Tag Archives: You

How Do You Travel?

June 19, 2014


There are a lot of ways to travel. Everyone has their own idea of what “good” travel means.

I have friends who will only vacation within the 50 states and others who prefer to travel internationally. I have friends who love cruises and all-inclusive resorts and others who hate them. I have one beautiful friend who says things like, “I will never, ever go to Disney World. It is so commercial and gross.” And I have another beautiful friend who would have gotten married there given the choice.

Some dream of backpacking though Europe. Others fantasize about visiting the Grand Canyon.

Many of us dream of both.

I know a lot of you love camping. Do you know what I love? Not camping.

I do believe there is a difference between travel versus vacation. The purpose of traveling being to explore and learn, the purpose of vacation to relax and pass the margarita.

I like to categorize “leaving the house for an extended period of time” into four categories:

1) Travel
2) Travel With Kids (or “Parenting In A Different Location”)
3) Vacation
4) Vacation With Kids (see #2)

Some of our ideas about traveling is influenced by our age. A new study shows millennials are more inclined to travel abroad, foregoing standard vacations in favor of extended, meaningful experiences.

Which is all lovely and nice as long as we’re not being asshats about it.

I remember a few years ago someone was talking about wanting to go to Italy and I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach when you really want to contribute to the conversation but you don’t want to be the white-girl humblebragging about her white-girl education trips to Europe. So I kept my mouth shut. The truth is that no one cares if you’ve been to Italy unless they’ve also been to Italy or are planning to go to Italy and are wondering if they should exchange any money. I am telling you this out of love, because I’ve been there. I’ve taken incredible trips and seen incredible things and had to face the devastating reality that no one gives a shit.

I know it hurts. Console yourself with the fact that you have been to Italy.

Austin and I have some different ideas of what it means to go away, which can make things a bit laborious. This summer our only plans to go away include a beach trip to Delaware with our kids and my parents because vacation (or “parenting in a different location”) is really only a vacation if you have help. And that is the truth.

How do you like to travel?


What About Video Games?

March 6, 2014

Super Mario Brothers

A few weeks ago Austin looked over at me and asked if we’re going to let our kids have video games. The conversation followed its normal pattern when it comes to parenting decisions:

Me: What?
Austin: I said are we going to let our kids play video games?
Me: I don’t know. What do you think?
Austin: I don’t know. Probably?
Me: I was thinking probably not.
Austin: Okay so probably not?
Me: Well, maybe…

Of course this isn’t a problem now. Our toddler has no idea what Nintendo is and our infant has no idea what her hand is, but it won’t be long.

Here’s the thing about video games, they can be the worst! They are added screentime, added violence, added non-imaginative, non-active, non-real life play.

They can also be really, really fun.

My sister and I weren’t allowed to have video games until all of a sudden we were. It was a long battle, and then one week before Christmas in the late 90s, my sister and I found the pile of gifts in my parents’ bedroom closet and in it was a brand new Nintendo 64. We danced up and down the hallway for a half hour.

Admittedly our experience with video games was pretty mild. We were two girly girls playing girly girl games like Mario and Yoshi story and Chameleon Twist. We weren’t addicted or obsessed with it. There were no war or machine gun games. It was just another fun thing to do.

We played well together.

Having a son changes things.  The simulated graphic violence in many games terrifies me. I hear you say that they are okay and it’s not real life and that research shows it doesn’t make kids more violent, and that’s great! I am not parenting your children. I’m just worried about mine.

The tiger mom in me wants to draw a hard line. Throw up my hands and say absolutely not and go practice your violin insteadBut the truth is I know it’s not all bad. I know it can be fun and harmless and family friendly. I know you can monitor the content and how long they play and still have fun, competent, imaginative children. I know we’ll probably have some sort of not-murdery game eventually.

I also know this is a sensitive topic. Many of our spouses or children or nieces and nephews play Mortal Kombat and are fine.

I know we want to protect those we love.

This is a safe space. What are your thoughts on video games?


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