This post was inspired by a book launch campaign from Tsh Oxenreider with the release of her new book At Home in the World (which I just started reading). I'm too late for the official launch-week "party," but I figure it's never to late to talk about something that's occupying brain space and capturing my interest!
I’ve always enjoyed traveling. Maybe it was the frequent trips to visit grandparents a few hours away. Or being an avid reader, visiting numerous places through the pages of books. Or maybe it was the two week road trip my family took when I was nine, driving from our home in Missouri to Michigan, Niagra Falls, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Tennessee, and Atlanta. Maybe it was seeing my Dad come home from a trip to China, full of stories and excitement from experiencing a new culture and connecting with people from across the globe. Aside from those few experiences, my family’s travel was mostly limited to trips to see grandparents and great-grandparents. But we took advantage of opportunities when we could: a trip to Spain with my Dad in high school. A senior trip to England and Scotland. A family camping trip through Oklahoma and North Dakota. And those experiences planted the seed of wanderlust, a desire to travel and see and experience other places. Fast forward a couple of decades, I've logged more miles and continued to take advantage of seeing new places when I can. The travel bucket list just keeps growing, and my husband and I slowly get ourselves into a position to continue see more of the world.
These days, any kind of dream factors in two sweet kiddos – a three year old and a one and a half year old. Travel is on my mind lately because I recently listened to a couple of podcasts talking about travel, in particular traveling with children. One constant theme: to have kids who are good travelers you just have to ….travel. Like most things in life, if you want to get better at something, or if you want it to be easier, you have to practice. At first, I thought to myself: well, better get busy planning family trips! And then the other day, as I was packing suitcases for a weekend trip to visit cousins in Austin I realzed: this was the sixth time in the past six moths that I’ve packed suitcases for a trip. A two-legged trip to Missouri in December to visit family, followed immediately by a vacation in North Carolina in January, a week in the country with the grandparents, followed two weeks later by a week in Florida (Disney World!). Back to the grandparents’ for Easter, the aforementioned last-minute trip to Austin, and most recently a weekend road trip to Oklahoma for a half marathon. And there you have it: practice. And I realized, practice doesn’t have to be glamorous. Travel doesn’t have to be glamorous. Maybe it’s “just” going up to Nana and Grandpapa’s, but that’s still learning to be comfortable away from home. Maybe it’s “just” a trip to Oklahoma, but it’s still experiencing something beyond your neighborhood (and for a three year old from Texas, Oklahoma is probably pretty exotic). It’s getting used to flying, riding, and watching. It’s getting to a point I can pack for three in an hour (30 minutes if it’s just an overnight). It’s knowing what things I’m so thankful I packed, and what things just took up space.
It’s family together time, it’s (mostly) a lot of fun, and it’s growing travel and life skills one mile at a time.