Well, I suppose if your idea of travel is arriving at a single destination with the sole purpose of joining several hundred half-clad bodies, seeking uninterrupted R & R while basking in a heat-drenched oven of sun and sand, then perhaps traveling with children isn't your best choice after all.
As for my family and I, we love to explore. Exploration is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of travel. At large our love of exploring has mostly been manifested
in spontaneous detours to unfamiliar parts of the city, into a small town or nearby village we've never been before. My husband Jeff, and I enjoy a good day trip. Our children seem to have caught a love for road trips as well. I often find I am amazed at how well they do for extended amounts of time in the vehicle!
What is it about travel that makes us feel so alive? I believe it has to do with reawakening our curiosity. As children we had a built-in curiosity about life, people, and the world around us. Some of us as adults have lost that curiosity. I will admit I am one of those adults. I've found in recent years that not much could amuse me and my interests were waning. I felt stuck in a rut. I had become stale. Aware of many people who have either expanded their comfort zones or gained new hobbies as a result of travel, and unable to focus in on something local to jolt me out of my disinterested state, I began to consider travel as a method of challenging my perspective. It has been said, "One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” It is with this in mind that I began to seriously contemplate not delaying hopes of travel for a time when the children are older but to investigate the possibilities of traveling together now.
Of several places we'd love to travel, Portugal (said to be a very gentle, child friendly country) is the one that Jeff and I agreed to begin our travels with. It is amazing how the laws of attraction works when you commit to an idea. The pieces to this puzzle have begun to fall into place in unexpected ways from flights and transportation to accommodations, we've been blessed with prices that have blown our minds. We will be away for a month-and-a-half, during which we will be posting updates to our traveling blog: Traveling Family 5. Also, on Traveling Family 5 are the details of the planning phase for our trip, some online resources that I will use for our children to supplement their education on the country of Portugal and tips on packing light. We can also be found on twitter and facebook.
If you've traveled abroad with young children please share your story in the comment section below!! What was your favorite family destination? How did you keep your children entertained on the plane? Did you find yourself in any funny or panic-stricken situations that you might not have had the "pleasure" of experiencing if you had traveled childless?