Episode #29: What’s Your Vacation Mode?

Hello and happy Monday!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

*Disclaimer (lol) we’re not traveling—we’re CHATTING about traveling from quarantine. Don’t flip out. We felt like some dreaming about the future might be good for us all right now! Plus, we’re excited to support tourist industry once it’s safe to do so again.

Show notes: 

Here’s a photo from our favorite trips we’ve taken (we go more into detail on each trip in the episode).

Emma: Norway

Elsie: ISLA MUJERES (Sea Shell house)

Here’s a link to the bnb … it’s magical!


Elsie: Disney World and Disneyland (LOL)

-Which Harry Potter house do you think Nova is??

-Here’s an illustration of Frozenland that’s going to be built for Paris Disney.

-Here’s the trailer for The Imagineering Story on Disney+

Emma: SWITZERLAND (and here are a few photos from other memorable trips recently)

Elsie: Palm Springs (slash Joshua Tree + Salvation Mountain)

Our travel wishlist:

-Santa Fe, New Mexico + Meow Wolf

-In Europe: Paris, Italy, Greece, Turkey
-Beachy: Pink Beach in Bermuda, Bora Bora + Hawaii (Maui + Kawaii) and Australia
-Asia: China (for a real vacation), Thailand, Vietnam
-Banff/Lake Louise

-Our Great Wall Of China pics.

Listener question: We’re chatting about boundaries! We love this question and could probably do a whole episode on this topic.

On that note, we’re really sailing on new episodes through this quarantine. It’s one of the parts of our week that is bringing us a lot of joy! If you have any requests for a topic you’d like us to cover for an episode or even a question, just let us know! 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has left us a review and shared our podcast with friends! We truly appreciate you!

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 29 Transcript

Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today we’re talking about how we like to vacation in some of the best trips we’ve been on. We are hopeful for the future where we’re going to be able to travel again, and so it’s fun to daydream. We are also answering a pretty juicy listener question at the end of this episode.

Elsie: OK. So I just want to say a quick disclaimer. We’re at home. We are staying home and making something. We’re not traveling. We’re just talking. So don’t get mad.

Emma: I feel like that’s SO obvious.

Elsie: It is, yeah.

Emma: Because I don’t think you even can like. I mean, I’m going to mention Europe and stuff. And like, I don’t think you can really travel there right now. So, it’s pretty obvious.

Elsie: I know it’s obvious, but just in case, because every day when I’m outside, I see an airplane go over my head and I’m like, who’s on that airplane and where are they going? You know what I mean?

Emma: It could be packages, though.

Elsie: I’m just curious. Yeah. I mean, that’s true. But I think some people are still flying, right?

Emma: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve no idea. I don’t know what people are up to. I’m at home. But at any rate. Yeah, so we had this on the list of ideas for podcast episodes. And Elsie was like, I don’t think that would make sense right now. I was like, I totally get it. But one of the things I’m doing to kind of keep myself happy and sane during quarantine is I am thinking about where I’m going to travel in the future. And also, I feel like sometimes people kind of diss traveling a little bit because they they want to point out that not everyone has the funds to do that. And I think after this crisis, a lot of people are going to be in that boat even more because of how it’s affecting businesses, which breaks my heart. God. But I also want to point out the other side of that, which is that at the moment, tourist industry is really wrecked by this. And so many people have little boutiques or BnBs or just services in the tourist industry that they’ve built their whole incomes on. And I actually think traveling is really important.

Elsie: Every little ice cream shop.

Emma: Yeah. So if you, you know, are going to have the funds after this is all over to travel again, I really think you should because it’s going to help people in that industry with their businesses. So anyway, I know that’s super complicated and there’s a lot there, but I just kind of wanted to put that out there and it makes me excited to travel again for multiple reasons. I love to see the world, but I also am excited to support some people in that industry again because I know they are some of the people who are really affected by this right now in addition to others.

Elsie: Totally agree.

Emma: So yeah…

Elsie: I do think dreaming about the future is a good way to get through a tricky situation.

Emma: Yeah. And I just like to have a lot of hope in my heart at all times as much as I can.

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: So anyway. So that’s that. As Elsie and I were talking about whether we should or shouldn’t do a vacation episode, one of my ways I convinced her was I was like, I really want to talk about all the different modes that people have for a vacation, because I think when I was younger, I didn’t really realize how many different ways of vacationing there are, how many different options there are, and how different people really view it very differently. So the example I gave Elsie…

Elsie: That’s so true.

