Writing Prompt: What countries have you travelled to?
My husband and I did some travelling before we “settled down” and had children – I’ve backpacked around the UK and Europe a few times, and he went to teachers college in Australia and had a teaching placement in China – and we’ve seen some of the most “famous” things in the world, including Stonehenge, the Berlin Wall, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Wall of China. However, after we got married the travelling became a thing of the past. Sure, we wanted to continue to travel. I always wanted to see the world and made it something on my “to do” list when I was much younger. But when we had children the travelling stopped…or, rather, it was put on hold. We’re just not the kinds of people who can do that. We’re easily stressed out. We’re easily worried about things. And taking little kids around the world would be no fun…for us at least. However, this summer we got over our worries and decided to travel with the kids. We have a 7 year old son (who was 6 last summer) and a 2 year old daughter. They’ve never been anywhere outside of our province. But my parents made us an offer we couldn’t refuse: they’d pay for a family trip, and they would come along, for us to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. The most obvious place to take a 6 year old and a 2 year old? Of course. The happiest place on earth. Walt Disney World. Yes, it was crazy getting there: we decided to drive across the border because the flights from Buffalo compared to the flights from Toronto were much less expensive, and that drive was LONG. Especially for 2 young kids in the back of an SUV. And then we stayed overnight at an airport hotel. It was an adventure, but it wasn’t the best sleep we’ve gotten, with all 4 of us in a small room, and one adult sleeping with one child. Then there was the plane ride. Obviously neither of our children had been on a plane (having never left the province before), and though my 6 year old was just fine with it, my 2 year old was NOT impressed. She cried a lot, but quickly cried herself to the point of exhaustion and slept for almost the entire flight. We were not so lucky on the way home, but that could be a whole other blog post. All of that “getting there” stuff aside, our vacation was amazing. Walt Disney World was the best. The kids loved it. My son became a thrill-seeker, riding Mount Everest at Animal Kingdom, and going on Space Mountain and Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom, multiple times.
(That’s my hubby in the red shirt, and my son is ducking down so you can’t see him…but he’s there!)
My daughter still talks about holding hands with the characters we met, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie from her favourite movie, “Toy Story”.
(You can kind of see her face here, and it’s lit up with joy!)
We even had lunch with the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood: Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet.
And I am making it my mission to go back in a few years, when the kids are just a little older but still find all of that fun. Who am I kidding? I’m 39 and I thought it was incredibly fun. Hopefully they’ll always want to go. Sure, it’s no Eiffel Tower or the Swiss Alps. But those will always be there – I suspect – to see in future years, when travelling with older kids will be less stressful (in theory!), and they’ll be interested in those things. Let’s face it: right now they can’t compete with Mickey Mouse!