Since starting my family travel blog, East Coast Westerners, in September of 2017, I have had a lot of people ask, “Why do you guys travel so often?”
I always want to respond with, “Because, why not?!” But, most are asking for more of an explanation than that.
So, why DO we travel so often??
Well, it really started when our young family moved from Idaho to South Carolina in May of 2017. An amazing job, that required us to move over 2,100 miles across the country and to a state we had never been to, opened us up to an awesome opportunity to see a part of the country we never had never considered before! We were excited, nervous, anxious, and a little oblivious to just what to expect upon arrival in our new state, but we quickly realized this was the beginning of an incredible journey for our family.
Being far away from extended family, the comforts of familiarity, and experiencing some culture shock, we found ourselves in an area rich with history. This convinced us that we needed to get out there and explore anything and everything we possibly could. It helped us settle in, get a lay of the land, and learn about our new home area. We started with little day, or even weekend, trips to places nearby, like state parks and historic sites, but those turned into week-long road trips, then into getaways to the beach, a magical vacation at Disney World, and eventually venturing further from home on a tour of the Nation’s capitol in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. Each trip fueling our desires to see the next place, do the next thing, and experience the next adventure!
The kids started asking us where we were going every weekend, and we realized they were enthusiastic to get out there and explore. Our travels had become learning experiences for them, where they could grow in their knowledge of history, geography, physical endurance, social skills, imagination, and so much more. They started wanting to know everything about the next destination we were visiting, like the major attractions, monuments and buildings, special facts or history about that place, and what new things they could try there.
We were making amazing family memories together from each destination we toured, but my husband and I realized, we were, giving our children more than just family vacations and beautiful keepsakes. We are giving them the opportunity to expand their understanding, to broaden their horizons, and the ability to gain the confidence they need to venture out into the world and discover new places, people, and to try new experiences.
Quill writing at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, VA
Like all parent’s, we want our children to be happy, healthy, and enthusiastic about life. We want them to learn and grow while being kind, helpful, and supportive to themselves, each other and others. We have personally found that through travel, our children have become more eager to study, more willing to serve, and more thoughtful towards those around them. They cherish and appreciate the experiences we have taken and given them, and we have become closer as a family as well.
Our current family travel goals are; to visit each of the 50 United States, and hopefully soon, advance our travels to include international destinations! Our journey may have begun with that gutsy move across the country, but now we realize the world is at our fingertips, beckoning to us, and we are longing to explore it. We want to learn. We want to grow. We want to experience it.
This is why we travel.