Since I was a child, I knew it was possible for me to go anywhere in the world. My grandparents travelled abroad quite often, staying for 3 or more weeks on each trip. And despite my mom not being about to fund trips for our little family, knowing that one day I, too, could save up enough money to travel drove me to be fiscally conservative.
Then I became old enough to travel and the world was changing. I went to Israel in the early 1980s, to live on a kibbutz. My first several days were spent in a bomb shelter. That leaves quite an impression. But then I also went to Lebanon and had pizza and shopped and met Lebanese teens who were a lot more like me than I thought they’d be. Conflict in the Middle East is the norm, still, as it has been for thousands of years.
College came along and the money went to pay tuition and books. Maybe a few movies and dinners out. But travel was limited to places I could go with friends who had a car. And it was fun, but it wasn’t what I had imagined. I wanted to travel. Go places. As in places far away and filled with people who didn’t speak my same language.
Today, despite the conflicts that exist all over the world, travel is so much easier. And cheaper. Sure, trips can be expensive but there are so many opportunities to go places both near and far.
I love seeing my friends post check-ins and photos of all the places they go. Some go to the same place year after year (Guilty!, but BabyGirl loves Disney!). Others are constantly checking out new cities, visiting friends, discovering gems and sharing them. With social networks it’s easy to be an armchair traveller.
Recently, I was talking with a few friends online and the subject turned to summer travel. Some had big plans to take their kids abroad while others were planning on a road trip to see family. There was excitement about what they’ll see and do and the fun their kids will have. Even my friends who are grandparents and travelled with their grandkids focused on if the kids would enjoy the trip.
I have to admit that BabyGirl has a big say in where we go, which is why Disney is often our destination. But that doesn’t mean we don’t go other place or consider them for future trips. BabyGirl actually has a list of places she wants to go.The list is quite diverse and very global, and that is fine by me. And though Italy wasn’t on her list, our trip to Italy is definitely one of the highlights of her young life.
So while I joke with CycleGuy about going to Iceland to see the Northern Lights in October, he knows there is a seriousness to my suggestion. And when I talk about going to China he no longer looks at me like I’m nuts. Well, at least not about travel anyway.
The list of places we can go is only limited by our desire to make those trips happen. We may need to make sacrifices or make different choices. But we’re less constrained by options and possibilities than we are by other choices we make. I know we all don’t have a pot of gold we found at the end of the last rainbow we saw. But I know that if you want something bad enough you’ll figure out a way to do it.
Were do you want to go?