TRAVELING WITH A TWEEN: SHOWING MY DAUGHTER THE WORLD


Us in Hawaii 2007

Us in Hawaii 2007

My daughter is turning 12 next month, which is both exciting and terrifying because the teen years are around the corner. But the exciting part is that she is now old enough to be a great travel companion. She’s been a lot of places in her young life. By the time she was six years old she had been to Hawaii 6 times, but guess what? She has no memory of it. She doesn’t remember Cozumel either or a whole list of other trips we’ve taken. So now I feel like she has finally reached an age that if I take her on amazing trips she will remember them and carry those experiences into her adult life.

Last summer I went on an epic trip by myself. It was my first solo travel experience other than business trips and it was incredible. I started my adventure in Playa del Carmen for a few days and then from there traveled to Tulum for a week. From Tulum I hopped on a bus to the border of Mexico and Belize and then water taxied to a little island called Caye Caulker, Belize. The 4 days I spent in Caye Caulker were some of the most relaxing days I have ever had. I had the time of my life!

It was during that trip that I came up with the idea of traveling with my daughter Kaia to a different country every summer until she graduates from high school. That leaves 6 summers to explore at least 6 different cultures.

Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker, Belize

So our adventure begins on July 20th and I can’t wait. We will be starting where I left off last summer, Caye Caulker. I fell in love with that little island and I can’t wait to share it with my daughter. Then after 4 nights or so in Caye Caulker we are going to go to Placencia, Belize. I heard about Placencia from my dental hygienist! She is from there and told me they have the best beaches in Belize, so of course I must check it out! Then after that we are heading to Roatan, Honduras! I discovered Roatan by looking at a map of Belize and trying to figure out what was nearby, saw Roatan, searched it on Pinterest, saw these photos and I was sold!

Placencia, Belize

Placencia, Belize

Part of what I want to teach her is of course that she is very blessed to lead the life she does. I work very hard to provide every thing I can for her and as she moves into her teen years I want to transition her desires from “things” to “experiences”. I want her to have a better understanding of the world around her and I love the idea of both of us getting a global education together. I want to show her there are more exciting things than apps and Netflix. I want to watch her explore and nurture her natural sense of curiosity. I want to hear her whine less and squeal with delight more.

So I am very excited for this trip and all of the trips that will follow in the next six years. We’re starting with Central America but Europe, Africa, and South America are all in my future plans. I am going to target certain areas that have particular meaning to us, I am starting with Belize because I really fell in love with it last year and I want her to experience it too. Plus we are both total beach bums so any island location will always be at the top of my list.

I hope to show Kaia that traveling the world is the best education. Travel makes you brave. Travel tests you and forces you to be resilient and able to exist in situations which might not be comfortable. I want to raise a risk taker and a global citizen who will be able to confidently enter adulthood with a unique perspective. 3 months and counting until take off:)

 

 


This blog was originally posted on my other blog, Swirl Nation Blog