I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I was never having kids. I’m more fortunate than many folks, but my childhood home wasn’t exactly what I’d call a loving one. After my parents divorced, I never really figured I’d make a good father. After all, if my parents couldn’t get along, where was I going to get my good parenting skills from? I just figured I was bound to mess it up. Fortunately, I developed a relationship with my father and learned a few things along the way. And, I found the one woman who had the winning formula to make me a good dad.
Fast forward a couple of decades and I have two wonderful (and sometimes cranky) children. Catherine is 10 years old, getting close to 11. Charlie just celebrated his 6th birthday. They both enjoy our travel, wherever we decide to take them. But, that’s starting to change for my daughter. And, I couldn’t be happier.
I was working on my 2016 travel year in review earlier this week when she saw the maps on my laptop. The conversation went something like this:
Cat (that’s what she insists on being called): Daddy, I have a travel goal.
Me: What’s that?
Cat: I want to fly all the way around the world.
Me: On one plane, non-stop? Or, do you want to stop and see some places.
Cat: Well, both I guess. But, I really want to fly all the way around the world once without stopping.
Me: You better find a job that makes a lot of money, because you’re going to need it to find the plane that will do that!
Cat: We can stop a few places. But, I also have some other things I want to do.
Me: Like what?
Cat: I want just you and I to take a trip together. I really want to go to Australia.
Me: I’m in (you’ll notice a pattern of me enabling!). But, I was hoping we could wait another couple of years so Charlie would be old enough to do Bridge Climb with us.
Cat: Okay, but maybe we could just go for 5 days? You know, including flight time.
Me: Well, that’s about the exact length of the trip I took there last year.
Cat: Yeah, that would be good enough (at which point my wife chimes in and says we can’t go to Australia without her).
Cat: And, I want to take a trip to Maine.
Me: I’m in.
Cat: Oh, and Iceland.
Me: I’m in.
Cat: We need to get started!
That was two nights ago as she was getting ready for bed. This morning, she came in to my office to ask a question. I was trying to figure out what to write for my morning blog post. My work travel has me tired and struggling just a bit to crank out relevant content that I enjoy writing. She asked what I was doing. I told her I was trying to figure out what to write for the blog this morning. Her answer?
“Why don’t you write about me wanting to go to Iceland? Seriously, you need to plan that trip.”
I Don’t Need To Be Told Twice
Okay, I guess I did. But, after she reminded me this morning of her travel aspirations, I couldn’t write about anything else. It’s one thing to see your kids enjoy travel. Seeing the world through the eyes of my children is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
But, when your children start showing that desire to travel, it’s a whole other level of special. I’ll share one more story with you before I start working on less fun stuff this morning.
My daughter had a very special travel year in 2016. It involved lots of cool places. Most importantly, it involved people she loves. This past summer, we went back to Europe. I’m running waaaaay behind writing that up, but one of the purposes of the trip was to visit a friend.
You see, my daughter deals with anxiety issues. They’re getting better, but she gets nervous when there’s change. One of her friends from school, Jordan, shared some of those same anxiety issues. They relied on each other to help through tough days when things were changing. Then, Jordan moved away. Her father got relocated to Germany due to his employer. We’d always told Catherine the world was small. This summer, we put our money (or miles) where our mouth was. After a stop in Sicily, we ended up in Salzburg where Catherine and Jordan were reunited for a fun-filled couple of days. The smiles on both of them were priceless.
Finishing The Year Out Strong
The year wouldn’t have been complete without a Disney trip. We had a couple more surprises there for her. We got to spend a surprise day with our great friend Lauren, who’s been making Disney memories for our kids for 6 years now.
There was one last surprise planned for Cat. Amidst all those days where she was nervous to go to school, there was one person who helped dry a lot of those tears. Catherine’s elementary school principal was a rock for her for years. Cat was heartbroken when she learned her principal was relocating out of the area. She’s grown enough that she was able to deal with the change. But, that school just wasn’t the same for Cat.
As luck would have it, her principal had a Disney trip planned at the same time as us. We decided to keep this a surprise as well. When Cat saw her, she was literally speechless. That first hug was one of many as our two families spent an entire day together. At the end of the day, there was one last, long hug. And a memory I’m not sure my daughter will ever forget.
At dinner last night, Cat was telling me how one of her close friends is moving away. They’re moving back to Alabama to be closer to family. Before I could even say it, she delivered the punch line.
“But, we’re going to go visit, right?”
The post When Your Kid Gets Bit By The Travel Bug was published first on Pizza in Motion