Emma: Yeah. Was I kind of view it as a sliding scale as far as planning and activity level. Some people just want to like go to the beach or like be at a resort or something like that, something all inclusive, no planning. They wake up whenever they feel like it. They go hang out. They’d have no plans. They just want to chill. That’s like their level 100 percent chill time. And I totally get that. And then another, on the opposite end of this sliding scale is the person who’s like, I have planned out every 30 minute increment. We are gonna wake up at 6:00 a.m. and we’re gonna tour all of Rome in one day. And then the next day we’re gonna drive to this part of Italy or, you know, whatever. They just like have this really intense schedule where to them vacation is: I want to see as much as I can see and do as much as I can do. And then when I get home, I sleep. Or whatever. And so there’s like these extremes. I kind of fall more on the end of wanting to do things rather than the chill mode. But I kind of wanted to hear…

Elsie: I think I fall on the opposite end of the spectrum then from you for sure.

Emma: Let me ask you this. Did it change at all when you had kids or is it different when you vacation with your kids versus when you vacation just you and your husband or with friends?

Elsie: Ok. So our way we plan a trip and the trips we choose right now are different for sure. But what we enjoy out of a trip, I think is the same like what we’re looking for as people and what we consider a vacation. So, yeah, like I’ve never even been on a trip before that was run kind of like a school field trip where there was a schedule every day. I’ve never planned a trip like that. I don’t. It doesn’t appeal to me personally. I like the idea of seeing things, but when we plan a trip like the most we would ever plan is like one big activity per day and maybe a list of restaurants we want to try or something like that, but it wouldn’t be like super locked in. So yeah, it is interesting to me that some people find so much joy and comfort planning it to that level.

Emma: Yeah. And I probably fall in the middle of the scale too, maybe a little more planning than it sounds like you. But definitely I don’t want to wake up early like I’ll do it for the flight days or whatever.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: But I really don’t want to do it every single day. I’m not a huge morning person. I also don’t really want to stay up super late at night all the time.

Elsie: Wait till you have a kid, sister.

Emma: I am so screwed.

Elsie: Our baby wakes up at 5:45 every day is. It is…it’s crazy.

Emma: That’s one of the ways I really knew I was an Enneagram 9 because I was unsure if I was a 9 or 3. And then on the list it was like, do you sleep a lot more than others? Because that is a nine thing. And I was like, Oh my gosh, OK. That puts it over the edge because I sleep so much more than it feels like other people need to. It’s kind of annoying because I’m like, why does Trey need to sleep so much less? Anyway, that’s besides the point. Let’s not do that. But on vacation time, I get really bored after one or two days of just beach day. Don’t do anything. I have too much time to think. That’s my problem, and I don’t like it. So once I finished one book, I’m like, I got to have more things to do now because I’m just gonna start my second book and that’s too much reading for this trip. So I need more activity than that. So I fall more in the range. And then the other two things I wanted to mention about vacation mode. So let’s see where you’re at on this because I want to hear if you have a thing with you and Jeremy. So they are interest and then climates, so on interests. This is pretty straightforward. Like here’s the example for me and my husband, Trey. I like museums. It’s not my top thing by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy museums when I’ve traveled alone or traveled with friends. A museum is often on the list of things I chose to do. Trey doesn’t really enjoy museums, so I wouldn’t plan a trip. That’s me and him. Where a big part of it is seeing museums because they don’t make sense. And then, but of course if we were somewhere, like he would go to a museum with me. Of course, you know. But on the flip side, an interest he has is he loves to ski and he has a lot of like great memories of skiing when he was a kid and then like trips with friends in college. And we’ve gone skiing together. And I took lessons. I did like three days of lessons. I really don’t enjoy it. I don’t like skiing. I also get altitude sickness. So I’m always trying to encourage him to go skiing with groups of friends. I’m like, if there’s a ski trip with your cousins, do it because I know it’s an interest he has for vacations. We don’t live somewhere where you can ski on the weekends or anything. And so trying to find like interests that you share with your partner or with your friend group or with your children, I think is kind of an interesting dynamic. You know, when it’s comes to like…because you don’t go on vacation all the time, you really do like one or two a year. You know.

Elsie: For sure. Yeah. You kind of have to find your…what’s it called when the circles connect.

Emma: Yeah. A Venn diagram.

Elsie: Yeah. You have to find your Venn diagram as a couple or a family for sure. And it could change through the years.

Emma: Do you have anything like when you’re vacationing are you like, I gotta shop a little bit and Jer’s like no.

