“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvon Chouinard founder of Patagonia
5 little kids. 2 adults. 1 pop up camper. 6 weeks. And a dog named Cheesy Taco. What could go wrong???
When I started mentioning our trip to friends. There are two responses, divided on a solid line. “Not a parent friend” says, “That sounds amazing, I would love to do something like that when I have kids!” “Friends with kids” say, “Well, that’s insane!”
Truth be told, it’s both.
I have “normal” kids. They don’t always listen (ok, rarely listen, at least the first time). They yell in the van. They pick fights with each other. One is nicknamed Honey Badger, as in the old you tube videos, “Honey Badger don’t give a shit.” We are buying a leash for that one. No way in hell the next big Yellowstone story will be, “Mom loses 3 year old in a mud pit after child chased a Bison.” I wouldn’t put it past Honey Badger. She’s adorable as can be, but keep your hands to yourself, because she will bite you.
Oh, did I mention the vomit? I didn’t? Well, there is a lot of vomit! I bought Dramine in bulk from Amazon to prepare for this trip. But before we actually get to vomit, there is crying. Lots of crying. Sometimes we stop. But a 60 minute pit stop buys us 7 minutes before the crying and vomit start again.
6 weeks people. We left 2 days ago, and I already miss my home.
So why in hell are we doing this? That’s what you are thinking at this point? I get it. But…
Our kids won’t be little much longer.
Here is why I think traveling with little kids is awesome.
- They think everything is amazing! Cheesy things, roadside attractions, natural wonders, science museums. Wall Drug. The corn Maze. Old Faithful. Air and Space museums. Mount Rushmore. Ghost towns. There is an awe and wonder that can wear off as we get older. Seeing these things with little kids, renews my child like wonder. Mr. Mt and I have been very lucky to travel all over the US, and through 27 countries. But sometimes extensive travel can make you jaded. Going through a tour of the local mansion should be fun, unless I catch myself thinking, “Well, it ain’t the palace at Versailles.” Ugh. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be amazed, like my kids are amazed by a 20 foot concrete dinosaur with chipped paint. Experiencing things with them helps give me fresh eyes to appreciate the small wonders.
- They love spending time with us. We are there favorite people in the whole world right now. We don’t have to compete with school friends or neighborhood kids. I know there will come a time when Honey Badger will have a boyfriend who is much cooler than us. At some point leaving everyone behind for 6 weeks will be a burden for them instead of pure joy. Right now being stuck in a minivan with us for 5,000 miles is awesome! (for them) Kids: “We get to ask non-stop questions, and they can’t run away or hide in the bathroom?! Hoary!”
- We aren’t competing with sports, jobs and activities. All 5 kids will be in Jr. High or High school at the same time. Someone will always having an activity going on. Games, meets, events, camps, lessons. We want to do our big trips when they are little. For now, we are opting out of activities in favor of family trips. If we start baseball now, we might have activities every weekend for the next 20 years.
- They are only little once. In the same idea as Creating a YOLO experiance, we only have one chance to experience this with them while they are still small. To create a love of adventure, travel, and discovery in their little hearts. To get a pictures of our whole herd, small and adorable in the Grand Tetons. And create memories they will cherish well into adulthood.
- We want our extended family to get to spend time with our kids. Kids get big so fast, and I want our family to know our kids at this age. While our Honey Badger is both completely adorable and a little shit. By road tripping to see family, they will get to have those “time at grandma’s house” memories.
Traveling will be a pain in the ass. But it will also be wonderful. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and in the Snippets posts to see our daily adventures.