One of the things I’m trying to teach my children through travel is to embrace change. To recognize that the whole world is constantly in motion, evolving as it revolves and that discovering something new around every corner is what makes life so exciting!
Surprisingly, the most difficult parts of this lesson so far has been helping my little ones appreciate different climates. Here in Utah we get LOTS of winter and LOTS of summer with very little mild weather in between. Quite often my kids (and even I) would prefer to stay indoors at a comfortable 75 rather than venture out into dessert sun or 3 feet of snow (as the season dictates). But we would miss out on so much!
For the past week we have been on a little family retreat in the spectacular Uintah Mountains, enjoying Utah’s flora and fauna. During each hike, fishing trip, picnic, swim in the lake, 4-wheeler ride and tennis match my 6 year-old son belly ached about the heat. It got SO old SO fast.
So I hopped on my computer and dug up some photos from a couple of family vacations last winter. I said to my little boy, “Remember how cold you were at your first snowboarding lesson? You kept complaining that your fingers and nose were frozen and you wanted to go inside? But once you got into it, you hardly noticed the cold and you enjoyed all the great things about winter!”
Then I told him how grateful I am for the summer sun when we’re up here in the mountains – how it makes the flowers bloom and the lake water pleasant. And how, in a very short time, this whole place would be covered in 6 feet of snow.
He stopped complaining for almost 2 blissful hours. Then he started again. Nice to see I really got through to him, eh? But just having that chat with my little boy helped me to be less grumpy when the car seats were so hot they burned our thighs and when the backs of my legs got wickedly sunburned.
Furthermore, I was reminded that this is one the reasons why I value family travel so much. Seeing the world together, experiencing the differences and uniqueness of the places we visit lends to important moments like these where I can teach, and be taught by my children.
So here’s to summer travel, for as long as it has left in it! And a big warm welcome to winter and all the fun family vacations it will bring!