Elsie: Actually Jeremy loves to shop. (laughs)

Emma: Yeah, I kind of knew, that’s what I was like…(laughs)

Elsie: We have a lot in common in our vacation mode, which is great. So we’re both very, very into food and restaurants and things like that. That’s one of our top favorite things. So we wouldn’t be interested in a vacation where there was no good food and all you did was like make peanut butter and jelly at your Air BnB. That would not be a vacation to us. We like a low speed vacation. Like I like sightseeing. I like to…I do have a bucket list. We’re doing our next mini episode that also comes out today about bucket lists. So I’ll save that. But I do have some sort of exotic places that I would like to go in my life. But for the most part, when it’s a vacation, it’s more of a chill time. So we are very attracted to the pool side, beachside type of locations, and also places like Palm Springs that are very slow and low pressure. And you can kind of do what ever you want every day.

Emma: Yes, it’s kind of a retirement community.

Elsie: (laughs) It kind of is. Yeah. I don’t like a vacation where you have to make every single reservation and plan every part of the day before you go. It’s just a lot of pressure. So, yeah, that’s kind of the things we avoid, long lines and long drives. One of the biggest fights of our whole relationship, though, is like a sad one was that I plan to vacation to California and I had us…we went to the Madonna Inn, which is pretty far from Palm Springs, and then we took a drive and it was a long drive and it was kind of like a day in there. And I think it might have been on Valentine’s Day that we did it.

Emma: Oh…

Elsie: And it was like he just was really, really disappointed that we had to spend our day driving. And in hindsight, it definitely changed the way we travel. I think that if we hadn’t been a married couple, I might have been more into road trips on my own or with a different partner. But he is not into road trips, so it’s not a part of our Venn diagram of things we enjoy together. So yeah, things that are slow and we kind of just avoid things with like big crowds, long lines like we just love like a place where you can kind of chill and connect, talk and get a little tiny, tiny bit bored. That’s what I feel like is a vacation. What about you?

Emma: Well, the last one, it kind of sounds like I know your answer and the last one because last one is climate. And I feel like most people think of vacation, they think of like the beach and palm trees. And, you know, that’s that’s what pops into my head, too, when I think of vacation, like if you’re like, pick out a piece of clipart, that means vacation, I would probably pick like a beach ball or a palm tree or something. So, you know, but I definitely…so that’s why I never really thought about cold weather places, especially when I was younger. And I think the first time I realized I really enjoy cold weather vacations is when we went to Iceland for the first time. I’ve been twice now and some of my favorite vacations have been places that are more on the colder climate side or kind of just more mild. It’s not that I don’t like being on a beach. I do. I just, that’s really not my top choice. I actually, and I see that’s it’s so funny because I don’t really like skiing, but I love being places that are just cold and beautiful. That’s what I would say is my top thing. I want a place that’s like cold and beautiful. So like Iceland, Norway, those are kind of my things. But I totally get the beach vacation. It sounds like you and Jer might be a little more warm weather.

Elsie: Well, okay, I’ll say this. The next time we go to Iceland, we are going to stay in the hotel that’s at the Blue Lagoon. So that’s like our speed as far as like a cold climate. Is that I want to have direct hot tub access.

Emma: Oh, yes. Or a sauna.

Elsie: Yeah. Like whenever I see people’s pictures on a ski vacation, I’ve never been skiing, I wasn’t raised rich. (laughs) I feel like. I think of it as a rich people vacation still.

Emma: Me neither. I do, too, yeah (laughs).

Elsie: I always am like, OK. The outfits are so cute. I don’t know if I could ski or not because I’ve never tried.

Emma: I mean, I bet you could. You can skate. You’re good at skating…

Elsie: I’m really good at roller skating. Yeah, I love roller skating. I’m not REALLY good.

Emma: Not that it’s the same, but I don’t know.

Elsie: Okay, but maybe I could. Maybe I couldn’t. I don’t know. But I feel like if I went on a ski vacation, that I might be kind of like I was in Iceland where I got…I was like crying because it was so cold and I didn’t dress for it. And I just, I’m very…not happy being very cold for hours at a time. Yeah. Like, that’s not for me. So I feel like I might live in the hot tub and basically just waste a lot of money. So I think my dream vacation that would be in a cold climate would be sort of like a cute little cabin, maybe like a Danish type of vacation with a hot tub with a sauna and then be like baking things. And basically like Christmas… year-round Christmas would be my dream cold-weather vacation.

Emma: Yeah, it does kind of feel like Christmas. I think that’s part of what I like about it. And for me, I love photography. And in my real life I do a lot of like food photography or like close up photography of crafts and things like that for the web site, which I love. I love food photography way too into it, but I really enjoy it like landscape photography and things like that. But I only really do it when I’m on vacation. So to me, that’s like part of it is I loved the thrill of trying to capture the northern lights.

Elsie: Yes. Let’s put some of your pictures in the show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast from your trip. Where was it to?

