“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. 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. I found myself at a bit of a crossroads. As fate would have it, 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 ‘find’ myself!
After pleading my case to my parents, who were naturally resistant, disappointed, and slightly annoyed 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 execute!
Unfortunately Thailand didn’t turn out great. After 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 the wanderlust from my body (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 dreamed about California and how I might get there.
I didn’t have to wait too long. I spotted a tall blonde surfer looking dude with his friends, 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 fun days 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. 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 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 cute and if it doesn’t work out, I bet he’ll have cute friends!”
To cut a loooooong story short, I moved to California, which diverted 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 here we are 25 years later. So for the naysayers who think you can’t meet anyone great in a bar, I beg to differ!
After three years of marriage, along came children. I quit the 60hr work week to take the challenging role of ‘Head of Domestic Affairs’ for the Kuhr family, and started a marketing consulting company.
Hot Hubby and I both love adventure, excitement, and travel. We were determined to share travel and adventure with our children. Friends thought we were insane taking young children to places such 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, curious about the world, 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 typical holiday spots, and perhaps plan a trip somewhere off the beaten path.