1. Things Will Go Wrong
I’ve mixed up dates- arriving a day later or a day earlier then originally planned. I’ve booked and rebooked times with friends, trying to figure out all of our schedules a month or two in advance. I got sick at the very start of our trip which made my goal of travelling well a lot harder. Our littlest has struggled with separation anxiety in a way that she hasn’t for over a year, making it a big deal whenever I leave her sight. There have been meltdowns, homesickness and stressful situations- just like in normal home life.
2. Things Will Go Very Right
We’ve had so many stellar visits. I’ve had such deep happiness reconnecting with old friends and family -picking up right where we left off, just with our kidlets a couple years older or meeting a spouse. We’ve had some great coffee and food experiences- always a win in our books. I have been blown away by the hospitality we’ve been shown from a dress up trunk for my girls to play with to chocolate on pillows to cozy corners to baby-sitting for date nights to thoughtful gestures, it’s been really fantastic. I could write a whole post on hospitality and being a guest! The girls have travelled better then I expected and have adjusted reasonably well to a constantly changing routine. They have made friends everywhere and are at a fun and easy age to please – playgrounds and cake pops make their day!
3. Beauty is Found Everywhere
The mountains are breathtaking. We couldn’t stop craning our necks and taking it all in from the rock cliffs to the snow-capped tops to the light glinting off all the craggy surfaces. Then there was the rolling hills of farmland and yellow dandelions dotting the green grass everywhere. The flat prairie with its sagebrush and rocks and brilliant skies. And the water! Whether its a river, mountain lake or the ocean, I am drawn to it all. I love the details in the shells and the wildflowers and the big panoramic views that are nearly impossible to capture on the camera.
4. Even in Beauty, there is Hard
It’s been a hard season. I’ve shared some previously about my miscarriage but there’s also some of our story that is heavy and hard and not our story to share publicly. We’ve been in a lot of beautiful places and made some great memories but whatever your hard is, travel doesn’t erase it all. But it does help.
5. Traveling with Little Ones is Both Super Fun and Stressful
I have absolutely loved introducing our girls to old haunts and old friends. They’ve seen real mountains (they really don’t have mountains in Nova Scotia), played in the Pacific Ocean, grown friendly again with cows and chickens at their grandparents’ farms, enjoyed my aunt’s backyard just like I did when I was their age and slept in a lot of different beds. All the behaviour struggles we have at home have come out in a myriad of ways, there were meltdowns on the Boston transit station (and almost every other public transit we’ve been on), they’ve stayed up way past their bedtime (read: hyper and grumpy, sometimes at the same time) and have asked for home a lot sooner than I thought they would.
6. Traveling Pushes You Past Comfort Zones and Enriches Your Life
I knew this. We spent the first six months of our marriage travelling overseas and it was the best decision we could have made. We love traveling and showing our girls different cultures, even within North America. I love seeing how other mums manage their homes. I get inspired by their decor and life choices. We’ve shared tea and tears and thought about life from different perspectives. My girls have made lots of new ‘best’ friends. We love a forced very simple lifestyle- a few clothes, a few books and a few toys. We don’t really miss all our stuff back home. And we’ve proven all those pithy sayings about how memories trump things and surrounding yourself with a few beautiful things is really best.
What have you learned from your travels?