With three, little kids, I’ve sort of hung up my traveling shoes for a while (and, besides, I’m totally bowing down in the traveling department to Deb Eve), but I have this theory about traveling. You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere to do it.
Maybe I have this attitude because I traveled so much when I was growing up. My mom used to take me on these wild trips (London to Hong Kong by train, anyone? No? How about hiking in the hill country of Thailand?), and I went abroad to France during high school, and after I married my English husband, I lived with him in the UK, which seems like it would be similar enough to the US, but isn’t, trust me.
What traveling really did for me was to ignite a wonder of the world. I learned to appreciate that even though someone may be wearing goatskin and drinking out of a gourd, she might have identical issues to mine: a lousy boyfriend, a temporary falling out with her siblings. And I learned to accept that some things will never be the same. This, above all, is most excellent training for writing fiction.
Like I said, traveling for me now involves a litany of sippy cups, juice boxes, toys, blankets, extra underpants, favorite, stuffed dogs. Gone are my days of zipping up a duffel bag and setting off. But I hope I’m inspiring open hearts in my kids. Even if we take a day trip to a museum, or just go on a beach vacation, I hope we do it in a spirit of open-mindedness instead of just mindless recreation. Because one day soon, when they’re a little older, my kids better watch out. They just might find themselves tubing through a cave in Belize. And, of course, we’ll have Deb Katie to thank for that suggestion!