Thanks for the emails regarding my recent thread about staffing and wages as it pertains to aerospace CNC machining. By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, even though we have comments closed on the blog, I welcome your comments via email if you click on the link at the bottom of every post – “What no comments? I have something to say!”
Before giving you the punch line of that two-part series (Part 1 and Part 2 for your recap), since we’re in the middle of summer vacation season, I wanted to take a detour and write about travel.
Before we both had careers and a child, and despite constrained budgets, my wife and I created a lot of memories for ourselves through travel. Thinking back on those trips, a big part of what made them memorable was having to figure things out and not knowing in advance what we were going to run into along the way – good or bad. Indeed, I can remember on one of our many backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon seeing a couple in their late sixties hiking out of the Canyon hand in hand and saying to my wife that we needed to do whatever we could to make sure that was us in 30 years.
Although it’s been awhile since we’ve been backpacking, a simple recipe we now use to keep ‘scripted travel’ from becoming the default setting is to:
- Use AirBNB for our lodging.
- Use a midsize city with easy access to open space (e.g., parks) as our home base.
- Use a car to take day trips.
Sure, a simple and stress-free way to travel is to book a cruise or a stay in a western-style hotel. However, we find that as much as they might embrace the local culture, this type of travel gives you a sheltered view of the world in which you are located. While that is perfect for some, the three-part recipe above has kept us engaged and given us many authentic, fun, and interesting adventures.
AirBNB is a great way to get connected to a place; especially, if you’re going to be in a foreign country. It’s also a great way to save money, not only on your room but also on food since you won’t have to eat out all the time. If you are traveling to a foreign country and you have kids the one recommendation I’d make is to ask your host for contact information to a primary care physician as well as the location and operating hours of the nearest pharmacy just in case something goes wrong.
I love big cities but if you’re on a budget and traveling with younger kids a midsize city can greatly reduce the stress and cost of travel. Furthermore, if you find yourself renting a small place, having access to open space for your kids to run around can go a long way to maintaining your sanity.
Without taking away from your experience in the city you’re visiting, day trips are a great way to keep everyone looking forward to the next adventure. I realize that traveling with a car in many countries/cities comes with its own set of problems but, as much as I love trains and busses, especially when traveling with kids I’ve found the benefits (e.g., time, access and cost) to outweigh the negatives.
Given the favorable exchange rate at the moment, Europe is a great place to consider when thinking about a trip like this. With that in mind, next week I’ll introduce you to one of my favorite cities in France: Strasbourg.
Until then, a music recommendation (click here for my Spotify playlist).
When I was a kid, I used to be a big fan of country music. Although my love for Johnny Cash and Elvis already primed me for the music, my interest in the genre was largely inspired by a crush I had on a girl named Bonnie in elementary school. Our school had a country swing dance competition and, this being before the days of social media, I asked Bonnie to be my partner. I left the competition with a 2nd place ribbon (always second place – dammit) and a love for the music.
Sometime after elementary school I stopped listening to country music when it transformed itself into the commercially successful, too big to fail, heaping pile of shit that it has become. Although there were always exceptions and the musicians and producers behind the music are amazing, it’s one of the few genres of music that for many years I went out of my way to not listen to. Which is why when I happen upon a country artist that I like I get really pumped.
Chris Stapleton is such an artist and in the theme of today’s blog I leave you with his song Traveller. Stapleton has been one of the behind the scenes guys in Nashville for many years and it’s great to hear that he has been given the chance to release his own album.
Makes me want to take a road trip….until next week…xian
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