What’s you first travel memory? How far back can you remember. Can you actually chronologically order where you’ve been and when? My first travel memories are with my family- obviously, I mean who else would want to travel with a vomiting kid? It’s something only mothers get the joy of right? Three vomiting girls on the backseat, to later become four. My Dad will tell you there’s not a turn in the road between where we grew up and the coast or Sydney that he hasn’t stopped for a chunder stop or the opportunity to clean either us up or the back seat of our mustard coloured Volvo.
Travel is accessible for many
That was in the time when air travel wasn’t really available to the masses and especially available to those that grew up in regional rural Australia. We had at times caught the train but that was not often, the lack of air conditioning might of been the reason. No air conditioning on a train? How old am I? Yeah, yeah. I also grew up with an exchange phone line- and no I’m not 85! Most of my memories were car travel as a result of our remote home.
When asking myself that question I can’t decide whether it is the coast where we used to go twice a year camping with friends or if it’s regular trips to Sydney to see family. The Sydney trips usually corresponded with Christmas, Easter and other family traditions. As such, my Sydney trips also had loads of family and friends doing stuff with us. I questioned was it the holiday I remember or the tradition and the reason for the travel? Do they need to be separated?
Family memories and travel
Whatever the answers are the memories are of my family. My sisters and all that comes with them. My Mum and my Dad. My Dad was a farmer and would work sun up to sun down. I can’t remember dinner at night ever having the table void of his presence but I do remember holidays were special because he was so readily available. He taught me to kayak on holidays. He taught me to fish, which I might add I hate! Perhaps it was the opportunity to have one on one time with him that appealed. I’m not sure. I must of learnt how to throw myself into a book through process of osmosis and watching both my parents read countless books when we were away. I certainly learnt many card games on these holidays.
In a time now when kids barely know what cards are never lone the joy of looking for crabs on the beach after dark with a spotlight, I question my choice of holidays and if my kids get the same sense of freedom and opportunity to just be. Do they disconnect? Do they appreciate the surroundings we take them to?
Travel outbound from Australia is expensive
As Australians we debate about the cost of going overseas all the time. We’ve a long way to fly and you have to question is it value for money if your kids are too young to remember. A family of 4 have roughly $10,000 in plane tickets to get to Europe before travel and accommodation costs once they are there. For many of us, one trip is it.
Value for money
A girlfriend rationalised that for me once. Whilst she never believed in the value for money her husband was made redundant and they had the opportunity of time to do some travelling. They have family in London so some accommodation. With four boys and the youngest being 6 months at the time I believe she’s a true warrior. Anyway I digress, She said regardless if all of them remember any of it, her husband and her had so many moments of joy whilst they were away watching four little faces experience new sounds, new smells, new flavours, and of course amazing scenery that I can’t help remembering that is absolutely why we travel with our children.
We traveled with our friends and out lovers before we had kids for the experience and the shared memories. Why after having children is it always suddenly about value for money? Budgets are tighter and there is college and school fees to pay for ahead of you but connecting and building not only a relationship with your kid but a friendship is something you will never regret.
I plan to share as much as I can. I hope we will always have something to talk about and remember together. After I’m gone I hope they remember fun and adventure over airports and travel sickness. I hope to grow with my children because after all they are my reason for wanting to challenge myself and be better. I hope travel educates us all and we develop a deep appreciation for how fortunate we are and how wonderful this world is. I also hope along the way of raising my children that I get to cherish and enjoy being a parent. I figure having the opportunity to watch them experience new things will give me these magical moments that will make all my hard work and hours away from them worth it right?
It’s not just monetary cost
Whatever the monetary cost of travelling are the opportunity for memories impossible to put a price on? I know my parents felt many opportunities to spend time together were better than one big holiday, hence why we camped. I agree mini breaks, summer holidays are all valuable regardless the expenditure. Do I have other memories from my children outside of our holidays? There are many, but it seems the availability of adult attention on holidays make those memories all the more cherished.