I didn’t travel much as a child. We went on the regular trip to Disneyland every four years, plus the odd trip to LA or San Diego to visit family. My first time out of California (besides the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe) was in seventh grade when I visited the exotic lands of Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival with my English class. Quite honestly, we didn’t really have the resources to go on big trips. Instead, we opted for economical family getaways like camping, which was a hit.
Unlike the generation before me that just glimpsed the pages of NatGeo for travel inspiration, I grew up in an age when the internet was becoming pervasive. Even though I hadn’t been anywhere, I realized that there was this incredible world with dazzling sights that lay before me somewhere in the future. I had a unrelenting desire to see the world, but it wasn’t until I began graduate school in the UK that I really began to travel internationally and independently. An entirely new world was born, and as others bitten by the travel bug can attest, it quickly became a priority. I accepted the fact that money was better spent on traveling the world than on material things, and that’s still a rule that I abide by.
The Benefits of Adult Family Travel
Just because we couldn’t travel together as a family growing up didn’t mean that had to remain true in adulthood. I’d begun to realize how great this world is and the transformative quality of travel, and I wanted to experience that with my family. While living in London, my dad and sister came to visit and we embarked on a Eurotrip of our own, visiting Paris, Prague and Amsterdam after a few days in London. It was fabulous and it was the bonding experience of a lifetime. I realized that while we didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy those travels as children, there was something pretty magical about family travel as a team of adults. We all genuinely appreciated everything we were seeing, and we were all seeing these things for the first time. We were all adults but traveling with children’s eyes; seeing a world as something fresh, spectacular and rich. Yes, it would have been magical to have those memories as a child with my parents but not all parents are able to do that for their kids, and that’s okay, too. Instead of thinking about memories we didn’t make, it became more of a priority for us to focus on the future memories we can make.
My parents have since visited me in Anguilla three times – their fourth trip starts next week! – and Scott and I have traveled extensively with his parents (Kenya, Israel, St. Barths, and a trip to Brazil planned for May). It’s a pretty special thing to experience and I think we all relish a relationship that’s more than parent/child now; a relationship that has morphed into genuine friendship. It’s not a burden to go on trips with our parents, many times it’s a preference. We’re adults – all of us – so there’s not one party necessarily footing the bill for flights, accommodations, food, etc. We all have an income and can all contribute so finances don’t overshadow the fun. It’s a brilliant thing for all involved, and this year will mark one of the most travel-laden years for my family. I’m excited to announce some new adventures that’ll be happening later this year! Until then, I’m remaining mum, and relishing the planning process.
Do you travel with your parents or with adult children?
How do you think that compares to traveling with little ones?
xo from Anguilla,