I am the mother of four children, the oldest is 30 and the youngest is 22, and I still hear to this day how one of their friends will often ask if they regretted all the traveling and moving around they did as kids. Thankfully none of them do and I often hear from each of them how thankful they are that we did that. Here’s why.
I have always been a nomad, felt like I belonged someplace else and have always had the desire to see and experience new places. Not the usual tourist traps that millions of people flock to every year, but to the places off the beaten path. I want to know the life and history about a place. I want to feel the blood pumping through its veins, its life force. I want to know why the place came into existence and why it’s still around today.
When my children were younger we took them everywhere with us. Not once did we ever go on vacation or a trip without them. Before any of them had turned eighteen they had been back and forth across the country, and many places in between, probably a hundred times.
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We didn’t have a lot of money back then, and still don’t, but we always made it fun and interesting for them. Hiking is always free and we did a lot of that through many National Parks and Forests. And sleeping in a tent or the back of our suburban in a free city park because we couldn’t afford a hotel room for six was just camping to them, and boy did they love to go camping.
Each of them has their own distinct memories of places they have been to and the things they have seen. Some were to young to even remember camping at Gettysburg or going to work with mom and dad when they worked as security guards at Disney World but they all know that while most children were reading about our historical places in history books, they were visiting them.
Of course we haven’t visited them all, but we have been to quite a few. There’s still time to fill in the gaps now with our grandchildren in tow!