“Travel means letting go and getting outside of your normal, stressful life.” A Travel Chat with a Lifestyle Coach.

by Janis on January 18, 2011

Traveler Interview:  Jennifer Peek   

Jennifer Peek grew up in a small town just 30 minutes east of Kansas City, Missouri and continues to live in Kansas City with her family – husband Mike, 11-year-old daughter Mara and 8-year-old son Max.  Mike grew up in southern California, moving to the Midwest at the age of twelve.  He is a global sales director for Cisco Systems, Inc.

Jennifer is a coach and the founder Peek Lifestyle Coaching.  A former financial manager at a Fortune 50 company, Jennifer knows how to juggle work, family and community work.  Through Peek Lifestyle Coaching, Jennifer helps busy women have it all without compromise.         

Jennifer and her family enjoy Maui, Hawaii.

The Jones: What inspires you to travel?   

Jennifer:  Lots of things”;but these days it is mostly about creating experiences for our family.  Our kids are not globetrotters by any means, but they have traveled much more than many kids.  We think that this shows up in how they interact with others, how quickly they adjust to new places and situations and how confident they are in general.  We want our kids (and ourselves) to see new places while our kids are still young enough to want to be with us!   

We are also encouraging the kids to seek out their own experiences.  This coming summer, that includes a 2-week trip to France and England for Mara as a student ambassador with People to People.   

Have you always enjoyed travel? What contributed to your love of travel?      

Jennifer:  I have, even though my travel experiences until the past five years or so was more limited.  Growing up in a small town, I didn’t even get on an airplane until after I graduated from college.  Still, I was always wanting to go somewhere and see something new.  The biggest thing that contributed to my love of traveling was experiencing new things – which I credit to my mom.  She has always been about trying new things, near and far, and making it work with whatever means you had.   

What is your favorite destination?  Why?    

Jennifer:  To date, it is Maui.  I love the sun, beach and warm weather.  I could do without winter weather even though I’ve always lived in the Midwest.  Warm weather gives us the chance to be outside and most of the activities we enjoy as a family are physical and outside such as skiing, swimming and biking.   

 What destination has surprised you the most, either good or bad?  
 
Jennifer: The Grand Canyon.   We’ve seen pictures, of course, but it is so hard to understand the magnificence and depth of what it looks like unless you are actually standing on the south rim.  We were there for sunset the day after Christmas.  It was amazing to watch the colors change in the rocks and in the sky.   
 

Mather Point, Grand Canyon National Park

 

Why do you think that travel is important?  

Jennifer: The world is getting smaller, and we truly are becoming a global economy.  I know that sounds rote and a little like a mantra from the news or government, but it is really true.  My husband’s job is a global one – he has direct reports in Europe, Australia and Japan.  As he travels, he sees how important it is that we all be able to “˜get along’ with other countries.  Much of that is in the sense of just not being so isolated which can happen easily in the United States – especially in the Midwest.   

You coach busy women on how to live their lives with less stress and more balance.   How do you see travel fitting in?     

Jennifer: Travel means letting go and getting outside of your normal, stressful life.  It is also a way to get new experiences into the framework of what they live constantly.  If you change the environment, you can change the experience and how you feel.  Travel is also one of the best ways to connect with your family and friends.  It creates shared experiences that help give you a whole new way to relate with each other.  There are few things that are enjoyable in the moment and years later that can do that.   

White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

 

From your travels, do you have a practice or insight that makes your travel experiences more enjoyable?       

Jennifer: We’ve tried to be good about taking pictures and posting those along with our thoughts to our family blog – www.PeekFamilyAdventures.com  This is like a living picture album.  It is a way to have our extended family and friends share our experiences but it is also a great way for us to look back.  The kids, in particular, love to read my comments and see what pictures I chose to share.  We also like to think it is a way to inspire others to like their own lives more fully through travel.   

We enjoy learning about other people’s travel discoveries as much as making our own.     

What fuels your travel passion?  Please share in comments.       

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