Emma: Iceland and Norway. I’ve seen the northern lights twice.

Elsie: OK. Your turn to Norway…those pictures are so gorgeous. They’re hanging up in her living room and they’re incredible, so.

Emma: It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I still follow the Instagram account of that area. It’s called Lofoten. I don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. I’ll put it in the show notes, but I still follow it on Instagram because I love seeing it. I would love to go back there and like stay for a month or something. It’s just so peaceful and quiet and beautiful. It looks like a National Geographic magazine. It’s amazing. So I guess that kind of brings us to the next thing we were gonna talk about, which is our three favorite vacations.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: So I kind of just said one of mine, which was Norway, Trey and I went just the two of us a few years ago. And it was beautiful. My one thing, though, was we were kind of there in somewhat of an off season, I guess, because there aren’t very many restaurants anyway. And the ones that were there that were recommended were all closed. So that was kind of disappointing because I do like to try new foods and, you know, different things when I’m traveling. So that was probably like the one thing about the trip that I was like, oh, I wish we could have gone to more restaurants or tried some cocktails or, you know, just had more local food. But they didn’t really have that. So I was about it. And then I love Iceland. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been twice. I love it. I would love to go again. And then my other, my third is Switzerland, which is where we went for our honeymoon. And we went, it was more the summer because we got married in June. So it wasn’t really cold. I was wearing shorts and tank tops and things, but it was still like we went up to a high point and it was obviously snowy and icy. And it was just a really beautiful place. It looks like what’s that movie with Julie Andrews?

Elsie: The Sound of Music.

Emma: The Sound of Music, yeah.

Elsie: I love Switzerland as well. It’s so gorgeous. It’s even, it’s more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

Emma: Oh, it’s so beautiful. Everywhere you looked it was like a postcard.

Elsie: I also loved Iceland and I feel like I always tell the stories about how I cried a lot while we were there.

Emma: You did cry a lot. (laughs)

Elsie: But just,know, it’s because I wore like basically Converse or Vans or something. And I didn’t know that it was going to be like an Arctic environment. So I just totally was not prepared. But I totally want to go back to Iceland. I love the stop over flight option. So next time we go to Europe, if our kids are the right age, we’ll probably go to Iceland, too, and stay at the Blue Lagoon Hotel.

Emma: You can tell tourism has grown a lot there since you and I went…

Elsie: Really?

Emma: Because really when I went this past year. Oh, yeah. There were a lot more people at all the little stops. And it just like the Blue Lagoon is also built up a lot like, you know, they had cranes when we were there. They were building on it. And that’s all been built. So it’s, it’s definitely tourism has boomed in Iceland, which is very cool. I’m very happy for them. I think that’s great. Some people hate it when, like, a beautiful place gets kind of discovered. I personally don’t because I just think of all the people in the tourism industry and I think like, wow, what a great opportunity for their country.

Elsie: I don’t like it when people have that attitude. Since I’m from Nashville and I moved here recently, people have that attitude a lot about new people who have moved here. And I kind of feel like you can’t have that attitude unless you’re not a part of the problem, quote unquote. And if you’re taking a vacation to Iceland. Hello. You know what I mean, so I think it’s sort of an unnecessary rude way to be.

Emma: Yeah. I mean I think, obviously, don’t be an asshole when you travel like don’t leave your trash around or be super loud or like, I don’t know, stand in front of someone’s obvious, like they’re taking a photo and you just ruin it like, you know, be polite as you travel. But other than that, I’m like, guys, we all want to see the beautiful places of the world just chill. Like, let everyone do it.

Elsie: Let tourist spots be busy. It’s not the end of the world. I totally agree with you. OK. So, God, I love all those places. Okay. So in the show notes, let’s put a link or a picture from each of these trips that we’ve talked about just so people can see a visual. We had so much fun at the blue lagoon.

Emma: It was really fun.

Elsie: It was just it was so cool and weird. Like, you’re kind of like bopping around in it. And there’s, it’s like a giant hot tub that’s like the size of 10 swimming pools. And you can like get to a hot spot and then you keep going and it’s cold and then you get to another hot spot. It’s so strange. And…

Emma: It’s so strange, it’s amazing.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s amazing. Okay. I put my favorite vacations there. Very different from yours. I put ones I knew you wouldn’t put.

Emma: Cool.

