Disclaimer: What you are about to read in the next many posts is not intending to offend anyone. I am just giving my opinions and experiences from my point of view. I want to in no way, change your opinions or manipulate your future travels. Everyone has a different adventure and I welcome any comments on different countries and ideas. All the stories are from my memory alone, although I may ask my kids to add a thought or two, if needed. Furthermore, I want people to know that traveling has been a way of life for me and my family. Please don’t be deceived. If you come to my house you won’t see fancy furniture or expensive flooring. We don't have money to spare and don't live in luxury. We have many bills to pay every month and credit cards racked up. Our priorities are just different than a lot of people. We want to spend our money on traveling and experiences, than we do on things. After this next trip this summer, which will mark our 5th year of traveling with my children, we are going to have to hang up our traveling existence for a while. We will be paying for yet another kind of journey, the one where you need to pay for your child to go to college kind. I have even started working again this last year just for this purpose. So below I start my stories with explaining why I have come to travel with my children.
Most people leave their children at home when they travel. They go to get away for a break. Or they think it would be just too hard to bring them. I know from experience that traveling with four kids to Europe is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish.
My journey began when I realized that I wanted to have some real memories with my children. It occurred to me that these minutes pass with your children and you can never get them back. At the time, my oldest had just turned 13 before my eyes and I wanted to stop time. It became crucial that I spend as much time with my children, while they are still children. I had already begun to miss them when I know what is to come. I had seen it with my sibling’s kids, as their children began to graduate and go away to college. The sadness and empty nest loneliness that some of my brothers and sisters felt.
It’s a part of life. I realize that. Children grow up.
I can’t put my finger on the exact moment when my children became young adults. But it has now happened to me with two of them, and now inching its way towards a third. Neither of my two oldest are 18 years old yet. But this doesn’t mean they don’t act grown up or try to. The stuck in between a child and adulthood has begun. The period of pure joy with my oldest children has turned to confusion, learning, misunderstanding, and lots and lots of opinions. I know it’s hard for teens to comprehend all that’s happening to them, just as much as it is hard for the parents to help them.
I wanted to see what was in history books with my children. I feel as a parent while doing this I am giving them a gift that they could never return. One, or many memories, that they will treasure and appreciate later in life when they are all grown up. There are lessons and teachings that they could never learn out of a textbook. I believe experiences are everything.