Journeys of a Young Traveler

Over the past month, I have enjoyed scrolling through photos of our journeys. This brings me back to the original idea of Misplaced Map Case, comprehending the memories of travel. One thought comes to mind is our conscious decision to provide our daughter with experiences more than things. Nothing so original about that idea, but here are a few photos that brought back fond memories of the results. Most of our photos include her but I only post a few of those here.

Monaco 1997

At 6 months old, we went to Malaysia to visit pillion rider’s family. After that we continued on to Europe for three weeks visiting London, Paris, San Sebastian and Valencia Spain, Lisbon, Montpelier France, and Monaco. Today, her memory of these experiences has completely faded. Here’s one showing the November weather a little milder on the Mediterranean.

Monte Carlo_Nov 21-22, 1997

Iceland 2000 / 2002

With a 3 month contract in Germany that lasted almost five years, we crisscrossed the Atlantic a number of times. Twice we stopped in Iceland, once in winter, once in Summer.

Aruba 2006

In the summer of 2006, we needed a break and booked a trip to Aruba. On very short notice, it was easier to choose an all inclusive resort. On arriving with just two small bags, the receptionist queried, “Is that all you have?” 

“We just need swimming suits, right?” She agreed. We drove around the island one day. Another we rented bicycles. We splurged on a submarine ride for a unique experience.

Ecuador 2007

In 2007, I had a few extra days of vacation and decided crossing the equator would be a good experience. We traveled to Ecuador so we could do it on foot. We stayed in Quito and then at an Eco Resort in the mountains.

Wales 2009

We traveled around the world with her several times when she was quite young. In 2009, we decided to book Round-The-World Tickets to give her memories to remember. We started in Minneapolis and visited: London, Zurich, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Tokyo, Honolulu, and finally back to Minneapolis. Besides side trips to Oxford, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, and the Southern Jurassic Coast, we headed up to Cardiff Wales.

Puerto Rico 2010

In 2010 we made a research trip investigating whether to relocate to Puerto Rico. I would be able to work remotely, but still be in the United States. Along with this, we checked out a couple of high schools. High priority on our list was the access to fresh roasted coffee. Here are beans collected at a co-operative ready for processing.

Some observations about traveling with children

  • We kept the focus on experiences and sights interesting for her age.
  • Priority was on activities more than seeing. Parks and playgrounds took priority over museums and buildings.
  • The pillion rider always had creative toys, books, and art materials whenever we went out. One flight of 13 hours (Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt), she brought PlayDoh type clay. At three years old, she played with this until she slept, then played some more.
  • Adjusting schedules for meals and activities according to her internal clock.
  • We let her help out with packing, pulling luggage, carrying groceries. We let her choose a few things to pack in her bag, a few things to buy when we were out

A Baltic Summer 2013

No, we are not in Northern Europe.  We are celebrating September Spring in Auckland, New Zealand. This post is about our trip through the Baltic Countries in July and August 2013. I posted a couple of ideas (idea 1 and idea 2), but I never really documented our journey. This refreshes my memories and helps a little bit to pinpoint what we saw when and where.  With so many travel experiences, it gets more complicated to keep them separate.

That summer of 2013, our daughter participated in a month long summer institute at Jesus College in Cambridge University in England. During her stay there, Wife and I went exploring in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, along with a quick jaunt over to Finland. Here is another assortment of photos. In sorting through the files, I noticed we took many more selfies back then, partly as we were posting on Facebook. Second, it seems very slowly over six years, my photo taking has actually improved a little bit.

For the record, here is the path we followed:

Minneapolis to London Heathrow on Iceland Air with transit in Iceland.

Heathrow to Cambridge with reserved taxi (Almost same price as three long distance bus tickets and it took us with our luggage straight from the airport to the door of the hotel).

Cambridge to Paris by train, catching the Eurostar through the channel tunnel from St. Pancras station.

Paris to Riga, Latvia on Baltic Air.

Buses from Riga to Vilnius, Lithuania to Daugavpils, Latvia to Riga to Parnu, Estonia to Tallinn, Estonia, then back to Riga.

Side trips by bus included: Riga to Sigulda, Vilnius to Trakai, Tallinn to Tartu.

From Tallinn we took a ferry round trip to Helsinki.

From Riga, we flew Baltic Air back to Paris to rendevous with Daughter after her program and fly back to Minneapolis via Iceland Air.