Why is travel so important to me?

Maybe it’s my gemini nature, needing to experience new things and follow the wind as it blows. Maybe it’s that first National Geographic I picked up as a child, and said out loud how the photographers in it had the coolest job ever. Maybe it’s coming from deep down inside, an unquenchable thirst for wonder. Or, maybe, it’s because the world is such a vast and versatile place.

Or maybe it’s all of the above, and then some.

Either way, since I was young I dreamed about seeing far off places and experiencing new things. I remember in middle school I had friends who went to Disney in Florida, and that was pretty cool. I thought it would be nice but I didn’t really feel envy. However, when a friend of mine went to Egypt, I felt a pull in my gut wishing I could have gone with her. I couldn’t get enough of her stories of the trip!

I went to Canada, once. It was nice, but in all honesty it reminded me of home with more French speaking. It may have been that we were camping in the woods that reminded me of New England, or just that the camping in general wasn’t really my style. I’ve also enjoyed my trips to Maine, Cape Cod, and New Jersey. I liked Kentucky, from what I can remember. South Carolina, not as much- but that was more about the people I was with than the place I went.

It wasn’t until I went to Ireland in 2010 that the feeling of travel really hit me. Everything was so new, yet still felt like home.

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The sights were amazing and I didn’t want our time there to end. As soon as we got home, I wanted to re-pack my bags and go somewhere else. The feeling of movement and new, positive experiences was like an addiction, beckoning me to try it again.

And then, we became parents. (Awe!)

The want to see the world didn’t diminish, it only grew as I watched my son grow. I wanted him to experience it with me. We took him on day trips, we took him to Maine and Cape Cod, and we said we’d travel abroad again when he was older. Much older. We knew at the very least that he’d have to be old enough to remember it, but we also didn’t think we’d be in a position financially.

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We said, maybe when he’s 10. Yeah, that’s when we’ll do it.

I joined a Facebook group all about Worldschooling, meaning families include travel (some full time) as part of the child’s home education. The world is a school, and I couldn’t agree more. I watched posts and participated when I could, knowing some day I’d talk about far off places beyond New England and New York City.

Someday happened a lot sooner than we thought. (You can read about the shift here)

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While we don’t travel full time, we know that travel is more possible than we ever thought! We value the lessons we learn when we visit new places, and the education and inspiration it gives our son. The trip to Iceland sparked conversations and explorations into the Icelandic language, the Vikings, Geothermal energy, Runes, and Volcanoes before, during, and after our trip. He experienced playing with a child who spoke a completely different language for the first time. He hiked and watched sights that were unlike anything at home. And this was only our first abroad trip with him.

Why is travel so important?

Maybe it’s the memories, or the experiences, or the lessons. Maybe, it’s in my blood. I’m not quite sure where the craving started, but I hope it doesn’t end any time soon.

-Sarah, a Wandermom

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