If I could travel all the time, I would.
I love to go places. I love to see new things. I love to explore.
Growing up we took the same type of vacations every year. We went to Long Beach (a mere forty miles from where we lived in L.A.). We went to the mountains. We went to Utah. We went to Carlsbad.
That was it.
And in each of those locations, we were visiting friends and family and staying with them. The only time we stayed in a hotel was on the journey to Utah, since it was so far. My parents didn’t go exploring, nor try and find anything fun for me to do – it was their time to relax with adults and I just happen to be there too.
I know a few things about myself in terms of vacations/traveling.
1. I don’t want to stay with anyone. Thanks for the room, but no thanks. I prefer my freedom that I can only get from a hotel.
2. I definitely don’t want to keep returning to the same spot every single solitary year. YAWN.
I love researching locations. I love finding hidden gems. I love exploring. I love museums and walking through cities. I love uncovering the city/town’s heartbeat. I love to be present. I love learning.
I can’t say we have necessarily been a world traveler – although I hope to be one day soon. But, we have been far and wide over the years. We started taking vacations when the kids were little and Jennifer was a mere baby. In fact, the photo above was on our first real vacation as a family to Arizona and we tried to capture as much of the state as we could. We went to Tucson and explored museums, we went to Tombstone, the Grand Canyon, and the Painted Desert.
After that we traveled to Idaho before we moved here, Los Angeles twice once we moved out of southern California to show the kids the city they had never really been to, Sun Valley, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and then across the country (Mount Rushmore, Lincoln’s house and tomb, etc. etc.) all the way to Pennsylvania (twice), Gettysburg, York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, New York City.
When I look at the picture of the boys taken in the Painted Desert of Arizona I am reminded that the years of taking my kids and exploring new locales is almost over and I will miss sharing new and exciting places with them. Granted, I will enjoy going back to Gettysburg sans the children who were bored, but put on a good front for their mother for more hours than I expected them to, when I can walk around slowly and spend a few days there. But I will miss the thrill of packing them their “travel backpacks” filled with small treats and new GameBoy games, crossword puzzles, new colored pencils, coloring books, chapter books, and gum. I will miss getting them up at 4am so we can leave and then enjoying breakfast on the road as the sun is coming up. I will miss stopping in rest stops with the dog and everyone knowing their task (filling the bowl with water, putting the leash on her, taking her to go potty). I will miss reading to them about an upcoming city as I have them
trapped in the car.
I will just miss these moments of learning and exploring and sharing it all with little kids.