Since this is my 100th post on Sprouts En Route, I wanted to make it a really special one. Thank you all you readers out there that have stuck through the transitions that have happened this year, and to all of the new readers out there that frequent the site every day, welcome, please pull up a chair and stay a while.
The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a traveling family, and although I did a short article last year on why you shouldn’t wait to start traveling with your kids, I wanted to do a more comprehensive follow up about how traveling with your children creates a legacy in their lives.
When I was young, I was really blessed to have parents that made traveling at least once a year a priority. My brother and I were exposed to new things, new places, and encouraged to have adventures. It wasn’t until recently that I thought about how those opportunities have shaped who I am as an adult. Even though we never went out of the country, my parents took advantage of the diversity of the different environments in and around California, and I have many fond memories of discovery and intrigue. And yes, when I was 11, I was still using words like discovery and intrigue, that’s how committed I have always been to nerdiness.
My husband, Travis, was also blessed to have opportunities to travel as a child since his father is a pilot, and as a result of that, there have been many adventures he hasn’t been afraid to tackle, or he was afraid and it did it anyway (like the bridge walk in Australia… he is really freaked out by land based heights). One of the best things about traveling is that you have the opportunity to push yourself (and your family) out of your comfort zone, and with that comes the lesson that doing things that make you uncomfortable is worth it because you learn new things about others and more importantly about yourself. This morning as we were leaving church Ksena pointed up at the Acropolis (her favorite place in the world) and said, “There it is! The Acropolis!” I spent the next five minutes trying to explain how blessed she is to be able to see something so full of history every Sunday, and how she has so many amazing opportunities that most adults don’t have. I listed off all of the historic and beautiful destinations she’s visited, and experiences she’s had. I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand what I was saying, but someday she will.
Last week we were talking about roller coasters and land based heights, and Ksena said, “I know you are afraid of roller coasters Mommy, but you will still go on one with me when we go to California.” I confirmed her statement. Then she said, “You and Daddy are afraid of heights,” to which Travis added, “Land based heights.” Kati added her opinion into the mix as well, stating that she was also afraid of “highs.” Seriously, 3 year olds are so cute! Then Ksena said something that surprised me, in a good way.
“You are afraid of heights, Daddy is afraid of heights, and so is Kati… but I’m not. I’m not afraid of anything!!”
That is a pretty bold statement for a 5 year old, and I am convinced she meant it. I know that eventually a time will come when she will be afraid of something, but I can’t help but be excited by the effect of our lifestyle on our children. Ksena isn’t afraid to try new things. She understands the value of experiencing different cultures in places all over, whether it is home in Athens, Greece or visiting her grandparents in California, USA. What kind of legacy are you leaving for your family?
To 100 additional posts (and hopefully more) in the coming year!