You know those vacations – the ones on a tropical island with nothing around but a white sandy beach, softly-swaying palm trees, and an ice-cold margarita while the crystal clear water gently ripples at your freshly-pedicured toes? Although I LOVE those types of family trips, they are definitely not the reality we have experienced since leaving the comforts of home and traveling full-time!!
Instead, our travels include exploring amazing sights, from the crumbling and ancient to the sparkling new, learning about the local culture, trying new foods, getting lost with the locals in remote villages, having to struggle our way in a foreign language just to order a bottle of water, analyzing the different currency coins I have strewn at at the bottom of my bag, and not knowing what I will see and experience tomorrow.
During our travels my toes are rarely pedicured and are most often dusty and tired from trampling over uneven cobblestones in open-toed sandals on a quest to see some ancient temple, or hiking back to our hotel off of a remote dirt road after stopping to buy a chunk of meat off of a pig roasting on a spit.
I have yet to find a good margarita on my travels and am often so hot and tired that only good old fashioned bottled water will satisfy. We usually end our days exhausted, dirty, clothes stained with gelato or pizza bits, kids often with a blister or scrape from one of their “expeditions” over broken remains of ancient columns or hidden stones beneath the sea off the coast of a remote beach.
I rarely have a chance to “lounge” in the sun with a good book – often choosing instead to hunt for hermit crabs, build sandcastles, explore the local museum with the kids, or a hundred other things we love to do while exploring a new place.
I know one day I will get the chance to truly relax while traveling, but for now I am enjoying these precious moments with my kids while they are still young and filling their minds, hearts, and souls with joy, knowledge, and the unquenchable thirst for more adventures.
Spontaneous, Adventurous, Not-Always-Luxurious, Culturally-Exotic, and Soul-Splashing…These are how I describe a FABULOUS family vacation!