Traveling is in my blood, it is in my heart, it is in my past, it is in my future, and it is something we choose to share, as much and as often as we can, with our kids.
When I was 8 years old I traveled to Mexico with my family and, despite our best intentions, got horribly ill from eating some fruit, and, sadly, I stayed sick for the Worlds Fair, which we headed to after Mexico.
I spent 3 weeks at the age of 9 traveling through Asia, visiting China shortly after it had opened up for tourism, and became a fan of fish head soup but learned I had no interest in trying turtle or bear!
At 10 I spent part of a Summer with a family in Madrid, with my brother and no parents, and lived as a Spaniard would. I spoke no Spanish, made friends who spoke no English, and developed a life long love of chorizo and plazas.
When I was 12 my parents took me to Costa Rica for spring break. Not only did I not have any idea where Costa Rica was, but I had no idea I would spend our week relaxing on a beach while monkeys swung from tree and tree and sloths crossed in front of us on the road. On our return trip someone called in a bomb threat and we had to make an emergency landing in a field, complete with slides and panic and pure awesomeness for a 12 year old.
At 13 we ventured to Ecuador; at 14 it was Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia (before it became the Czech Republic and Slovakia); at 15 I spent 3 weeks in Russia. I have been lucky enough to see the Moai’s of Easter Island, a glow worm cave in New Zealand, tango dancing in the streets of Buenos Aires, the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania, and more. I experienced ups and downs, illness and frightening situations, amazing adventures that I never knew possible, and it was all thanks to parents who believed in traveling with kids.
60 plus countries later there was no question that once we had kids our kids would have to become part of our travel plans, and we know how lucky we are that they did so seamlessly. Our trips may require more luggage (!) and less late nights, but they have taken on an excitement all their own.
Two kids, 7 passports between our family of four, and many overseas trips under our belts and we are standing firm in our belief that traveling with kids is not only possible but can also be fun. I hope I can convince everyone the same!