When I was a child we never really did any big extravagant family holidays. Well actually, that’s not entirely true. There was a trip to Tasmania and a trip to New Zealand, but compared to the experiences my own children have already had in their short lives, it does not seem like much by comparison. Here’s why I’m grateful to travel with my family…
Reflecting upon it now, I realise that I was so fortunate to have had the family holiday experiences that I did. It’s not that I was ungrateful as a child, but I guess, I never really appreciated my parents’ situation and the external influences and pressures at the time. My parents were part of a generation where ‘leisure travel’ was the ultimate luxury.
Living Through Hard Times
Their own parents had lived through extremely hard times, experiencing poverty during the great depression and migrating to Australia from Italy and Poland respectively, after World War II. First and foremost, money was directed to paying off debt and then the priority was saving for a rainy day. My own parents still talk about the time when interest rates were a whopping 17.5%. Not much money left for luxuries when so much of the weekly wage was going to basic living necessities like food, shelter and electricity!
Living in Fortunate Times
I feel so fortunate that I live in a time of relative comfort. I have my parents and grandparents to thank. They have made so many sacrifices so that I can live a comfortable and carefree life. My parents have instilled in me a strong work ethic and an understanding of the importance of saving money, without wasting it on frivolous material goods.
The Turning Point
For years, my Dad had mentioned about wanting to go to Hawaii. All talk, but no action. My husband and I had just had a new baby. I kinda thought that holidays for us were going be over for a while. But to get my parents travelling, I suggested that we all do it together. I’ll take care of the planning and they could come along for the ride. So, we all packed our bags and headed off – a month in Hawaii and America! It gave my parents the nudge to do more travelling of their own and it gave me the realisation that holidays don’t have to be put on hold when you’ve got a little one!
Travelling is where my husband and I choose to spend our money. We make spending time with each other and creating wonderful memories together as a family, a priority. My own children are extremely fortunate to have done so many holidays in their short lives. I really do believe that there are so many reasons why travelling is so beneficial for them. I shall explore many of those reasons in a later post!
But for now, I reflect on why I’m grateful to travel with my family and how my parents and grandparents made it possible. For that, I am forever thankful.