My Hopes for Travel and My Children

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Many who read this site have kids, had kids who are now grown, or at some point in their lives may have kids.  Pretty much all who read this site have an interest in travel.  Clearly, I have both, and today I find my hopes for both intersecting.  I mean, let’s be honest, there’s not too much you can do 9+ months pregnant in the middle of a Texas summer other than clean out drawers, swim, and think.  Since it’s not quite time yet for my daily swim or drawer/closet cleaning session, I’m thinking about my hopes for travel and my soon-to-be-born second daughter.

Of course I have many hopes for her that aren’t travel related including that she be healthy, happy, content, fulfilled, challenged, loved, loving, smart, creative, funny, diverse, tolerant, accepting, kind, loyal, friendly, well-rounded, adventurous, patient, friendly, fun-loving, inspired, inquisitive, and thoughtful.  I’m sure I could come up with many more traits I would love for her to have and experience, but that’s probably a long enough list for a not yet born infant.

Like most of us, she may not posses every one of those traits, but I think they are good things to root for and try and foster.  In fact, the more I look at the list, the more I’m struck my how relevant travel actually can be to developing many of those characteristics.

I mean, as a kid, how can you see some of the world’s natural wonders and not be inspired?

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How could you have the opportunity to sled, ski, hike, and explore and not feel adventurous?

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How could you see people around the world who look, sound, and live so differently than you and not become more accepting and tolerant?

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How could you witness and participate in activities and customs in far away places and not become more creative and diverse?

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How could you see, touch, and smell things that others might only learn about in books or on Wikipedia and not become smarter, inquisitive, and more challenged?

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How could you have a blast at some of the epi-centers of fun around the world and not become more fun-loving?

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It might have been pushing the envelope to go to Arizona for just the weekend, but I think we are all glad we took the leap!

How could you spend dedicated time with your family members enjoying shared experiences around the globe and not become more happy, loyal, friendly, content, loved, and loving?

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How could you have the chance to connect with grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and extended family who live far away and not feel more supported and connected?

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How could you experience long haul flights, long lines, and long delays and not become more patient?

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How could family travel as a child not help shape someone into being an even better version of themselves?

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My hope for our second daughter, just like for our first, is that she feel happy, fulfilled, safe, loved, and secure at home in her own neighborhood.  In fact, I want her roots to be so secure at home that she feels the freedom and drive to explore the world beyond her own backyard and experience and integrate all that life has to offer.  I want her to appreciate both the magnitude and connectedness of the world in which she lives.

I think travel can help enrich, balance, shape, and inspire even adults, but especially impressionable kids.  While our budget has likely never been tighter, my hope is that through miles and points we are able to continue to make travel a realistic and regular part of our family’s life even as we expand (any day now) from a family of three to a family of four.

Travel alone does not guarantee a kind, loving, and well-rounded kid, but it absolutely can play a big role if you let it.  In fact, one of my favorite quotes is a version of the following:

“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings“.

In our case, the wings just happen to often be attached to a fuselage.  May both my girls always fly high, and then know how to return home.

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Comments

  1. Awesome post. I agree wholeheartedly! I traveled a lot as a child, and feel it gave me many of the attributes on you ur list. Good luck with the delivery and look forward to seeing pictures of your new baby!

  2. I am sitting at Hyatt Lost Pines now, reading this beautiful article. I think of the trip to Hawaii last year, and back to Virginia next month with both our girls. Then I see them almost fighting over who gets to push the elevator button
    … Yes, we love the travel, and the resorts. But siblings can be a tough nut to crack. Enjoy them, and love them, and hope for the best.

  3. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your pictures and inspiring my family to get out to live and love the wonderful world around us! Good luck!

  4. Terrific post! I didn’t travel much as a child, other than our initial trip from Japan to the U.S., and a trip back for a grandparent’s funeral, but traveled a lot in my 20’s and 30’s. I agree that traveling widens one’s horizons. And the world would be a better place if we all traveled more and got to know the similarities and differences of other cultures.

  5. Such lovely sentiment! This is getting pinned for sure. I’d just swap out the “two girls” with “two boys” and it’ll fit my family 🙂

  6. Very well written; the photos are mesmerizing! Thank you, and may all go well for you and your sweet family …

  7. Yes! Great post and perfect timing. I jut drove for 10 hours alone with my 5 kiddos to Calgary to give them an experience they have never had. I was feeling exhausted from the trip but reading your post solidified why I do things like this. Thanks!

  8. Thank you for the lovely and inspiring post. I can’t wait to take my 2 years old and 6 months old with me, and we will be around the world!

  9. There is something so poignant about the emotional sentimentality that nine months of pregnancy brings. This is a lovely post with some beautiful reflections, all while being on the precipice of a whole new adventure. Best of luck this week with your new little one!

  10. I have 3 daughters. They have traveled the world, but they also are expected to do chores as needed, practice music, and do their homework. My oldest is 13 and is currently working on grandpa’s farm. We do not want screen addiction or entitlement issues, but we live in modern world so we do fight it all the time. I traveled quite a bit in my youth, but as a family we have done a lot more. The world isn’t the same. It is very mobile. Best of luck!

  11. Daughter Summer,
    You had me at hello, or whatever you first word in this post was. Your expressed wishes for you new child are so well founded, so thought out. Every parent hopes for health and happiness for their children and everything else is a bonus. We are excited to see and share in your new one’s growth and fulfillment. Health and happiness and then….the world.

  12. This is beautiful! As a fellow blogger and world traveler, I have put off having kids because of the fear of them “tying me down” and limiting my travel. However, after recently seeing the positive pregnancy test, I can’t agree with you more!!! I can’t wait to share the world with my little one and teach him/her all of the beauty, grandeur, differences and adventures that it has to offer!

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