Travel is my opiate.
But once I had kids, I had to shelve my inner nomad and stick to easy-to navigate with a 20 pound diaper bag and stroller locations. That offered child care. But, I kept a journal of all of the places that I wanted to visit once they exited the cumbersome “gear” phase.
Now, with children 7 and 10, I spend all available income on international travel. Travel is fun, yes. But I want to inspire a curiosity that fuels a lifelong quest for adventure and knowledge. The experience (especially dealing with the inherent mishaps of any trip) of conquering unknown cultures is in itself an education. The rules? They have to try every type of food I give them and cannot moan and complain about lifestyle differences. E.g. eating late, siesta, (nothing open from 2-4), annoying cigarette smoke, slow service. And, before we go, they have to research the destination. This involves filling out extensive worksheets about where we are visiting and historical significance of each location. This way, they are invested in the trip. On Friday we are headed to London. The kids have consulted the atlas to gage distance and are well versed in high tea and “the knowledge.” My older daughter has exhibits pegged at the British Museum and V&A and has outlined the tube stations to navigate the city. To fuel my Downton Abbey addiction, we are popping over to Hampshire to have some friction with aristo-fabulosity. The kids are grooming and riding horses and we will indulge in some form of roast game at a local pub.