By Whit Altizer
Yesterday as I went for my daily run during our family vacation in Sanur, Bali. I tried to pinpoint the moment when I turned my life over to travel.
Strangely, I remember it happened during a run in Mexico.
My wife and I spent money we didn’t have to honeymoon in a resort in Puerta Vallarta. I found myself drawn outside the gates of that secluded (and wonderful) resort to try to get as much of an authentic experience as possible.
I wanted to see how people in this town lived, eat what they ate, walk the roads they walked. Just be there.
One morning, my wife and I ran along the uneven cobblestone back roads of that lovely city and then popped into a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant for a Mexican breakfast. As we sat there over huevos divorciados, I think we both quietly made a pact that this wouldn’t be our last trip outside the friendly confines of America.
And it wasn’t. Then there was Thailand, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, France and the Phillippines. All while living abroad in Korea.
We loved being somewhere different.
Then we got pregnant. This time we made a verbal pact to make our kid become part of “our team.” Of course we would put our kid first, but he would also not heavily alter our lives as we knew them. We wanted to keep running marathons, have a social life, a work-life and of course, travel whenever we could.
So now our 4-year-old has his US passport stamped by Korea, Ireland, the Philippines(we were pregnant the first time and went back) and Indonesia with more on the way.But we were also heavily committed to being present parents. Our kid would come with us. Almost everywhere. But before 8PM. We aren’t sadists.
Then we got pregnant again.
So we booked a trip with our 4-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter to Indonesia as an act of defiance to those who think that traveling with kids is crazy.
Um, it is.
But it is also crazy fun. We’ve learned a lot traveling with kids and we are continuing to learn. We’ve made plenty of mistakes and we’ve also done things that make us feel like parenting geniuses.
Our hope is to pass along any wisdom we have about the traveling process and the places we’ve gone. We love extravagance, but also value frugality. We like to do when we get there, but we also like to just be.
We think we embody all sorts of travelers and if we don’t we hope to find people that fill our void.
The idea is to make you feel like going far away with your kids isn’t so crazy, but a wonderful act of defiance. And really a lot easier then you could have imagined.