Elsie: And. Yeah. Okay. So my first one is okay. So we went to the Seashell House in Isla Mujeres. I’m gonna say that wrong. I’m gonna get a lot of messages about that. It is a tiny island kind of off the shore from Cancun. It’s like a 30 minute ferry ride. And I’ll put a link to The Seashell House. We actually want to go there as a family soon. I think it would be a great family vacation. The island’s very tiny. You take golf carts everywhere. We went with another couple a couple of years back. But we feel like other than the fact that you do have to be a little bit careful in Mexico with just sickness and water and things like that. Other than that. I think it would be a perfect vacation for children, and I think it’s worth the risk. My second one is so silly and I can’t even believe I’m saying this but we love taking our kids to Disney parks now that we have kids. I was never a Disney person. I never went to Disney as an adult. Like on a vacation. But when we had, when you have a little kid and you’re already in California or whatever, that was our first couple…It just makes so much sense. And then once you start going, it’s this magical thing. And so when our kids get a little bit older, we’re definitely going to do a couple of the year passes and go a whole bunch. And also, we’ve been making that BnB in Florida and it’s just really, really an incredible thing. Also I’m going to link to that…

Emma: I hope that your girls get into Harry Potter, too. And you do Universal. I mean, there’s lots of reasons to do Universal.

Elsie: Oh 100 percent we’ll do Universal. I mean, OK. So we went to Universal a few years back with our niece Penelope, when she was about five and we did the Harry Potter world. It was right when they had made like the second part of it. And then we did the Dr. Seuss part and The Simpsons part. And it was so cute and wonderful. And I remember we got a giant Simpsons donut and it was a really sweet trip with our little brother and our niece. So, yeah, I can’t wait to do that again. And maybe we’ll do that at our next aunt camp, actually.

Emma: That would be fun.

Elsie: I want to get Nova Harry Potter costume. I’m up for it.

Emma: You think she’s…what you think she is? She could be a Slytherin, that’d be pretty cute.

Elsie: I don’t know. You have to teach me that. OK, so yeah going to the Disney parks and the one I’m the most excited about is. Have you seen that they’re building a Frozen land at the Paris Disney Park?

Emma: Oh, no.

Elsie: Yeah, they’re building like a replica of the Frozen castle. I’ll put a picture of it in the show notes. It’s not built yet. It’s being made. And I definitely want to go to that. I wanted to take our kids to Paris at some point anyway, because it’s just so cute. And I’ve only been one time and I definitely, it was a work trip and I need a do over. I want it to be a little more romantic. So anyway, the Frozen land, I think is so cool that they’re making that at all and I can’t wait to see it. It’s just so elaborate. Oh, I was going to say before is I’m going to link in the show notes to that docu-series I was talking about before about building the parks because that really…

Emma: I started watching it.

Elsie: Oh, OK. OK. So how did it make you feel?

Emma: I only watched like two or three episodes because I was I was like starting to be like Elsie and I have to build a park. And I was like, no, this is not the season of your life. Emma. But I just, so I was like, you need to watch this later or something. I was starting to get really obsessed with it. I was like, we could start small. It could be just a little park in Nashville.

Elsie: See now you guys can see, Emma has a tiny little bit of seven in her.

Emma: Yeah, a little bit. Tiny wing, one feather on a wing.

Elsie: We’re not building an amusement park in Nashville. Hell no.

Emma: We should build a here in Springfield though.

Elsie: It’s so inspiring though, I think it’s called the Imagineers or the Imagineering Story?

Emma: Yeah. Imagineering I think.

Elsie: Yeah it it’s just the story of building the Disney parks and how the Disney business built up in the 50s and 60s. It’s incredible. And yeah, when they were building it’s a small world. It was one of my favorite things to watch. Of all time. Okay. And my third vacation ever vacation is just because we it’s kind of our thing is Palm Springs/Joshua Tree/Salvation Mountain, because that’s kind of something you can do all in one trip to Palm Springs. And then you can kind of take a day trip to Joshua Tree and a day trip to Salvation Mountain if you want to. They’re both about an hour away or less. And yeah, just because we’ve been going for about eight years now, once or twice every year. And it’s, well, you’ll see in the Bucket List episode, but it’s a very, very special place to us. It’s something that I do feel like it’s always a true vacation and it really helps us to unwind. And we always have at least a day or a meal where we’re talking about our goals and that I feel like it’s just really good for married people. So. All right. Next up is our travel wishlist. You go first, Emma.

