This is one of my favorite pics from our trip to Hilton Head Island, SC in 2007. It was our first bike ride on the beach and we were quickly sold on the virtues of beach rides. Most of the beaches we had visited in other parts of the world were too rocky or the sand was too loose/deep, but this beach was perfect. The pictures and the memories of that first beach bike ride are similar to this one...captured moments of happiness,relaxation, and discovery. I don't have any pics of us struggling to carry three bikes, two small children (ages 4 and 1), and a bag full of beach gear up and over a sand dune path. It wasn't a pretty sight and there was a fair amount of crying and cursing. I wondered why we were even attempting this. But once we eventually got on the bikes, it was so worth it. It kind of sums up how I feel about family travel.
When we first started to travel as a family, Noah was two months old and we flew from Seattle to Louisiana to spend a month with my family. We took two suitcases. One enormous, bulging one for him and a smaller one for both of us. We quickly realized we had done an extreme job of overpacking. A few months later we moved to Japan and spent the next three years traveling throughout Asia with one and eventually two kids in tow. We learned a lot of lessons.
At that time, website and book resources about family travel were slim to none. I ordered the only two books I could find related to family travel but was disappointed with both of them. They were too skinny. I needed more bulk, more nitty gritty guidance. I was hungry for details. I wish I had had this book seven years ago (would have been better preparation than most of those parenting books I read during pregnancy!) Wanderlust and Lipstick: Traveling with Kids is the most recent in a series of travel books written by and for women and it is full of details, links, and personal stories from a wide mix of traveling families. It celebrates the joys of traveling with kids while also tackling the challenges at all ages/stages. Practical, motivating, and real....highly recommend it for all families.
More of Photo Friday here.