Not enough time at home? Wanna travel more?

Anyone out there enjoy traveling as much as I do?  Anyone wish they could travel more? I might have a solution for you.

Do you remember when you were young and you dreamed of what you’d do when you grew up? What was it? An engineer, a doctor,  a car designer or a ballet dancer? Maybe even own your own business.
Do you still dream but has your dream been crushed by needing to get by? Working just to get by is not the answer to your happiness.  Your happiness is too damn important.

I love the way society decides what your life is supposed to look like, what job you’re supposed to be in, and how many kids you are supposed to have. Any by ‘love’ I mean ‘hate’. You should live your best life according to YOUR terms not society’s.

YOUR terms do not include sitting at a desk all day, but if they do you can skip this article.  They most definetly don’t include staying in the office while your boss goes out and plays golf all afternoon.  While your kids are playing your busy at work or you’re working at home.   There never seems to be enough time.  Can you imagine if you had time during the day for your kids?

I do currently consider myself self-employed but I still have my 9 to 5 job for the measly salary and the irreplaceable health benefits.  I’ve been involved with an online marketing community since late March early April.  I’ve never regretted the decision to start my own business even though I still haven’t made a dime.  The Affiliate marketing business  model can be quite lucrative but only if you have high end products.  Which this business model does.

If you’re serious minded about becoming your own boss,  you can work part-time while still managing your 9 to 5 job while your getting your business off the ground then I encourage you to check out my website lynnvanzant.com  then click on ‘Start here’.

Traveling with a child that has severe food allergies.

The four of us on Northern European Cruise 2019

I love traveling with my family, it’s my favorite thing to do but traveling does present its unique challenges. My 14 year old son has severe food allergies, meaning he goes into anaphalaxis if he eats the wrong foods. Needless to say my son carries around his own Epipen, but his mother also carries one as well and when we travel abroad we carry around as many as we can.

It’s amazing all the stuff they sneak into our foods

Of course he’s not allergic to normal things. His allergies include tree nuts, beans, peas, carrots, legumes and all seeds like sesame and caraway. We also found out recently he’s allergic to the skins of all fruits and vegetables – however he only breaks out in hives for this allergy and his throat gets itchy Recently companies increasingly are putting sesame seeds in breads and I’m not talking about just the top of the bread either. It’s amazing all the stuff they sneak into our foods.

We love the way Disney handles food allergies

Our own story really starts and ends with Disney and how comfortable we are with the way they handle food allergies. As I’ve noted before we’ve been on a total of 6 Disney cruises, 5 with the kids and 1 without, and every time we always walk away very impressed. We’ve been to Disney World countless times over the course of time that we’ve had kids. The service is always impeccable and the food is incredible and they always make my son feel special. One time on a cruise for dessert they brought him out a humongous bowl of fresh fruit including the biggest strawberries I’ve ever seen. My wife had heard amazing things about the chef at the Fort Wilderness dinner buffet. They took such good care of him and when it came time for dessert hethe chef made him a special dessert just for my son. The dessert was so elaborate people were stopping by our table to find out where he got that. That’s why my wife and I primarily stick with Disney. It’s really a comfort factor.

On a cruise ship the Head Waiter is our best friend. He or she usually comes to personally take the order for the next day. We also take a sit-down breakfast and lunch that way his list of food allergies travels from kitchen to kitchen. The other option is buffets which we try to stay away from due to obvious cross-contamination issues. That’s not to say we never eat at a buffet on the ship but it’s taking a chance, and being in a foreign country or being in the middle of the ocean there’s no reason to take too many risks.

If you ever get the chance try a DVC cruise on Disney Cruise line

I remember when we did a DVC (Disney Vacation Club) cruise out of Port Canaveral, Florida one of the stops was Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. The only option for lunch for us once we got off the ship was a rather large BBQ buffet on the island. The Head Waiter, Joyce, was fantastic she had a special plate made up for him in advance. Joyce took very good care of my son on that cruise.

I thought it was impressive that they took all this food off the ship and set it up so that people would have a scrumptious meal right on the beach! We got off in the early morning to set out to find a shady spot, swam quite a while, relaxed a bit and then could walk to an awesome meal under a covered eating area. If you like the islands and find yourself wanting to book a Disney cruise (first call my wife, she is a travel agent) you have to go to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Austin eating

As I write this post we literally just finished a 10 day cruise to Northern Europe on Disney. My son had no problems on the cruise itself. We had some minor issues finding food in Copenhagen, Denmark which is the city/port from where we started the cruise. Copenhagen had a very healthy vibe to it at all of their restaurants. Everything was whole grain, which my son is also allergic to, organic and lots of nuts. But other than that we were again lucky and had a fantastic head waiter, George from Romania, who took good care of my son. It also helps to have a waiter/waitress that works well with the head waiter.

