(As a freelancing family, I often discuss the lack of traveling time we have. The parts we don’t get to plan and our effort to do more in the future. With that, I’ve been inspired to take on more closer travels. Places that are new to us. Through Sarah, I’ve learned that it’s simply about going. How far and for how long… well, that doesn’t really matter.
With the holidays season upon us, and gift guides that hone in on various members of your family, it seemed fitting to touch upon the gift of experience. The gift of travel; a thoughtful gift to see the world, or what you can. In truth, nothing is more valuable than memories with dear ones.
Today, Sarah and her husband Trevor, launched Voyons – a site dedicated to wanderlust. It’s full of beautiful images, inspiration, and heart-tugging words of memory making. You won’t regret the read.)
Before my oldest daughter was born, when I set my hand to creating her nursery and was trying to decide on a theme, I came across an old styrofoam map that my husband had stashed in our garage. He had used it for a work presentation, to chart areas where they served customers; but I suddenly saw a map of places I’d like to take our daughter—or rather, experiences I’d like to give her. I dusted off the map and mounted it on the nursery wall, big letters spelling out “See the World” above it.
Since then, that mentality has become a family value of sorts: See the world. There is so much to be learned from what we can see around our Earth. From trying new foods to hearing different languages; from seeing vastly different landscapes to meeting people who look totally different from us; from the sounds of an awe-inspiring waterfall to the smells of all the world’s oceans; we think to show our children the world is to help them find themselves (because I know I still find more of myself in every place I see).
This fall, my family (now with two daughters!) had the unreal privilege of journeying together to the the Lofoten Islands in Norway, above the Arctic Circle, to see the Aurora Borealis and spend a truly restful time in remote, beautiful communities. It was the largest trip we had yet attempted with our daughters, now four- and three-years-old; and it honestly went off without a hitch. It was as if that spark of a hope early on, that infusing of travel as a value, had already trickled down into their little beings, and they recognized the importance of such an experience. Of course, they are still small children, and we had to manage our expectations accordingly; but nothing has ever made my heart burst more than to hear their exclamations of wonder at seeing the Northern Lights dance above our heads outside our tiny cabin in Gimsøy.
To see the world doesn’t have mean hopping on a plane and to fly a thousand miles. Sometimes all we have time for or all we can afford is a trip outside the city to a new-to-us park. But we think there is something to an “open eyes, open heart” mentality. We like to always be adventuring and always be learning, and it’s possible to do that from any tiny corner anywhere on Earth.
This is our gift to our little family, and something that we are trying to consider this Christmas and moving forward. Of course there will be little presents wrapped up under the tree, because that is a thrill that comes with having children; but we also want to consider what there is to be experienced and how we can incorporate that into our lifestyle. We’re making it a priority in our family to see the world and to hope that, together and as individuals, we’ll be forever changed by it in a way that matters more than anything you open up on Christmas morning.