To travel with kids, or to travel as a family, can for some seem like the ultimate challenge. To others, like ourselves, it’s just the greatest of opportunity for learning and growing together.Traveling together for a long time gives you the opportunity to get to know your family members and to see who they really are. In many families today, you don’t know your family members very well. You spend so much time away from each other, at work, school, at different activities and when you get home, you sit in front of the computer or the TV. And then, what’s left? How much time do you have every day to connect to and communicate with your spouse and your kids?
Sometimes, when things doesn’t go the way I expect, or want and hope for them to go and I start blaming myself for not having done this or that in the right way (I know in theory, this is not the best of things to do, but I’m not perfect, yet) I often end up thinking. “at least I won’t regret not having spent enough time with my kids”. My family has had a big priority in my life and a big part of our time together we have spent on the road.
When we talk to people about this, we’ve realized that many are concerned that spending a lot of time with their family would make them crazy. Maybe they’d even come back ready for a divorce?
What we’ve found in reality though, it’s usually the opposite. When you go on an extended journey, you leave most of the different sources of everyday stress at home. You get rid of the things that stand between yourself and the other members of your family: all the stuff, the activities, the obligations. What you have left is just yourselves and your adventure. Now you have the time to see who this person you sometimes meet in the hallway on your way out really is.
When you travel, you will be away together in new unknown places and situations. You’ll create new circumstances that can help you to break old negative patterns and habits that are connected to your life at home. You will experience loads of interesting things together. You will get plenty of opportunities to practice cooperating with each other since problem solving is a natural gift of every long term trip.
And sometimes, the road isn’t just easy to walk on and the sun isn’t shining and things aren’t very fun, but this will be part of your journey together and oftentimes, the “worst” situations are the one’s that’ll create your warmest memories.
Doing some long term travel with kids and spouse is just so different to being at home and if you haven’t done it, it can be really difficult to imagine what a “boost” for your family life it really can be.
So, what’s your family life like? How would you like it to be? Imagine yourself 20 years from now. What kind of memories would you want to share with your wife/husband and your children?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”