Saturday, December 3, 2011

A journey begins!

Wanderlust.  After typing in the word in the online Oxford Dictionary's search engine box, I was rewarded with this: "a strong desire to travel".  Mmmm, that's it alright.  Wanderlust is what our family of four now has, because wanderlust is what my husband and I have, and probably because wanderlust is what I've had since almost day one.

I rode my first airplane at 9 months old, on a family trip to Kalibo, Aklan, where I also had my first typical tourist's experience, the town Fiesta or Ati-Atihan.  The festival's name is a derivative of "Ati",  the tribespeople of Panay, who are dark-skinned, slight with black and tightly curled hair.  Which is why in the street parade, the dancers paint themselves black.

Dad and me at the Ati-atihan, Aklan, Philippines

My mom recounts that even at a tender age, when we were still living in a family compound and later in an apartment complex, I was prone to leaving the house and finding my way to cousins' and friends'  houses.  Even now, in fits of sadness and anger, leaving the house and walking, riding the bus or driving off is what calms me most.

And I think this is where the allure of the journey for me comes from:  the joy and peace that comes from seeing your world through different eyes, or experiencing different ways of living and life.  It's getting out of your world for a time and discovering that what seems to matter so much may not at all in a different context, a different place, or a different time.  The joy of discovery has never waned for me, and I hope it never will.

When our first baby was born, and life underwent a major transformation for us, we had to make some dramatic changes to our traveling ways.  My husband's backpack now accommodated baby wipes and diapers, while I lost mine altogether, replaced by a handy stroller, and a more accessible shoulderbag.   Gone too, was the "tour" option, as a new travel schedule master was on board, little Sebastian.

Seven years, and memorable trips, and the addition of little Sophia to our travel team after, we still spend a considerable amount of our time dreaming and planning, doing research, and actually being on a trip.  For sure, it's not easy.  But it's been wonderful, utterly enlightening, and crazy fun.  And yes, truly priceless.

                                          Our family at the Chiang Mai Elephant Park, Thailand

I hope you'll join us in our adventures as we share how we've been doing it and take you to the places and events that captured our imaginations the most and took our breath away.  This blog is all about the magic of the journey and the unique challenges and joys of doing it young-family-style. :)