A frequent conversation around our dinner table these days is our little family's five-year plan. Maybe it's the winter season causing us to dream of warmer climates or the everyday stresses of life, but someday we'd love to travel the world with our kids.
I gifted Andi one of those push pin travel maps for Christmas and we spent some time last weekend "pinning" our map and reminiscing about trips of the past. On our map, white pins are places Andi's traveled solo, black pins are places we've traveled together and red pins are places our family (Andi, the kids and I) has traveled together. We went away from the standard "trips taken / trips in process / trips we'd like to take" because we could pin just about anywhere in the world for places we'd like to go.
It's no secret Andi and I both love to travel. Before Tory was born, we promised ourselves having a family wouldn't stray us from being adventurous; maybe we'd just have to alter the way we travel in some ways. For having two small kids, I'd say Andi and I have done well at sticking to our promise. We've taken trips to Key West, Austin and Savannah, GA with Tory and this time next month we'll be soaking up the sun in Cabo San Lucas with both kids. Sometimes Andi argues it's easier to "vacation" at our lake cabin with Tory and Aden because there's plenty to do there and we have all the comforts of home (high chairs, bouncy seat, baby swing, etc.; basically, kid necessities).
But, there's something special about discovering a new place in the world -- whether it's a new state within the U.S. or half-way across the world. While we were completing our travel map, one point that smacked Andi and I square in the face is how vast the world is. We think we've been a lot of places -- Panama, London, Paris, Bangkok -- but we haven't scratched the surface. Someday, we'd like to change that.
How amazing would it be to take a year (or, two or three years?) to travel the world as a family. We'd sell everything we own and buy round trip plane tickets. Andi's been nose-deep in books about other families doing this very thing. Of course, there's grown-up responsibilities to think of including Tory and Aden's preschool / elementary education, jobs, money, but there are also answers to these questions out there.
Will our travel dreams ever come to fruition? I'd like to think so. Traveling full-time with kids sounds like a ton of work (and it would have its challenges), but now's really the time. What an amazing gift to give our children to see the world first-hand.