At least once a day someone says to me "enjoy them it it goes by so fast." Generally this person is older than myself...with grown or nearly grown children. But I would say a good 75% of the time this person is a "empty nester." I have generally nodded and with a smiled said.."yes, I know and I will."
But the whole concept of time hit me even harder after seeing the movie "The Bucket List." And no, not because I am afraid of my own mortality, but more because of the time factor. There are so many things I want to do and see with my children before they go start lives of their own. There are grand natural places that I want to watch their eyes when they see them for the first time. There are amazing historical stories I want to see how their little ears and hearts absorb and the impact it has on their little persona's. And to be fair there are just some flat out fun stuff I want to do with them.
So recently my husband and I sat down and made out our "The Empty Nest List" and here it is in no particular order:
1) Cross Country Road Trip with camper, including several National Park stops
2) Tour and Multisport through Australia & New Zealand
3) Learn & go scuba diving together
4) Do a stay on a Dude Ranch
5) Learn & surf Hawaii
6) Raft the Grand Canyon
7) Tour America's Founding Roots - Ellis Island, Washington DC, Boston
8) Attend an Olympics in a foreign country
9) Ski Europe
10) Tour and Multisport through Alaska
We are so serious about this when recently meeting with our financial advisor we told him to budget in a major family vacation every other year into our analysis. We have given ourselves the lee-way to adjust our list and locations as finances and new thoughts dictate, but it is a start. And we have placed it in a location that is viewable every day in our house and next step is to start putting some approximate years on the activities to even further ensure this is not simply an exercise, but an actionable list with delivery dates.
So today you are going to hear that phrase from me..."Enjoy them it goes by so fast." And don't just let the days pass by in a pace of normalcy lost in loads of laundry, doing dishes, carpool duties, etc.. So start your list today. There is a world beyond the home and school walls where lessons can be learned by visiting and interacting with the location, environment, culture, people, etc. that can shape and prepare them for the people they will be when it is their turn to be an Adult "On The Go."
Please take a moment and leave a comment with a location or activity you would definitely put on your Empty Nest List.
And if you would like to see a family who has taken this concept to an incredible level visit: http://www.soultravelers3.com/
I've thought about this before, but since Alli is only 6 months old and kid #2 is only a thought, we're a little early to start our list.
But I definitely want to hit all the major National Parks with the kids, maybe not one big RV tour like your list, but possibly multiple trips.
The other is Europe, but I think I would prefer waiting til high-school age so they appreciate the history, architecture, and culture a little more.
Visiting several National Parks where via RV with friends who also have kids and an RV---like you. Age of son: 5-7
Visit the Galapogos Islands (sp)and see the epic sea turtle migration: Age of son: 7-10
Europe and a call and serene pace, with hiking and biking tours: Age of son: pre-teen
Many others previously mentioned: D.C./Philie etc.
Thank you for making this actionable! We shall craft a list and post it as well.
What a great idea. This must really help bring focus to your daily spending and how you spend your time
I would recommend a Glacier/Yellowstone/Tetons trip. Reasonably close to each other, definitely 3 different sites. If you're interested, I have pictures and can make other recommendations.
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