Discovering our wanderlust.
We've never been abroad as a family, choosing to holiday closer to home whilst the kids are still young. I often use them as an excuse ('Think of all the luggage we'd have to take!' 'Their routines would be so disrupted.' 'It wouldn't really be a holiday chasing two kids, would it?'), when honestly it's probably down to ME. I've been abroad a handful of times in my short(ish) 29 years, and dare I say, I've enjoyed myself maybe 10-15% of the whole time away. It turns out I'm a bit of a home bird and when I'm not stressed about the outbound flying/transfers/suitcases, I'm worrying about the returning flying/transfers/suitcases.
I've just never been a natural traveller.
My partner, an entirely different breed, one of those who can easily take a bumpy flight without downing a jug of wine beforehand, has always wanted to travel. A gap year fuelled his desire to see more of the world and I've always wanted to share his excitement for visiting different cultures, for soaking up the history and just simply to be elsewhere, to take a different view of our world. I adore England, a place I will always feel at home, somewhere my feet are planted firmly on the ground, but everything changed when I had those boys, as it always seems to do.
I started to wonder about what we could be missing, what we weren't showing them, what could be outside of our normal everyday lives; a routine that's all they've ever known. I stumbled upon a wonderful world of travel blogs that showed me how beautiful the world is outside of the commercial holiday destinations. I saw that travelling doesn't have to be dimly lit hotel rooms and racing for the loungers each morning, but beautifully picturesque Italian villas you never want to leave and soaking up simple family bonding time without a router in sight. How much beauty and culture there is in the world that we were missing out on, all of us.
I've suddenly had my eyes opened to all the incredibly different places to home, the places where we can learn so much about our world, where we would be lucky to visit and to hold the memories of to share to our grandchildren someday, and I feel the desire to pack up our suitcases and just go, to see them all together. I want to show my children how magnificent the world can be, even in the darkest of times, and I so desperately want to be able to see it myself.
So, when we're lucky enough to afford to travel abroad with them, I'll be looking for cities of culture, the hidden gems in the world (though I'm sure Disney will be on the list too) and I'll be pushing aside my the part of my mind that loves to sweat the little things, to allow myself to see the magic through their eyes, how they think and feel about the possibility of exploring another place, and perhaps they'll gain a wanderlust that they'll hold throughout their entire lives.