Zenspiration: What I Learned Traveling With 2 Kids!

Jun
22
2011
“Traveling with kids is a lot like life- it may not always be easy getting where you want to go, but what really matters is what you do when you do when you get there!”  -TheZenMom

Traveling with children is not always a very zen experience, but what you and your family get out of it may be.  Our cross country trip to visit family in Ithaca ended with a 3 hour flight delay, a missed connection in Newark, an overtired crying 3 year old, a 17 month old that threw up on me just as I finished strapping her to me in the Baby Bjorn as we were disembarking, and lost luggage.  There were more crazy travel tales,  but what I”d like to share with you is what I learned from our family vacation.
No matter how light you plan to travel there”s always too much stuff!

    

After a red-eye a luggage cart doubles as a bed! 🙂
Even if your daughter looked like this just seconds before, she can still throw up on you!

Here”s some useful information:
-If you have a toddler, bring a DVD player
-Always bring a baby carrier so you can have as many hands free as possible.
-Bring small toys and to make the “wow” factor last longer, wrap them up so it takes them longer to open it.
-Bring a change of clothes for the kids and for you.  I”m glad I had one or I would have smelled like throw up.  If your child is potty trained bring even more underwear and bottoms.
-If you bring a carry-on, also carry a foldable bag with it so you take all your must have”s out if they make you check your bag.
-Always have food, but don”t feed them too much or it may backfire.

Now for the Zen part.
Once the travel day passed and we were able to be with family, I learned it”s good to get out of the routine and for me and my kids to experience new places, new people, even if it means having to shlep them and all our stuff cross country and that they didn”t sleep on the red-eye.

We went to Eco Village Ithaca for my sister in law”s high school graduation and brother in law”s coming of age ceremony.  Upstate New York is very different than California and it was great to see my kids play in a community where toys are shared right outside your front door,  where there are waterfalls nearby and where my son can pick strawberries from an organic garden.
                                       

Most importantly, always appreciate the moment.  With all the packing, nap schedules, etc.  I forgot why we were there in the first place to be with family.

But one of the most important lessons I didn”t learn until I returned home, it was the wisdom that came from my 15 year old brother in law”s coming of age ceremony.   I was too busy juggling the two kids at the time to notice what he had written down as his values and beliefs.

It is today”s zenspiration and I”d like to share it with you.

Be honest, no matter how difficult it may be, and no matter how much discomfort or consequences it may bring to you.

Be fair to all people and living things.

Respect all living things in order to be more respected, avoid creating enemies, help others feel valued, and set an example for others.

Be thoughtful of what you say. Your words can be a force for good or for creating harm.

Be confident in yourself, and show your confidence in others.

Be loyal to the people you love.

Know your goals and make them come true. Be aware of what”s motivating you.

Be strong in your loving; don”t let fear guide you.

Be awake to life in the present moment. Appreciate the process as much as the goal. Enjoy the little things. Be aware of what you”re thinking and feeling.

Live your life in harmony with all of these values and beliefs.

What are your values and beliefs?  With our busy lives, it”s so hard to even finish a thought sometimes. Take some time and and write yours down.  In the meantime,  happy travels this summer.

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