When special gift-giving events like birthdays come around, my family is constantly asking what they can get me. And I must admit,  I’m not the easiest person to shop for.

I typically don’t have very many good ideas to give my husband or daughter, but usually can come up with some new book or a decoration for the house I’ve resisted purchasing. However, this week for my birthday, Steve and Meghan ventured out on their own and came up with some FANTASTIC gifts that I truly love. They are perfect for anyone who enjoys travel like I do, so I thought I’d share them here.

First, my daughter, Meghan, got me this great card that says, “Live for life’s adventures.” It was a blank card, which I just love, because I got to read a personal message that came from her heart.

 

Inside, she wrote a lovely birthday note and hinted that my gifts were a couple things for wherever my travels take me.  I couldn’t wait to open them! The first gift was a bucket list notebook she said she found at Michael’s.

Isn’t that a great idea? I’ve never really written out my bucket list and this is a great little book where I can  list all the things I’d like to do in my lifetime and then enter the date they were each completed. I’ve already started making my list … travel to Greece, go on an African safari, take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, see a Pow Wow, meet the Compassion International child we sponsor, and the list goes on and on.

It even has sections for seasonal and yearly bucket lists just to keep me on track. Which I desperately need.

There are sections in the back for bucket lists for specific places, things I’ve already accomplished (a reverse bucket list) and a travel bucket list by country, state, and city.

I thought it was a great gift and one I will definitely use. The second gift Meghan got me was a similar notebook, but this one was all about organizing my notes when I’m traveling.

I loved the first page of the book that said, “Be brave enough to dream and strong enough to act.” How timely, as Steve and I embark on a  new adventure this year.

Inside, there is a section for a general packing list (which I’ve needed for years) and pages to track our budget for individual trips and then log travel expenses. That will come in especially handy as we do more traveling for business.

The majority of the book is then pages of travel logs where I can jot down notes about our destination, favorite foods, best moments, the weather, and favorite sites.

Meghan said she thought this would be a great resource for helping me remember things from our trips for blog posts, without taking the time while we’re enjoying a vacation to write posts right then and there. She was right and I love it.

As for Steve, for my birthday he sent me flowers (love, love, love getting flowers) and gave me a hand made certificate that I cannot wait to use, because it involves travel. The certificate stated he’d moved some money in our budget for me to use on a trip to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and at the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas,  AT MY DISCRETION! He included a sentence that said I could choose any I items I would like without worry of him rolling his eyes or saying anything about them.

You know what this means, right? If I want to buy yet another kitchen gadget or an overpriced throw pillow (or two), he will not say a word. It’s going to be magical, I tell you.

He also indulged my obsession with office supplies since we’re going to be doing even more travel blogging from our home office. He got me new mechanical pencils, colored markers (my all-time fav), a spiral notebook for my church notes, paper clips, and a laser pointer for the travel classes we’re going to teach this fall. I’ll admit, I was just little giddy.

All of the gifts I received were so well thought out and made me feel so loved and appreciated. This now 48-year-old traveler couldn’t ask for anything more.

Do you have any gift ideas for travelers? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you. 

As always, THANKS for sharing (and pinning)!

  • One of our favorite stops on our hosted food tour of @visitkansascityks was the @403club. Sure, they offer a great selection of locally crafted and larger production domestic beers. But they also have pinball machines. In fact, they even have a pinball league.⁣
⁣
We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
  • On our visit to Italy, we visited the Prosecco region. While we toured a number of wineries, we actually stayed at an inn run by the Roccat winery. ⁣
⁣
Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
⁣
We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
⁣
If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
⁣
@traveliowa
  • Set in Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the city's most iconic art installations. It's a giant, shiny bean which reflects everything in sight. It's fun to walk around (and under) the bean and see how the shape distorts what it reflects.⁣
⁣
Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
⁣
Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
  • On our cruise from Italy to Greece, we made a stop in Mykonos. There, we had the chance to take part in a Greek cooking class in a woman's home learning from her.⁣
⁣
We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
⁣
While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
⁣
Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
⁣
Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
⁣
Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
⁣
@themusicmanbway
  • When we heard that there was a community garden in Clear Lake, Iowa, we figured we'd stop and check it out. We've seen small town community gardens before, and were expecting a few flower patches, some paving stones, and maybe a bench or two. After all, it was built and is maintained by volunteers in a small Iowa town. ⁣
⁣
What we found, though, was simply astounding! First, the entire garden had been designed beautifully; a small stream even meandered through the gardens, pausing in small lily-filled pools before continuing on its path. But the flowers took the cake. So many varieties, each more beautiful than the last. And the entire space had been planned out to take advantage of the spring, summer, and autumn species. ⁣
⁣
if you enjoy gardens, put the Central Gardens of North Iowa on your list of places to visit.
  • Calmar, Iowa, near Decorah, is home to Pivo Brewery and Blepta Studios. There you'll find high quality craft beers, in a relaxed, fun environment. Upstairs from the taproom are the studios, where you can try your hand at art while sipping your beer.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska