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A Family That Travels

Back in the Spring, before my torn meniscus and knee surgery and before Londo's back started acting up, I declared to Londo that we were going to be a Family That Travels. Sure, we've always been a family that travels (minus the first 18 months of the Pumpkin's life when she screamed bloody murder when in the car and carseat for more than 5 minutes). But we were now going to be a Family That Travels!

My parents bought a beach house about 3 hours from our house, and I planned to go almost every weekend from May to September! I would go with Londo and kids, by myself with both kids, with one kid or even by myself. When the kids went on summer break, we would take some of the vacation time to go to the beach and to my inlaws and camping and visiting friends! We were going to be so good at traveling as a family, that we'd be ready to hit Europe next summer (if only we could afford it)! Our bags would be halfway packed at all times, our cars ready to go, our mindsets open for whatever comes up. We'd be ready to go anywhere at the drop of a hat!

In fact, we started this new paradigm one weekend in May, when on a Thursday we decided to go to visit my inlaws (a 5 hour drive with no stops--so about 7 hours with two kids). We just packed up and went, and we had a great time... until I killed my knee while hiking up a hill. A hiatus on the traveling was forced upon me.

It's been a hard month and a half with me laid up recovering and Londo limited. But finally, finally!, we are starting to get into the swing of being a Family That Travels!

Two weekends ago, I took the Pumpkin with me to visit a friend. We handled a very (VERY!) difficult car ride up quite well. This past weekend, I took both kids with me to my parents beach house, and we had a great trip! Plus my brother and his family were there until Saturday, and my parents were there the whole weekend. We've got some good plans for the upcoming weekends and weeks while the kids are out of school. Not all of them are travel weekends, but we are going to be flexible in deciding when we stay and when we go. And when we go? No problemo! Because we are a Family That Travels.

There was a time period in my life when I thought I'd become a travel writer, even going to grad school for journalism, concentrating in magazine writing. That was not the road I ended up on, but I still love to read travel stories and I love to write about my travels. In fact, I hope to write more with my new outlook on travel with a husband and kids. Until I'm able to get some travel under my belt in my Family That Travels, I am enjoying reading travel stories about other families. Currently, I'm reading Family Travels: The Farther You Go, the Closer You Get, short stories by my favorite travel guide series, Travelers' Tales Guides. I have A Mother's World: Journeys of the Heart waiting to be read next!

I'm inspired by what I am reading about other families and their travels, far and wide. I know that it can be difficult to travel with kids. But I'm hoping with the right mindsets and the decree that we are a Family That Travels, we will take the difficulties in stride and really focus on the fun things we can do and see as we travel. I know that it is possible, because I grew up in a Family That Travels. Oh, the stories I could tell you...


paola said…
We travel over summer mainly and the kids have been faring well now that they are bigger and Zoe is over that 'I hate the car' stage, and more importantly, they can handle being around all day without needing a nap. They are great on long plane rides now that Zoe is actually interested in watching dvds. 2 years ago, a personal entertainment unit would have kept her occupied for around 10 minutes and then she would have been bouncing off the walls.

Not so great in the car though.

We drove back from Croatia last week (10.5 hours) and the kids nearly drove me nuts. We do not have a dvd unit for the car, but even hubby (who out of principle is against them) has given in and has promised me that we will buy a car dvd before our next long car trip.

I suspect we are on the way to becoming a FTT too. We will be moving to London at the end of the month and plan to take advantage of our time there to see as much of Britain and the nearby coutries as possible, so weekends and school holidays away.
hush said…
The family that plays together, stays together... :)

We have some local friends who take their 5 and 2 year old boys all over the globe. I think that's cool, though I wouldn't necessarily be super comfy hiring babysitters in foreign lands on Craigslist like they do. I need someone I know who can vouch for a sitter before I'll leave my kids with them. I also wouldn't want to do any transatlantic flying with my particular kids' personalities. To each their own though.
Cloud said…
Oh, you know I want us to be a family that travels!

We're planning our vacation for this year now. It will be a car trip within California, but I think it will be fun. My kids are both pretty good travelers- the barrage of new things seems to make them behave better. But I think the key to happy family travel is planning. Of course, I like to plan, so that is OK with me.
mom2boy said…
I've never taken a long trip with Tate and somedays the way a trip to the grocery store just sucks the life out of me I think we never will. When we make it to Wyoming and back in one piece you all will be the first to know.

@hush - seriously, babysitters on craig's list in foreign countries? To each their own indeed.
SarcastiCarrie said…
We travel by car within the Midwest. I don't think that really qualifies us as a traveling family though. The kids don't have passports, and only one of them has been on a plane, but someday...when they're bigger. It doesn't help that the small one won't nap anywhere but a crib (or bed or inflatable thing but never ever in the car or my arms or the stroller).
Lisa F. said…
2 years ago, my then 4 y.o. son & I drove to Maine on our own. dad was only able to take one week off, so he flew up to meet us. took 4 straight days to drive up, and 4 traveling days with a few days off in upstate NY. He did SO well on the drive, it all went really smoothly, except doing all the driving, and all the parenting, and dealing w/my family after we arrived was exceptionally tiring.

I think it took me a year to recover!

I also took him camping w/friends on my own, and we just had our first successful camping trip as a family in May. Went to beach w/new friends & shared a beach house & that went well too. I'm thinking of taking him off on another Mom & son trip for a weekend soon, and looking forward to a camping trip in the fall.

Didn't travel much as a family as child. Occasional trips from Maine to Boston to visit family, or to CT to visit parent's friends. Mostly just traveled an hour regularly to grandparents. Am sad that my kid will never have the experience of staying over w/grandparents, but maybe we'll adopt some grandparent types at some point!
Anonymous said…
More please. I would really prefer you spent much less time living outside your blog. I need more reading. xoxo c.t.

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