Three Reasons We Choose to Make Vacation a Priority

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Cascais, Portugal

San Francisco, California

Sintra, Portugal

Paris, France

Rome, Italy

Our love story began the very weekend I met Herm for the first time. It wasn't love at first sight, but I remember in the midst of conversation, as we sat near one another at the wedding reception of a mutual friend, a thought popped in my head, seemingly out of no where.

He is the man I am going to marry. 

I had already decided, after being in several relationships that didn't work out, that I wouldn't be romantically involved with anyone again until I was emotionally mature enough to handle it -- say twenty-five perhaps. 

The thought caught me off guard. Herm seemed nice enough, and he did have blue-grey eyes that made it pretty hard to focus on anything else. But I was nineteen, and twenty-five wasn't exactly just around the bend.

We had a lot of things in common, a love to travel being one of them. We compared notes about countries we visited and placed we hoped to one day see. He told me that Venice, Italy, was a dream destination for him. I mentioned I want to go back to Dubai, UAE, again, because with how amazing the airport itself was, I know the city has to be even more showy. Highest on my bucket list, though, would be Istanbul, Turkey. 

A few short months after that conversation we began a relationship, and thirteen months after meeting, we were married. 

I still remember so vividly on my wedding day someone telling me that now I'd have to settle down. I was a married woman after all, and my days of regularly roaming the world would come to an end. Enjoy the honeymoon! It might be the last trip in quite a while.

What that person forgot to consider was that I was marrying a man who loved traveling as much, if not more, than I do. Our days of traveling alone were over, our chance to adventure together was just beginning.


In the five and a half years since our wedding, we've taken quite a few trips together, some fairly local, others across the country and half way around the world. 

Often friends and acquaintances ask about our trips. Not nearly everyone understands why we would prioritize vacationing, since it is quite costly.  And even more people seem aghast at the thought of traveling across the world with young kids. Wouldn't it make more sense to wait until they are old enough to remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip? Wouldn't it make traveling easier?

I guess the answer to both of those questions could be yes, depending on how you look at it.

I will admit, because of Herm's business and the amount of supplies and inventory purchased, we are able to quickly accumulate airline miles and hotel stays we earn from our credit card points. Those points toward airline tickets and hotel rooms have played a huge part in us being able to afford the luxury of taking our family on many vacations. But I know that even without those points we would still find a way to travel, to getaway and spend time together as a family. Even on a much smaller scale, that time together, doing something we love as a family, is essential.


So, to answer that question I've been asked quite often... We Choose to Make Vacation a Priority Because:

1. Making Memories Together Helps Create a Strong Bond
One of the things I have noticed about families that seem to have a close bond is that they've created memories together. That doesn't happen by accident. Life can so easily get in the way, each of us falling into our normal rhythms and routines, that we forget to be intentional about building relationships with the ones we love most. It doesn't have to happen through vacationing, but since traveling is something Herm and I absolutely love, and something our kids are quickly becoming fond of as well, it's where we have decided to be especially intentional about creating memories. 

2. It Broadens Your World View
In addition to creating memories and valuing time spent together as a family, I also believe that traveling (especially when visiting other countries and cultures) creates a broader world view. I want my children to be immersed in worlds much different than their own. I want them to appreciate the many ways people live across the globe. I want them to see the value and beauty in diversity and be able to celebrate that. I want them pushed outside of their comfort zones, immersed in cultures where it seems nearly impossible to communicate because of a lack of common language and have to figure it out. I want them to know what it feels like to be an "outsider". For me personally, living aboard and traveling to many countries where it was obvious that I was a foreigner, has taught me how to be more sensitive to those around me in my own community who might also feel like an outsider.

3. This World is a Masterpiece Waiting to be Explored
And finally (although, I probably could go on and on) this world is an absolutely amazing and breath-taking masterpiece created by the Master Artist. That, in and of itself, is reason enough to buy a ticket somewhere new and do a bit of exploring. Traveling has a way of making me realize how great and amazing yet small and connected this world and its people are.

I love visiting new places, meeting new people, and seeing how history can come alive, all from roaming the globe. As I wander, this world never loses its wonder. Traveling with kids, experiencing it from their perspective, has only made that feeling greater.

I feel it's worth the investment now to travel as a family, even when our kids might only remember the trips from photos. For us, we know it won't be a once-in-a-lifetime trip because we do plan to keep on exploring. It's a lot of extra work, but it's worth it. I promise. If you don't have the means to travel half way around the world, start where you can. Explore your neighborhood, your state, your country.

