Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Benefits of Travel

Recently a friend of mine had posted on Instagram a photo about his travels in LA and then asked the question, what is it that you like so much about traveling? I had a quick answer for him, but then I started thinking about it more and just wanted to expand it into a blogpost. My initial response to his question said something about how it becomes a growing experience for our little family as we get out and about and see different things. I've said this before on here, but I'll say it again, traveling becomes a real learning experience for all of us, even the babies. Jane has traveled to Phoenix once, Colorado once, Vegas twice, California four times, out to Michigan and back (and on five separate road trips while out there), up to Oregon, and flown to Mississippi and Seattle to then drive to Vancouver. You know what's even more amazing? She has done it all without the benefit of any kind of DVD player or video watching device. And until this last trip, we never even handed her our phones. She's become an amazing traveler and can pretty easily go 10 hours in the car with one or maybe two stops without ever really complaining. With this last trip to Colorado, Peter really did great. He barely made a peep, although at his age it might be even easier to travel. While it does come at a cost sometimes of sleep when we're all having to stay in the same room, or nap schedules get shifted, or whatever else, I think it's been invaluable for all of us to learn that we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything in spite of having kids in tow. It helps us as parents learn how to handle them better and gives them an opportunity to be more adaptive to their circumstances. (I won't discount what a huge benefit it is to have kids that are naturally pretty easy, but I won't say that they haven't also benefited from a little bit of coaching from life.) One other focus of our travels has been to see specific individuals. Last year we went and visited Greg and Laura in Mississippi. This past weekend we saw the Johnsons in Colorado. While both of those areas were interesting because they were mostly new to us, the real objective for each of those trips was to strengthen those relationships. We weren't really going for any objective other than just to spend time with those people, not to say we didn't end up doing fun things, but the point was spending time with them. Nothing beats having that individual time one on one with people, even being with them in the natural rhythm of their day to day lives, all of that just gives you such a better picture into their lives and helps you become better acquainted with one another. The last benefit of traveling that I'll mention is probably the most obvious one - it just does so much to get exposure to different things. I love so much that I have a wife that is so willing to endure the rigor of travel and the discomfort of being away from home in order to see and experience new places. Being in Michigan last summer was such an eye opening experience for us in so many ways. Traveling across the country and back, then all the way out and up to the Oregon coast, then down to California gave us such wonderful experiences to all share together. I don't know. I just love traveling. I can't wait to see the other new places we'll explore.


Sarah said...

Chris, I love your blog post and totally agree that traveling has so many benefits. Adam and I love to travel with our kids too and get out to see new places as often as we can. In fact we are taking our 4 kids over to India and Thailand in just a few months! Can't wait. We send all the best to you and Amy. Little Jane and Peter are just precious! We love keeping up with you and Amy through your blogs! Lots of love to you all. Adam & Sarah Egbert. P.S. Did I ever invite you guys to our blog? If not please send me your email and I will add you to our email list. :)

Lisa said...

I couldn't agree more. So much fun to have you out here.