Growing up, I was a fortunate to have parents that believed in traveling. There were our trips to Italy to see family and friends, but there were also trips to other European cities, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. I distinctly remember being taken out of school for trips, because my parents believed that visiting new places was just as educational (if not more) than sitting in my elementary school classroom.
I did my own fair share of traveling as an adult, pre-marriage and Principessa. I hopped over to London for a long weekend to meet up with some of my Italian friends. I explored Prague with friends and spent a summer in Italy, exploring places that I had never been to like Spoleto and the Cinque Terre. There were weekend trips to Philadelphia or Boston, because I could.
Now, as a mom, the time for that travel has been reduced. In part due to my working schedule, and in part due to the demands of soccer, religious school, and who knows what else. Granted, Principessa has been to Italy twice, and will be there a third time this summer. We have taken her to Mexico and she has been to Florida with my parents. But I realize that I have an opportunity to give her the same gift that was given to me so many years ago. The gift of travel. Knowing that there is a world beyond our front door, a world of new cultures and traditions, a world of languages and history.
And for better or worse, Principessa loves learning about new places and going on adventures. It occurs to me that I need to be proactive to make sure that these opportunities happen. At seven she is at the age where she can begin to appreciate travel in a more mature way. The adventures don’t need to be to foreign countries each time, but they do need to expose her to new places and experiences.
So in the spirit of life lists, I decided it was time to create a family travel wish list. Ten places to start with, that we can add to as we go.
1. New York City. I see a trip to NYC as a mother daughter adventure. Central Park, a museum, the Statue of Liberty, a Broadway show or two….and more.
2. Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a town rich in history as well as having some of the most fabulous interactive museums to engage young (and old) minds. The Franklin Institute has the best exhibits and invites curiosity and learning at every turn.
3. The Grand Canyon. Beauty, beauty, and more beauty. Not to mention great for adventurous hiking and exploring.
4. Hawaii. Principessa is intrigued by Hawaii because she saw the Brady Bunch episode….and although I went there many moons ago, going back with her to explore some of the smaller islands would be fabulous.
5. Egypt. I have dreamed of one destination since I was in fifth grade….Egypt. The history of the pyramids always intrigued me. Rocket has been to Egypt and is not sure he would like to go back, but for me, this is a must see destination that I think Principessa would soak up.
6. Israel. Another place that Rocket has been and I have not. A place of history, of tradition, and of understanding.
7. San Francisco. I have only been to California once, during BlogHer last year. The idea of exploring the bay area with all that is has to offer is something that I think we would all enjoy.
8. Paris. It has been a long time since I went to Paris, 16 years in fact. Maybe it is because Rocket and I just watched Midnight in Paris, and maybe it is because Prinipcessa has taken an interest in French, but it feels like time to go back.
9. London. Yes, I have a best friend that lives in London whose children I would love for Principessa to meet. But London has a bit of everything, history, great Indian food, great shows, and of course, the lure of a real Princess for a certain seven year old that watched the royal wedding festivities with fascination.
10. Yellowstone National Park. I don’t remember being awed by the idea of National Parks growing up, but as I have gotten older, I have more and more interest in taking trips that involve adventure and exploration in outdoor settings.
I could keep going with the list….and will. (I even have a special Pinterest board just for places I would love to travel to!) In addition to our almost month long trip to Italy, I am hoping to knock off at least two of these trips this year, (Philadelphia and New York City) with Principessa this year. But before I add too many more of my ideas, maybe I should run my list by Principessa and Rocket?
What about you? What destinations would make your wish list?