How to visit 5 capitals in one year: travel tips for families
Last year was a good year. It was the year when we travelled to 5 capitals and were in 8 countries. And it didn’t happen because we are rich and have unlimited budget. Neither, because we are unrealistic hippies wandering happily through the world, with no time limit, and dreaming about world peace. So, if you fall into those two categories, don’t read this article. Because this article is for people who would like to travel more but somehow it doesn’t happen. So here we are with travel tips for families
Travel tips for families
- Stop dreaming
Say: what? You heard me, STOP DREAMING.
Do you know, how many people whom I know dream about going to Cuba? A lot. But none of them did. Why? Because, they DREAM about going to Cuba. I didn’t dream about going to Cuba, it was a goal. When I was pregnant, I made a list: countries we are going to visit till Zosia is 2-years old (short reminder: kids till the age of 2 fly almost for free; Zosia’s ticket to Cuba costed around 10€). I had no idea, how hard it is going to be a mother but I still made a list of goals. I am sure, that if that time I had been just dreaming about Cuba, we would have never gone there. Dreaming doesn’t have an expiration date, it doesn’t have any deadlines. You are sitting in your comfort zone, listening to Cuban music, closing your eyes and dreaming about flamingos, the sun, Caribbean Sea, and Cuban people dancing. WAKE UP! It’s never going to happen. NEVER! Unless you open your eyes, buy a tour guide, check the weather during the year, look for the offers for flights, you’ll never manage to have all of that. Dreaming makes us comfortable, it’s like being hungry and eating small snacks instead of a real meal. Unless you are hungry enough, you will never be dedicated enough. So instead of wasting your energy on imagination, act! Make small steps, but keep moving. We didn’t book tickets immediately after our daughter was born, instead Dario bought me a tour guide through Cuba when Zosia was 1 month old, which I read any moment I had, during breast feeding or during rocking her to sleep, really any moment. We didn’t dream, we didn’t stand still, we were moving with small steps into the direction: CUBA.
- Be scared
People who know about our travels often say that we are courageous. To be honest, it hasn’t been a single trip when I was not scared and was not imagining all the things that could go wrong and can happen. I believe that only stupid and ignorant people are never scared. If you are not scared, you lose focus. Of course you can’t be paralyzed by your fear but without it, you base your travels on luck and that is like playing Russian roulette. Fear gives you an opportunity to prepare for the worse. Before going anywhere, we sit down and imagine all that could happen to us on the way: diseases, accidents, or robberies and try to make a plan in case sth like this happens. Of course our preparations will never prevent the real danger but it can make it much easier to cope with problems. So, if you would like to travel but you are scared, that’s great! This is the first step to all our trips. Write down your fears, look for solutions, and then you are ready to go!
- Life is not about being happy
If I meet people whom I haven’t seen for a long time, they usually ask me: “are you happy?” (Meaning: if I have achieved a point in my earthly life when I have enough to put me in the eternal state of happiness) Well, I usually answer: “No, I’m not happy, I choose to be happy.” The truth is, one can’t really be in a state of eternal happiness. During our travels, there have been many situations when you only could choose to be happy. If you get sick in Cuba, go outside and look at the sea. Choose to be happy, despite all the pain. The pain you will never remember but a sunset in the Bay of Pigs definitely. If you land in an apartment without windows and with mice in Old Tbilisi, sit on the terrace, take a sip of Georgian wine, and look around you. Can’t you really smile seeing all those buildings from 18th century? Or are mice more important here? And what if it starts to rain and they turn of the water and electricity? Do we have to be miserable or can we take off our shoes and run to the street to jump in puddles? So, are we happy when during travels we get sick, live with mice and have no electricity? We are not crazy, we are not happy but we choose to be happy. Life is too short to look for perfection…
- Change your mind
Determination seems to be one of the most priced features. Be persistent and you will get what you want. The truth is, if we would always stick to what we planned before, we wouldn’t have gotten too far during our travels. Changing your mind can get you further. Most of adventures and memorable moments during our trips happened because we did something totally opposite to what we planned. In Argentina we changed our bookings in Buenos Aires to spend more time with our found family drinking mate. In Armenia we stayed longer in the region devastated by the earthquake of 1985 and made friends with those who survived. In Cuba we canceled all our one-day trips from Trinidad to spend time with our new Cuban family. So change your mind, not everything can be planed.
- Be open
Being open is one of the most important features you need while travelling. Do you think we sat on December 31 and planed: next year – 5 capitals, 3 continents. No! We didn’t even dream about it. But whenever life gave us lemons we tried to make lemonade. But how did those 5 capitals happen?
Well, first of all, whenever you are flying far, use stops in between to visit other cities. You are flying to South America, make a 1 – 2 days stop in Madrid; you have a flight to Tbilisi with a stop in Kiev, book one night there, it’s a marvelous city.
Conferences and business trips are as well a good opportunity for a family / couple trip. You can always find some time between work obligations to spend memorable moments with the ones coming with you. Take 1-2 additional days free to see the place and we guarantee you, it can turn into a nice trip.
If you travelling far with a car, plan stops on the way in interesting places. City breaks don’t have to be planned as separate trips, they can happen on the way to your destination. You save time, you save money, plus your trip can become something really special.
So for the New Year we wish you all to stop dreaming, to be scared, to choose happiness, to change your mind, and to be open. We truly hope, this will lead to amazing places! Don’t forget to tell us all about it, when you get back home.
With lots of love
Zosia, Justyna & Dario
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