Emma: Okay. So I only just put like three things down, even though, you know, I want to go basically everywhere in the world before I die. I love to travel. It’s one of my big joys in life. But here are the three. So one of them I’m saving for the bucket list mini episode. So listen to that, because it’s my big one. Because it’s on the bucket list. So I’m skipping that for now. But in the U.S., the next two trips I’d like to go on is Santa Fe. I just think it seems so cool, very like artist friendly, lots of just interesting things there. The climate is kind of interesting too, because it can be really hot. And then there’s also skiing certain times of year, just like, I don’t know, thirty minutes or an hour away. So that’s kind of interesting. Yeah. Right. And then also, I’ve mentioned this before, but I really want to go to Meow Wolf. I really want to see it. There’s multiple ones. I think they’re building one in Las Vegas or there is one in Las Vegas. And there’s also some kind of like sister version of it in, I believe, Tulsa. So I will probably go there like soonish. I mean, not during quarantine, obviously, but because Tulsa’s actually not too far from Springfield, Missouri. And it’s a pretty cool town. But I do want to see the original, the big Meow Wolf, in Santa Fe at some point. So that and then my other U.S. thing is I really would love to go to Alaska sometime. It’s a huge state. So I don’t really have in my mind like what part I want to go to or how I want to travel there. Per se, there’s lots of like cruises you can take and see, like some of I think there’s some glaciers or things like that. I’m not. I might want to do that. I don’t know. But I I just think it’s a cool state and I love how remote it is. I think it just sounds really beautiful. So I’d love to visit. And I never have. And then outside of the U.S., the next place, I’d like to go, and I have a long list. So if Trey has another preference will go there, too. But whatever, you know. But I’ve heard so many good things about Croatia. So that’s on my list. And I think it’s you know, I think they have different climates, but it’s more of a warm weather. It’s more of a beach type, you know, swimsuits. That type of thing.

Elsie: I’ve heard many people say it’s their favorite place in Europe, which is a pretty high compliment.

Emma: Yeah and part…So it you know, it’s a whole country. But there is a certain part and I can’t remember the name of it off top my head I should write down. But they filmed some of Game of Thrones in different parts of Croatia so that you know, and they filmed parts of it in Iceland and you know, they filmed lots. But there’s some really beautiful, interesting, kind of ruinous looking cities or cityscapes in Croatia. So I’d kind of like to see those. I like Game of Thrones. I’m not like so into it that I want to see all the locations from the show per say. But I do think like a like ruins or I don’t know, we don’t have that kind of history here in America because our our country isn’t quite that old…

Elsie: Absolutely not.

Emma: So it’s fun. Yeah. So it’s fun to see it in European countries. I really enjoy it. And I love learning about it. It’s very fun. So those are mine. How about you?

Elsie: Ok. So as far as we want to do, like a very good Europe series of trips, I haven’t traveled that much in Europe, so I’m excited all the trips that I’ve been on where either short or work related. I’ve never done like a long, just for fun trip to Europe. So cities where I want to spend some time are Paris and then a couple of different cities in Italy, Greece and Turkey. I don’t know if this is silly, but I really want to go to that hot air balloon festival. That you always see in Instagram pictures with the girls. If we have a chance to do that, that would be really special as far as beachy places. I really want to go to the pink beach in Bermuda. That has been a long time coming. I don’t think I want to go to the pig beach anymore. I think I’m crossing that one off the list after I watched that….what was that show last year with the the Fyre Fest? Over that.

Emma: Oh yeah.

Elsie: No, not so much. Bora Bora, and actually, Hawaii. I’ve just only been to the one island. I want to go to Maui and Kauai. And then I would love to spend some good quality time in Australia. And then on our Asia list. So we’ve been to China a couple times recently for adoption trips. Those are not vacations at all. I mean, you get to do a tiny little like we got to go the Great Wall together. I just put up some pictures of my family blog this week, so I’ll link to that. And yeah, it was fun. We were there for like three or four hours. And like, it was worth doing for sure. And it was really fun. We’ve got to go down the big slide. But it wasn’t like a vacation trip. It was mostly like sitting in hotels and government buildings and, you know, doing things with the kids, which is totally what it should be and makes sense. So we’d like to go to China at some point totally for pleasure with our girls and see some of the the cities where they came from, but also cities that, you know, are just beautiful. And there’s kind of just some high points in China that it’s a very big country. Yeah. And just crazy. And there’s a couple of really beautiful natural places I’d like to see. And then I’ll save a couple of things to talk about on the bucket list episode. And then I want to go my number one place where I want to go in Asia is Thailand and Jeremy’s Number one is Vietnam. So we definitely want, maybe that will be like one trip together. I don’t know.

Emma: Let us go with you on that one. I really want to go to Thailand and Vietnam. Sounds amazing.

Elsie: Jeremy is like very, very, very into Vietnamese cooking. So it’ll be a lot of cooking classes on that trip. So that would be fun for you. Sign me up. Yeah. The last one where I really want to go as a family is Banff and Lake Louise, which is kind of just right over the border in Canada. It’s that really, really Blue Lake.

Emma: Oh, okay. I was like, I don’t know what that is. Yes. Has Holly been there, our friend Holly?

