Lately, I've had major wanderlust. BC (before children), one of my favorite hobbies was traveling with my husband. We loved discovering places, trying different cuisines and indulging in the art, culture, and fabric of a new place. Lately, we have limited our travel to work travel or to beach vacations with the children. Last month, we went to Cancun for Spring Break (need I say more?). While it was a great vacation complete with cocktails and french fries poolside, we might as well have been in Florida or any other tropical destination. Other than the Mexican food and having to use our passports to get there, we didn't experience real Mexican culture. Of course, this is our fault and a consequence of the limitations we feel in having two young kids. What this last trip taught us and helped us see is that we are ready to travel to more exciting and adventurous locations as a family. We are freeing ourselves of our self-imposed expectations. Now, we are ready to explore, discover and experiment with the children and embrace any messiness and chaos that may come with such a journey. How liberating this all feels!
So what does this look like for us this summer? Personally, being the Europhile I am (a topic for another time), I would love to go back to Europe. I fantasize about skipping through the cobblestoned streets of an Italian coastal city with Kabir or meandering through a French local market carrying a white straw basket with Navya. Or I dream of renting a farmhouse in a vineyard or olive grove, indulging in and cooking with the fresh produce and spending quality family time. I picture riding bicycles through the poppy fields, talking to local people and endless glasses of wine....
For me, much of the fun of traveling is the planning and the anticipation. We are currently reviewing the map of Europe (a fun exercise with the kids!), debating the pros/cons about the different countries, researching new places and ultimately, selecting the destination. While I like the familiar, explaining why I've been to Italy 6 times, my husband loves to try new things. I am petitioning for another trip to Italy, however, Kishore is advocating for a jaunt to one of the Scandinavian countries. Where we will end up is anybody's guess, but simply the possibility of this adventure brings a huge smile to my face and fills me with gratitude.
Where do you escape to? What do you look for in a destination? Where do you think we should in August? Suggestions welcome!