I strongly believe the more I travel the better I get at it. I guess that would be true with most anything you do. I’m amazed at how much easier it is for me to get my bearings these days in a new place. It’s much easier to get the hang of where to ask for help, how to use public transportation and how to feel like the day has been well spent doing the right amount of leisure and the right amount of activity.
Today was just about a perfect day in Niagara Falls for me and my family. I’m grateful.
A few years back I would’ve been clueless where to start. These days with the internet and sites like Priceline it’s amazing to me how I can feel like I am almost as good as a travel agent.
It’s probably because I love travel. I love to watch travel movies. I love to read books on travel. I currently have one on tent camping in the New England states in my purse…in preparation for a trip I hope to take the girls on next spring.
I love the feeling of going to a new place, taking in the scenery, people watching, etc. I know this is stressful for some…but for me it’s quite nice. I wouldn’t have felt that way about a decade ago. But since that time I’ve planned so many trips and been put in so many different situations I feel strongly that I can enjoy a day no matter where I find myself.
Today it dawned on me…and I even told my daughters in a truthful not prideful way…”girls…you’re going to enjoy traveling with me even when you’re adults…just because where I go we always have a good time.” They didn’t even disagree 🙂
I used to feel that other people had better experiences, got better deals, made more of the day than I did. I used to hate getting lost or the stress of finding a parking spot or knowing what was available. But these days…anybody can travel with success with some effort and love for travel.
Websites abound, books, movies, brochures, help at the hotel, etc.
And then the other secret is knowing your family well enough to know what fits them best. For some people they need constant activity. For mine…we need some down time interspersed…an ice cream break, some time sitting on a bench, some funny photo times, etc.
Whenever we travel if we try to do it just like somebody else would, some other family…we’re bound to crash and burn, because your family is not my family.
People ask me sometimes for travel advice and I guess at this point I could definitely give out some…but still, I’ve decided travel has to fit you, just like a good pair of jeans. It’s got to fit your passions and interests.
Nothing like going to a bunch of historical stuff if history is not your interest! Nothing like doing a bunch of sports activity if that isn’t your cup of tea! Nothing like being tortured at an amusement park if that kind of stuff gives you a headache. You’ve got to know who you are, and especially what your kids enjoy. Because when traveling…if the kids aren’t having fun and enjoying the time neither are the parents!
For my kids…we enjoy a good variety of most things. We enjoy unique restaurants but not so unique that we don’t recognize any of the food on the menu. We enjoy nature…but not out in the woods, bugs attacking nature. We enjoy activity, but not let’s bike a mountain today activity. We enjoy rides and amusement parks…but also need downtime afterwards to recover. We get weary of standing in lines and have no desire to do that all day long. We are not really shoppers…oh we can look a little, but after a little bit, after we’ve found one thing that seemed worth getting, we’re ready to be done.
Just today, my oldest told me that she notices swimming at the hotel pool isn’t like it used to be for her. She’s 16 and realizing that swimming at the pool seems more like an “inconvenience”. That surely is a right of passage! I remember the days when if a hotel had a pool we could be entertained for hours…today it lasted for 30 minutes.
We enjoy new places. It’s very rare that we repeat where we go. We never go wrong when we have beach time 🙂
What does your family enjoy these days? How do you feel about travel? Is it stressful? Do you feel disappointed after spending the money on the trip?
Over the years I’ve lowered my expectations a bit…that helps and I’ve learned to do the research ahead of time…which sure makes for a much less stressful time. I always print mapquest maps and use my GPS. Seriously…both have saved me more times than I can count. I google all the time and find out ahead of time prices, hours, locations, special events, etc. And then I love the joy of finding unexpected stuff too on site. Like finding out August 5th is a Canadian holiday complete with fireworks over the falls last night. What a pleasant surprise!
Something about travel just feels like oxygen to me. I always love to go home too…but the reason why home is so lovely is in direct relation with travel. I love seeing different people, seeing different sites, experiencing different emotions and making amazing memories.
Today my favorite memory has to be my daughter Lydia, on the Maid of the Mist by Niagara Falls. We had out blue ponchos on and we had been told that we would get wet…but we really had no idea what to expect. Lydia was happily documenting everything, taking pictures when all of a sudden it was as if the shower head had been turned on. Our hoods blew off and we were soaked. Absolutely a hilarious moment shared with a boat load of strangers. I wish you could’ve heard my daughter laughing. She couldn’t stop. She handed me her camera (water proof…because I had planned in advance 🙂 and asked me to take pictures. I couldn’t even see what I was taking pictures of because of how wet my glasses were but I just kept on snapping away. Those pictures are awesome! Such a memorable moment. Everytime I look at those pictures I will hear my daughter’s free laughter. She might as well have been 2 years old…she didn’t hold back a bit, didn’t care what anybody else thought. I loved it. In fact we already decided if we ever come back we’ll do it again! It was that good!
I love travel…I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to travel with my girls. I’m thankful that it dawned on me a long time ago how important it is to travel…even if money is tight.
Today was a good day. Hope your travels are wonderful too!