I get asked this all the time!
Why do you travel so much?
Where are you going this time?
You’re going to Disney AGAIN?
I thought you just got back from vacation?
And it goes on and on and on.
I love to travel!
I love to travel and always have, as far back as I can remember. I traveled as a little kid with my family and then I traveled more and more as I got older!
I was able to go to Mexico at the age of sixteen because of my involvement with Girl Scouts. I traveled to Greece when I was an undergraduate student. I’ve not been without a passport since, except when I had to send it off to be renewed!
Now, traveling is my coping skill. I enjoy planning, finding deals, sharing my knowledge with others, and actually getting to go on the trip or visit the location. Vacation is what I look forward to. I love spending time away from the day-to-day tasks of life and spending quality time with my family.
Plus traveling is just as good for my family as it is for me, if not more!
I happily share my love for travel with my children (and now grandchildren).
I enjoy seeing and doing new things and I believe that travel, any travel, can teach so much! I love being able to try new foods, learn new things, and see how other people live. I also love being able to give my children the broadest perceptive on life that I can provide!
When my children were young we traveled to cities two and three hours away to visit museums and zoos and expose them to as much variety and culture as possible for young children! I wanted them to learn and develop a fondness for learning.
They loved it and it’s all they ever really knew. They are amazed today to find out that some of their friends (now high school age and older) have never traveled out of the state of Indiana or seen a zoo or museum or professional sports game!
The sign below shows how I truly feel about travel! Hearing something 100 times is not as good as seeing it once!
Our Growing Family
As my children got older and I met my husband and his children (I had three and he had four), we began traveling as a big blended family!
We went to Disney World for the first time in 2009 and six of the seven kids went with us. The oldest one thought he was too cool for Disney World (he was WRONG by the way)!
We had the big twelve-passenger “church bus” that we took wherever we traveled because there was NO WAY we were flying with that many plane tickets to buy!! I have continually been asked how we traveled with so many kids. We were able to do it because it was what we valued and because I’m good with discounts and other travel tricks and tips!
We also had to make sure the children were independent enough to carry their own belongings and pack all their own necessities. (Yes, we taught them and helped them learn). I had to manage the trip and everyone’s needs, they had to manage themselves and their own snacks, drinks, and ponchos from their backpacks as needed!
This was just the beginning of our travel adventures!
Since that time, we have traveled throughout the United States and outside of the United States. Sometimes we all travel together (me, my husband, and the kids). Other times just some of us travel (me and a kid or two, just me and my husband, etc…). We have not been to every State yet, but that is something I plan to do in my lifetime! However, we have had a good start!
I took the second youngest son with me when I went to visit my best friend after she had baby #2. He had never been out west and had never seen mountains like this! He got to see and experience things he could never do in Indiana!
When he was in high school he had the opportunity to travel to New Mexico with his Boy Scout Crew to hike the Philmont Scout Ranch for over a week! They backpacked for the entire week in New Mexico, with the opportunity to ride a train across the country and back. That was a life-changing and amazing learning experience that he was able to have and I am so very thankful he got to go (and I did not have to go with him!)
We have gone on cruises and seen other countries. My children have had the experience of swimming with dolphins and play on beaches in the Carribean, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico, They have had dinner on a cruise ship with people from other countries (who…by the way…taught them how to make noise from crystal glasses…something they still do today and talk about the time they learned how to do it.)
They have learned how to pack well. They know what they need to make sure they have (Advil, band-aids, backpack to hold their stuff) and what they can do without (because we can always wash socks and undies if needed).
They have learned the importance of checking to make sure all the necessities are packed and LISTENING TO MOM when she says DON’T FORGET ________, because they have had to live without whatever they forgot.
They have learned independence. They can take care of themselves. They know how to pack. They know how to give directions and read maps (because someone had to learn because this mama is not good at directions)! They can navigate airports and find their hotel rooms when we travel. (Hotel rooms can be hard at times when you have one color blind kid….we learned we can’t tell him to go to the red building on the left…he can’t see red the same as we can!)
Two of our children have even had the opportunity to go to Washington DC for their 8th-grade trips.
I was able to take my daughter and her Girl Scout Troop to London and Switzerland when they were in high school. That was life-changing to travel to see other countries for a week at a time and see how similar and how different their lives are to ours. The girls got to learn to use “the tube” and eat at restaurants with food we had never even heard of in Indiana.
Mall of America with my younger daughter for her Senior Year Spring Break
Niagara Falls with my two youngest sons so they could get to use their passports for the first time. We drove about 12 hours each direction to say for a long weekend, but it was well worth it! Both of the boys were amazed at the Falls. What was even more amazing is that they got to compare the U.S. side of the Falls to the Canadian side of the Falls. There is nothing that could have described the difference in words. Seeing it for themselves was what it took. They even noticed small differences, such as that Minute Maid Lemonade in Canada is made of water, sugar, and lemons. Minute Maid Lemonade in the U.S. has high fructose syrup.
And even short day-trips with the kids. We drove to Nashville, Tennessee (about three hours away) for the day to shop for school clothes and eat supper!
The Next Season in our Life
We have now begun to travel with our adult children and our grandchildren!
We have taken short trips to the amusement park near our home (Holiday World) and to bigger cities a few hours away with our grandchildren.
We have also gone a bit further with them, such as one trip to Disney World
and one cruise…so far!
I am looking forward to sharing the same experiences with my grandchildren that I have with my children. I want them to be able to be exposed to different cultures and activities to open their minds to all that is possible.
Traveling is a life choice. We all only have so much extra money to spend on the extras in life and I believe that traveling with my family is the best way to spend our time and money. We make life-long memories and have stories to share as they grow older. My children still talk about “where’s your backpack, Kevin” from our first trip to Disney in 2009 and they ALWAYS WILL. Those simple memories are the best ones!
As I have gotten older, I am a believer that giving gifts of activities, adventures, and travel are the best presents I can give!
This started with my hard-to-buy-for-child who never really wanted to play with toys besides Nerf guns! I struggled with what to get him, so I decided I would take him and his cousin to a professional baseball game for his birthday. They had an amazing time and it was the start of many trips and active presents to come for him and the other children.
I’ve taken one child to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
And bought a season pass to our locate theme park for another one
I love the idea of presents creating memories!Save up to $58 on Discovery Cove – Day Resort Package! This ticket also includes 14-day unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica.
Why do I travel? Why do I expose my kids to everything that I possibly can and use every teachable moment possible?
I travel with them and teach them as much as I can because this:
More quickly than I could have ever imagined!
Here are some take-aways:
- Travel is educational, no matter where you go or what you do
- It allows children and adults to become open to new ideas
- It helps to make well-rounded adults
- Travel teaches practical skills, such as packing, organization, and planning
- And, most importantly, it builds wonderful memories and family bonds!