Why do we do it? Travel I mean. I didn’t travel with my parents as a child, not sure how the passion grew in me.
I have always wanted to step out side my square and feel others lives. Not just a hotel in another country but to touch and experience the world through the eyes of the locals. This could be the luxury of a palace, on horseback in a rural community, the crazy pace of a city far away. The peace and clean breath of wilderness.
I want my children to have those same opportunities to learn and live beyond their boundaries. To appreciate, to live and to see, feel, hear and taste the world through their own eyes, skin and hearts.
We started early. Sam was 6 months old when I packed us off to visit family far and wide. Breastfeeding was supposed to make the journey simpler. She learned to crawl and say her first words on our journey. She was embraced and loved by everyone who met her.
Then I braved the trip with two – 6 month old Tori and 3 year old Sam. There is nothing quite like the looks of abject horror from all other passengers as they hoped we wouldn’t sit next to them! Still breastfeeding but with bags of essentials, food, games, just in case medicine, changes of clothes, dummies, drinks. I didn’t sleep for the 24 hours of the journey – there was always one awake. Or for the three days after when jetlag can’t be explained away to the pre verbal, by “it’s not time to be up yet”.
I have stories of exhaustion to make you cry with laughter. I have tales of joy when they learned their first foreign words or played with children for hours with no language in common but childhood.
They are now 17 and 19. They love to travel. They appreciate their multicultural family and are starting to verbalise their thanks to me for the oft-taken trips we had together. I wish them a lifetime of discovery.
Elisa Elwin is a Publisher, Travel Writer, Social Worker and parent to 2 teenage daughters Sam & Tori. With family far and wide, they visit and spread their wings a couple of times a year.