How Not To Take A Vacation

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Does anything about this picture look difficult to you? Does any of it look pointless? This was the most amusing of several “we’re in a ruined city with broken, cobbled pave stones and we are toting a kid in a stroller” type moments we happened across in Pompeii. Traveling with kids seems like it would be nightmare enough to avoid whenever possible. I mean sure, trips to see the folks are a different issue and point to point travel is not the same as vacation, but I am non-plussed to think that people would travel with a child for non-essential reasons.

For the first 5-6 years, the kid certainly won’t get anything out of it — won’t understand what’s going on nor remember it. They can’t really move under their own power, and if they can it’s probably the wrong direction and you’d want to avoid that. You’re looking at mobile, and therefore more difficult, babysitting. It costs the parents extra money and would dilute their enjoyment of whatever they are doing since they wouldn’t be able to focus on it. It seems like there’s only cost and no benefit. Leave the kids with relatives or stay home. :)

For the next 5-6 years, it’d be a little better. The kids would be generally self-motile at least, and would probably remember the vacation, though if you’re going to travel places as opposed to beach or camping trips, they may have trouble to “get” what they’re seeing. Stick to natural wonders and getting to know nature type journeys.

Once you’re dealing with teens, I think things open up more. Supervision is less necessary as they are now less dependent and not so much a danger to themselves. You can go places that take more appreciation and will broaden the kid’s world. You might be able to learn and teach something that they can grow on later on, making them a better person by seeing places and things in new towns, states, or countries. Give ’em something to have as stories back at school. Show them there is a whole world out there, full of people that are kind of like us, even! Keep them open minded.

Well, it was a little more long-winded than I’d thought, and maybe slightly preachy too, but there it goes. I’m all for travel but kids make it a whole different ball game. Traveling with 2 adults can be stressful enough without adding extra complications. 😉

And We’re Back Home Again

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

…for 2 weeks or so that is, until we uproot again for a time depending on the next job. As you may recall, we did Paris, Rome, and Sorrento in Italy. I haven’t processed any of the pictures yet, but I expect to be done within 2 weeks or so. Ha!

The quick summary:

Paris – We really liked it here. Broad, shaded avenues with lots of stuff to see and a great transportation network, though we did miss out on a day trip to Reims due to a train union strike, though the metro always ran and our overnight train to Rome a day later wasn’t affected.

Rome – Really nice too, but they have a littering and trash collection problem. You see a larger variety of types and buildings from different eras, clustered together more and wrapped up in each other. Most everything is closer together so the less effective public transport net (still certainly good enough for our needs) wasn’t any problem.

Sorrento – Nice, small, and relaxed with amazing views from the cliffs over the sea. We had a couple of days with alternating sun and windy rain with dark clouds, so this wasn’t all it could have been. We visited Pompeii as a side trip from here but it was just so so. We missed out on the island of Capri just off the coast due to weather issues.

Now…to unpack, get everything sorted again, and re-pack for the US!

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