Family Travel Helped Our Kids Make Their Own Memories, Not Simply Step Into Ours

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We lived in Germany as a young expat couple and a decade later traveled back to show our daughter and her seven-year-old brother our favorite haunts. I thought it promised to be a sweet walk down memory-lane, where our kids would enjoy stepping squarely into the footprints my husband and I had left years ago.

Instead, they insisted on pulling us in new directions, almost as if they, first-timers in Germany, were the tour-guides. A huge dancing mess of little prints resulted, sprinkled wildly around our larger ones. I should have known the kids would insist on making their own footprints, creating original memories driven by them.

They transformed our time in Germany into a nonstop quest to conquer towers.

Any signage with Schloss (castle), Feste (stronghold), or Burg (fortress) sent our car careening in that direction as if driven by the giggling youth in the backseat. Without exception, we would climb to the upmost height of the ruin, up the cramped, damp, spiral stairs to the lookout tower.

These ruins–unlike American historic sites—lacked the warning signs, the guardrails, the attendants and the guides. There were no disclaimers posted, no emergency phones available if help were needed, no brochure map to navigate the castle ruin’s maze. Kids sprinting from dungeon to teetering tower were solely under the protection of their parents.

Read in full at Houston Family Magazine

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Our Kids Wanted To Make Memories Of Their Own, Not Step Into Ours

It’s really fun to remember this trip, taken so many years ago during the early days of family adventure. Germany will always have a special place in my heart. Glad to join Today Parenting Team’s discussion on travel & kids.

“We lived in Germany as a young expat couple and gave birth to our first child a mere ten days before returning to the US. Ten years passed before we could travel back to introduce our daughter to her birthplace, and show her and her seven-year-old brother our favorite haunts. I thought it promised to be a sweet walk down memory-lane.

I hoped our kids would enjoy stepping squarely into the footprints my husband and I had left years ago. Instead, they insisted on pulling us in new directions, almost as if they, first-timers in Germany, were the tour-guides. A huge dancing mess of little prints resulted, sprinkled wildly around our larger ones. I should have known the kids would insist on making their own footprints, creating original memories driven by them.”

Read in full here.

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“Let Go Of Your Travel Agenda. Organic Adventure Will Catch You.”

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/let-go-of-your-travel-agenda-organic-adventure-will-catch-you/

This is it, folks—the full story on elephant journal. Originally published in a
condensed version by Great Moments in Parenting, I had a passion for seeing
this story more comprehensively understood, for the sake of begging the
question once and for all: shouldn’t we all just ditch our rigid travel
agendas? Isn’t it the bare unknown that is by definition adventure? You tell
me…

My short essay “Strength Training: What Travel and Adventure Did For Our Family” published today by Great Moments in Parenting

Depicting a family trip to Germany taken ten years after my husband and I had lived there sans kids, this short essay probes the possibility of memories robbing the present if one isn’t careful. Today’s experiences, after all, are tomorrow’s memories.

Thanks for clicking, commenting and sharing!

http://greatmomentsinparenting.com/essays/strength-training-what-travel-and-adventure-did-for-our-family/