Growing up I had dreams of traveling. Dreams of spending months and months away from home in far off places with new people, food, and cultures. Big dreams of visiting other countries to do service work. And that was my plan. I didn’t know how I’d get there but that was the plan, to hit that travel bug before going to college, if college ever happened at all. Pregnancy came and I thought those dreams could never come true. Honestly, I was completely crushed at the idea of those dreams shattering. My little family, we don’t get away too often and we don’t get too far, but I’ve come to realize that those dreams can and do continue to live on. They’ve simply adjusted a bit. I’m an advocate for getting away and having alone time with your spouse or even all on your own but I’m also a huge advocate for traveling with your children. I think in the fast paced technology world we live in today, they benefit from actually visiting far off (or not so far off) places in person. Whether it be a few cities over, across the country, or across the world, the benefits of exposing those growing minds to new places are endless.
Everything around us growing up (including school) enforces stereotypes on us about places to help us understand them. We scrunch an entire city, state, or country into one little stereotype to make it easier to understand but in the meantime we are stopping them and ourselves from truly understanding that culture. I think this way of living runs deep and is continuing to pass onto our children. I not only want to teach my daughter that Texas is more than tumbleweeds and cowboys and Egypt is more than a land of pyramids but I want to show her. Many of us learn by experience, so why do we lower priority of travel?
And so, I have plans to make 2017 the year of travel for my family and I. We haven’t taken Tahlya too far, and maybe we won’t get too far this next year, but for now, just starting to turn those wheels? That’s what is most important.