As 2012 comes to a close, I find myself thinking about how I want to approach travel in 2013. As an avid traveler whose traveling habits changed when I gave birth to my first child, I hope that these five resolutions strike a chord with parent and non-parent travelers alike. You’ll notice they all have to do with going with the flow, a key approach when traveling with a strong-willed toddler like mine. They are also travel behaviors I would like to model for my daughter, so that she will learn to enjoy travel through the years.
1. Plan less. I’ve always been a planner (at times an over-planner, especially when my daughter was an infant) when it came to when and how we were going to travel and what we were going to do with each moment of our time. My goal is to relax a bit in this department, to allow room for spontaneous travel experiences.
2. Wander more. When I was in my twenties and traveling mostly by myself or with various friends, I would intentionally get lost in a city in order to take in the sights, the smells, the tastes, and the sounds. Since beginning to travel with my family of three, I’ve become more “destination-oriented.” Of course, sometimes this is a necessity but most of the time it isn’t. My goal is to allow us to wander more, to have the opportunity to notice things we might not if we were always “in transit” to a desired destination.
3. Welcome the unexpected. Travel, especially traveling with a toddler, is full of unexpected elements. My goal is to welcome the good and the not so good, and to try to make the most of every situation in which we find ourselves.
4. Embrace the unknown. We all have our favorite travel destinations, especially kid-friendly ones. While we won’t stop visiting the beach in California, I want to travel to more unknown spots, to open ourselves up to new places and experiences.
5. Be in the moment. It’s so easy to become distracted while traveling, thinking about the next museum we’re going to visit, the next meal we’re going to have, etc. My final resolution for 2013 is to enjoy each moment fully while traveling with my family.
Happy New Year!
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