Although there are many families that successfully travel with children of all ages, I believe there is a magical point in which a child holds onto memories-processing and reinterpreting their surroundings and experiences more fluently. When, exactly does this occur? I imagine it is different for every child. I am also sure that the field of developmental psychology has studied this concept extensively. But for me I saw the signs of a pending traveler after taking a mini trip with my extended family in October. I noticed how excited my son was simply exploring eclectic shops, trying new restaurants and sightseeing. We openly debated if we should plot out the day or make a definitive choice to wander freely. I took it as a sign-he was finally old enough to begin composing his personal inventory of places traveled.
As a part of my 2013 New Year’s resolution to make connections with family; I felt the need to create what I hope will become a new tradition. Beginning 2013, we (my son & I) will plan 1 unique get-away each year until he graduates from School (9 trips in all)!
Here were the parameters I chose to set:
– It will include a minimum of one stay overnight,
– Two thirds of the trip destinations will be located within the United States
– The first trip will be announced on his birthday in June,
– He must successful pass each grade and all subjects,
– Variety will be key
- Use different modes of transportation (train, boat, bus, plain, automobile, etc.)
- Identify types of travel (alternative vs. mass)
- Explore diverse sights (historical, natural, manmade, etc.)
- Experiment with various travel experiences (adventure, volunteer, etc.)
– Start simple
– Establish a tradition
– Build memories (although I anticipate not all will be positive nor perfect)
– Incorporate teachable moments
– Encourage him to set goals
– Ignite personal connections
– Enlist my existing knowledge of travel and expand
– Commemorate another year (school-life-love-family)
[Layers] tourism degree, transportation planner, new experiences, annual resolutions, birthdays, celebrations, achievements, family, traditions, parenting, goal setting, lifelong learning, and variety.