I remember I loved board games growing up. Loved all of them. Since I became a parent, I thought I lost that love. I found them tedious and boring. But perhaps it was just that, as an adult, Chutes and Ladders didn’t hold the same allure it once did. I figured I just didn’t like board games anymore, and therefore tried to avoid playing them, especially will the kids. Bad Mommy points, I know.
Last year for Christmas, Alfs was given a geography game called 10 Days in Africa. It’s a great game. Players try to construct a trip across the continent by plane, car, or foot. Not only did Alfs love it, Woody loved it, too, and it was fun to play for us grownups – me, included! Plus, the kids were learning geography. Way cool. By this holiday season, we managed to acquire the entire 10 Days series, and another great travel game called Travel Mania.
In addition to the newly rediscovered fun of board games and my kids’ most excellent and growing geography skills, we’ve all developed new and strong wanderlust for distant and unknown lands. We look longingly at maps. The kids ask, “Mom? Do you think we could go there one day?”
I would love to have the resources to take my kids out of school for a year of worldwide travel. I’d have them each pick a place on a globe (my husband and I would each pick a place, too), we’d research each location, and plan an itinerary that would cover them all. I’d work with the schools to make sure we integrated school work and/or independent study related to the travel with the specific skill each of them should attain for the school year at their individual levels. We could travel at non-peak times and hopefully see more with less crowds. We could help the kids develop a real world view.
I’ve known people who have done taken country-wide year-long tours. Their kids were a little younger than mine are now. From all accounts, it was a well worth it effort. Even the friends who have taken summer-long cross-country journeys wax poetic about their trips. We’ve done a fair bit of traveling in North America, and the kids like to travel. Sunshine is still a little extra work when take trips, but even she is becoming more confident with new places. We’ve never done a really long, drop everything journey.
I wonder if we could really and truly do it. First of all, as we all become more and more entrenched in our lives here, how do we decide when, exactly, we’d do such a thing? Is there no such thing as a perfect time so you just dive in and do it anyway? How to even begin dealing with the logistics? What happens to the dog? It seems overwhelming, particularly on days when my regular life seems over-full. But it’s a fun daydream.
Of course, it’s on the over-full days that I feel the pull of the world map more strongly and daydream of distant lands.