Family Travel in a Big Bad World
The world is a scary place.
It’s trite to say but also, very literally, true.
And yet we make light of it all the time.
I’m as guilty as anyone. Sometimes when I’m telling people about our upcoming year long trip, I hear myself glibly letting the words roll off my own tongue: “We’re going on a round the world trip,” I say. The “a” in “around” left off almost a testament to how easy and light an adventure we think it will be.
And there is a part of me that believes that because I would never intentionally put my family in harms way, we won’t in any way be harmed.
But one doesn’t really know, do they?
When the citizens of Brisbane, Australia found water up to their roof line or the citizens of Haiti woke up in rubble (or never woke again) there was no way of predicting that that was coming.
And the tsunami taught us lessons too.
Mother Nature has a dark side and human beings an even darker one.
Now that we’re only months away from setting off the very thing that I wanted – to feel more connected to the planet – is raising fears in me that are surprising.
The bomb at the Moscow airport is closer now that the city is on our shortlist.
The floods in Australia more real now that we could literally have been there when it happened.
Turmoil in Northern Africa jumps off the newspaper page as we chat about whether or not to stop in Morocco and Egypt.
The fear comes, but so does the increased compassion.
I feel closer to the people who are living through the difficult times, more impressed by their strength and grace and in the end, when I weigh it all, it doesn’t make me not want to go, it makes me want to go even more.
And when the opening lines of a disaster story tell me that “luckily no Canadians were injured” I find myself increasingly annoyed. Does the death toll become less important because “We” are ok?
It’s not what I want my kids to grow up believing.
I am taking my children with me on a trip around the world. It will be fun and exciting and scary. We will stop in at amusement parks and orphanages. We will lie on the beach and we will worry crossing borders.
If I do my job right we will all come back better human beings than we left as.
And, even though stepping out the front door will be as scary as it will be exciting, I wouldn’t change it for anything.