In the past 12 months we’ve done a lot of travelling. We’ve gone sledding in the Alps, spent a long weekend in Paris and a short one in Normandy, took two separate trips to the US (one including a week at the beach), visited England, Scotland and Ireland, and saw Salzburg, Tirol and a little bit of Bavaria. It’s been quite a year.
However, the last trip we took (Bavaria, Salzburg and Tirol) was almost 3 months ago. It’s the longest break we’ve taken since we started this whirlwind of travel across Europe last year . . . and, I’m ready to go again. As much as it can be a ton of work and sometimes a fair bit of stress and inconvenience to undertake a major trip as a family, I can’t wait to do it again. I think I may have gotten myself addicted to the adventure of discovering new places.
Which is good, because we’ve got a lot more to come. Next week, we have our first ski trip planned, next month we’re going to Italy, and I have a few short weekend trips in mind (which, of course, I haven’t planned yet, because I always plan travel at the absolute last minute — in fact, having our Italy trip almost entirely planned over a month in advance feels unusually organized to me).
So much of this feels out of character to me. I’ve always been such a homebody — I’ve always liked snuggling up on the couch and watching a favorite movie, not venturing out somewhere new. But now that I’ve done it, I get so much satisfaction from these adventures that it completely overwhelms the inertia of being home, and almost silences my worries about the challenges. Our two upcoming trips, for example, have lots to be concerned about — we’re heading to the Alps, to ski, with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, even though none of us really ski. And then we’ll be heading to Rome, with all the stress and headache of worries about pickpocketing and scams, and Venice, where the entire time I’ll be obsessed about not losing one of the kids in a canal.
But even though I do think (obsess) about all of those things, I can’t wait to travel again. I love seeing new places and having new experiences. But I also LOVE having that dedicated time together as a family. I love sharing a too-small room, all together, listening to the boys sleep while Dan and I whisper and silently laugh as we recall our day’s adventure. I love seeing the boys throw themselves whole-heartedly into completely new surroundings. I even love the memories of holding a sick Liam in the middle of the night or laying on a couch in a strange hotel room with Benjamin as he rested. We have made SO MANY memories on our adventures so far. We have shared so many experiences and bonded as we laughed or growled about some unexpected challenge. Travel with my kids is like family-time-concentrate and each part, even the parts that drive us crazy when we are going through them (like being lost in Paris at midnight in the rain or horribly miscalculating the driving time on our first day in Ireland) — EVERY SINGLE PART — has been precious to me.
I can’t wait to go again.