ANBA – our (very) brief story:
Well, hello there. My name is Alisa. Ever since I was a little girl, living in Azerbaijan (it was one of the Soviet Union republics when I was growing up), my dreams were about traveling. Whether that was because I knew that traveling as a Soviet citizen would be extremely limited – both for monetary and political reasons – or because I had vivid imagination and longed to see the places I read about in tons of various books. Whatever it was, that dream never left even after I ended up on a different continent, in a country with a lot more opportunities. I was lucky enough to meet a guy, Boris, who shared my passion of visiting and exploring new places both near and far. That passion stayed with us as we got married and started a family. Now, I am proud to say, our two boys, Nick and Adrian, only add to that passion by choosing and dreaming of their own must see destinations.
Why the blog and why now:
I’ve always enjoyed writing. When I was little, I would write funny stories; as a teenager, I’ve attempted to write little poems; then I tried keeping a journal/diary, which I never shared with anyone. My Lit professor in college suggested I major in English, which I took as a very big compliment considering English was my second language and I was the only freshman in his class. I have to say that I didn’t follow his advice and went into a completely opposite and non-creative field of finance. Since I try to live and view life from the “no regrets” angle, I won’t say fortunately or unfortunately, but writing was always one of those “what if” items in the back of my mind, so I’m glad today’s technology allows people from different backgrounds to dabble with it.
Having said that, this blog, first and foremost, is my attempt to document our family travel adventures so we can “revisit” them later on. You see, I don’t trust my memory all that much ☺ I already make collages and photo books (kids help me with those too, now that they’re older). And it’s a lot of fun going through them together, remembering the time we’ve spent together, the places we’ve seen, and the experiences we’ve shared. But that’s why some of them would be a bit more personal rather than straight forward itineraries. If personal aspects or some historical facts are a bit much for you, I promise I won’t get offended. You can simply skip those and concentrate on either the daily headings (I list the major stops right there) or more detailed bullet points.
I don’t remember exactly (see, memory problems) what happened to make these two somewhat different tracks collide in my head, but one day I thought: “If I make my kids write little journals when we travel, why shouldn’t I do the same”?, “Why not start a little blog to kill these two birds with one stone”? Since nothing with me is ever that simple, it still took a while for the idea to come to fruition. But it seems that 2018 might be the year when courage, time, and inspiration from my awesome friends and family aligned and voila – ANBA Worldwide was created (name credits go to Nick). If you are reading this, it means I arranged all of my notes, scratches of paper, and various word docs into something coherent and actually started a blog.
PS: Personally, I found it very hard to find a lot of information catered to traveling with kids once you step beyond your typical kid-friendly destinations (although this is changing thanks to fellow bloggers and instagramers). So if this blog will help anyone with their quests or provide some useful ideas, it will make us very happy. And if you don’t feel like reading all the details and personal stuff, just concentrate on the highlights.
PPS: Since we both work full-time and I do consider myself technologically challenged, I imagine this site will be a work in progress for quite some time. It will also feature our past and current adventures with our best attempt to make it interesting and relevant.