TO SEE THE WORLD... this is our family mission statement.
So important is this mission statement, that we forego a great many things to make travel a top priority. Throughout the year we remind ourselves and our girls that we are saving up for our next family adventure. Things like newer cars, home remodels, newer appliances, shiny toys, etc all take a back seat to the more enduring family memories that we forge yearly.
Our recent adventure ended this weekend, as we returned from an unforgetable trip to Barcelona and Paris. 6 countries later, these girls, have turned out to be greatest travel buddies my husband and I could have ever asked for. They endure having to wake up at 3am to catch a flight, wait hours and hours at airports, be on foot for 6-8 hours straight as we lose ourselves in a new city. Incredibly, they do all this and more without a single complaint. It's official, they have embraced our family mission!
While I am no travel expert, I wanted to share a few travel ideas for young families. These ideas are OUR ways to squeeze out as much joy, wonder and memories as humanly possible from our travels.
1. Take 2000 pictures:
Provide a child with their own digital cameras and give them one rule: take pictures of anything and everything you want to.
My own girls must have taken 2000 pictures combined and 300 of those were pictures of pigeons. (European pigeons, mind you.) They are developing their own eye for composition while making their own memories. By the way, clicking away with their own cameras was a fabulous diversion from knowing that we would be walking 10 miles that day.
2. When in Rome (or Spain):
We try to participate and immerse ourselves as fully as possible with the locals. If people are dancing in a public square, well, we get up and dance with them. If people are eating an unmentionable food, well, we taste it! One memorable example of our attempt at immersion is participating in the street art scene in Barcelona. (See previous post on Graffiti art in Barcelona)
Here are pictures of a little pigtailed graffiti bandit caught in the act of pasting our home-drawn grafitti decals on a wall, and then running away from the crime scene! The four of us, each made our artistic contribution, but these top two pics are the girls' cool art.
(Don't worry, this really is okay in Barcelona, Spain! A local graffiti artist told us so.)
3. Slow down at the museums
No shame means: go ahead and make a spectacle of yourselves (or your kids!) Seriously, you will only delight everyone around you. And there's nothing wrong with giving others a reason to smile!
P.S. Would love to hear your travel ideas!