Elsie: Yes. Holly’s been there.

Emma: Oh yes, I’ve seen her photos.

Elsie: It’s very outdoorsy (laughs) for us. It’s like the most outdoorsy we could ever be.

Emma: Wow. Look at you. You’re a camper now.

Elsie: So, yeah, that’s my dream list.

Emma: Should we do our listener question?

Elsie: Yes.

Emma: This listener question is from Theresa. And it came from Instagram and Theresa asks ask, how did y’all. (laughs) Sorry I gave her an accent, but she did say, y’all, sorry, Theresa I don’t know where you’re from. Okay. She says, how do you all establish boundaries while building a community? And I’m sure she means an online community since she was talking with us online.

Elsie: Ok. So yeah, this is definitely switching gears in my brain. I have a couple. Do you have a couple?

Emma: I really just had two things. They’re very different. So my number one thing is it’s pretty general, really is just. I would say you can’t control other’s actions. You can only control your own reaction. So when it comes to like boundaries in real life or online, which is also real life. But you know what I mean? I think, like, it’s great to set some things for yourself. But I think also you can’t control what other people are going to ask you or say to you or, you know, there’s only a certain amount you can control. So but you can always control yourself. And you don’t have to respond to people if you don’t want to. And you don’t have to feel angry or hurt by things. It’s also OK to feel that way. But you don’t have to hang onto it, you know. So I think that’s great, that kind of stuff gives me a lot of freedom and puts the power back in my court. So that’s how I deal with boundary things. I don’t know. That’s pretty general. And then the other thing, you probably have more stuff. But my other little thing was I don’t know if we’ve ever really said this on a blog or on the podcast before, but this kind of relates. So we do sponsored content. That’s part of how we monetize our platform, our blog and our Instagram. But one rule we have around that one boundary we have is we never require children to be pictured in sponsored content. If we are very upfront with our sponsors about that, we put it in there right away. And if that’s something that they’re wanting for their certain campaign, we totally understand. But we’re just not the right fit. And we established that a long time ago. And it’s for everyone. And it’s very much like a…if you are making something and you want your kid to be in the picture, that’s fine. We always let parents — if you want to put your kid in a photo, cool. We love it. We love seeing kids. But it’s never a requirement because we just don’t. We want to have that firm boundary where kids are kids. They don’t work. And that’s just what we do. It’s not a criticism towards other influencers who maybe do it different. This is just how we have a boundary.

Elsie: Definitely. Yeah. OK. So just to add a little more to what Emma just said. So we. Yeah, I don’t let my kids be in ads at all. And that is something that we decided before we had kids. But I never say that… this is the first time I’ve ever said it, which feels weird. I try not to ever say it. And the reason why is because I never want to make anyone feel bad or feel weird if their boundary’s different from mine because you get like your own. And that’s totally fine. And maybe in a different situation, I would’ve made a different decision. That’s fine, you know.

Emma: So you can have your boundaries. And it’s not a criticism on other people’s boundaries. They’re just yours.

Elsie: Definitely. I feel like a lot of our boundaries are invisible, just like that one where you’re never really gonna see it or notice it. But there are whole chunks of our life. Our personal life are like my marriage are…I don’t know. I don’t even want to say it. Like there’s there’s personal things that we never share about. And I think that that’s good. That’s normal. And I would rather just, I think if if you know what your boundaries are, you don’t really have to like…just don’t cross them, you know? And I find that people then will ask more questions and be more interested in the things that we are sharing. And as far as what Emma said with responding to negative people, I completely agree with that. Since it’s been about a month now since the quarantine started and I noticed right away that people were getting…that we were getting a little bit more mean comments or I was…Messages than normal, which is normal anyway. Like we get them. It happens. It’s not a big deal, but I just made a rule for myself at the beginning of this. I’m not going to respond to or engage with any of these. I just delete the DM right when it comes in. I don’t even give it a second thought. And I did that for my own boundary, my own mental health, my own space, because what energy I have in the day needs to go to my family and my little kids right now and my work. And then that’s it. I don’t have anymore. So to waste it on basically fighting with people with fake burner accounts. It just is not a not an option right now. So I guess that’s an example of a boundary that if I wouldn’t have said it, you maybe wouldn’t have even known it was there. But it’s helping me live a better life right now.

Emma: Yeah, I do think. Yeah. I guess that’s kind of part of it is the boundaries are really there for you and you can say them out loud. We’re saying some of ours right now. But I also think you kind of have to recognize again, you can’t control other people’s actions. So just because you put these rules out there, that doesn’t mean people are going to follow them. So you have to figure that out for yourself to be a how do you take control of your own boundaries, and on the negativity thing…

Elsie: And one last thing… Oh, sorry. Oh, go ahead.

