Traveling. It’s been a love of ours for a long time. So what’s up next??
We recently did some dreaming of upcoming trips. And we ordered them in upcoming years (and of course subsequent ages of our kids). We could go to Washington DC with a 5 and 7 year old ; but they’d probably enjoy it more at 11 and 13. We could go on a 20hr roadtrip at ages 3 and 5, but we’d probably all enjoy it more at 7 and 9 when they can read and self-entertain better. We could go anywhere at anytime (and our kids (and us) have learned to be great travelers having been to Colorado 7x already!)
So we did some meandering around “lists online” of “best places” as well as our interests and we made up a “dream list”. This is not finalized or carved in stone — but about once a week we talk about or think about details of possible future trips.
Ages 3/5 through 5/7 (preschool/young elementary)
- Utah : Zion National Park. (sneak peak version) This trip is pretty much fully planned. Short simple hikes. Hit the entry of the Narrows. Just enough to wet the taste-buds. Just waiting for the right dates and prices. Hoping to do this in 2018!
- Colorado : CO Springs. We’re doing this over Christmas this year!
- A Florida Beach : details unknown. Maybe Sanibel or Marco Island. Maybe Fort Lauderdale or Miami? Costs of flights/housing is limiting factor.
- A National Park : Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Mount Rainier (sneak peak) Pick a place and do one location at this age. Not picky if it’s California, or Montana, or Arizona, or Washington. Find a place and explore for 4 days. Consider first long road trip. Breathe it in.
- Short Road-trip : Wisconsin Dells or Duluth : Only a 3hr road trip for us, we can rent a cheap cabin, hit up the kayaking and biking/hiking areas.
Ages 7/9 through 9/11 (older elementary)
- Repeat Utah but step it up : (road-trip the big 5 national parks including Arches) Hiking!
- Colorado : Sand Dunes National Park (sand sledding!)
- A National Park : (longer version) Pick 2 not-yet-visited national parks (Maine?)
- Pacific Northwest : Oregon/Washington
- First International Trip : will consider South/Central America vs Europe location ; including options to visit Compassion kids.
Ages 11/13 through 15/17 (junior/senior high)
- Vote as a family on interests (activity and location favorites)
- Finish off National Parks that are of interest
- Revisit favorites from prior years, now with older kids — harder/bigger activities
- Alaska / Canada
- Fly and Road Trip East Coast (New York, Washington DC, Carolinas/Appalachians)
- Hope for 2 distinctly different international trips : Other areas of Europe, Africa, Ireland, Greece.
How do we hope to do this? The how is simple. We prioritize saving for travel. It’s simple and number one. We rarely go out to eat, we buy second-hand, we keep our costs minimal and we reuse when we can. We keep our costs low while traveling. That means going deep and slow with travel (instead of seeing “as many tourist places as possible”, we pick the top 2 and otherwise “live local.”) That means weird times of flights, bringing less, making our own meals when we’re traveling.
Why do we hope to do this? The why is more personal. It’s personal because Matt and I thrive and grow with travel. It’s getting us out of our “rut and routine” and we hear God, take time to hear each other, and it forces silence in our life. We return from travels eager to be home and back into our routine. It recharges our souls. Whether it’s as simple as finding a new waterfall just 45 minutes from our house, or a new local bike trail…or if we fly across the country. With or without kids in our life, this is something that brings us joy.
On behalf of our children, we want them to be world learners. Lovers of people and creation. In awe of God’s proving His existence through creation and the humanity He adores. We want travel to open their eyes and hearts to the needs and darkness of the world, and equally show them the light only through Jesus.
Traveling is driven from my wanderlust soul and it bleeds into Matt’s heart and has created energy in his. It’s beautiful how God has melded us together.
So our dream list is simply a dream.
I tell Matt it’s okay if we don’s see the whole world in our lifetime, because we’ll have millions of years to travel together in Heaven. We can see Greece for eternity if we don’t get to see it now. Honestly. I may just sit in Italy for a few billion years in heaven and eat cheese and fruit and bread. That’s pretty awesome.
We have, Lord willing, 60 years left of our human lives that will be filled with work and rest, learning and teaching, parenting, forgiving and trying, conflicts and resolutions. It’ll be dishes, laundry, family, friends, books, activities. It’ll include suffering, and job changes, mortgage payments, weddings and funerals, movement and homesteading, and confusion and clarity. For whatever reason God gave us the love for travel and it’s significantly beautiful for us.