Want to hear something that’s going to sound really crazy? In the past five years, my husband has travelled to Europe twice.
“That’s not so weird!”, you argue. But wait- here’s the kicker:
He wasn’t travelling for business, but for leisure, and each of those times I happily stayed home with our young children. In fact, I’m the one who came up with the idea and encouraged him to go.
Give me a minute to explain. My husband rocks the casbah. Truly. He’s an amazing guy. He’s selfless, a hard worker, and a great husband and father. He works his tail off year round, but especially in the summer when 12 hour days are the norm from “break up” until “freeze up”.
We’ve always wanted to travel internationally. The desire has been there ever since my brother and sister-in-law spent a year travelling the world.
Then my parents retired and began trips abroad.
Then my remaining siblings got a taste for international experiences.
I’d been to Canada. Does that count?
We just assumed that we’d delay world travel until we’d paid off our mortgage (can’t wait — yay!!) and our children were high-schoolers. That assumption started to change when we learned that all kinds of crazy people are taking their young families on extended travels.
Then, a few years ago, my husband had the opportunity to accompany a college buddy along on a trip to Germany. I said, “do it!” He came back with some great photos, even better stories, and an appreciation of world culture that only travelling can bring.
I’ll admit it, that first trip was a bit tough for me. I stayed home to take care of our 6, 4, and 2-year-old boys, while a couple of months pregnant with our fourth son.
This last year, with those children aged 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1.5, I encouraged him that it would be a good time to go over again. By God’s grace, and with careful stewardship, or bank account was bursting at the seams. I convinced him that it needed a little release and that he was due for gaining some more travel knowledge to bring back to the family 😉
This trip was amazing, as he stayed with really good friends abroad and enjoyed the feeling of having a home to return to each night. He gained invaluable experience and deepened some really good friendships. Travel affords invaluable experience and deepens friendships. Click To Tweet
Why do I encourage my husband to leave us for international travel??
- Personal enrichment — Travel just plain changes people …usually for the better. Who wouldn’t want that experience for their spouse? Note: My hubby is already a stellar guy, not trying to make him better or anything 🙂
- A Greater understanding of world cultures — This information transfers into our homeschool as we study the places Dad’s been. Their hearts and minds are opened to new cultures and people.
- Storing up knowledge for eventual family travel — This is the capstone of our little experiment. All of this passport-wielding, currency exchanging, train riding and jet-lagging serves the purpose of building up knowledge so that our family can more easily travel together when the time (and the bank account) are right.
I can’t wait for him to get to go again. I’m also eagerly planning for when we can venture out together. I’m toying with the idea of a home exchange (anyone have any experience with that??)
We’re going to keep up this weird way of travelling for now. I can’t recommend it enough for others in our position. It seems strange, but works for our family!
What are your tips for smarter/cheaper travel?
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This article was shared at Frugal Friday & these fine websites.