Ask anyone who knows our family what our favourite mode of transportation is and they will all say-ROADTRIP! For us, there is no greater feeling than loading up our trusty Suburban and heading…anywhere. When my husband and I lived in Chicago, everyone at our respective work places would ask us every Friday-”Where are you off to this weekend?”. Becoming parents changed our travel schedule slightly but the greatest impact was felt financially. Taking Emma and then Tate back to my home country of New Zealand was expensive. And then Poppy arrived and we priced purchasing 5 international tickets plus rental car and accommodations etc. It was cost prohibitive to say the least at that stage in our lives.
Having 3 children aged 4 and a half and younger was challenging and the thought of traveling anywhere beyond Florida was not on our radar. Then Poppy turned 2 and I began to dream of dusting off the travel atlas and seeing more of this incredible country. My dear American husband thought I was insane when I mentioned that we should drive to Maine this coming summer. “With the kids?” he quickly asked…
“Yes and you should take 2 weeks off work”…And that is how it began. This summer, we are journeying to the states in the southwest and by the end of July, the only state we will have left on our list is Alaska. Next summer, our dream is to drive from Nashville to Alaska. Which in case you are wondering (and I am guessing you probably are), is almost 60 hours of driving. One way. Other than Hawaii, we have driven to all of the states. So ignoring common sense and wisdom, it makes sense to drive to Alaska too.
We are at our best on the road. I have watched our children develop both a keen sense of adventure and an ability to handle being surrounded with the unfamiliar. I believe that these road trips are the reason that I could take my children to live in New Zealand ( in 2016) and watch them adapt and thrive.
Travel is, in my opinion, the ultimate gift to give your children. I always say that you should, if able, show your children the world instead of giving it to them. We are aware how lucky we are that we get to travel to all of these amazing places. But I believe that the road trip is often overlooked as an option. People ask us all the time why we do it. “Why don’t you fly?” In a world where our lives are so scheduled, the spontaneity of a road trip is so refreshing. So wish us luck as we embark on our 7th long road trip. Its going to be hot. And memorable. But definitely hot. Here are some highlights from some of our earlier adventures.