Laughs, cries and some Paris with London in between
When I think about what is the biggest pleasure in life most certainly traveling comes to mind, especially if it is visiting with my family. I was born and grew up in a different country from where I live now. During that time traveling was considered a tremendous luxury. When I was growing up, I thought that if I visit one more country other than my homeland, my life would be complete. Fast forward some decades later, and now my 5-year-old daughter has about 6 different country stamps in her passport and some of them she even visited more than once. I guess that qualifies us to be called a traveling family and I could not be happier about it!
But what does it mean to be a traveling family? In short, it says that you trot the globe with your family unit and try to visit as many places as possible with short breaks in between. When traveling with kids, it’s one of the best ways to map their minds to be open to other cultures, new experiences, and different people. It’s the best way to introduce someone how to be understanding, open-minded and curious about our world. I think that traveling should be a part of the school curriculum.
On the other hand, traveling with kids could also be quite challenging. They have their routines, they need to process things at their own pace, and they sometimes need to misbehave. We just came back from a family trip to Paris and London with our 1 and 5-year-old kids. They are super good travellers, and they had a blast! It’s not to say that we had smooth sailing. When visiting Louvre and Versailles, my husband and I just had to adjust to a running speed of a toddler to experience world’s art masterpieces. Luckily, as by some providence, they stood still to see the biggest highlights we wanted to see, but as far as going deep into the detail of things, well, it was not happening.
Interestingly traveling with kids was also teaching me that you have to choose your moments if you want to experience things fully. At first, I was stressing out about not being able to take it all in, to not being able to read every description to a picture or walk every nook of a street that I have planned on. And while stressing about it, I was missing the precious moments right in front of me. So after a couple of meltdowns, I just let go and all over sudden I started feeling that I am really in tune with those glorious cities and that I am welcomed and loved. By getting out of your head, you feel things much deeper, and your experience does feel complete.
So what are my takeaways from our trip to Europe? Well, we learned a bit of French, studied the history of the places we visited and of course saw for ourselves beautiful architecture and art of Paris and London. The biggest takeaway was that traveling felt so good and made us feel so connected to the world that within days of coming back from our trip, we already made plans for the next one. On that note, I hope that in 2019 you get to experience for yourself a new country or discovery a new place so that we all can be happier citizens of this world!