The Idea (Wo)Man

21821228-spedizione-icone-idea-luce-composizione-forma-del-bulbo-vector-in-strati-di-facile-montaggioI’m to blame. I am the one who comes up with all these ideas for travel.

But that’s pretty much all I do on my own . . . come up with an idea. Then it’s tossed over to Brett to see what he thinks. And, if he likes the idea, from there on we work as a team.

Brett has only actually said “no” to me once in our marriage. He knows I’m just stubborn enough that if he said “no” to one of my ideas I would probably go ahead and figure out a way to do it anyway. Usually his answer to an idea that he’s not crazy about is something along the lines of “let’s think about it.” I know when I hear this that he doesn’t particularly care for the idea, and that he wants me to think about it some more and see if I’m actually serious or willing to commit myself. He knows that often when I do think it through a bit more thoroughly I’ll probably see that it’s really not such a good idea or not feasible. The idea gets dropped without any further discussion, argument or bad feelings.

If he does like an idea of mine or think it’s worth pursuing, he’ll throw back some question, or even start talking about it like it’s already been decided. I’ll never forget when I first brought up the idea of adoption. I heard about China adoptions one day from one of my college professors, but told her that while I could adopt without a second thought there was absolutely no way my husband would ever agree. Our son was 16, and both Brett and I were students and barely scraping by. That evening though I mentioned to Brett what I had heard about adopting from China, expecting to hear the familiar “let’s think about it.” Instead, he got a gleam in his eye and soon we were talking about what it would be like to add a child to our family. We started setting goals that evening, and a little over two years later, Brett had a good job, we had bought a house, and we had brought our first daughter home from China!

We were both intrigued by the story of the Senior Nomads, who have been traveling around Europe for the past two years, staying in Airbnb rentals. I read about them first, which got me dreaming, and then I got Brett to read the article about them in the New York Times and then some of their blog. When he finished I said I thought we could do something like that once our girls had all left the nest.

I was honestly surprised that his response wasn’t an immediate “no” or even “let’s think about it.” Brett started out by saying he didn’t want to leave Kaua’i, and I agreed. We love it here. We then started talking about how much we wanted to go to Japan and spend time with our son and his family. But we kept talking about traveling, places we wanted to see, what we could afford, and gradually we came up with our goal of spending three months in Japan and two months in Europe or elsewhere each year, with the rest of our time on Kaua’i.

Besides being the idea woman, I’m also the planner. Although we work together to firm up our goals, all the nuts and bolts (finances, lodging, airfare, etc.) of actually making things happen are up to me, which is fine because I thoroughly enjoy doing it and Brett doesn’t. I love doing all the research that comes ahead of traveling, of setting down that solid foundation that our travel experiences will be based on. As ideas pop up along the way I’ll throw them out to Brett though. I know one way or the other we’ll either start talking about the idea or I’ll hear, “let’s think about that.”

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14 thoughts on “The Idea (Wo)Man

  1. Libby says:

    What a great post……and a great team you and Brett make.

    Have you read the book Tales of a Female Nomad by Ruth Golden Gelman?

    I’ve not heard of the Senior Nomads and will go check them out.

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  2. Denise says:

    My husband and I used to do kind of the same thing. We’d start “talking around” a subject to see what the other thought. I remember mentioning I’d seen a news story about adoption, and he talked about something he’d read in the paper. We had always said that if we decided we wanted another child, we’d adopt. Less than two years later, we brought our monkey home. And I’m like you, the planner!

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    • Laura says:

      Your adoption story sounds a bit like ours!

      Yes, I’m the planner and Brett is the utility man. His strengths come into play when we travel. He is an amazing packer, and makes sure our luggage gets where it needs to be at the right time. He also keeps the spreadsheets, and diaries/logs if we are keeping one.

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      • JJ says:

        Could Brett write a post with tips on how to pack light? I seriously need help with that. I brought WAY too much stuff to Japan.

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      • Laura says:

        That’s a really good suggestion for a post, especially since we always travel with just carry-on luggage. Brett is a master packer – when he was in the navy he used to be in charge of packing up all the cruise boxes when his squadron went to sea. I always say he could get a grand piano to fit into a carry-on bag!

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  3. Jen says:

    Oh, I am so excited to see your research. My husband and I are 10 years behind you as far as having kids out of the house. But we have always planned to travel again. So I will love to see what you come up with for your plans. Have you looked into Home Exchange? I don’t really love the idea of strangers being in my home, but someone gave me the idea of having one room or closet with a lock for our personal/valuable items. I wonder if you would be allowed to do that with your apartment? A friend who has had great success with home exchanges says you email back and forth and really get to know the people you are exchanging with and you can make sure they are a good fit. Just wanted to pass that on. Have fun planning! I know you will succeed.

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    • Laura says:

      It is specifically written into our lease that we can’t do house swaps, have boarders (like for Airbnb, etc.) so can’t do that any more. We seriously thought about doing house swaps when we owned our home back in Portland; I did quite a bit of research on it, and for the most part people said it was a very positive experience.

      Remember: the dream is the beginning, then the goal and then the plan. And then you go!! You and your husband already have the dream, and it won’t be long before before you’re setting goals and making plans. Those kids grow up fast (which is sad, but true).

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  4. Vivian says:

    I would like to travel but am unable to do so at this time. The only thing I am able to do is to go online and plan fantasy vacations. Glad you are going for the real thing.

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    • Laura says:

      The “big” trips were fantasy for us for many, many years. Our family trips to Disney World each took a couple of years or more of dedication and saving (ask my kids sometime about us taking walks for the purpose of picking up cans and bottles for recycling to add to the trip fund – they hated it), with help a couple of times from a small windfall.

      I have read over and over though that if you make travel a priority, that you will be able to save for it. That’s our mindset now.

      I hope your fantasies can become reality some day!!

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    • Laura says:

      We are a good team. I am more of the up-front person, but Brett’s strengths really come into play when we get to actual travel. He is unflappable, and is the head Sherpa. And, NO ONE can pack like he can – I swear he can fit a grand piano into a carry-on bag!

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  5. Karyn says:

    I’m so happy to have found you! We are in a similar situation. We will be moving to the Big Island in 3 years to retire when our only child graduates from high school and goes off to college. I’ve been reading back through your old blog posts and getting lots of good information!!

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    • Laura says:

      I’m happy you found me, and glad some of the posts have been helpful. I’m sad that The View From the Treehouse will be disappearing completely, but I’m going to keep Noho’ana Hau’ole up indefinitely and link it here. We will still be doing posts about life here and living in Hawai’i, so hope you’ll continue reading.

      We seriously considered the Big Island for our move, but Kaua’i has turned out to be a perfect fit for us.

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