“One day…we’re going to take the kids to Hawaii!”; “We really want to travel over 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”.
Do any of those statements sound familiar to you? The average American family doesn’t think they spend enough time together (guilty). Between school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities it’s no surprise that we are all feeling disconnected and burned out. The best way to reconnect with your loved ones is to get away. No distractions and no excuses: just you and your kids (or Grandkids) spending “quality time”, enjoying each other’s company and maybe even experiencing an unfamiliar culture together. “Next Year, maybe” turns into the year after that…and so forth…until you “blink” and are sitting at their high school graduation wondering what the heck 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:
- It can create lasting relationships…both between your own family members and people you meet while on the road. The people 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. I have made so many friends in my travels that I keep in touch with through Facebook and will inevitably link up with when our paths cross again in the future.
- 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 hoping you don’t end up with something inedible! And knowing that if you do accidentally order goat’s testicles, that your whole family will still be laughing about it 20 years from now!
- It gives you and your children perspective…Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you look at the world (perhaps through the lens of mass media) is not the way everybody does – and that you could be dead wrong about some 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 ours do here in America. I find that people outside of the US are often more active in understanding US politics than many Americans are as well! One time in Italy in 2007 conversing with an African street merchant, I felt like I was being quizzed on the various US Congress members – he just kept rattling names off left and right. I was very surprised and enlightened.
Are you reading this and thinking “Boy…I’ve always wanted to see the Pacific Ocean with my kids”? If you want to do it now, you’ve probably always wanted to. You’ve imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? Now’s the time to DO IT! I have several vacations on my desk right now for folks just like you, who are wanting to finally take their 16 and 21 year olds to Europe before they are “gone”…or who are celebrating a high school graduation with a trip to Hawaii – the destination chosen by their son. Remember…you only have 18 summers!
I have spots available for summer trip planning now. If you are ready to start planning one of your precious remaining summer vacations, start by filling out our trip planning form, and we’ll get you scheduled for a free consult.
If you have mind to turn this into an extended family trip or invite other families (friends from work and/or school), I can often provide many added benefits for small group travel. If you are interested in leading a group (10+ people) fill out this form for more information.
In the meantime…
P.S. Finally, to keep receiving travel tips and inspiration and a FREE GUIDE, “10 Ways to Strengthen Relationships Through Travel” CLICK HERE