Benefits of family vacation travel.

I thought I would throw a non-Disney blog post in here, but in a way, its a nice side-effect of our Disney trips.

Over the past decade and a half, I ranked over 300,000 miles on one airline and about 50,000 on another.  Not to mention a few thousand spread out over other airlines of which I don’t really keep track.  While most of those trips were business related, there was a good chunk of them that were vacation related.

That is a lot of time sitting in a small airplane seat if you think about it.

I think 60% of the miles put on my truck over the past 7 years have been to Walt Disney World and back.  Im probably underestimating that I spent at least 400 hours in that drivers seat making multiple journeys.  (As I sit here and type that, I have to just say… wow!)

Needless to say, I’ve done my share of travel.

Once of the best things I did over the past few years was start to talk to my kids about my travels.  Not just about what I did while I was out but also the details about going through airports, dealing with airlines, and how to deal with the unexpected.  Through those conversations, I taught them how to keep themselves safe, how to properly pack for a trip, and how to always be prepared.  (The Boy Scout in me shows up.)  I taught them my routines from online check in, getting to the airport really early, and how to make it through security in 10 minutes or less.  (George Clooney from Up In The Air would be proud.)  Ive taught them what not to do, and to learn from my fails.

Now, I just need to reassure myself that I was a good travel Jedi and that my oldest Padewan was up to the task of international travel to study abroad for the next six weeks.  I was so proud of her as she held her head up high as she waited to check in for her flight.  Sure, I was there, but I was trying to just be an observer.  She did great as she got her boarding pass and made it through security without a hitch.  A few Snapchats later, I saw that she did exactly what I taught her: Find your gate first, then buy a bottle of water for the trip.  Soon, I got a picture of her plane and another one of her sitting in her seat.  (She made a comment how the guy next to her was asleep within minutes and already snoring.)  I was tracking her flight online and she left an hour late, but that is ok.  As I write this, she is 1/2 through her journey and is over the middle of the Atlantic.  For some reason, I am getting calmer as the time goes by.  Maybe because I know that I have taught her well.  I have to trust that I did.  Now I trust that God will take care of the things that maybe I didn’t.

Why do I travel with my family?  First and foremost, it is to have a good time, make some great memories, and to really bond with my family.  I can say that I never regret the time I spend with them.  I work hard so I can play hard.  They know that, and see that character trait as well.  (Another good lesson to learn, if you ask me.)

But I also travel with my family because it helps prepare them for their journey.  Now, I have done very little along the lines of international travel.  I mean, I’ve been to Canada and Mexico as well as the Bahamas, but that is about it.  My daughter is an ocean away in a place that speaks a foreign language.  (Well, foreign to me… she can speak the language.)  I believe that the different journeys that we took together as a family prepared her for this trip.  I know this because she started reciting some of my own lessons back to me as I was going over tips one last time.  She listened. She learned.  She retained.  Now, she can apply.  She will gain new experience and share them back with me… .and she will one day share them with her kids.

I am super proud of my daughter.  And while I miss her already, I can’t wait to hear back from her and to hear the stories of her travel.

Take time to travel.  Not just because its time for vacation, but because every experience had is the basis for adventures later.

Till next time, my friends…. keep planing your next journey.

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