I had the pleasure of meeting up with an epic traveling family, Soultravelers3, last week in Sydney. It was strange meeting someone you have known via the Internet for the past 5 years in real life… and in Australia of all places. Meetings like this really make me think.
More so, it makes me think about family, the future and – dare I say it? — children. Of course, these aren’t “right now” maternal thoughts (God, NO), but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have them.
It seems there are two types of travelers: travelers that say they want to travel before/after kids (without them), and others that use the time to create a family adventure (with kids).
While I can say that I am definitely more in the “I want to travel a lot now before I have children” category, I want so badly to continue traveling well into family life (you’re not dead, right?!). The more and more I read other family travel blogs, I come to the conclusion that a goal like this is what can really provide for true time with your loved ones. There’s something to be said for being “stuck” together 24/7, away from normal distractions, bills and stresses to form lasting memories and moments.
And, let’s not forget about the added benefits of opening the children up to life-long skill acquisition through world wanders. Little Mozart from Soultravelers3 has spent time in Spain where she has acquired Spanish, and she is now on her way to Penang to be immersed in Chinese. At only 10 years of age, she is really getting ahead of others stuck in a boring classroom back home.
After meeting this little girl, Pat stated that she reminded him of a mini-me (she’s planning a round-the-world trip with her friend already!). However, instead of doing what I did when I was her age, which was picking up the dictionary to flip to the foreign word section and trying to say things in another language at home, she’s out there living a global life and speaking with natives. It’s absolutely inspiring.
Obviously, my brain started flowing with ideas on the train ride home, so I decided to check up on another one of my favorite family travel blogs: Six in the World. This family was brave enough to take their 4 children on an 11-month journey (when the youngest of the bunch was but 4 years of age nonetheless) back in 2006-2007. There was even talk of another round-the-world journey in the mix last time I checked the blog, which is what I was expecting to read about when I looked last week.
I was shocked to find some rather depressing news.
I won’t go into details since it is not my place to say. You can read about the entire account on their blog, but I would like to point out a quote that resonated with me after reading:
In my sadness, I realized that while this future could be taken from me, my past could not. I’ve spent countless hours with my kids and made all my major life decisions around their welfare, but the 330 days I spent traveling with them (and their dad, of course) were some of the best of my life.
If that doesn’t make you want to take your family around the world right here and now, then I don’t know what will.