A pandemic may have temporarily clipped our proverbial wings, but as we begin to take flight once again, we are reminded of the many reasons we can be thankful for the opportunity to travel. Here are five to consider.
We can see the world through the eyes of a child.
Travel with a young person and you can't help but slow down to see things differently. You'll share their delight in all things bright, colorful and on the move. You'll notice the ladybug on the leaf and the helicopter overhead. You'll discover new textures and notice the fragrance of flowers. (Because little people will.) Chances are their sweet smiles will be conversation starters and you'll share stories and experiences with other parents and grandparents. No matter where you wander, you'll be creating memories that will last long after the strollers and backpacks are stowed.
You'll learn something new.
Why not use your next vacation to learn a new sport or explore a new hobby together? Will you strap on skis for the first time, climb into the saddle or make your way to the pickleball court? Tap into the early interest your child or grandchild may be showing for art, music or history by visiting museums, opting for last-minute tickets to a Broadway show or checking out a living history performance.
Who knows? While in the midst of it you may learn about new apps, some up-to-date lingo or the latest fashion trends from your young traveling companions.
Your stress levels will lower.
There is plenty of research that encourages us to welcome a change of scenery and a break from the daily demands of balancing work, family life and ever-changing health-related guidance and restrictions. Whether you breathe deeper, exercise more or simply unplug, chances are you'll feel renewed and have a more relaxed connection with family members. Opt for beach time, a backcountry ski adventure, resort time or a paddle through unfamiliar waters and your whole crew will return home recharged and ready to tackle future challenges.
You'll share your values with the next generation.
As you readjust your mask, wrangle the lines at TSA checkpoints or process the news that your luggage is lost, you'll be modeling how best to handle life's small challenges. They'll be watching how you respond to delayed flights and how you treat those who serve your family meals, restore order in your hotel room or drive the airport shuttle bus. It's an opportunity to encourage understanding, compassion and kindness in the next generation of world travelers. And by choosing to plan a family vacation, you are communicating that unfettered time with family is a top priority.
You'll broaden your perspectives.
Whether you travel to the next county or around the world, moving out of your comfort zone or everyday routine offers a refresh, while enhancing your family's understanding of our world. Appreciate the language, dress, recreational and culinary differences and similarities of your fellow world citizens when you venture into new territory. Make an effort to see the view through the eyes of locals. And observe how a kind gesture and friendly smile is welcome currency in nearly every corner of the world.