Now need is a very strong word. There are only a few things that we really need and I must admit, travel is not one of them. But, it does rank up there very high on things I feel are necessary for the growth of my family.
We recently got back from a weekend trip. This is not something we do often. We either take a week or two in the summer to visit somewhere, or we take day trips near home. This time however, we flew several states away just for the weekend to celebrate my grandfathers 100th birthday. It was during this trip that I was reminded why I keep pushing my family to travel. Yes, travel is something I am discovering is rooted deep down inside me but it does so much more for my family.
- We bond together as a family. I see so many posts about this and it is so true. Usually at home we are a busy family. We all have our activities and commitments that pull us in different directions. We do make some intentional family time, but that is usually a few hours at the end of the day and only one to two times a week. However, when we travel we are all together all the time. And it works for us. It gives us shared experiences to talk about and the kids have to rely on each other for entertainment and company. As my children have gotten older they have learned each others strengths and weaknesses. My oldest especially gets it when her younger sister needs a little silly time to cheer up or provide some comfort when one of her siblings is scared.
- We all learn some flexibility and what it means to move out of your comfort zone. As human beings we tend to gravitate towards what is familiar and comfortable, but that does not allow for much growth. I want my children to always wonder and question the things they do. I feel travel helps show them that it is OK to be in a new environment or to try something new. The more new experiences we allow ourselves the more trying new thing doesn’t seem all that scary. That new experience can lead to new opportunities. Even as adults, this idea of flexibility helps lead to a more fulfilling life.
- Problems come up. It does not always go as planned. We get to solve these problems together and work with each other. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the more we can understand and embrace those personality traits the stronger we become as a family.
Now I don’t want it to sound like it is always picture perfect. We definitely have our share of tantrums, tears, grumpies and grumbling. There are times we don’t understand someone else’s reaction or just don’t want to compromise. But most times, out of that frustrating space comes fun memories and lessons that bring us closer together as a family.
And that is what bring me joy. Experiencing life together with my family.