Years ago I traveled much for business. All just in the USA. Mainly even the West Coast. I had the best territory ever. (At least for me) Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, Orange County, LA, San Fran. It was great. Easy flights. Beautiful WARM cities.
Even on business, I would find fun things to do. Or stay an extra day. Or bring a friend or a kid along to see different things. If it wasn't an adventure, I was going to make it an adventure.
Now my trips are fun. I do try to put some "learning" into each trip. Although, I don't like the traditional "go through each museum and "see" what they are displaying. I'm more of a "let's go find the best breakfast place the locals recommend. Or "Let's go find the OLDEST museum/restaurant/church/bicycle shop" in town. OR "Let's run where athletes have run for years and see what they see". I'm about the experience.
In planning this trip with the kids to Europe, the last thing I want to do is "drag them from church to church, museum to museum." Kids don't like that - although, some times you do have to do those things you don't like - you just have to see it. I don't like doing that either. I've been thinking of other ideas:
- While in London, let's actually GO to a church service at the Westminster Abby (we are Episcopalian) and this is where the branch of our church started. Actual history.
- While in Paris, maybe we can find the oldest chocolate shop in each area.
- While at the Louvre (sorry, they have to go there). Not only do we have to see the Mona Lisa and Venus De Milo, maybe each kid has to see if there is a piece of art with their name in it? Find a piece of art with a "rabbit" in it.
- Ask a local for the best creperie in town and go there.
- Take the stairs to the top of the Eiffel tower versus the elevator.
- Rent bicycles and tour the town on the bike - packing a lunch and stopping at local markets for more food.
A few years ago, Duncan was invited to go to Germany with a friend of his. His friends family (the mom) is actually German. They have family there. It didn't end up working out for Duncan to meet them - the family had to re-route their vacation that year. But I was SO excited about him GETTING to go. What an opportunity.
Was I worried for his safety? No more than I worry here. He's going to do this one day on his own (At least I hope he does). Why not take this opportunity and let him explore with another family?
The real, true problem - I was jealous. I WANTED to go with him. Of course I did. He gets to go on an adventure? And it doesn't include me????
I just have to remember, this is their life too. I would also rather they slowly get to explore the world (with some adults still around), then go on their own. Hopefully, the good things they have learned can be taken and applied to their whole life. Then they get to go........