You Will Never Have Exactly This Moment Again
Our little family of five has had the great privilege of traveling to 42 states, 28 countries, and 21 islands together. We appreciate every trip for the opportunity to grow together, to share experiences, food, accommodations, transportation, and more — to literally and figuratively navigate the world together.
We love traveling for a million reasons, but here are five you might consider as you contemplate your next trip:
1. Travel Preserves a Moment in Time.
Parents, you aren’t getting any younger, but even worse, you’ll never have this moment with your children again. Sit with that for a moment. Really feel it and then use that emotion to make the time now to get to know them where they are, at the stage and age they are, to serve up new experiences, destinations, and people, and watch them engage with, relate to, and observe the world.
You are still informing the foundation with which your children will filter their worldview. With that, focus on kindness, hope, curiosity, love, learning, anticipation, tolerance and peace.
Try to be present to what they are teaching you right now too, capitalizing on the gift of seeing the world again for the first time through their eyes.
2. Travel is Good for the Soul.
Our day-to-day as a family is a roller coaster of love, happiness, joy, monotony, frustration, obligation, and more. A vacation allows us to escape routine for a bit, break our patterns, and show up as our best selves, a little more easy-going, more playful, less distracted, more present, and just enjoy each other.
Our kids see the fun, light-hearted, fully present parents that we can be, and also witness the genuine love, affection, romance, and respect between us that sometimes gets lost in the daily responsibilities of adulting. On the flip side, we get to savor the kids all day, from sunrise to sunset, without work or school interfering, just watching them take it all in. It’s pure bliss.
3. Travel Emphasizes Simple Pleasures.
Instead of quickly grabbing dinner after homework and before bath time, or eating breakfast on the go, when we’re on vacation, we tend to find a waterfront view for our meals or choose a farm-to-table experience we’ve heard was amazing and linger. Instead of running errands, paying bills, and cleaning the kitchen, we play at the beach, we work on our suntans and challenge each other to mini-golf.
We go on family walks, not just to achieve a step goal or satisfy the dog, but to enjoy the sights, take in the sunsets, and have heartfelt conversations. We have dessert every day, sleep in whenever we want, and indulge in healthy restorative activities with the potential to sustain us during less fun, less memorable, more challenging times.
4. Travel Stretches What You Think You Know.
Whether it’s an adrenaline thrill ride, cultural immersion, a destination where no one speaks your language, or a situation gone very wrong, it’s good practice sometimes to have to respond to something way outside your comfort zone, to employ skills that are a little rusty, dusty, or even unknown to you, to come together to craft a solution, or even throw your expectations out the window and just let it unfold.
Even the most meticulously planned vacations will inevitably be a mix of perfection and bewilderment, a chance to laugh with your family, at your family, at yourself, and broaden your perspective in the process.
5. Travel Meets Our Deeper Needs.
We plan and anticipate, pack and prepare, travel and enjoy, laugh and play, document and photograph, savor and share our trips. At each stage, someone in the family is utterly happy.
Mom enjoys the planning and anticipating, researching destinations, making reservations, counting down the days. Dad enjoys being in the moment, watching the kids’ discovery, seeing Moms contentment as it plays out like she hoped, playing golf, gambling, watching the game, being a part of the action.
Big brother is reluctant at first, the last to let go of the comforts of home, but finally surrenders to the fun and novelty, learning new concepts, new skills, new words, new approaches. Big sister follows big brother’s lead until she’s sure, then finds her own way, instantly making friends, competing every chance she gets, running as fast as she can. And little sister studies it all with an irresistible smile and a sunny disposition, charming everyone, a force of nature who is only as patient as a little one can be.
Our group dynamic is “contagious happiness”, and energetically, we try to lighten the load of anyone we encounter, spreading joy all along our journey. Pay attention to what you carry when you travel. Are you ambassadors of love and light too?
For a glimpse of our most recent adventure, follow me on Instagram for a recap of our entire journey presented with a photo of the day and brief daily summary. I hope it inspires you to make plans to go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go!