Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Exploring a new beach in Maine
“Mommy,” one of the twins asked, “why do we go some place different every summer?”
            I guessed, rightly, that she was referring to her friends who go to the same place each year for vacation.  Growing up, my family did the same.  My family took only day trips.  We went to the beautiful, sandy New Jersey beach or the rugged, forested Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.  It was familiar, comfortable, and fun. We had great times, wonderful memories, but somehow I needed more. 

I couldn’t stop thinking, was this all there was?
I needed to explore and experience other regions, see what lay outside New Jersey’s borders.  
Does the Atlantic Ocean look different in another state or another country?  What’s the coast or beach like?  What about the mountains?  I was always curious about geology.  What are the Rocky Mountains like in the summertime?  Can you really see forever in Montana?  And what in the world is an aurora borealis?

What lay on the other side of the country?  What does the Pacific Ocean look like in California, in Washington state, in British Columbia, Canada?  Is the desert really painted with autumn colors?  Do the great lakes really look like oceans, vast with waves and currents?  Can islands sometimes be in lakes or rivers?  What about waterfalls and forests?  Fresh water and salt water?  Giant tides and giant trees?
I wanted experiences, not just information and pictures about these places.  I wanted adventures. 
            I need to go camping with kids—my kids, my family–to discover the answers to some of these questions together.  To help make my children become as curious about the world around them as I am.  To discover how landscapes change in different regions or what the locals do for fun.  

            I think parents are responsible for their children’s education.  What better way to educate them than to go exploring together through family camping.  Not all who wander are lost.  Some, like me, are just curious.  
            I glanced back at my daughter, her eyes bright, expectant, waiting for my answer to her question.  It had to be good, I thought to myself.
            “Well,” I began as I tried to make sense of all my thoughts.  “I think it’s important to      
experience the world firsthand whenever possible.”
            Now it was my turn to wait.  How’d I do?  Two minutes.  Three minutes.  She’s thinking.  I can see her brows crinkle.
            She finally shrugged her slender shoulders.  “Oh,” she said.  And then she went out to play with her friends. 
            And I began to breathe again.  What do you think?  How’d I do?

13 thoughts on “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”

  1. Victoria, you are my hero. I love your sense of adventure and how you not only share these experiences with your children, but with the rest of the world. I do have to join you on one of your camping trips one day.

  2. I think that it is nice to go to different places on vacation. Routine is nice, but it can get boring. My husband and I like to travel to new places each time we vacation. I feel I learn more, too.

  3. Thank you so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog and leaving a note. It is greatly appreciated, and I agree with you. I truly believe that travel teaches anyone who is looking to learn new things about another culture, geographic area, or interesting phenomena. Thanks again for visiting. I'll check out Top 30 Riddles.

  4. I agree with you, Michelle. I'm very curious and love learning. And when you can combine that curiosity with visiting exciting and beautiful new places, it seems like a win win situation. Thank you so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. It is appreciated.

  5. Thank you so much, Loretta, for your kind words. And welcome to my Camping with Kids blog. Life is what we make of it. Your life is unique and interesting too, as I enjoy reading your blog as well. Thanks again for stopping by Camping with Kids and leaving a note. It is greatly appreciated.

  6. Thank you so much for this, Bill. I love variety; however, I do go to the same beach and walk to the same places sometimes to see how things have changed since I was last at the shore. Sorry for any difficulty my Camping with Kids may be causing for your google account. Thanks for visiting and leaving a note. It's always a pleasure seeing you at Camping with Kids.


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