Did you spend your 20s traveling and exploring the world? Both my husband and I have long had a love for travel and spent a fair share of time in our early 20s on quick getaways both in the US and abroad. We’d pack our backpacks and go — for 36 hours if it meant a trip somewhere new together. We were living out our dreams, one destination at a time. Then, it happened. Well, we planned it to happen…but all of a sudden I had a growing belly and we were spending those weekends decorating a nursery.
We have had many friends over the years question our sanity on why we would we travel with our kids in tow. Why wouldn’t we travel to “escape” and have some time together? (Side note: We do this, too. Don’t get me wrong, we love a parents only getaway!) Why would we take our kids on trips they won’t even remember? Europe with three little kids?! Kayla, you are CRAZY.
Our answer is always the same. They may not remember it all, but we will. Our older girls are at an age where they will remember the experiences we share while we travel. They are also turning out to be pretty awesome little global citizens who understand other cultures and beliefs, and I might add, they are the best little travelers. We rarely hear a peep from our kids on airplanes – because it is just normal for them. Here’s our takeaways as we work to raise little vagabonds:
- Kids are easy to transport when traveling. They don’t take up much room and they don’t need much stuff. We have rarely traveled with a stroller – typically only bringing our Ergo Baby Carrier.
- Kids are adaptable. Sure that first night in a new time zone can be a bit crazy, but naps are a gift that keep giving to everyone traveling with kids.
- Kids actually help you experience a new location in a way you never have before. When we travel with our kids, we seek out little neighborhood parks or adorable shops for a lemonade and cookie. We experience more because kids make us get off the beaten path. They could care less at this stage for art museums or old churches — but find them an awesome playground filled with locals — they are giddy.
- They are cheap. In our experience, our kids haven’t added much cost to our travels. Their favorite lunch while we are somewhere new? A baguette, some salami, cheese and a piece of fruit. Bonus if we get them water with gas.
- Kids mean you get to experience everything in a new way. We love having our kids help plan our trips. This engages them from the get go, it fosters a sense of yearning for adventure in them and it creates an environment where travel means experiences, learning and fun. We have taken our kids back to some of our favorite places, and we have seen the cities in a completely new way. We’re up earlier so we get to see a city wake up, which is one of my favorite things about travel.
- Kids make you slow down. I love getting to slow down and experience a new place at my daughter’s pace. When you get to appreciate a city from a child’s perspective, you see things completely differently.
Rewind back to those days in our late 20s, early in our marriage that had been filled with travels and adventures…while we laid in our bed, amazed by the baby bouncing and kicking in my belly, we made a commitment to each other and our baby (and any other babies that followed this one): Our adventure is just beginning. Now we get to share the world with you, little one. Fast forward to today, we have three beautiful daughters aged 7, 5 and 1 and they are the greatest adventure we have ever been on.
Kayla Keigley is a wife, mom to three daughters under the age of 7, public health professional and an enthusiastic wanderer and traveler. Kayla and her husband believe travel is best done off the beaten path and strive to raise their daughters as global citizens, by fostering a love for language, culture, food and adventure. You can follow Kayla on their website (www.wanderlocity.com) or on Instagram (www.instagram.com/wander_locity