@KimOrlando, the Traveling Mom, Says Take That Trip
I can't remember the last road trip I took with my family. The last airplane trip we took was almost 4 years ago now. This is not because I do not like to travel. I love exploring. I love seeing new places, doing new things, and meeting new people. I absolutely love finding really good food. But, with two young boys, a hard-working husband, and extended family nearby, long road trips are scarce and airplane trips are difficult and expensive. I settle for the occasional geocache hunt.
But after talking recently with Kim Orlando, founder of TravelingMom.com, I am encouraged, nay, even inspired to "say yes to the trip," as she puts it. Her site was born 4 years ago out of traveling difficulties of another sort, the kind engendered by too-frequent business travel, like scheduling difficulties and guilt about being away from her kids and husband. TravelingMom provides tips, stories, information on destinations, travel product reviews, and (most importantly, I'd say) details about places to eat wherever you're going. It is geared to moms because "the best travel guide is another mom," says Kim.
Indeed, there is something there for many varieties of moms: those seeking adventure, those taking special needs children on a trip, those traveling with teens, those going on business trips, etc. Kim is herself the mother of a teenager, as well as a 12- and a 10-year-old. She is an entrepreneur, both in education and in vocation. The advantages of social media - the low barriers to entry, for instance - are part of what enabled her to start up TravelingMom after seeking help to resolve her travel issues and coming up short.
I, the travel-challenged mom, can not only find stories that reinforce my enjoyment of geocaching, but also tips aplenty on how to do a road trip with young children (see "The Do's and Don'ts of Family Road Tripping"), and plenty of pictures and info to feed my dream of one day going on a family cruise. The only article missing is one on how to convince my stick-in-the-mud husband to take that cruise with us.
Kim Orlando, the Traveling Mom, says she finds happiness in providing this resource, which makes her a better mom. Her mission, she says, is to "interview as many moms about their travels as I can." Ultimately, she wants to have a mini-site for at least every major city in America, to make traveling easier for as many moms as possible. She encourages other moms who've had difficult experiences, travel-based or otherwise, to "put themselves out there so that they can get some support. Ask the experts" about where you're going and what to do.
So, maybe there is hope for someone like me. At the very least, I can travel vicariously through MomItForward's founder Jyl Johnson Pattee (India?! So not fair.). I can make covert plans using all the information available on TravelingMom. I can dream better than anyone. And there's always geocaching.