Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have Kid, Will Travel

My three younger kids and I were in New Orleans last week. It’s one of our favorite spots to visit—definitely one of my favorite cities of all time. As we strolled the French Quarter, I caught several raised eyebrows and curious glances. I was reminded of another trip to the city, when a woman standing behind us in line at a restaurant asked me why on earth I would bring my children with me to New Orleans.

I was really taken aback. I think I stammered something about the historical aspect of the city, about being careful not to take the children to any questionable spots. But the more I thought about it, the more this bothered me.

Taking my kids with me on trips is one of the great joys of my life. Being able to experience new places together or to see old familiar spots through their eyes is incredible. I love to hear what they’re seeing and listen to their perspective on what we’re doing.

As I told that woman years ago, I’m not stupid about this. When we’re in New Orleans, for example, I don’t walk down Bourbon Street at 11 o’clock at night with my kids in tow. Believe me, they’d get a totally different kind of education if I did that! But we also try to do more than just the typical tourist activities. Our trips are an equal part fun and education, and if I’m doing my job, none of us can really tell where one ends and the other begins.

Traveling with children also exposes them to different people. In our normal daily life, my kids don’t necessarily see many street performers or sidewalk artists. But in New Orleans, this is part of life, and it sparks conversation about what kind of life that might be. It makes us all more aware of our own blessings and appreciative of the passion for their art that most of these performers have.

I know that by taking my children along, I’m creating in them a love for traveling and a thirst for adventure! My kids are almost always ready to jump in the car and drive away on a trip. They’ve become quite good at all the preparations now, so that I don’t have to do nearly as much as I used to as we get ready to go. They’re smart about packing, preparing and patience. And we always have a wonderful time discussing our favorite parts of the trip, what we learned, what surprised us and what we’ll never forget.

My parents took my sister and me almost everywhere with them, and I am happy to be able to carry on the tradition with my own four. Yes, it requires a little more patience. And if you have small children, vacation might not mean sleeping in each day. But I promise you, the days you spend traveling with your kids are priceless. You’ll never regret a trip like that.

So grab your maps and your suitcases and the kids and start to plan it—where will your next adventure take you and your children?

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Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to almost 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.
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MelissaAggie98 on Wed Mar 10, 10:50:00 PM 2010 said...

I absolutely LOVE New Orleans too! Great post! I'm following from MBC...if you get a chance, can you please follow me too? Have a great day!

Mayra, mommy to Pooh Bear on Thu Mar 11, 12:07:00 PM 2010 said...

Thank you for stopping by yesterday and for your words.

I am now following you. =]

I believe traveling builds their eagerness for travel, adventures..etc.. I take my 1 year old to museums, the zoo, anything and everywhere a child is permitted. =D I love places that have historic meanings!! We might go to Springfield soon..
Totally agree on the fact that it's good to expose them to people, different places,etc..

Glad your trip went great!! Can't wait to see where you go next!

Cecile on Thu Mar 11, 04:54:00 PM 2010 said...

You were in New Orleans!!! I live like an hour and forty five minutes away! Well, I am glad to hear that you love visiting it!
You are right, people do look at travelers strange when they have kids with them. I mean there are other areas around that do not involve "all those other areas" of New Orleans. I mean, I forever took my daughter (when she was little ~ now 16) to the Children's Museum. She loved that place. The Aquarium, the Imax, the Riverwalk, the French Market, the little boutiques... come'on... The city has soo much history... We even went on a carriage ride one day. Yea, we went through some not great areas, but nothing bad....
Thanks for sharing this!

tawdra on Mon Apr 26, 11:44:00 PM 2010 said...

Thanks all for the sweet comments--if you want to follow me on Twitter, it's under my own name (tawdra)--and my writing blog is . Would love to have you follow me there!

Glad to hear y'all have kids and still travel--keep it up!


Have Kid, Will Travel

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