Having children shouldn't stop you from travelling
When my wife agreed to marry me, she made me promise one thing: that we would travel and see the world. We were young. She was twenty and I just twenty-three. We lived on less, purchased little and saved our money for travelling.
But when we had children, could we still keep this up? Could I still keep my promise? Absolutely. In the picture above, we are in Sicily for ten days of exploring. At this point we had five children (currently we are expecting number eight). How is this possible? How does one keep up traveling with children?
Well, to be honest there are a few ways and if one lives on a shoestring like ourselves, then one has to be creative.
First off, the larger your family gets, the more expensive (obviously) it is to travel as an entire family. You'll find yourself, for the large trips, separating into groups - some that go and some that stay home. For a period of time where there are still infants crawling around the house, this works well. For eg: we take our children on a special trip when they hit double digits (10yrs old). My oldest went to Paris for her 10th birthday with her dad! (Actually, we were living in Europe at the time so it wasn't so difficult).
Secondly, we define travel as exploring and adventure. We don't stay in resorts. We don't ever go to 'all-inclusives'. We research, we look for family activities, we are ok with lacking comforts.
Thirdly, we love micro-adventures. A micro-adventure is one that is in your 'own backyard' so to speak. We love to explore out the nooks and crannies and local secrets of our immediate area. In doing these type of adventures, we still feel like we are traveling because we are exploring! We find cliffs to jump from, blueberry patches to sit in, and caves to explore.
Fourth, we plan ahead. Right now, my three oldest are working to save up for a trip to Nepal with their dad. Together we'll trek Annapurna I. As they are still young (the oldest is only 14yrs) it'll take a couple years to save up. This is ok, because I need a few years to save up as well.
Finally, as a Catholic family, we love to pilgrimage. To go on a pilgrimage is an adventure. You pray as a family, you see new sights, you are confronted with history and you come away a better person.
This world is a big place and it is far more exciting to experience it with your own children.
To live is a very big adventure. Live it well.