My Next Journey

Whale Watch

Sisters getting ready to whale watch in Canada

It doesn’t take people a long time knowing me before they realize that I have the “travel bug.” Recently, I’ve been hearing the same question over and over: “So, where’s your next trip?”

My answer isn’t what people expect. I’m not going anywhere international any time soon, because I’m bracing for a different kind of journey. I’m going to be an aunt!


I only have one sibling, and my sister is expecting a baby girl in March. For some people, being an aunt or an uncle is no big deal. But I’m going to be a different kind of aunt. This little girl is going to be smothered with love and all the balloons she could ever want. I plan to be a huge part of her life. I can’t wait to take her on all sorts of adventures, and I hope I’m the person she calls when she’s fifteen and her parents are driving her crazy. I know she’ll grow up faster than I can imagine, and I enjoyed imagining her in balloons for my sister’s baby shower this weekend.

I know she'll be crawling and then walking faster than I can believe!

I know she’ll be crawling and then walking faster than I can believe!

As I’ve been preparing for this new role, I’ve been thinking about how similar it feels to preparing for a trip. Wearing the “aunt hat” will be different and exciting, like exploring a new country. I’ll certainly encounter challenges at times, but the rewards will be worth every hard spot. And there’s only so much planning that’s possible, because you can’t really know a place until you are there.

I'm taking a class on making things out of foam!

I’m taking a class on making things out of foam!

Don’t worry. I’ll never stop exploring new countries. It’s a passion that will stay with me forever. However, I’ve been experimenting with other ways to explore the wonder of our planet. In addition to the “travel bug” I think I also have the “artist bug.” I feel a sheer joy when I create a new balloon sculpture, learn to make jewelry out of shrinky dinks, or carve something out of foam (these are all recent projects). There’s a hunger inside me to create and connect, and travel and art are ways to do those things. It’s about living life to the fullest. Recently, I’ve also discovered a new hobby — running! I’ve heard people talk about the “runner’s high” but I never played many sports when I was young. I’m just now realizing how great it can feel to challenge myself physically.

There are lots of ways to feel fulfilled and renewed. I wonder what will spark my niece’s mind and heart? I hope to share some of my loves with her, but maybe she’ll be the one to teach me a new passion some day. We haven’t met yet, but I can already tell this is going to be a fabulous journey.
My sister, me, and the baby

My sister, me, and my niece

Categories: Global Citizenship, USA

5 replies »

  1. Oh, Sara, you will love being an Aunt! 😀 It’s the young version of grandparenting; love them, spoil them, and then send them home! 😀 My four children are the only grandkids on my side, but my cousin’s two tiny daughters are my “nieces” in California. They are adorable, and the two-year-old, Kenzie, has actually been smiling since her birth. We have pictures!!! On my husband’s side, our kids are just four in 20 (or so?!) but that gives me all kinds of fun nieces and nephews to love and hang out with. (When we’re in Idaho. Or out west, anyway.)

    Good luck to your sister and good luck with this part of your life journey. It’s going to be awesome!

  2. Yay!!!! You’re going to be an aunt!!!!

    I remember you telling us this at our last Global Leaders Club Meeting. I was so surprised and happy when you told us!!!!
    You’re balloon creations are cool, and is it hard to carve things out of foam? Is it easy?
    I think I share your passion for exploring. I really want to venture out into the woods someday with some awesome friends, and hopefully come across something wonderful and magical. Maybe a whole new world!!!! 😀
    That’s probably a little far-fetched, though. Ah, well, you never know!! 😉

    Good Luck to being an Aunt!!!!
    😉 ~ Anna

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