There’s something transformative that happens when one travels to a foreign place and I pray that the blessing that it is to travel will never become commonplace for me. That it will never just be a “thing” to do. It is and I pray that it will always be a humbling, eye opening, and heart transforming experience.
I had the pleasure of traveling to Nassau and Paradise Island, Bahamas for a mini family vacation with my sister and her two young children. This trip was my nephew’s third international trip and niece’s second and with each trip we’ve added new tools to our arsenal for traveling. We loaded our carryon bags with snacks, packed coloring books with crayons, colorful building blocks to keep their attention and finally a Kindle for movie watching. All of these tools were a God send as we spent hours in the airport and then hours on the airplane. Even with all of these tools we still encountered tantrums, crying and stress but seeing their eyes light up at everything around them, hearing their questions and watching them in awe made it all worth it. I’m truly thankful for the blessing that it is to do life with some amazing little people
Honestly, traveling with children will test every ounce of your patience. You may even question your sanity when you reach your breaking point. With that being said…even though the experience is taxing it will never be one that I run from. To me traveling with children is all about the opportunity to watch them interact, explore and experience a new “home” even if it’s just for the weekend. I believe traveling with children is instrumental in their growth. Being able to interact with the world and to learn about new places and experience new cultures at a young age is priceless. My prayer is that a well traveled child will mature into an adult who understands that the world is so much bigger than their neighborhood and their comfort zone. I pray that the opportunity to travel allows them to see more than just the shiny resorts. That they are able to interact with and see the reality of the world around them and remain humble. That they remain grounded and aware of the differences around them but never boastful.
One of the highlights from our trip was being able to watch my nephew interact with new friends and also witnessing the parents interacting with him in a familial way. One of the families we met while on the beach invited my curious and friendly nephew into their circle like he was family. My nephew spent hours playing with the boys of this couple and had the time of his life building sandcastles and interacting with them. His favorite part of the afternoon was playing with them in the hamster ball and it made me glad to see his joy.
This trip was everything that I didn’t know I needed. I was able to explore a new place, make new friends, bond with my family, share laughs and create memories that will last a lifetime. With every trip I am thankful for the quiet moments when I am reminded of why I am here and that there is so much more for me to do and learn.
Though I am not sure of the final destination…I’m thankful for the journey…