Day 8 of 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, from BootsnAll
Prompt #8: LOVE LEARNING
“Travel and learning go hand in hand. Travel teaches us not only about the world and the people in it, but also more about ourselves and our own ideas and values. What has travel taught you this year?”
A Reason to Do
In April 2011, my wife and I learned we were expecting our first child. As I type this post, we’re now 35 weeks pregnant, and our baby, codename Awesome Kiddo St. Clair, is due Dec. 12. Travel and learning indeed go hand in hand, and as we two travelers bring a new wee globetrotter into the world, we’ve thought a lot about what that means for us as a family. Luckily, I also have a gem of a grandmother, who’s schooled me in the wisdom of someone who’s been there.
Why no, we won’t stop traveling, thank you very much
A side effect of impending parenthood is people telling you that all your life will essentially cease: no more hobbies, no more time, no more cooking, no more brewing, and certainly, above all, no more travel. Now, my gut says that’s nonsense, but it’s a vital question: are children an impediment or an incentive to doing things in life? I don’t know the answer. We haven’t crossed the threshold to parenthood yet, and I don’t like to presume.
But my grandma, Denise? She knows.
Denise is the mother of two daughters, and since she’s been widowed twice, she did a fair bit of that child-rearing on her own. She’s traveled every state in the U.S. except for Nebraska and Michigan. Until a few years ago, she rode motorcycles with my dad and their friends. Known throughout my hometown as a savvy businesswoman, Denise thinks the best of everyone and won’t take nonsense off anyone. I’ve tried hard to bring her heart of gold and spine of steel to how I travel through life, and I hope I do her proud.
So during a recent phone call, I asked her, “Grandma, when you were raising your daughters, and especially after your first husband died, did that keep you from doing things you wanted to do?”
“No,” she said. “My children were a reason to do things I wanted to do.”
And that sealed it for me. Grandma never saw the girls as an impediment to life. She saw them as a reason to live all the fuller, and to share her interests with her kids. Both as a person and a parent, she figured out how to do the things she cared about, so her girls could see how important it was to make time for what matters to their lives.
Jodie and I have filled our lives with a love of travel, making things ourselves, and learning and learning and learning about the rich, vibrant world we’re so lucky to live in. And we have a baby on the way. But if my grandma could make time, so can me and Jodie.
There’s so much we love in this world—and what else are we here to do, but to share it with those we love?
So Awesome Kiddo St. Clair, here’s some news for you:
I don’t know all the changes we’ll make once you’re here. I don’t know what all you will like, what you won’t like, and how we’ll structure all our time and interests. But I’ll tell you this. We’re here. We’ve got each other, and we’ve got an amazing world to discover and enjoy. Whether we’re at home or in a different hemisphere, your mom and I are going to show you all we can of what we’ve learned, and how much we love learning more.
What you do, what you want to do, ultimately is up to you. But we hope we bring to you the same love of the world, the same love of learning, that lights up our lives together.
See you soon.
More like this: Urban Fantasy and Travel Stories from Rucksack Press »
What is the 30 days of indie travel?
Every day in November, the BootsnAll Travel Network is inviting bloggers from around the world to a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year (or whenever) have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as we like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on our own blogs. More information: Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project »