Olexandra from 2019 European cruise with my son
Olexandra from 2019 European Disney cruise with my son

If you want to learn more about Disney Cruise line please contact my wife she can be reached at 1 (609) 618-1887. She is a travel agent and specializes in Disney.

Getting ready for our 2019 August trip

The family and I are getting ready for a huge, fantastical 2 week trip in August to Northern Europe. The wife and I decided to take an awesome Disney cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary this year.  We still haven’t finalized all of the details for our trip yet, but there’s a lots of planes, and trains to our trip including taking 2 different trains to Disneyland Paris.

I am so excited to go on this trip but I have to say it’s a little nerve wracking. We  are taking our 2 kids and flying into Copenhagen and staying there only 24 hours before leaving from the Port and getting on the Disney Magic and cruising around northern Europe with stops in Helsinki, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Frederika, Denmark and finally Dover, England where we finish out the cruise.  Afterwards we are jumping on the Eurostar  to Disneyland Paris where we will be staying for 3 days.  On the third day we are going into Paris but still haven’t finalized what exactly we are doing in Paris.  There’s obviously too much to see for 1 day.

I’ve been to Paris twice before and the wife has been there once, but we’ve never taken the kids there.  My daughter is ecstatic about the Paris part of the trip and quite frankly it’s my favorite city I’ve ever been to.

We feel very blessed to be taking this trip.  My 12 year old daughter has been dreaming of going to Paris for years.  As I mentioned before it’ll be a short trip to Paris and we won’t get to see much but it’ll will give our kids a taste for now.

There’s lots of other places I want to take my kids, things I want them to see, and cultures they need to experience.  One of the things I love about traveling is that it teaches you tolerance toward others by seeing through other people’s eyes.  In a world where we are becoming xenophobic and closed off, I know that traveling is a like a therapy for the soul.

What are your opinions on traveling abroad and tolerance toward others?

A Middle-American living in New Jersey

early morning lake photo
Millville, NJ

I moved to New Jersey, where my wife is originally from, after the World Trade Center bombings in 2001.  We  visited the area twice before we decided to move here from our Florida apartment where we knew absolutely no one.  There was nothing to keep us in Florida, so we packed our bags and headed north.  On a side note and since this is a travel blog,  so I should mention we stopped overnight in St. Augustine, Florida.  I had never been there but my wife and been there several times.  I absolutely loved it.  It has an old-world European charm to it -which I love. 

I’d be willing to bet you’ve never realized the rest of New Jersey is as diverse and beautiful as any other state

When I visited Jersey, I was impressed with the people how friendly they were and the cleanliness of the area.  Let me first say most people when they think of New Jersey is the smokestacks, the urban blight, and the refineries in North Jersey.  We live in Ocean County in the Southern part of New Jersey along the ‘Jersey Shore’.  But I’d be willing to bet you’ve never realized the rest of New Jersey is as diverse and beautiful as any other state.  We live on the Shore about a mile from the bay and 30 minutes by car to the barrier island, Long Beach Island or Seaside Heights if you prefer.  The rest of Jersey is mostly farmlands and believe it or not horse farms in some central counties. 

I originally grew up in Northwest Missouri in a medium sized town an only child to two parents who had typical middle-western values and traditions.  My family was far from normal however, but I won’t go into the details in this post.  I will save it for my therapist.  If you really want to know more about my story click on the link below. 

https://lynnvanzant.com/about-me/

Missouri man living in New Jersey and likes it…..film at 11

I’ve always been highly adaptable to my surroundings:  I lived in Denver metro area in the 90’s and loved it.  I met my wife in Denver, and we moved to Clearwater, Florida.  I liked it okay except for the people, but my wife hated the heat and hated the people.  The area where we lived was highly transient and no one spoke to you.  The locals were fine but most everyone else was from somewhere else- mostly the Northeast (cue ironic laughing).   We left and never looked back.

Since 2001 I set roots down in New Jersey and am so happy for it

 

As long as I can remember I’ve had the wanderlust bug and it manifests itself these days in my love for traveling.  However, the older I get the more I get set in my ways and traveling becomes more of a challenge- which I never expected when I was younger.  Since 2001 I set roots down in New Jersey and am so happy for it.  The schools are exceptional, if we want to feel like we’re on vacation we can go to the beach and if we want a change of scenery, we have Philadelphia 1.5 hours away, D.C. 3 hours away and New York is 1.5 to 2 hours away depending on traffic. 

As with any place Jersey has its drawbacks.  First and foremost, the cost of living is very expensive.  Having said that we live in the cheapest area of New Jersey which is in Ocean County.  We have a nuclear power plant in our town (gasp!) and it keeps our taxes low compared to the rest of the county and state.  New Jersey is the most congested state in the nation, sooooo traffic sucks.  Jersey’s weather is not the greatest, although since we’re so close to the ocean we don’t get that brutal cold weather. 

This will sound corny but most of all I feel very blessed to have met such a wonderful person in my wife and to have found a place I can call home. 

Where do you live and what are the pros and cons of your area?