Shortly before I met my husband, I spent three years living abroad. Two of them in one place and the final in transit back from Kumamoto, Japan to the east coast of the United States, the slowest way possible.

Three months after I met my husband, he invited me to join him for a destination wedding in Brazil. Four months later, he lost his job and decided he wanted to see more of the world too. He spent the next six months traveling around China and SE Asia and for five, blissful weeks during the holidays I joined him in Thailand and Laos.

In our four years together pre-kids, we traveled to nine different countries. Our attraction to one-another had a lot to do with our mutual desire to live abroad someday and raise our future kids that way too .

So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to me that here I sit, ten years later, just 11 miles from where we first met.

But, as I accidentally lamented out-loud about this—over the recent, February school-vacation week (while on a family trip to Arizona, mind you)—my husband was quick to defend that our kids were hardly provincial.

You see, I think moms (OK, perhaps all people) fall into two main camps (many tents, but just  two camps): those who are happy staying put and those who constantly have to be on the go, go, go.

My tent is firmly staked in the latter camp.

For me, entertaining my kids means we are doing something outside of the house. It’s entirely possible that the real reason for this is that I am not a crafty mom, not that resourceful and lack sufficient space to let them blow off steam but I prefer to think it’s because I am just wired that way…I’m less for human being, more for human doing.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom who has trouble staying at home.

I think it only fair to acknowledge that there are underlying issues too: I went away to boarding school at a young age, my parents’  multiple divorces meant shuffling between multiple homes and I spent my summers in one place and the school year in  another. For me, the concept of home holds little, deep, sentimental value or nostalgia.

I have a lot of friends who spend copious amounts of quality time at home with their kids. They get lots of projects done, plan meals and do cute crafts together. On occasion, I do some of this too and when my kids are out of the house, there’s no place I’d rather be but when we’re all together, I start getting itchy.

There’s a big-wide world out there and I want them to see it. Even if it’s just the part that’s a few blocks away, the next town over or in the city, I want to show them. I want to take trains or trolleys or buses or planes to get them there. I want to share the thrill and adventure of the journey as well as the destination and I want to expose them to so much of what this amazing planet has in store.

I also worry that the older my kids get, the more entrenched in school , social lives and sports they become, the harder it will be to pick up and go. What if we never get there? Where, exactly is “there” anyway?

In the meantime—in the five years we’ve had so far trying to raise our mini-global-citizens—though we haven’t moved abroad, my husband points out that at least we’re sharing a great deal of our own vast and diverse country with them. I guess I overlooked domestic travel as quantifiable travel experience and my husband had to bring me around, to list out the road trips, plane rides and ferry crossings we’ve taken together to open my eyes.

What I’m trying to realize, to convince myself of, is that, for kids, sometimes even a trip down to the corner store can be a thrilling adventure. That there don’t need to be bells and whistles, bullet trains and tuk tuks to share the world with them, it’s all a matter of perspective.

It’s about enjoying the journey, not just the destination.

I hope, despite my love of being on the go, that my children will be able to develop a deep love and appreciation for being home. That they will think of home as a solid, immobile foundation from whence they came and to which they can always return…no matter where in the world it may be.

How has your travel life changed since having kids? Are you more deliberate in your destinations? Frequency? Durations? World Moms want to know

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Kyla P’an of Massachusetts, USA.  Kyla’s previous posts are: Traveling with Kids: Destination China and Finding Balance. She can also be found on her personal blog, Growing Muses.

The photograph used in this post is attributed to the author.

Kyla P'an (Portugal)

Kyla was born in suburban Philadelphia but spent most of her time growing up in New England. She took her first big, solo-trip at age 14, when she traveled to visit a friend on a small Greek island. Since then, travels have included: three months on the European rails, three years studying and working in Japan, and nine months taking the slow route back from Japan to the US when she was done. In addition to her work as Managing Editor of World Moms Network, Kyla is a freelance writer, copy editor, recovering triathlete and occasional blogger. Until recently, she and her husband resided outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where they were raising two spunky kids, two frisky cats, a snail, a fish and a snake. They now live outside of Lisbon, Portugal with two spunky teens and three frisky cats. You can read more about Kyla’s outlook on the world and parenting on her personal blogs, Growing Muses And Muses Where We Go

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