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Maternal Thoughts from a Travel Junky

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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.

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8 Responses to Maternal Thoughts from a Travel Junky

  1. Lauren November 15, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    How awesome you got to meet this trio. Just from their web site and their Twitter postings, they seem like such kind, open-hearted people. I had never heard other family of six, but you are right–their story couldn’t provide any more proof that you should spend as much quality time with your loved ones as possible, whether it’s traveling or just spending every weekend together.

  2. Chris November 16, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I’ve always wondered how I would have grown up if I’d been a world traveler early on. My younger brother is eleven and has been to almost as many countries as me and he seems to adore it. I could have a travel companion in five or six years, haha.

    I’m definitely in the ‘I want to travel’ group too. I’m sure it’s feasible and even fun to do with a family, but I’m not quite ready to be a selfless traveler just yet.

  3. Megan November 16, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve followed sixintheworld’s adventures since planning stages when I offered up some advice up until now. They are so amazing and I can’t wait to hear about their future travels when she’s feeling better.

    • Brooke November 17, 2010 at 7:18 am #

      Me, too. She is so positive, and they are all so inspirational 🙂

  4. Shannon OD November 17, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    It must be this stage in our lives, but I am having those same considerations – I look at the example set by Soul Travelers 3 and others and know that it’s something I want for my someday-kids as well – the languages, the cultures at such young an age, I’m hoping Im on the road like that decade with some kiddos in tote 🙂

    • Brooke November 17, 2010 at 7:28 am #

      Must be the age 🙂 I’m sure you’ll make it happen – yay for your future kiddos!

  5. Kyle November 18, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    Families that travel are so very inspiring. I think that if you can figure out a way to work kids into your lifestyle instead of letting them give your whole lifestyle a 180, more power to you!

  6. soultravelers3 February 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Sorry Brooke, that it has taken me so long to comment on this lovely post that I did see when it went up, but I really appreciate the shout out and it was special meeting you and your sweet beau! ( it’s been a very hectic time for us as we have lost 2 fathers/grandfathers in the last 6 months and one of the things about being a traveling family is one wants to spend more time unplugged than not.

    I was devastated to hear about Anne, as we started at the same time, but know we will meet some day. We’re not Morman, but I’ve always been amazed at how many Morman families like them have done extended world travel. Makes me wonder if it is part of the religion or how that affects it.

    You all are actually in a wonderful generation where tech makes it possible that truly ANY family that wants to travel can today, especially 1st world families…because today one can school and work anywhere. Free webcam calls alone makes such a huge difference so one can stay connected to extended family and friends no matter where you are. We are happy that we inspire families to travel and letting them know that it is possible to do it cheaply and easily has become one of my passions.

    That said it does take work, sacrifice, planning and determination…probably more than single or couple travel…but out of all the travel I have done in my lifetime, it is the most rewarding.

    I love this quote that I just found that says it all:

    “Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion” Hunt

    We are really grateful to be able to raise a child as a citizen of the world and as monolinguals to raise a trilingual/triliterate from birth ( who speaks some of many other languages as well).

    I think we should all be heroes in our own adventure ( as you have done in your life already). If we want to why shouldn’t we travel before, during and after children? The only limits are really in our own minds.

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