I’ve always loved to travel. I love seeing new things and experiencing other cultures, making a home wherever I am, even if it’s just for a little bit. When Jarod and I decided to become parents, one thing I hoped was that my children would love to travel, too. I want to show them the world, and I want to learn new things right alongside them. We took Zinashi on her first big trip with us, to London and Nice, when we’d been a family for just a year. She loved it, and we learned a lot, which we’re beginning to put into practice with Elvie. While we’d been back to our home city to visit friends and family, the trip I just took to New York City with the girls was the first trip Elvie went on just for the fun of it. The hospital portion was obviously not fun, but the trip itself and everything that we did that we intended to do was fantastic. I was told while planning the trip that I was brave to take both kids on a trip alone, but really, my motives were selfish.
When I travel with my kids, I get to have a travel experience that is the same in some ways and completely different in others than travel on my own or with other adults. Being with my kids, and especially with Elvie, who still needs a nap, has forced me to slow down. We have to take our time, and plan ahead. But we also take detours, and that’s where it gets interesting. There are things I never would notice that catch my eye because I am looking for things to do that we will all enjoy. Sometimes even stopping at a playground gives me a new view that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
It is also immensely pleasurable to watch my children exploring new places. I love seeing the delight on Elvie’s face when she gets to go down a new slide at a playground in a new city, or watching her chart her course to get to something that she can climb or conquer. I was thrilled to see how well Elvie took to traveling. She was comfortable wherever we went, and she saw each new place as another venue to make new friends, calling out, “Hi! Hi!” to anyone within earshot.
Finally, I just like to be together as a family, and so wherever we are together is a good place to be. Sometimes it’s simply nice to enjoy each other’s company in a completely different place. A change in the scenery while keeping to our usual routine otherwise is sometimes just the thing we all need to go home feeling refreshed and grateful for normal life.