Almost two years ago, my family was pulled out of our comfort zone. At that point we were a family of three living in Brooklyn, New York and spending the weekends on the shores of Long Island. When a job opportunity my husband couldn't refuse came along, we found ourselves packing our bags and heading to Germany.
After a few weeks in our new home, I found out we were pregnant with another little girl. It wasn't always the dreamy transition we thought it would be, especially for me, a full-time working mother.
I was now at home with two kids in a country where I could barely speak the language. Instead of hiding away, I started planning as many trips in our beautiful new surroundings, exposing our little ones to as many new and exciting experiences as possible.
Traveling with children is never simple. Every trip we take we got better. Our older daughter, while not fully grasping all of our actual locations, is now asking so many more questions. She is super interested in time differences as we cross borders. She loves learning about maps and seeing where all the countries are located. She is inquisitive about how we can get places; if we can drive, or if we need to take a train or fly.
While still young at four, these family trips are broadening her exposure to so many things we would have never had the opportunity to see if we didn't take the risk and move. Lily is a true explorer, always up for looking for wildlife, hiking through the woods, and getting her hands dirty.
She grounds me and slows me down so I can really appreciate the little things. It's not always about racing from one thing to the next, and it's so much easier to connect with your children when you get down on their level to really listen and see the world from their point of view.
We have come to the conclusion that city trips don't work well for our family. We do much better in nature, off the beaten path, without a strict schedule. Living in a city is one thing when you have a home base, but with traveling, we are all so much more relaxed in spaces where the kids can be free.
Deciding to leave your comfortable home and move far from family and friends to try something completely new is difficult, especially when children are involved. It's not always a smooth road, but it's certainly a fortunate adventure we will never regret.