‘Travel with your kids’ they say, ‘it’s easy and you’ll be fine’. Dragging your kids around the world is as simple as packing their bag and going. You’ll create only the most special memories and wonder why you haven’t done it sooner…
Ha, yeah right!! And if you think it looks easy, just remember your only seeing my highlight reel and probably everyone else’s too.
I have to be honest with you, traveling with kids isn’t for the faint hearted… but seriously, neither is parenthood, which makes you all qualified family travelers!
It takes a lot of thought, planning, preparing and that’s all before you’ve even left the house. Yes, I believe that travelling with your kids is amazing and an important part of life but I’ll never say its easy and fuss free.
Sometimes I get quite anxious stepping out of my comfy home (my comfort zone) that I love to travel the world and taking my kids along on that journey can be quite daunting. It’s no wonder that families book the same holiday house, at the same beach, in the same town, in the same country over and over again. It’s because they took the risk once, conquered the obstacles, loved it, got comfortable, and don’t like the idea of taking the risk again. Can’t blame them really, exploring new places can be really hard work!
So why bother you ask?
We bother because through all the challenges come the best rewards.
We bother because the lessons learnt when traveling can’t be taught in a classroom or in day to day life.
We bother because there is a big wide world out there full of incredible people, places, history and excitement and I want my kids to have the chance to see as much of it as they can.
Its also important because your kids get to see you being vulnerable and then being resourceful. Often we don’t get the chance to do that in the comforts of our own home and home towns. We give our kids this false sense that we have everything under control and that life is pretty sweet (if only they knew!). Teaching your kids life lessons while learning them yourself are very special moments to have when travelling. These are the best memories I reckon.
We’d been exploring amazing old towns in the Burgundy region of France. It was a stinking hot day and we had run the kids off their feet. The sun was going down, the towns were closing up, we were an hour away from our B&B and we hadn’t yet fed the kids dinner! If your familiar with the French country side then you would know that the farm land stretches far and wide, the towns are quite small, and although its stunning, you can feel like your miles away from anywhere.
I was starting to get a bit worried, what were we going to give the kids for dinner? There were no grocery stores open, no cafes open, no restaurants open, nothing! I knew we would eventually find something, but with two nagging children in the back of the car who were so tired and hungry, I was starting to get stressed. Trying to keep calm, we eventually found a pizzeria in a tiny village that looked deserted but the doors were open. The person working spoke not a word of English and the menu was the same. The kids watched on as we managed to decipher the ingredients on each pizza and then order, pay and figure out how long we would have to wait. I remember Bailee commenting on how that was so different from how we normally order pizza at home. She was right, how simple it is to order pizza from our local takeaway where the owner pretty much knows us by name and order!
It’s these challenges traveling brings that make a trip not just a trip but a learning experience and an adventure. It’s about making the unknown exciting and bringing out the adventurer in all of us, especially our kids. Its about teaching our kids patience in a non-patient world, empathy in a hurting world, respect in a disrespectful world, how to be resourceful and how to have the courage to step out of our comfort zones.
Although travelling with kids isn’t as easy as it seems, I promise you it is worth every-single-moment! So next time you hear a baby crying on a plane, a toddler making themselves known in a museum, a child repeatedly asking ‘Are we there yet?’ or a teenager stating their boredom, just smile and think of all the lessons their learning and the memories your making. Treasure the good times, learn from the bad and travel with your kids.
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