Creating memories and being intentional to build close relationships now, when my kids are young, is my way of sowing into what I want our relationships to look like when they leave home. Traveling together, I hope, will only increase that bond.

Do you vacation as a family? I'd love to hear your thoughts!




Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

Recently, while visiting my sister and her husband in their Lancaster City home, I was handed this book and told to borrow it. It took me almost an entire week before I cracked the spine and began to read, but once I started it was only a matter of days before I had finished the last paragraph and told my cousin, who was over for the evening, that she too, needed to borrow it.

After unexpectedly losing her husband, author, Sheryl Sandberg, was fearful that she and her children would never be able to find true joy again, but instead live with constant trauma and grief.  Sheryl's close community of family and friends surrounded her with support, and with time she did begin to experience joy again, along with a new and deeper appreciation for life. In the book, Sheryl shares journal entries which describe the intense grief and isolation she felt after her husband's death. But the book goes beyond Sheryl's loss to share a broad range of traumatic experiences --job losses, death of loved ones, sexual assault, abuse, illness, violence, war-- and the stories of how people have overcome, persevered, and rediscovered joy.

The book brought me to tears a time or two, as what Sheryl shared about walking through grief felt all too familiar and fresh. But it was excellent, and I highly, highly recommend that everyone read it, whether or not they've lost loved ones or have dealt with personal trauma of any kind. If for nothing else, read it to know better how to respond to others who are currently facing adversity.


The scalp massage brush I recently purchased (here is a similar one). Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful thing. It's weird in the sense that anything and everything can be a symptom of it. Almost immediately after finding out I was pregnant, my skin suddenly became extremely dry and breakouts popped up, scattering rampantly, as if my face was a canvas for a game of connect the dots. Along with the dry face, my scalp was itchy, my hair constantly carrying its own version of freshly fallen snow. I tried oiling my scalp and rinsing with vinegar. Neither option worked. So one evening I stopped at Sally Beauty and picked up a scalp brush. Within two days the dry, itching scalp was no longer a problem. My hair feels healthy and clean again... Now if only I could find a remedy that easy for my face!

I am also absolutely loving this necklace, which my sister gifted me for my birthday. It's from the brand Dear Mushka. Each piece of their jewelry is reflective of scripture and comes paired with a corresponding verse card. My necklace corresponds with Colossians 4:6, which states "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."


About our upcoming winter vacation. We are doing a repeat of our vacation last year. For those who might not know, every year in February we head NORTH for a few days. Yeah, everyone looks at us with that confused expression you are wearing right now. The whole point is to slow down and spend time together as a family before the spring rush with Herm's work happens. Being snowed in somewhere is a great way to force or encourage rest. We take a stack of books and movies along, as well as all our snow gear, because what is winter without sledding? 

The first year we did this we went to Lake Placid, but every year since we've ventured into Canada, first to Montreal, Quebec, and the next year to Quebec City, Quebec.

We loved Quebec City so much, we decided to go back. We are renting the same AirBnB again. In less than two weeks we will be heading north. I cannot wait!

Thinking About

How impractical it is to have carpet in vehicles and how ironic it is when people talk about the dangers of social media in an Instagram or Facebook post.

Listening To

So many things! Recently Herm did some renovations to his office. After the work was done, the whole room was coated in an extremely fine, but thick layer of dust. I spent several hours one Saturday cleaning it... It was the sort of dust that resettles once you think the place is clean, immediately looking like is needs cleaned again. Anyhow, eventually it looked presentable. That evening, aching and tired, I walk through the kitchen for a glass of water, and that's when I notice his gift setting on the counter -- an Altec Lansing bluetooth speaker, along with a note of appreciation for the time I spent cleaning. I married a man who notices and appreciates the little things. And needless to day, I am loving that speaker. It's podcasts and music and music and podcasts daily around here.


My children become the best of friends. A few weeks ago we dealt with an entire week of sickness. It was miserable. As soon as Carson was over the flu, Brooklyn got it, but hers came with a vengeance that left us all feeling a bit miserable and weary. We survived, and a I daresay, we are better for it, because the very next week Carson and Brooklyn started playing well together. No longer do I feel like I need to be a constant referee, intervening and making calls. Every day they surprise me, playing together for hours on end. I think maybe it took a week of sickness for Carson to realize how much he really does like spending time with his little sis. It feels like we are starting a new, fresh chapter, and I think it's absolutely wonderful.  

Now it's your turn to share if you'd like. I'd love to hear what you are currently reading, loving, dreaming, thinking about, listening to, or watching. Feel free to drop a comment!