I have backpacked through Europe, slept in train stations, traversed North America by road, camped on beaches, and called many big cities and small towns my home, but my perspective on traveling changed when I began traveling alongside Charles. Two reasons: 1.) solo travel vs. tot in tow 2.) hostels vs. 5-star hotels
1.) When you travel with a tot n tow, you can’t throw some clothes, a pair of heels and moisturizer into an overnight bag and spontaneously head off to a mysterious destination. Thoughtless packing, spontaneous trips and mystery destinations do not mix well with kids. Trips with little ones require careful packing, planning, and possible list making. The adventures and lessons I have learned are different than the experiences and knowledge I’ve acquired through solo travel. Traveling with a tot in tow has given me an appreciation for proper planning, scheduling and sharing my adventure with an inquisitive and adventurous companion. Charles is a wonderful travel companion, who is loving, eager to learn, funny and full of energy. His carefree and inquisitive nature is refreshing and definitely keeps me on my toes. Don’t get me wrong, I still love taking those spontaneous, carefree trips with my husband, but I have definitely gained an appreciation for a child’s wide-eyed appreciation for the world.
2.) Goodbye hostels and HELLO five-star hotels. I admit, I have been spoiled and LOVE it! The opportunities that Charles and I have far surpass most traveling experiences as we often travel luxuriously; 5-star hotels, drivers, amazing food and sometimes private planes. We also have free reign, whatever I think might be fun and engaging to do, I arrange for it to happen; everything from playing in a park to going to an aquarium, from swimming with dolphins to island hopping, from attending theatre to making pottery. This kind of freedom, resources and opportunity allows us to experience each city to it’s fullest, immerse ourselves in the culture, and appreciate a city and it’s attractions through the eyes of a child.
Traveling with Charles is nothing like backpacking, but both methods of travel are amazing in their own right! I have had the unique opportunity to visit Paris, London, Basel, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, and Munich both as a backpacker and luxuriously. I appreciate both experiences, full of wonderful memories, amazing people, picturesque sites and life-long lessons. I am proof that no matter how you choose to travel, the experiences and memories made are simply priceless.