I can think of several reasons I enjoy gallivanting about the US (and beyond) with my family. It exposes my boys to different cultures and traditions while demonstrating the similarities of humanity. It is a hands-on educational exposé that embodies our homeschooling philosophy. It emphasizes the value in experiencing life, rather than collecting things.
The reason I want to talk about today is this: It ensures I stay present in their lives.
My husband and I have two young boys who we homeschool. We live on a farm with chores, gardens, and animals constantly beckoning. I’m evolving from a full-time corporate professional to a stay-at-home mommy, and from the IT industry into travel-writing and blogging. My husband, who desperately wants to be home with the family, fights Atlanta’s horrendous traffic each day in order to take care of us.
Do you hear it? The busyness. I’m sure it is a cry you have made in your own life, too. “Yes, I want to play with you, but laundry is calling.” “I think it would be fun to put that puzzle together (for the 27th time,) but the weeds are growing in the garden.” Sometimes I find ten minutes between dinner and bedtime. I struggle to choose cuddling together for those last few moments of Curious George over using them to finish an article. I’m definitely not proud – I’m only trying to be honest.
When we are on the road, this changes. There are no dishes in the sink. I can’t do the laundry or clean the chicken coop. It’s just me and the boys and the open road. Traveling together provides us time to bond, to play, and to talk, without life calling me from the adjacent room. It forces me to connect with my kids and live in the moment. Live in the moment.
On our most recent family vacation, we were at the beach. I spent several hours watching my youngest play in the sand. He wasn’t building anything, he was just investigating how the grains felt between his fingers and toes. My oldest snorkeled for the first time. For long periods, we would float on the water looking for fish and shells. There were hours and hours of time together in which I heard with all of my senses every word they spoke. Their laughter was sweet in my ears, their hands were gentle on my arm, and their salty hair was refreshing under my nose. I felt all of this without the whispers of my “obligations.”
I want to stay present in their lives, every moment of every day. It is my goal. It is my desire. I’m not there yet, though. I’ll take every opportunity I can to help me break the chains of busyness. And so we travel.
We’re excited to kick off this brand new series here on Trekaroo where you get an inside glimpse into why our family of writers have chosen a traveling lifestyle. To see other articles in this inspirational series, check out Why We Travel.
We would love to hear your story. Tell us why you travel in the comments.