Why We Treasure Travel as a Family Tradition

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I was at dinner the other night with some friends and we were talking about traveling with our kids. I was amazed how some moms loved it and others felt nothing but stress at the thought of loading their children up and heading out of town. I was so surprised to hear this, because I have always loved traveling so much. Why is that? I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I’ve pondered why I find so much joy in traveling with my family, because it’s definitely not easy! It’s a lot of work and energy, yet I am drawn to it. This is what I’ve come up with:

It began for me as a child. We had a family council when I was in grade school. My dad sat us all down and asked us if we would rather live in a big house (one with stairs- we thought any house with stairs was giant), or if we would rather travel as a family. It was a unanimous decision, we all picked travel. I think my dad was shocked. But he went by the decision, and we began taking trips to all different places around the USA and even to a few foreign countries through the years.

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Family travel wasn’t without it’s squabbles, but it was really the only time when my dad was unplugged from work, my mom from her many church responsibilities, and us kids from school, activities and friends. We were forced to hang out with each other even if we didn’t feel like it.

We were able to see, touch, hear, taste and feel things different from our normal life, which gave us a fresh look on the world and bonded us together through new experiences. We learned a lot, had some thrills and adventures and connected with each other in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise.

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When there were times in our every day life when we didn’t get along and couldn’t see eye to eye, the experiences we’d shared together gave us common ground. The memories were something we only shared with each other. We had a foundation of love to fall back on.

I know going on a vacation may not be the only way to have a family grow closer, but it made a huge impact on my growing up, and I want so badly to share that with my own family. I crave those links to my children. So thankfully, my husband has been on board, and we have made it a big priority through the years with our kids.

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It’s given us all more appreciation for the people, cultures and landscape in our world. We’ve been able to try foods we don’t normally eat. It gives us long periods of quality time to be together- which can be really hard in our busy world today. It’s given us all more courage and desire to try new things. It brings me so much joy when my children tell me dreams of various places in the world they want to visit some day. I love to see them dream. And most of all, has given us the gift of memories that will last a lifetime.

I have an entire section of this website dedicated to our travels. The favorite destinations we’ve been. Places we ate, played and even disliked. For more travel tips from personal experience, check that out here. We continue to update it, so there should be plenty of fresh content.

Also, if you are interested in living internationally with your family, check out this podcast we did with Rachel Crofts, mother of 4 who has been living all over the world with her family. She gives us the good, bad, the ugly and the amazing of her and her family’s experiences. Happy Travels!!

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Hillary HessComment