing college. Unfortunately, I proved very quickly I didn’t have the patience or dedication needed to be a nurse, so found myself at a bit of a crossroads. At that time, a friend was talking about traveling the world for a year to ‘find herself’, and I thought, WOW, that’s exactly what I need/want to do…. I need to go ‘find’ myself!
After pleading my case to my parents, who were naturally resistant, disappointed and slightly annoyed that I was leaving nursing school (and the country), I decided on my route. I was headed to Thailand, Bahrain, New York, California and Australia. I had the whole route brilliantly mapped in my head… I now needed to make it happen!
Unfortunately Thailand didn’t turn out so well. After being there for three weeks I contracted a rare and deadly form of dysentery (I’m sure it wasn’t anything to do with the grotty hostel I was staying in!) I lost 20lbs in three days (no exaggeration!!!) and was told I should probably fly to the UK immediately. Lord knows how they let me on that flight… obviously they were not concerned with the cost of me dying on the flight or an emergency landing. After medical attention in the UK, I realized I did not expel my wanderlust from my body (but I expelled most everything else!!) So I headed to New York and lived with the kindest family (seriously they came to my wedding in England and we are still friends to this day) taking care of their two gorgeous children. I was in New York for almost a year, and was able to travel the east coast and Caribbean. However, I started to dream about California and how I might get there.
I didn’t have to wait too long. I spotted a tall blonde surfer looking dude one Sunday night in the Terrace Club in Portchester, NY. After playing it cool for a couple of hours, my girlfriend pulled them over to chat, and discovered they were on break from UCSB, visiting their families. After 5 days of fun with Hot Student, he asked me to ‘be his girlfriend’. We walked through logistics. He’d return to Santa Barbara, I’d tie up loose ends in NY, and meet him in two months.
I know you’re thinking I’m crazy at this point, but first, in my defense, let me say this was all pre-9/11. I wasn’t concerned with terrorists, roofies and serial killers… perhaps I was naïve and should have been more worried, but frankly my biggest concerns were along the lines of, “if things go horribly wrong, at least I’ll be in California”, and “he is really hot and if it doesn’t work out, I bet he’ll have cute friends!”
Anyway, to cut a loooooong story short, I moved into this lovefest, which quickly changed my year of ‘finding myself’ into me finding something far more serious. We dated on and off for 5 years (during which time I finished college, traveled to Australia, and moved to Breckenridge to be a ski-bum for a season.) Eventually we were engaged after 5 ½ years, married 1 ½ years later, and we’re now getting ready to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! So for the naysayers who think you can’t meet anyone great in a bar, I beg to differ!
After three years of marriage, children came along. I quit the 60hr work week to take the challenging role of ‘Head of Domestic Affairs’ for the Kuhr family, and I started my own marketing consulting company.
Hot Hubby works in technology and software start up companies. We both love adventure, excitement, and travel. We were determined to share travel and adventure with our children. Many friends thought we were insane taking young children to such places as India, Bhutan, Peru, Tibet, China, Cambodia, and Australia. Admittedly, it is a slightly different trip when you travel with the circus, but it’s not quite as daunting as one would think.
Our boys are now teenagers, they love to travel, and are game for anything. At Hot Hubby’s urging and support, I decided to start this blog. This blog at worst will be a gorgeous travel documentary for our family and children, (and dad’s bad 90’s hair cut.) At best, this blog will inspire others to branch out from their ‘vanilla milk’ trips, and perhaps plan a trip somewhere off the beaten path that you’ve always dreamed of!