Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Why We Value Travel

I've been planning some of our trips for this year, and it has had me thinking lately about how valuable travel is. Our family didn't always used to place as heavy an emphasis on travel as we do now, and I really like talking about traveling, so I thought this would be a good topic! I know a lot of people don't see travel as a very valuable thing-it can be expensive, takes time off work, hard to plan, etc. but here are some reasons we see it as one of the most valuable things we can do with our children. 

Time with our kids
Each week, between activities, school, work, house work, etc. we might spend only 4  hours with our kids (I generally spend a lot more because I'm home with them, but there are days my husband doesn't see the kids at all, or only for a couple hours), but on vacation we spend all waking hours together. And those are hours that aren't usually interrupted by cooking, cleaning, errands, and the like. Those are truly quality hours with them, building memories and having experiences together. A week of quality time bonds us so much and strengthens our relationships with each other. That time together is priceless to us. How much more we have to build into our kids during those weeks! 

Exposure to new/different things
Traveling allows us to give our kids exposure to things and people that they might not get to have in our little everyday life bubble in Midwest America. Sure, we try our best on a day to day basis, but there are some things you can't provide where you are. It's good for our kids to see other ways of life. There are tremendous differences culturally even from the midwest to the deep south, or from the west coast to the east. Those are good things for them to experience. It's good for them to see that our way of life isn't the "right" or only way. It's good for them to try new foods, hear different dialects and languages we may not hear regularly, and even see different routines and ways of living. I'm always fascinated by it and I hope they grow up to be as well. I hope it makes them more well rounded, empathetic, curious, loving people. 

New experiences
Traveling often gives us the opportunity to give our kids new experiences. There's only so much we can do at home. Again, we certainly try, but we just don't have some things! Travel is a great way to try new things. To see new regions. To have new experiences. My hope is that these experiences together will be some of their strongest and best memories. Our times trying new things, going to new places, and maybe even stepping out of our comfort zones to do something we've never done before, are certainly also going to provide bonding between the members of our family. I hope that as they grow they will value experiences over things and that they will see the value in spending that time and making those memories rather than a new toy or item they'll be sick of in a month. 

A well deserved break
This goes along with my first point a little bit, but I believe travel is a much needed and well deserved break for all of us! It's so good for kids to be kids. To leave behind the school work, the friend drama (my kids aren't there yet, but I know as they age this could come into play), and whatever other stressors they might be experiencing, and just be free to enjoy themselves. To relax, to recharge, and to just enjoy their time. As adults, I think most of us can agree that we need that from time to time. Why wouldn't kids need it as well? I love seeing my kids without a care in the world, running free on the beach, climbing trees, exploring at a museum, watching a performance. Seeing that joy on their faces is one of the best parts of travel for me. 

There are certainly other things we could spend the money on that we put into trips . There are certainly other ways we could spend my husbands vacation days. But I don't think we'll regret for a second spending our money and time this way. Building into our kids, our bonds, and creating memories together will be absolutely worth every penny and hour of PTO spent! After thinking through these reasons, and looking back at some old vacations for pictures, I am absolutely ready and excited for our next family trip! It's going to be a really good one, and we're all counting down the weeks!!! 

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