Are you inspired and excited to travel? For me, travelling has always been part of my life. I’m not sure when it started inspiring me and in fact when I was little I found long distance travel quite boring! I remember thinking when I was little that it would be really cool to go on a train instead of a plane once in a while. Not much has changed in our family – the Things get way more excited to go on the tube than they do getting on a plane!
Why am I inspired and excited to travel?
After being invited by the incredible Simpson Travel to talk about what excites me and inspires me about travel I really had to sit down and think. I’ve taken it all for granted for so long!
Before we had kids travelling was much more adventurous and intrepid. I loved going to new counties and living there. Getting to know the locals was much more my cup of tea than following the backpacker trail when I was on my gap year.
When I met Mr Wanderlust we continued travelling as much as we could given time and budget constraints. The thrill of seeing new places was pretty addictive! Whether we were eating mie goreng on a beach in Bali or abseiling off table mountain or eating gelato in Sardinia, we couldn’t resist the thrill of going somewhere new.
Travelling got so much harder when we had the Things. Suddenly we couldn’t travel light and had to consider things like the best flight schedules for sleep routines. As they got bigger, keeping them occupied on long flights or taking them to see new places seemed almost overwhelming! I constantly found myself questioning why we would travel with the Things.
And yet we never learned our lesson. We got home and made more plans almost immediately. We continued travelling – almost more addicted than before.
For a long time I didn’t really know why to be honest. It was instinct, I guess. And force of habit. We knew we loved travelling and we couldn’t accept defeat.
Now we have started to find a bit more balance and have found how to enjoy travelling with the Things, I’ve realised just why I am inspired and excited to travel!
How do you put into words the thrill of seeing your Things ski for the first time? To see the joy on their faces as they float in the Dead Sea? What is the value of teaching them to surf in Bali? Or of meeting a Disney Princess for the first time? Can you even put a value on any of that?
Honestly? There’s not a single thing you could buy me that will ever be worth what those experiences have given us all.
In this day and age, we see the world getting smaller and smaller with globalization and international travel being so much easier. And yet the news is filled with acts of hate and of violence. Our newsfeeds and chats around the coffee machines at work show us that bigotry and ignorance literally surround us.
What greater gifts can we give our Things than the gifts of compassion and understanding?
For a start, I want my Things to understand how lucky they are. I want them to always approach new cultures and countries, races and religions with the same curiosity and open-mindedness that they do now. I want them to learn kindness and humility and tolerance.
I can’t think of a better way to teach them this than through travel.
Shared family bonding
I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m not a Pinterest mummy. I don’t do crafts (too messy) and (shhh don’t tell anyone) I can’t stand play dough (seriously that stuff gets everywhere). Science experiments are fun but take forever to set up and last for about 10 seconds (any longer and the Things lose interest anyway).
But travelling with the Things? Now THAT I can get on board with.
I love hanging out with our little family.
I love that we get to share these experiences together. That they now have foreign language fatigue because I’ve tried to teach them hello, goodbye, please, thank you and you’re welcome in Italian, French, Arabic and Indonesian.
Getting away from it all
I think it is so important that we all take time to do disconnect and recharge. The time I came back off a holiday most reinvigorated was when I literally couldn’t connect to download my emails. (This was before my social media addictions).
Mr Wanderlust and I are so much more present when we are away and exploring somewhere new with our little Things. Away from the pressures of day to day life we are able to just be and we are always so excited to be in a new place. I know that’s contagious with the Things.
We are much more relaxed and they THRIVE on the extra attention.
I’m not saying it’s perfect (you KNOW it hasn’t always been!!!) but it is ALWAYS an experience and we always come back with fabulous memories.
Connecting with others
And then there is the ability to spend time with other people who you love and who you aren’t normally able to spend time with. I can’t tell you how invigorating it was to spend 3 weeks in Italy last year with 2 different sets of family and some of our closest friends.
Being expats we find quality time with these people is hard to come by. The luxury of having an entire week with each of them was beyond amazing!
Then to now…
So what inspires me and excites me the most to travel? Well, it used to be the thrill of the unknown.
Fantastic article. Traveling with kids can be daunting. Emma had made it sound so much like a wonderful adventure. Keep writing, I love hearing about your travels.
It is daunting but it is also worth it! I’m looking forward to hearing about your next adventure – solo and liberated!
Fabulous piece Emma – travelling with my kids is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and your comments about being more ‘present’ whilst a at from home have really struck a chord.
Thanks Sarah. Its hard and I am the WORST culprit for it. I always fall into bad habits but we can’t give up can we?
The experiences are the best things. Although I’ve not yet taken N abroad due to not being willing to buy us all new passports when we so rarely go anywhere. And I don’t want to take him on my own the first time because the OH won’t come on holiday.
Holidays don’t have to be on a plane! Some of my best holidays have been in the UK (before we left) and just involved getting in a car. Enjoy your time with the little one x
Nice post Emma! This is such a fantastic opportunity, you have put forward a really good cause for becoming an ambassador and I hope you are successful! I’ve also applied too! Finger Crossed for both of us. xx
Fingers crossed for us both as you say! Thanks so much for reading – it means a lot xx
You’ve definitely inspired me to travel more with the kids. We go on a lot of days out and holidays in the UK but I’ve always been apprehensive of taking them all abroad.
Yay! All I ever want to do is inspire people to travel. Going abroad really isn’t has complicated as people think it is. But also remember holidays I n the UK still count! Exploring your own country and teaching your kids about the amazing thins on offer in the UK are all hugely valuable lessons for them not to mention the ability to just spend quality time with mum and dad. xx
Lovely post! I love travelling and wish we had more money spare to travel with our little one
Do what you can and it all counts as travel. Weekends away, staying with friends or family. Just going for a drive to somewhere new. Its all travel and all a learning experience xx
We have to fly as a function of where we live. You can have an amazing holiday in the UK without even getting on a plane. Start small with a short road trip and build up from there. Holidays are where you are all together having fun. xx
I love this Emma. Showing our son the world is what inspires us to travel. My husband and I were quite lazy travellers before he came along, opting for package holidays to relax rather than exciting ones. Now, we’re completely the opposite and, in a way I’m glad, as we’re getting to see parts of the world with him for the first time. Places like Yellowstone, New York, and soon parts of Ireland we never explored despite the fact we were raised there. Showing him the world, new cultures, new experiences and new people is what inspires us to travel.
Wow that’s awesome! I think most people are the other way inclined and if they have any holiday they take the “easy” routes. Holidays are what they are for everyone of course and people are all different and so want different things. I’m thrilled to hear you are exploring the world with your son. xx