Ahh, the miracle of life. You go your whole life thinking nearly exclusively about yourself, your hopes, your dreams, your travel aspirations, and then one day you (or your partner) pees on a stick and all of that changes. Gone are the days of your carefree travels, ambitions into the wind, and backpacking down the drain. And with all of this going on, you get the unique *joy* of watching your child-less friends post pictures of their care-free, far-flung, adrenaline filled adventures, while you’re at home learning how to change diapers. Joy.
But does having kids really mean having to throw away all of those travel ambitions?
Will you really never again trek through the Amazon? Go camping in Patagonia? Raft in Colorado? Ski in British Columbia? Bungee jump in New Zealand?? Paraglide in Saint Lucia???
Are you really about to hang up your hiking boots to be turned out to pasture in Disney?!
Sure, Disney is fine when you’re first learning how to travel with kids, there are new considerations after all, (like how many times does your toddler actually need to pee during the day) but you aren’t really going to give up on your dreams of exploring the world are you?
Of course not!
With more kid-afflicted millennials rejoining the world of adventure travel every year, new paths are being cut and ships are setting sail, adjusting and tempering the more kid-lethal aspects of destinations,and preserving the adrenaline rush that you search for. But of course, you are going to have to be mindful that the way you travel (and what you do) are going to have to adapt to your new reality.
Traveling with kids is different than anything you’ve experienced before, it’s a fools dream to believe that your adventures are truly going to go unchanged by the addition of a tiny dictator human. You’re going to have to adjust (a lot) but will it actually be worth it in the end? To be honest, it depends. Obviously you love travel, and (hopefully) you love your kids, so it would only be reasonable to think that one plus one equals two, right? Right??
The fantasy of family travel with no hiccups, and expeditioning on crazy adventures like the good ole’ days of your youth is (to be perfectly honest) a fantasy. Screaming infants, tantrum throwing toddlers, and jaded teenagers are a fact of life that just can’t be glossed over, no matter how much we want to.
However, travelling with kids gives you the opportunity to see a destination or experience in a totally new and different way. Watch a city come to life with your child’s imagination, transforming ancient castles in Spain to fairytale lands filled with gargoyles and princesses. Meet local parents as your kids bust through cultural and language barriers to play with kids on the shores of a beach in St. Lucia. Tackle new types of adventure that you might not have thought about before – like watching a paleontology site come back to life after 300 million years in Denver with your dinosaur obsessed five year old.
If you alter your expectations, make some minor adjustments, and plan for your family (not just yourself) you can overcome your lifelong affliction and still experience a positive life after kids.