I recently saw a tweet from @SoulTravelers3 that read, “Family travel is often about doing ordinary things in extraordinary places.” It got me thinking.
Traveling with a school-age child now, it’s things like watching her do homework on the airplane or on a balcony in Spain that sets my heart a-flutter about family travel as never before. It’s easy to see how the “Soul Travelers 3” have not stopped traveling since they left home with their 5-year-old in 2006!
But for many people considering whether or not to travel with their children as babies and toddlers, it’s having to deal with the ordinary things that era of parenting entails–diaper changes, feedings and snacks, bedtime routines, babyproofing, and possible tantrums–in extraoridnary places that can be a most daunting. And I can tell you from experience, it’s not always easy.
Yet there is also a certain magic in it, especially in the way doing these same mundane tasks a parent must do one thousand times over just once in one unusual place helps crystallize a key experience that might otherwise blur into the weeks, and months, and years of overseeing a young child’s development.
I started to recall breastfeeding in Bangkok–after trying so hard to find a quiet place to sit down where curious onlookers would stop coming up to play with my fair-haired baby. Then changing a diaper on the ground at Pompeii in a place I thought no one would notice–when a large tour group suddenly began passing by, and later trying to brush the volcanic soot off my flannel-backed changing pad. And helping my daughter learn to walk as she insisted on going up and down and up and down the steps of a movie theater during the Cannes Film Festival–when we thought that she would sleep.
And here? Our family’s weekly ritual of making a pancake breakfast, but one time we’ll surely never forget, as we sat in the outdoor dining room perched in the trees at Casa Vista, with tropical birds coming to rest at eye level, red squirrels on the fly, howler monkeys in the distance, and an iguana on the roof.
Ordinary. Extraordinary. And some of my favorite memories as a mom so far.
This post is part of Photo Friday at DeliciousBaby.com.
Related posts and pages:
Breastfeeding in Bangkok
Review of Casa Vista, Manzanillo, Costa Rica
5 Ways to Ease your Arrival in Costa Rica with Kids
Thanksgiving in Andalucia
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: 5 Best with Kids Under 5
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