For the past decade, travel is something that we’ve made a priority for our family. With every trip we take, I understand more and more why couples might choose to be married far from home. Something happens when you’re out of your element to turn even the ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.
We live a pretty modest life. We’ve never bought a new car. We live in a small bungalow. I don’t have an expensive coffee habit or clothing habit…or shopping habit in general. In 2012, we even stopped giving each other Christmas gifts and instead, take a family trip together.
Something happens when we remove ourselves from the familiar. When we leave behind work and school and all of the various things at our home that would distract us or keep us busy. We connect with each other in ways we do not when we’re at home. This distance allows the details of our everyday life to get quiet so that we can hear the things that really matter. I think it’s why so many cultures encourage a honeymoon to start the marriage off on the right foot.
Our lives at home can be pretty predictable. We have our routines and things run according to plan. When they don’t, for the most part, we handle things and move on; barely a bump in the road.
While we LOVE the process of planning out our trips together, when you’re traveling, things do not always go according to plan. And when they don’t we’re all in the same boat. Adults and kids, everyone has to learn to be okay with change, how to solve problems, and sometimes….how to manage disappointment when we aren’t going to get to do cool things that we’ve planned. Sometimes, it turns our that the alternative ‘not according to plan’ reality ends up being way more awesome than anything we could have made happen on our own.
I honestly feel that living your whole life in any one place, with one worldview, is just as dangerous as reading any one book and adopting it as your philosophy on life. Read as many books as you can, see as many places as you can see, talk to as many people as you can. Use those diverse experiences to sculpt your own philosophies on life, and don’t be afraid to rethink things when you learn something new.
I want my kids to make up their own minds about things, and I want to give them the resources to know those are sound decisions. We involve our kids in trip planning, and whenever possible, let them plan a day or choose activities they would like to try in new place.
We Curate Memories
When we travel, we sometimes get all touristy with our photos. Shamelessly so, because we enjoy looking back through those photos, and reliving all the trips we’ve taken.
From our first trip to Disney; twice in one summer due to an odd, last minute change in plans…when my youngest was an infant and I sought refuge in the quiet, air-conditioned baby care stations every chance I could get….to our second trip to Disney 5 years later, in a freakishly cold snap we were terribly unprepared for. We wore our pajamas under our clothes to the parks for extra warmth and spent most of our fun money on silly hats and gloves.
To our most recent trip to Disney, where we explored the park like pros and ate entirely too much food.
We make at least one (sometimes two) pilgrimages to the beach each year. We load up the car with way too much beach gear and drive entire days to spend a week with family. My kids bunk with cousins and build sand castles and boogie board. We fish, and never catch anything. We put a camera on a tripod and take a family photo each year (to our credit, they improve each year). But we have these photos of a chronology of family additions: new marriage, babies, and friends that join us.
And all those Christmas trips. The trips that replace all the gifts that we used to give, the cards we used to send out, the live tree, all of the material things. Every once in awhile someone will ask if our kids aren’t missing out on the magic of Christmas. I don’t think they’re missing a thing.
In addition to our photos, sometimes we’re ambitious enough to create videos of our trips, whic turn into a time capsule of sorts for our family. We capture little bits of our adventures, freezing our kids in time at an age they never will be again.
Sometimes though, we don’t take any photos or video. We leave all of that behind and have a great time, and the only stories we keep are the ones we tell each other from time to time.
“Do your remember when we went to….”
There’s a lot of value in that too.
I’d love to hear about the trips you’ve taken that have had value to you; as an individual or with your family. Tell me about it in the comments! And if you’re planning a destination or adventure wedding and would like to talk about capturing your story, send me a note. I’d love to share how the MotionWorks wedding film process is great to preserve your story, both at home and far away.
Be sure not to miss a post! Sign up for our newsletter so you’ll get all of our blog posts right in your inbox!