I got bit by the travel bug in the 6th grade when my dad took me, and only me, to visit my grandparents in another state. I skipped outdoor ed for the opportunity to travel on the plane for the first time. It was so fun!
My next plane trip was with my Girl Scout troop to San Francisco at the end of the 8th grade.
And again at the end of 11th grade when I went with my mother and sister to Israel, Egypt, and Germany.
That was it–I was hooked.
Traveling. What is it that makes it so exciting? The first breath you take on the streets of new place, inhaling life from a different perspective? New food? History? Culture? I suspect it’s a smorgasbord of everything.
I traveled for the first time sans parents the summer after my freshman year in college, attending a tour with other college students to China a month before 9-11. I loved it. So much that I booked a trip to Italy and Greece for that December.
From then on I found every excuse to save my money for traveling. I would later go to Paris, Italy again, Mexico a few times, England, and Scotland. I finished my degree and started my career, continuing to travel. I went to Italy a third time, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, England again, Scotland again, Mexico again, several states throughout the U.S., Israel two more times, Spain, and England a third time.
I wanted to travel as much as I could before life got in the way. I had no regrets. It was money well spent and I am so thankful for having the insight to do it at an age when I was readily able to before other obligations came on my radar.
Then came home ownership, marriage, children…traveling went on the backburner. Our vacations were camping trips, San Francisco road trips, and once we went to Ohio for a family reunion. Not so exciting.
And then I realized wait a minute, traveling was not just for me when I was single and footloose and fancy free. Traveling is what I want to do forever, even when I am retired and a grandma and looking for ways to spend my free time. There is no timeline for traveling, at least in my life.
I have a 4 year old son, a 1 year old daughter, and my husband. We’re going to Paris and Israel this summer. Hell yeah, I’m back in the saddle again and it feels so good.
Traveling will have a new perspective for me. It’s not only a learning experience for myself these days. Now I have the responsibility to inspire my children to love traveling, to open up their minds and absorb what they can about life beyond the confines of what we know. I’m excited to watch them grow curious and interested in expanding their boundaries.
That’s where I am at right now. I’ll let you know if I still think this was a good idea after the ten hour plane ride with two kids. 🙂