“One day…we’re going to take the kids to Hawaii!”, “We really want to go to Europe, but we’re waiting until the kids are older” ; “We really want to go out West and see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, but our summers are just too busy and we just can’t fit it in”. Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? The average American family doesn’t think they spend enough time together. Between school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities it’s no surprise that we feel disconnected and burned out. The best way to reconnect with your loved ones is to get away from it all - no distractions and no excuses: just you and your kids (or Grandkids) spending “quality time” together, enjoying each other’s company. “May next Year” turns into the year after that...and so forth...until you “blink” and the next thing you know, you’re sitting at their high school graduation wondering what in the world happened!
Travel is proven to be a wonderful learning tool for children. Seeing how people live in other countries can open their minds and hearts and expand their imagination exponentially. Here are a few things that travel can provide for your family:
1. It can create lasting relationships...both between your own family members and people you meet while on the road. These folks that you run into along the way give you a glimpse of what life is like outside your regular circle of friends and can give you a fresh perspective on how other cultures live.
2. You can learn another language…There is something very exciting about being able to throw around a few words of French, knowing how to say hello and thank you in Portuguese, or ordering off of a menu written totally in Italian! And...knowing that if you do accidentally ordered goat’s testicles, that your whole family will still be laughing about it 20 years from now!
3. It gives you and your kids a new perspective…Meeting folks from other cultures will teach you that the way you look at the world (maybe through the distorted lens of our mass media) is not the way everybody else looks at it. You could be totally wrong about things! We have had many meaningful conversations about why Europe is so far ahead of the U.S. in its transportation infrastructure, why people of Native Hawaiian descent still protest becoming a part of the US, and why so few French and Italian teenagers feel the deep temptation to drink alcohol to excess like our kids do in America.
Are you reading this and thinking “Boy…I’ve always wanted to see Alaska with my grandkids”? If so, you’ve imagined it, daydreamed about it and envisioned it. So now is the time to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Remember…you only have 18 or so summers with them before they start exploring the world on their own! Don’t let the “memories of a lifetime” slip away. All it takes is a phone call.