It’s summer. Time to hit the beach or head to the mountains. Time to load up the car or make airline reservations.
Time to hit the road!
Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking, Hit the road? That means sharing space in the car. Cookie crumbs. Fighting. Or worse! Trust me, I know. We’ve made countless road trips over the years, and we’ve pretty much seen it all. (Thanking God right now for the much-needed rest stop in Tennessee that popped up just as one daughter was saying, “Mom, I think I’m going to throw up!”)
As a family, we’ve made travel a priority. Some of our trips have been big (like the time we visited missionary friends in San Paulo, Brazil) and others have been your typical American road trip (Yellowstone, anyone?).
We’ve got our favorite family vacation spot where we’ve made lasting memories because we’ve been going there so long, but we also love to explore new places together. In some way, each of our trips has been life-changing and family-bonding.
Some friends think we’re crazy, packing up the kids for a quick weekend away or making plans for a trip that won’t happen for a couple of years. But that doesn’t matter to us—we love to travel and, hopefully, we’ve raised kids who love to travel, too.
You’re probably wondering why travel is so important to us, especially in this era of the “staycation.” Yes, travel is expensive. Yes, travel is a hassle sometimes. And yes, yes, YES, taking kids on a trip is really hard.
Here are three reasons why I would encourage you to grab the keys (or make that plane reservation) and hit the road.
Travel teaches kids about the vast creativity of God. Remember that old Sunday School song “Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty”? When kids see for themselves the incredible height of a mountain or when they stand in a crashing ocean wave, they get a new sense of God’s power—the same power that created the world. When they see the variety of plants, animals, and people, our kids see that God is so creative and that His creation is beautiful. It’s amazing!
Travel can teach kids that God is actively involved in our lives, wherever we go. When our family traveled to Brazil, I got really, really sick. So sick, in fact, that I had to spend a few days in bed (and even had to see my doctor when I got home). My girls were worried about me, but they also could see that God had not left me when I left home—He was still right beside me, helping me to gain the strength I needed each day.
In the same way, travel teaches us that God is also actively involved in the lives of people around the world. If you know any missionaries, plan a trip to visit them. Not only will your visit encourage the missionaries, it will show your kids how God is at work in the people of that country.
Travel can teach kids about God’s grace. One of the joys of travel, for me, is meeting people along the way. When I take time to talk to people, I remember that each person is precious to God and that each person is in need of a savior. People may live much differently from us, but they are never out of God’s reach.
And when we meet another Christian or worship in another country, we are so encouraged as God reminds us that we will spend eternity with these brothers and sisters in Christ. What a gift to meet them ahead of time!
Do you travel with your kids? Where is your favorite place to go as a family?
(P.S. Our favorite family vacation spot is Kiawah Island, SC.)