elevator-buttons-at-Ritz

Traveling as a mom is decidedly different from business travel. I’ve done both, and each has its pros and cons. On the one hand, mom travel means the kids (and husband) get to come along. On the other hand, business travel means dressing in nice clothes and talking to grown ups.

My favorite part of traveling with my toddler and preschooler is experiencing new things through their eyes.

Travel means new experiences – and travel with kids brings all sorts of new adventures. Not only is the destination itself something they’ve usually never seen before, but the hotel, the shuttle bus, the train ride, the airport, etc., are all new as well. Seeing it through the kids’ eyes brings back the wonder to the parts of travel that might otherwise be drudgery.

Last week we took a family trip to Canada, where we experienced new sights, sounds, tastes and, yes, even smells. In the hotel, the kids delighted in pressing the elevator buttons – a new experience for them – then watching through the glass walls as the elevator went up, up, up or down, down, down and giggling at the sight. At night, they slept in new beds, with pillows like clouds surrounding their small bodies as they drifted off to sleep in a new place.

They admired the daffodils and tulips growing in planters outside – flowers that have barely broken through the ground back home – and had to stop and smell them every chance they got.

They watched with wonder as we crossed several bridges, looking down at the water below and marveling at its size.

And as we walked through the city at night, they experienced the sights, sounds, and smells of a large city at night, saying hello to the dogs being walked by their owners, watching the headlights of passing cars, and counting the number of taxi cabs lining the street.

While we didn’t specifically take them there to see any of this, it’s a big part of what they saw during our visit. They might not remember much of it, but I hope that the experience helped to widen their perspectives and to see how much of the world is out there, yet to be explored. I’m already planning our next family trip, and I hope they’re looking forward to it as much as I am.