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Raising a Traveler

Earlier this month was spent enjoying Florida and the Bahamas with my parents, who recently moved to the Ocala area.

I realized while we were there that this was Jace's third trip to see the ocean. Once at Carolina Beach in North Carolina and twice to Florida to different beaches, and this trip even included the Bahamas, which means at age 4, my child has already been out of the country.

I was fortunate growing up, my parents took us on vacations. By the time I was in high school I'd explored a lot of the Caribbean, including having gone through the Panama Canal. So by the time we learned about the building of it in my 7th grade history class, I was able to connect the history with a physical memory of going through the canal. We toured the Mayan Ruins, we learned their history and facts that were never included in my textbook at school.

That's what I want for Jace. He's not always going to have designer clothes (or new ones, I'm a big fan of secondhand and thrift shopping). He's not going to live a silver spoon life because being born middle class means he'll be growing up middle class. But what I want for him, more than anything, is the opportunity to learn that traveling gives. I want him to know things that can be learned firsthand. I want him to know what the ocean looks like from swimming in it and snorkeling. I want him to see the differences in culture and customs by experiencing them.

Traveling helped me see what fascinated me and what brought joy to me. Seeing the movie Flipper (which I watched repeatedly) was nothing compared to the experience of being in the ocean with bottle nosed dolphins. And for Jace, watching the Paw Patrol have a water rescue paled in comparison to seeing the blue water of Nassau, and burying everyone in the sand. He was so fascinated watching the birds hunt for crabs, and we caught little mussels and watched them open their shells and dig themselves into the sand beneath the waves.

And as he gets older, I can't wait to hear where my little explorer wants to go and where we can travel to.

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