I don’t have a travel bucket list. This is not because I find the term “bucket list” to be stupid (though I do) but more out of a sense of scope: I am always learning more about the world. I’m constantly adding to my knowledge of places and geography and worthy experiences. So it seems silly to commit them all to a list when a) I would be constantly adding and re-prioritizing and b) there is no way I could ever hope to see it all before I die. My attitude is more like “Take opportunities that present themselves; roll with it.” That said, there are several things I’d like to see and do before I kick off. These largely have to do with things that I want to do with my children while they’re young–experiences I’d love to share with them before they go to college and bankrupt me.
1. A Madeline birthday in Paris. My daughter LOVES Madeline. At the ripe old age of two she can recite the book from memory. She cuddles a Madeline doll. We rejected “Madeline” from the list of potential names for Baby 2 in case Maggie got jealous. My little lady is a springtime baby; her birthday is in April and I hear Paris is just gorgeous in the spring. When she turns four or five I want to get her a little blue coat (and one for Baby 2, if it is a she) and take her to Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower with a copy of her book and point it all out. Boring for a wee one? Maybe. But she’s proven herself so adept at travel that I think she’d get a kick out of it. I know I would.
2. A skiing and snowboarding week in New England. Yeah, yeah, yeah–the superior skiing is really in the Rockies. But I grew up amongst the scrub pines of Maine and learn to ski over slush and ice ruts and as such that is where my heart lies. A midweek condo rental sometime in January when all the other kids are in school (another benefit to homeschooling) is surprisingly affordable. And then my kids could have stories about me and Tom like I have about my dad and the one time he nearly wishboned himself trying to ski backwards to impress us and the other time he though spraying Pam on my skis would work just as well as waxing. (Note: it does not.) I am not a hiker or a a biker or a ball player or much of a runner; I never learned to throw a spiral pass or field a soccer kick. But I’m a good skier and I want to share that with my babies.
3. A voluntourism trip. My kids have been born into extraordinary circumstances: they are middle-class American citizens with a father whose job takes him around the world. And if I may twist Spiderman: with great fortune comes great responsibility. I want them to see and own the fact that they are in a privileged position and have an incredible advantage when it comes to affecting change and doing good throughout the world.
4. Tyler Place. Because…well…um, how do I follow voluntourism with Tyler Place without sounding like a self-indulgent ass? I suppose I can’t. But look, y’all–fully supervised kids’ activities, all-inclusive food and activities for adults that include wine tours of Quebec. It’s like camp + Disney without mouse ears. I defy you to come up with a more relaxing week away.
Where do YOU want to go with your kids?