Emma: Well, I was just gonna say we’re gonna do a whole episode on dealing with online negativity. We actually recorded it once and then we didn’t. We thought we could do better. So we’re recording it again. So we’re going to put that out sometime in the next month or so. And, you know, if you’re not in the headspace for it, cool. But we’re gonna talk a lot more about it because it’s going be a whole episode.

Elsie: Yeah, it’s a really deep subject that can take up a lot of time. So that’s why we had to do it twice. It’s…there’s just so much to say.

Emma: Well we have ten years of people hating us online. (laughs)

Elsie: I just want to say thank you thank you thank you to everyone who’s loved you for us and to everyone who shared our podcast. We see you every week tagging us, sharing the episodes on Instagram. And just thank you so much for doing that. It’s really helping us grow. And this is only episode. Was this twenty nine? Like, I feel like we’re still getting our footing in a lot of ways. So thank you for helping us grow and supporting us as we kind of learn what it means to have a podcast.

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  • I’m catching up on podcasts while I run. I really enjoy the show – good job! I liked listening and dreaming along to these vacation ideas since travel is out for a while.

    When I heard you say that you wanted to visit Croatia to see old historic buildings/places that we don’t have here in the US I had a double reaction. First I thought – yes, I have had that exact feeling. But I also thought – that’s not accurate – people have lived in the US for a long, long time and our schools erase a lot of that history by barely teaching us anything about it. I remembered reading that there was a group of people that lived in the midwest that build huge mounds you could visit. I tried to refresh my memory with a little google searching and I found one very cool site just across the river from Missouri called Cahokia. I also found this list of 28 Native American sites in Missouri – https://missourilife.com/29-native-american-sites-in-missouri/. Anyways, you don’t have to add these sites to your personal bucket list, but I think we need to learn to stop saying there is little history in the US.

    I also thought about how neither of you mentioned wanting to go to Venezuela after learning your mom was from there. Then I thought – duh, Venezuela is going through a terrible time even without coronavirus and is hardly a travel destination right now. If the political situation there improved, do you think you would like to go there? Or have you been there already? This question is colored by the fact that my parents are from the Netherlands so I went there on vacation to visit family as a child and would like to take my kids there someday.

    Thank you again for your great podcast!

  • I am so there and have been fantasizing & planning trips. I have a passion for seeing medieval citadels and Dubrovnik, Croatia is definitely on the list. You should check out Gotland medieval week, it is amazing and Gotland is gorgeous!! Also, Santa Fe is beautiful and the food is yummy.

  • Seriously can’t get enough of all of your podcasts! And yes you need to visit Lake Louise, it’s actually more beautiful than you could imagine. We are lucky to live only an hour and a half away. Hearing you talk about it makes me realize we don’t visit it enough or fully appreciate it being in our backyard.

    I’ve tried to find podcasts that I can relate to and not find annoying and I have to say yours is by far my favourite. The only complaint I’d have is that I’m running out of episodes to listen to, please do more!! I also feel like during this social distancing, releasing a podcast once every two days would be my dream! ;P

  • Emma, you will absolutely love Santa Fe!! It is super magical and there is tons to do. Albuquerque has a famous hot air balloon festival too. New Mexico in general is just magical. Also, Meow Wolf is 100% worth the hype.

    • I was going to point that out, too! Albuquerque is only about an hour’s drive to Santa Fe. Balloon Fiesta is in October which is also a really pretty time of year in NM. And if you do fly into Albuquerque (bigger airport than Santa Fe), take the turquoise trail to Santa Fe. It’s a little bit longer, but scenic and you’ll drive through Madrid, NM which is a cute little town with lots of galleries and a really good chocolate shop. Well, assuming all those small businesses survive this time. Also, there’s a singing road on that route!

      Thanks for the short mental escape from our current reality!

  • Emma, thank you so much for sharing all your colder climate vacation destinations! Everyone I know thinks that I’m so weird for wanting to go to places that are cold instead of warmer beach destinations.

  • As a travel adorer I envy you on your travel list <3 sending greetings from Croatia, I really hope Emma you will have a chance to visit us, let me know if you'll need any recommendations 🙂

  • Last February I went to Lofoten because of your blogpost, Emma. Unfortunately we didn’t see the northern lights, but luckily the landscape alone was very impressive! Pictures don’t do it justice, the place is so magical.

  • i went to sante fe in February and went to meow wolf after you mentioned it in a podcast! it was AMAZINNGGGGGG. i also stayed in ojo caliente (about an hour outside of sante fe) at the hot springs resort. i feel like you would love it, emma!

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