You would be surprised, or maybe you wouldn’t, how many times someone has said to us:
“Why do you bother traveling with two babies”
“They aren’t going to remember”
“Life is hard enough at home with toddlers”
“You don’t have routines”
“How do you sleep in hotels together”
We are taking our toddlers to Europe next summer because Paris exists.
And yes they won’t remember walking along to Champs Elysees specifically, but I’ll take pictures and I’ll remind them. As they get bigger I’ll tell them stories of the first macaroon they tasted and their reaction the first time they saw the Eiffel Tower. Every trip, every walk down a new street, every interaction with someone that lives abroad will ignite the wanderlust inside of them.
We travel with toddlers because other cultures exists.
Not everything is how our bubble at home makes it appear. Different languages and foods are out there and I want them to start tasting the foods alongside me. Not because I think they are going to remember what paella tastes like but I hope to ignite their taste buds and a desire to want to try and discover new flavors.
We take our babies with us to opposite ends of the world not because it is easy.
Easy would be staying at home in our routines. We take them with us because it’s an adventure. We get to see the world through their eyes. Can you imagine what it’s like to see your first waterfall and how it feels to run into the warm Mediterranean water for the first time. The excitement that surrounds the simple things is why we take them. Things that we may glaze over or have seem hundreds of time. We get to hear the “o wow” come out of our little girl’s mouth as she learns something new and sees beautiful art and culture every day. My son is learning to walk not in our living room but in front of Segrada Familia in Barcelona. He’s first foods are fresh cheeses and meats from the markets. I understand that he doesn’t care, he would be happy with food from a jar, but the memories we are creating and the stories I will tell him I hope stick with him.
We bring them with us because I can’t spend even a few days without them.
Because this is my most precious gift I want to pass on. My love of travel. My desire to walk on beaches I’ve never walked before, and talk to people that speak different languages and live differently than I do. And despite it being inconvenient and more expensive and yes my one year old won’t remember it, I will. I’ll remember and I promise I will tell them stories of their first overseas flight and the first time they ate crepes filled with chocolate and how they played for hours with other kids that didn’t speak their language at a playground on the other side of the world. I’ll remind them and tell them stories and encourage them to keep going.