I'm thrilled to introduce you guys to my 'blogging friend turned into real life friend' Sarah. Sarah and her sweet family just moved away from Denver (sob!) to New York City so make sure you check our her blog and all of her adventures!
Travel has always been this outrageous component of my life. There have been times when the stars aligned and it felt like I had time and the means to be flitting all over the world, from place to place, seeing it all, taking it in. There have been times when circumstances have kept me home, almost buried underground I felt so rooted; but in those moments my heart longs to get back out.
My greatest transformations, my little life epiphanies, and my deepest self-understanding have always come to me when I’m in a place totally out of the ordinary. Something about taking my well-known soul out of a well-known place makes all of it—the place and the person—completely fresh and new again. I love the clash of history and awe and fun and discovery that comes with traveling. These are the things that struck me when I was young and set out into the world on my own.
When my husband and I first got married, in those first months when we were excited and in love and poor, we would spend almost every evening in a coffee shop, planning a backpacking trip while sipping cups of coffee. The trip was nearly a year away, and we booked it in small chunks so that we could pay for things as we went. All we cared about was that, for three weeks, Europe would be ours. And I learned that, having a hand to hold when you’re exploring only intensifies those feelings of history and awe and fun and discovery.
I used to think that when I had children, I’d keep the big trips for when they were old enough to make the most of it. There’s probably some wisdom in that. But still, as I’ve learned what traveling can do to a person and as I’ve felt opened up to the world just by seeing it, I’ve decided that I want that for my girls. I want them to see all parts of the world at all parts of life, as much as I possibly can. It would be wonderful to bring them up knowing the world; but more than that, I think it will bring them up to know themselves.
As much as a grown-up heart can be struck with wonder at the sight of something new, I get chills thinking about how it all must seem to those big eyes on their little bodies. What do they think and feel as they explore the earth with their pure hearts and innocent, imaginative minds. I think that’s what drives us to travel—the lust for something new, yes; but also for something awe-inspiring, something that strikes a chord in our hearts.
Sweden is definitely that place for Darlene. I think it’s incredible how she gets around with both her kids; and I think it’s incredible that they’re across the ocean right now. It’s special for them to see it; and it’s special for Darlene to share a place so dear to her heart with her little ones. It’s a part of her and now she’s giving it to them. It’s like a legacy.
We’ve just moved from Denver to New York City, and though I’ve spent so much time here, a move is completely different. There have been days I’m fumbling through it, just willing us to feel settled already. On these days, to shift my thinking, I pretend I’m on vacation. There’s much to see, much to do, much to learn! I want this to be the transition and experience for my kids. There’s no reason this can’t be a perfect example of what travel can mean to them.
I expect there will be times coming up where we feel free to travel much. And there will probably be even more times that life will tie us down or restrict us momentarily. So “travel,” the way I feel when I do it, is a feeling and a mentality that I try to bottle up in my heart. How can I be awe-inspired today, even if all I have to do is laundry? And better yet, how can I make that a legacy that I give to my girls today?
Have a wonderful trip, Darlene! I know your kids won’t forget or take for granted this wonderful opportunity that you’ve made for them!