TRAVELING WITH TODDLERS — EXPERT MODE HOW WE HELP OUR KIDS GROW
2-Year Wedding Anniversary in Spain, 2013
Honeymoon in Thailiand, 2011
L ast month, Nicole and I took the kids to Hawaii for a family vacation. We rented a house on the north shore of Oahu, near Waimea Bay, with a little pool for the kids to swim in and a vegetable garden where Finn and Harlow picked fresh herbs for cooking. We spent the trip eating great food, listening to music, beach hopping, and connecting with nature. All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing trip. While we were on the island, we also made a point to take the kids to Pearl Harbor. Finn and Harlow are still a little too young to fully understand the significance of the site, but we feel that it’s important to introduce our kids to history and culture when we visit new places. Travel has always been truly important in our lives. Before we got married, Nicole lived in Spain and Japan for a while, and I backpacked Europe with a very dear friend of mine, who has since passed. Having those memories is something I will cherish forever. Together Nicole and I have been to Thailand, Spain, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Leaving your home and stepping into an entirely new environment is the only way to really understand how big and amazing the world is. Meeting new people and going outside your comfort zone is how we grow as human beings. We want to expose Finn and Harlow to different cultures and places from the time they are little. That way, they have the confidence to keep exploring as they get older. After Finn was born, Nicole and I knew we wanted to keep traveling, but trekking across the world with little kids is really different than heading out when it’s just the two of us. We started Finn out with smaller trips to Palm Springs and slowly built up to our first big adventure with him to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was an easy 2.5-hour flight, and Finn was 6 months old at the time. We were really nervous about the flight, but it turned out fine. What we should’ve been nervous about was the fact that Finn woke up everyday while it was still dark outside and what would’ve been 4 a.m. at home. Even as exhausting as that was, we got to watch some of the most amazing sunrises I have ever seen which, admittedly, isn’t very many. Watching the sky turn fiery orange and pink as the sun rose over the ocean was magical. This first trip was definitely not relaxing but it showed us that we loved traveling with our child and that we could, indeed, do it. We are excited to turn our kids into travelers.
On Finn’s first trip out of the country he loved being in a new environment. At one point, we ran into a mariachi band, and Nicole had them play “Hotel California” by the Eagles. Finn was enthralled. He stared at themwith big eyes during a magical moment you could never recreate. During that trip, Finn got to play with this funny little drum toy, (toy rental through bajababygear.com and so worth it!) and when we got home, we bought that same toy because the sound reminded us of a great trip. Since then, we’ve taken Finn and Harlow both to Mexico, and each vacation was awesome. This coming May, we are hoping to take our next big adventure to Greece and Italy. Greece is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I can’t wait to share it with my kids. Any time spent with family is precious, but there is something really remarkable about going to a different country. You get to leave all of the daily household stresses behind and deeply connect as a family without any noise from the outside world. Plus, as a dad, I am thrilled to show my kids something new and help them appreciate adventure and different cultures. It’s a special thing, and I’m fortunate that I get to spend my life traveling with the people I love most.
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