Creates stories that span generations! I enjoy traveling with my little family, but I really love setting out on new adventures with my extended family. From a young age, we would head from the mountains of Pennsylvania to the beaches of North Carolina. My parents, sister and I would be joined by aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great grandparents for a week of sun, sand, fishing, and laughs. We’d squeeze as many in the house as possible and eat the catch of the day and listen to the older generation tell stories of their youth. (And embarrassing stories of the next generation too!)
These trips cemented our family in a way that few things can; my cousins and I are all grown with families of our own. Many still carry on the tradition of that house in North Carolina every summer. Even though we don’t get together as often as we’d like we know that we are there for each other anytime.
My segment of the big family has started our own travel traditions. We have carved out time for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party the last 8 years. We have also spent time the last seven summers in the mountains. We love renting a cabin in the Smoky Mountains or Poconos. Being near parks and recreation areas opens so many possibilities. When you have a home base, you can spread out and enjoy meals together but if anyone needs some space, there are plenty of activities to split up and do.
We have done international trips as a big family as well. These require a little more planning to get the right sized cars and hotel rooms but offer so much in return. Travel allows us to view the world as larger than our own immediate experience.
Traveling with several generations together creates lasting bonds across the ages. Grandparents can assist with younger children and allow parents to sneak off for a little time alone. I have enjoyed getting to know my parents differently and I love seeing their relationship grow with my kids. The kids enjoy stories about us when we were young and often my parents will toss in an experience of story from their youth.
Time spent together is the greatest gift of all – and we are looking forward to being together when the time is right.