Oct 11 2013
Six years ago, I began Travels with Children as a way of encouraging other parents to take their children to new places without fear, and to look for local things that might be as much or more fun than faraway vacation destinations. At that time, my four children were ages 1-6 and it hadn’t crossed my mind to be nervous about taking them to museums and historic sites and libraries and other fun places, even if my husband couldn’t be there to help the adult:child ration improve.
Oh, the places we went! We tried to do everything there was to do in our local area, made many trips into the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area to explore its family-friendly sites, and expanded our travels to other parts of the United States. We had a minivan filled with strollers and diapers and we used it to get to many, many places.
I’ve never regretted taking a toddler to Philadelphia or a bunch of preschoolers to the San Antonio Missions. Even though they might have been too young to remember every last detail, they remember snippets of things and look at the photos and have a sense that they have been to some really interesting places. As they grow up, I’m even more happy that we took them to so many places at a young age, because as they get older, it is harder and harder to get away.
That is not to say we won’t continue to travel. We’re squeezing in a few days to Washington, D.C., along with some medical appointments on that side of the country. We still have a bucket list of places to visit in the Midwest and beyond, and many that we’d like to revisit. We’ll see how far we get.
In the meantime, I have learned that in my case, the growth of my children brings with it new demands on my time, and that’s where my focus needs to be. Writing about taking a 12-year-old to the orthodontist just isn’t as compelling as describing how to take four young children to the Art Institute without pulling all of your hair out.
Blogging has been a large part of our family’s life through these past years. It provided an avenue for me to write and share ideas with other families, whether they were frequent travelers or venturing out on their first day trip with toddlers in tow. It allowed me to meet some other terrific bloggers who travel and write about travel with their families. Opportunity knocked for our family to visit some places we otherwise wouldn’t have considered, and my blog was mentioned in some widely-read publications. Blogging has been a good thing for me and for our family.
Now, however, it’s time to say goodbye. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been writing much lately; even though I have tales of dozens more places we’ve visited in my head, I haven’t put them to the page, and this will be a formal end to that.
Thank you to those who have read this blog, commented on posts, or given me ideas. It was always exciting to receive feedback on what I’d written. To those who have young children and are wondering if they should travel with them: Just do it! Don’t worry that they’re not the right age or that they might not remember. They’ll remember more than you think, and you’ll prepare them for future travels. Go with them now while they enjoy being with you and your calendar isn’t crazy-busy with other things to do. Do what you enjoy doing as a family, and then spread your wings a bit and try something a little different. The memories will be worth it.
This blog will still be around, so back posts, all 865 of them, will be available for reference purposes. If you’re looking for some other family travel blogs to follow, look at one of my “Finding More Fun” posts for ideas. There’s also a pretty good chance that I’ll occasionally post short blurbs, including deals I come across, to the Travels with Children Facebook page, so give it a like if you’re interested in still hearing from me occasionally.
Farewell. It’s been a great run. Happy travels!