The last two weeks have been the best adventure I’ve had in a long time. I’m not talking about the kind you embark on in your 20s and decide to backpack through Europe; I’m talking about the sort of adventure that creates memories for life, helps you get to know your children better, and sparks a new curiosity for life and all that it brings you.
A little over two weeks ago, I took my oldest two children, Sofia and Alex, to Spain. Being that I was born and raised in Spain and most of my family lives there, they’ve both visited my beloved country many times.
But this time, was different. This vacation with my children was like a hidden treasure, buried deep inside my busy work schedule. Just three days prior to departing I flew to New York to appear on the Today Show. It almost seemed surreal to be able to hop on another plane with my kids and visit my family in a matter of days.
The purpose of this trip was both fun and educational. It’s been nearly a year since I visited Spain last, and my 93-year-old grandfather’s health is slowly declining with each day that passes. I knew that this journey would be both a gift for us as much as for him.
I only took my oldest two kids with me on this trip because I wanted to use it as an opportunity to teach them a little of Spain’s history. At the age of 9 and 8, castles naturally enchant both Sofia and Alex; so bringing a history textbook to life with real-world examples was not a difficult thing to do.
Until last year’s first castle visit in Spain, my kids imagined that castles are merely the setting for many Disney stories; but for me, they are much more than that. Every castle in Spain has a little piece of history, the kind of stories that would write best sellers (and many have already been written) filled with battles, kings, queens, betrayals, royal armies, conquests, and much more.
Sure, in some cases, all that is left are thick 6-foot thick stone walls built to protect those who resided inside; but some of the castles we visited have been restored and tell a lot more than that.
Since my grandfather lives on the east coast in a small town near Alicante, the beach is literally down the street. And of course, beach time is always a lot of fun for my kids. It’s good to relax a little, since the next couple of days we were on the road exploring, learning, and enjoying great food!
We spent five memorable days with my grandfather. For me, it was an opportunity to spend more time with him and to let him enjoy his great-grandkids for a few days and create memories. The most painful part of this trip, as it always is, is saying goodbye, and coming to terms that each time might be the last time I see him.
I hope to share more photos and stories of our Spanish trip with you in upcoming posts.
Have you traveled with your kids and created your own memories? If so, where? What did you do?
Europe is awesome! We took our kids to France and Italy. For sure want to go back and see spain and portugal.
Awesome way to incorporate an educational part into the fun vacation!
Traveling with little one’s is a challenge but for sure worth it!
We took our kids to Greece for the first time to visit my husband’s part of the family. It was fantastic!
It is so amazing that you can just take your kids whenever you want and travel around without being restricted to school time. I am jealous!
What a great experience for your children! How exciting for them to visit a castle and also see the culture you grew up in.
It is such a blessing to be able to travel so much with your family. Even though they might not appreciate it that much when they are younger, they for sure will later!
It’s great that you took your kids to explore the history and culture in Spain. We recently took our kids on a two week trip to Spain and Portugal, and although they are little young to create lasting memories (they were only 3 and 1 1/2), we look forward to more trips in the future so we can continue to expose them to new experiences.
You are brave traveling to Spain and Portugal with little little ones! It’s not something one sees often, but keep doing it because they will get used to traveling!