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Stop Telling Me Travel Ends When Parenting Begins

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When my husband and I were first married, so many well-intentioned loved ones pulled us aside and told us to travel, travel, travel NOW because once we have kids, we were somehow confined to our own zip code for entertainment and recreation.

We took that first piece of advice to heart. We’ve traveled extensively in the five years that we’ve dated and two years we’ve been married. As I write this right now, we’re getting ready to hop on a plane to Belize in a week- and we just came back from a nice getaway trip to Mexico.

Traveling is in my blood- it’s something I’ve done since I was a tiny youngin- a part of my childhood that I continually thank my parents for providing. In fact, just three weeks after meeting my husband, I left for a three-week trip backpacking throughout Europe- I’ve been a free spirit since I’ve had my passport, and I have no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

We’re going to start trying for a baby soon- like six months from now soon (gotta clear up that Zika virus and all). It’s a combination of terror with excitement with adrenaline with uncertainty, but I know that I’m in good company with the billions of other humans on this planet that have experienced the same phenomenon.

With that said, I’m tired of all the negativity about children and traveling. My parents made it work. They hauled us in the backseat of their minivan, and we saw the greater United States with our noses pressed against the glass. With my family, I camped and zip-lined and surfed and slept in airports. We were always told that it was worth spending our time and money on travel, and it’s a pleasure we’ve all continued to cherish.

As a graduation gift, my father took my brother to the Galapagos Islands- a place he’s wanted to visit since he was a young kid (and was obsessed with penguins). At the time, I was in Puerto Rico with a girlfriend. I remember thinking how awesome it was- that we could all share these collective memories, apart but connected, nomadic and enjoying the world in ways we had never done before.

As far as my own children? I absolutely plan to bring them along. They’re coming on all the treks and adventures- my greatest childhood memories consisted of our family vacations- no matter where we visited and no matter what we ended up doing (or not doing)- the novelty of spending time together in a new place was something that always brought us closer as a family.

My husband and I plan to continue that tradition. And for all the people who keep telling us that it’ll be impossible? That it’s too challenging to travel with kids in tow? That children suddenly transform a lovely vacation into a hectic trip? I’ll be quoting that song lyric- don’t believe me, just watch!

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