I often receive comments about our family travels - how we always seem to be on vacation, how we are always in unique or amazing places. Trust me, it is not close to "always". We travel to visit family, we may take a road trip for a long weekend, we are hosted by my parents at the beach once each year, and we generally take one "big" vacation of our own once per year. I am extremely lucky that we are able to do so much - I would do it even more if we could. Travel allows us to get away from the repetitiveness of daily life. Travel allows us to push work aside (for the most part) so we can focus on each other and spend quality time as a family.
I have also been asked how we can justify spending money on travel that lasts just a few days or a week, when we could buy furniture or other useful items that last a decade. I have to disagree there - our travel memories and photos will last us a lifetime. My daughter has experienced many places that are nothing like home. She has met people from all walks of life. She has seen amazing man-made wonders and some of the most beautiful natural landscapes. Watching a child's expression as she investigates something she learned about in school or read in a book? Now that is a proud parenting moment indeed.
We look back at our photos over the years and we remember the laughs, the wonder, and the excitement of exploration. We remember the times that were difficult, like a busted tire in the middle of Yellowstone with a two-year old and absolutely no cell phone coverage or auto repair shop. We now laugh at some of the most epic toddler meltdown moments, when we probably pushed Amelia a bit too far with an activity (or five). Those moments of difficulty that were frustrating then are actually funny now. We take each moment of our travel with us - for life. And even the "bad" becomes the "good" because we can look back and laugh.
I cannot wait to share Turks and Caicos with Amelia for #BeachesMoms in the Fall. I anxiously await the day when we can show Andrew the magic within Walt Disney World. We have cruises and national parks and San Diego and Washington DC (Amelia's request!) ahead of us one day. Maybe we'll make it back to Europe too.
Travel lives far more than just a few days or a week. We remember with photos and stories. Travel is eternal, because we are forever enriched by the experiences.