Welcome to Earth Momma Travels, travel inspiration for middle aged women who love nature and travel. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a novice at travel, I hope to inspire you to explore the globe, connect with others, take the unknown trail, embrace aging, get to know yourself more deeply, face your fears, be vulnerable, make a bucket list, and book the trip. I hope my posts will inspire you and create a curiosity about the world, nature and your views on what getting older can look like. I had once considered travel a lost opportunity after having my youngest son diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities in 2001. I had given up the dream of world travel to be a mom and raise my three children. Being a mom was the best job I ever had. I was good at it and still consider it my greatest ongoing accomplishment and challenge. Parenting emerging adults is a new experience for me and I look to my adult children to guide me in this new unchartered territory. What I am continuing to discover is that I can embrace many identities including, wife, mother, sister, daughter, writer, hiker, skier, friend, traveler, therapist. In the past I have placed limits on myself, and sometimes I still do, but what I continue to learn is that I am the only one capable of changing them. The script society handed me was that in order to be a good mom I needed to put my own needs on hold and to do otherwise was to be selfish. I challenged that script and no longer accept it. I am the writer of of my own script and I know that I am a better mom, spouse, sister, friend, daughter, writer, and therapist for chasing my dreams, pushing my limits and challenging my own story. In 2009 at the age of 42, I made the decision to chase my dream of world travel after attending my Aunt Gerrie’s funeral. She was an artist, gardener and traveler who died unexpectedly, but lived a full and loving life. At the funeral I sat next to a friend of my father’s who ran a humanitarian organization. He had just returned from Kenya, Africa where he guided travelers through a cultural experience in the Samburu region of Kenya. That conversation took me back to my early 20s when I had made a plan with my best friend Lisa to join the Peace Corps. Before we had committed to the Peace Corps, Lisa introduced me to to my future husband who I married six months later (we marry young and fast in Utah) and I chose a different path that lead me to journalism and motherhood and later to social work. That dream of going to Africa was reignited by the connection I made at my aunt’s funeral by listening to the stories her family and friends shared about my aunt who embraced middle age and beyond and traveled the world. I shared this desire with my husband and three teenagers and starting planning and saving for my first trip across the world. The extent of my travel experiences before this was a few trips to Mexico and visits to a few states here in the U.S. When I made the decision to go to Africa, I was working and raising three teenagers. I was also a foster mom to a 13 year old girl. I had no idea how I was going to pay for the trip when we had a mortgage, two sets of braces, soccer and dance fees and future college tuition. I put all financial fears and mothering worries aside and made the decision to make my dream of Africa happen. I didn’t know how, but I knew I was going to go. One year later, my best friend Lisa (yep, the one I had planned to join the Peace Corps in our 20s) and my 16-year-old daughter Tasia boarded a plane in Utah and landed 24-plus hours later in Mombasa, Africa. I had always thought my time for travel had passed in my 20s, but the day I stepped off that plane, I knew my travel was not behind me but ahead of me. Since then I have traveled to many countries, states, cities and continents. I’ve traveled solo, with friends, my husband, my daughter and sons to explore the world, to find what connects us as human beings, what we universally share and how we become more rounded, more grateful and more human by connecting, exploring, questioning, and learning. I had placed my own barriers to travel, making excuses, not making the time and feeling guilty for choosing travel for myself. Today, I choose travel, adventure and exploring and I hope you will follow my adventures and be inspired to take the trip and book the ticket. I’d love to hear your comments on how you are inspired by travel, nature and aging!