ARE YOU REALLY BRINGING HIM? People ask us this question often. They look at our strong willed little boy Jake and say things like "Are you really bringing a two year old on that long of a flight?", "what is he doing here?" or "He'll never remember this you know."
There are other people who say we are brave or tough or something along those lines.
Here is the thing. We aren't crazy, we aren't brave. We just want our little boy to share the INCREDIBLE world God created and our passion for exploring it. We bring him on these long flights and out of all of our comfort zones because while he might not remember all of it. We will. My husband will. My parents will. I WILL.
I have a strong willed little boy. Every part of traveling with him is challenging. Not because he is naughty. Not because he is trying to make it difficult... but because he is a kid! Kids cry, kids have a hard time with time change, kids get bored on plane rides and toddlers like to kick the seat in front of them. So the purpose of this blog is to encourage you to travel with your kids instead of leaving them at home. To help you be prepared for your first time through TSA with a baby. To help you have some tricks up your sleeve if they get upset or bored on the airplane. AND to show you some of our greatest memories together.
So we aren't one of those families that travels full time. We don't have a private jet. I don't wear $150 jeans, my husband generally hates photos. My toddler gets tired and needs a nap. We've carried around a carseat in Guatemala and Nicaragua... because while we like to travel authentically, we aren't about to put our 2 year old in a taxi without a car seat for 3 hours (although the locals love to assure us that we don't need it hahaha!) We've changed diapers above treeline in Norway and in the rain forest in Costa Rica. We've had double ear infections on 17 hour travel days and we've gone through 6 or 7 strollers. Honestly I've lost count at this point. The last one we blew out a wheel on a 7 1/2 mile trek in Norway. (Thanks for pushing through that Dad!) And we didn't have a stroller for 3 days after because we could not find a 'push cart' or a 'pram' or even a baby store anywhere. We have a stroller graveyard. Haha! And while I will post some really beautiful photos that turned out the way I hoped they would, Jake has his own ideas.
But he is a kid. I treasure these photos. It makes us laugh. Because this is how it really goes. You can't explain jet-lag to a toddler and you sure as hell can't expect them to just get over it. Their feelings are real and when they feel overwhelmed, it can feel like the end of the world to them
I don't have my hair and makeup professionally done. We don't have a photographer (other than me) or a nanny. We don't live in some cute air stream bus and we don't travel year round. But I will tell you, I have some tricks up my sleeves. This boy has been strong willed from the day he was born. He requires some extra creativity and love. I am a travel momma. I love my traveling boy and his love for choo choo tunnels and airport tugs. We were driving down the road the other day. Keep in mind, Jake is about 2 and 1/2. He noticed the mountains and started yelling, "OOOWAY! KICK-NIC! RAIN! GRAN, POP!" For those of you who do not speak Jake, he was saying Norway, Picnic, Rain and Gran and Pop. ALL of the things we did on our first day in Norway..... Like 6 MONTHS AGO. So to all of those people saying he won't remember this... he does. And later on when he forgets more of it, it will still have SHAPED who he is.
Anyway, you get the point. We hope you are encouraged by our blog posts. I can't wait to share some of our best memories, gadgets and tricks and tips with you! We wish you happy travels and extra patience with your kiddos. Thanks for reading!