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Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com

Three years ago, I found out I was expecting a little girl. To say that I was excited was an understatement. Soon afterwards, someone asked me if I was going to buy new clothes when I became a mom.

And by that, this person wasn't inquiring if I needed a new size postpartum or if I was going to update my wardrobe.

Nope.

This person was asking if I was going to get a "mom wardrobe," a concept I'm still a little confused about. Immediately after delivery, did I need to take all of my skinny jeans to Goodwill in exchange for high-waisted, ill-fitting ones? Did I need to give up my beloved scarves and headbands for something more boring?


It was in that moment that I realized people have these preconceived notions about what it means to be a parent--and that my wardrobe was only the first target.

Something that's become very apparent in the last three years is this idea that being a parent somehow means that you don't get to travel. And if you do, you're destined to spend your few days of vacation each year at a theme park.

It doesn't matter if you were the most passionate globetrotter ever pre-kids. Popular opinion will tell you that, the moment you pop that kid out (or in the case of dads, you have your hand slowly squeezed into oblivion by your significant other while she pops the kid out), your wanderin' days are over. Kaput. Sayonara. Forget about calling the grandparents--that first phone call after your miracle arrives should be to your frequent flyer mile account company so you can cancel it.

Or, should it?

I'm happy to tell you that having kids isn't the end of your traveling days.

It's the beginning of a new chapter of your travels.

And, in further breaking news, you're not confined to parks that feature large, fuzzy animals. (Though, as a Disney fan, I'm usually the one begging my kid to go to the parks instead of the other way around.)

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
This is only one option for family travel fun!
Since my daughter was born, she's accompanied me on close to 20 trips, some small, some large. We've done everything from spending a long weekend in Savannah, Georgia, to exploring the Uptown area of Charlotte, North Carolina, to road tripping to Florida's Gulf Coast to learning about King Ludwig at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. She's learned how to pack her own suitcase (with a little a lot of help), how to act on an airplane (we're still working on this one), and how to try new foods.

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
Schloss Linderhof, Ettal, Germany
Instead of parking myself at home as most people would have you believe, I've actually traveled more since my daughter was born. I'm not one to sit still, and having a kid didn't change that. (For those who are concerned, my pre-kid wardrobe--sparkles, headbands, bright scarves, and all--is still intact.)

If you're thinking of having kids (either immediately or in the future), but you're afraid that it will be the death of your wanderlust, fear not. That sweet new addition to your family will give you a new perspective on the places that you visit. Traveling with a little one (gasp!) might even be better than traveling as a single twenty-something--just a little more sleep deprived.

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
Westin Savannah Harbor, Savannah, Georgia
I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that it's always fun and games traveling with kids. There are some things that you have to navigate: nap times, strollers, packing extra clothes, tantrums in public places. I look at all of the above like this: I have to deal with those things anyway, so why not experience them together out in the world?

If you're a parent, and you're thinking of traveling with your kids, do it! Even if you're not able to jet off halfway around the world, the benefits of traveling can be passed on to your little ones even on short weekend trips.

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
Discovery Place, Charlotte, North Carolina
After all, traveling should teach us all, young or old, what we all have in common, what makes each of us special, and what we can do to help one another. The natural creativity, passion, and enthusiasm for life that kids have make a perfect match for little globetrotters. In many ways, us old geezer travelers (aka parents) can learn from our kids' experiences out in the world.

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
Vianden Castle, Vianden, Luxembourg
So, get out there with the entire family. Explore a local attraction and teach your little ones about your town's history. Plan a long weekend a bit further from home with another family or one set of grandparents (more adults = more help). Or, if you're up for an adventure everyone will remember forever, plan a trip in a different part of the country...or in a different country all together.

As Mark Twain said, "Explore. Dream. Discover." Just do it together.

Why Having Kids Shouldn't Stop You From Traveling | CosmosMariners.com
First mama-daughter trip! Indiatlantic, Florida
Parents, do you travel with your kids? If so, where's your favorite family destination? If not, what would you like to do with the entire family?
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