As an adult, I have insatiable wanderlust. It's my disease. Honestly, I think it drives SuperHub crazy. :) I'm constantly dreaming, scheming, planning our next vacation. Even on the plane TO our vacation, I am constantly planning.
Now, I have passed on my wiggly spirit to both of our kids. Every day I am asked,
"Mom? When are we going somewhere?"
"Can we go to Paris? I want to see the Eiffel Tower."
"When can we go see India. I want to see India."
"Mom? Can you take us to Russia soon?"
My answer is always the same. Yes. Absolutely, we can see Cambodia, and India, and Texas, and Canada. I never ever say no. I want my kids to know that every trip is doable. We may have to save up longer to go, it may take more planning than usual, we may even have to wait until you are a bit older.
But we will go.
For kids who have looked down on the earth from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, drawn in the sand below the Great Pyramids of Giza, giggled at the anatomy of Michelangelo's David in Florence, the world is their oyster. I won't take that away.
My goal is to make seeing the world so achievable that they never stop desiring to travel. Because travel inspires you. Not just to think differently, or to appreciate cultures, or even to grow as a person, but also to work hard to travel more. If I can ignite that flame in them, they will work nonstop to make their dreams come true. They will see us saving for trips, the hours of planning that we do before each journey, and they will see us consistently hitting our goals.
It may be years before we can buy our first house. We will probably be in our mid to late forties. That used to really bum me out. But it's part of being in the military. After a lifetime of living in homes/apartments/duplexes with white walls and inadequate kitchens, I dream of colorful walls and soaker bathtubs.
But when we do finally have that house, when we finally hit that major goal, our home will be colored with more than paint. It will be jam-packed with treasures from all over the world. It will be filled with life. Little mementos of trips that were both easy and hard. Wooden figures of camels that the kids picked out at markets in Cairo. Christmas ornaments that reflect our decades of exploration.
I used to think that travel was impossible. That I was doomed to a life of frustration in not being able to fulfill my wanderlust. But, then you save up and take that first trip. You get your passport. You watch flight prices and study AirBNB. Suddenly, you realize you can spend the same amount touring Tuscany as you would renting a house at Myrtle Beach for a week.
Suddenly, you find yourself overwhelmed because the world is within your grasp. How do we possibly pick where we want to go next? Thailand? Paris, again? Jordan? Tanzania? Morocco? It's all too much.
Because we are living in a third world country right now, all we long for is a first world vacation. London is calling me. Paris. I want to go somewhere where I can recognize letters. (Ha! Not even words! My standards have surely changed!) I want to go where there are garbage cans on the street that people actually use. Where the only smells that are prevalent are the smells of food as you walk past street vendors that you can stop and eat at without mortal fear of gastric consequences.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Think about your top five places. Are they really that impossible to get to? You might be surprised that it's cheaper to go to Europe than to DisneyWorld. Where should your favorite SuperMom go next?