Any time I wear Lilly Pulitzer, I get the itch to travel somewhere tropical and sip a frozen drink on a white sandy beach. Instead, I’m currently sipping cold coffee in my sweats surrounded by a pile of unfolded (clean, at least) laundry- but a girl can dream, right? Every year, Zach and I try to take one big trip somewhere memorable that we’ve never been before. For my 30th birthday back in July, Zach came through clutch with a trip to Paris that I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. The time is almost here- we leave in 3 short weeks and I’m so excited! I just finalized our itinerary this afternoon but we still have a few gaps here and there- if you’ve ever been and have any recommendations on what to do/see/eat, I’d love to hear them! We are most thrilled to take Bear to Disneyland while we’re there- he & Zach neither one have ever been to Disney so I can’t wait to see how much they both love it!
My parents are avid travelers, so I had been all over the U.S. and to several countries by the time I was 18. Because I learned firsthand how amazing it is to see new places and cultures from a young age, I knew before ever even having kids that I wanted the same experiences for them. We took Bear to Hawaii for 9 days when he was just 15 months old and people seem surprised when we tell them we’re taking him to Paris, but it was a no-brainer for us. We didn’t even consider not taking him! While he doesn’t remember Hawaii or probably any other trips we've taken, we still want to make these memories as a family and instill in our children a love for stepping outside of their comfort zone and seeing how other people live. Zach and I both think that’s so important and want to grow Bear’s little mind as much as possible. There's also something incredibly special about experiencing God's creation in person- whether it's mountains, oceans, or vast open plains. No textbook or television show can give you the same feeling as seeing the snow-capped Grand Teton in person for the first time. It's truly magical.
There are many reasons to travel, but here are a few in case you're needing to convince yourself or your spouse that a trip is in order. :)
10 REASONS TO TRAVEL:
1. Expands our awareness and introduces us to greater diversity. Growing up in small town West Texas, it was easy to lose sight of the fact that there's a great big world out there. In an age where diversity has caused much controversy in our society, it's beyond crucial to open our minds and hearts to those who may not live exactly as we do.
2. Gives us time to heal, reduces stress and helps us regain enthusiasm for life. If you've incurred loss or pain of some sort, there's often no better medicine than to escape from reality for a bit. While it's not a permanent fix, a vacation can help clear the mind and ease troubles.
3. Helps us break habits: mentally, physically, and emotionally. Zach can tell you, I am such a creature of habit. I'd eat the same things every single day and stick to the same routine if I didn't force myself to branch out once in awhile. When it comes to traveling, I prefer to see new and different places and just getting to a destination helps so much with any ruts I might be stuck in.
4. Stokes curiosity and awakens our inner child by offering us new, “first-time” experiences. When you're at home going to work, fixing dinner, and taking the kids to school, there isn't much time for new experiences. But on a vacation, you often make a point of trying something for the first time which is both refreshing and good for the soul.
5. Slows us down: Gives us a break from our fast-paced lives. I don't know about you, but our life is busy. I like it that way- I like to feel like I'm accomplishing a long to-do list every day and living in a big city, there's never a shortage of activities to do or errands to run. Traveling provides an outlet of relaxation, a chance to slow down and enjoy life a little more than we normally would.
6. Connects us to other cultures and people. When I lived in Lima, Peru at age 19, I learned so many valuable life lessons that I still think about and apply often, 11 years later. Visiting with the locals in Peru not only made for a more pleasant experience, but it taught me so much about life and love and just how connected we all really are, no matter how different our lives may seem.
7. Provides learning and education about places and history. There really is no educational tool that can compare to experiencing a different culture firsthand. You can read about the Roman Colosseum in history books all you want but until you've stepped inside those massive ancient ruins, you can't fully grasp what actually happened there thousands of years ago.
8. Food. While this may not be a deep philosophical point, it's one I have to include. There's so much amazing food in the world and no matter how delicious a Domino's supreme pizza may be, it's just not the same as what you'll get on the canals of Venice.
9. We learn how to communicate better and be more social. Trying to find your way in a crowd filled with strangers teaches you how to communicate with people and also teaches you how to rely on people when you need help. I can't tell you how many times I've had to ask a stranger for help in a NYC subway station- too many to count but it's made me be more assertive and learn to speak up.
10. Helps us develop new hobbies. Sometimes a place is so beautiful that it sparks creativity to want to write about, draw, paint, or photograph it. Food, fashion, and other outlets are also easily inspired by travel.
Have I convinced you to book your next trip yet? There are so many reasons to get out and see new places! It's a small world, after all, and I'm so thankful we share it.