Savannah's map

Savannah's map

Savannah's map

The other day, I printed out a blank map of the United States, and colored in all the states Savannah has been to so far in her short life. Ever since then, I have been obsessed about adding states to Savannah’s map! We have been thinking of our friends and family who live all over the country, thinking, “Oh we should visit them!”

This has come about after much thought about our goals as a family. Where we’re headed in life, what we’re looking towards, what we’re saving up for. Right now, our goals are focused around raising our family. What do I want to expose them to? What’s important to us?

We both want to create a love in our kids for traveling and learning. We want them to know how to appreciate other places and cultures. They don’t have to want to move there, but to be able to see the good in other places. We want them to understand that people who look different than them aren’t scary, and that being different isn’t bad. We thought the best way to do this is to not be afraid to travel. We’d love to visit our friends who live internationally. That’s the best way to see a foreign country!

Becky is my inspiration in this. She and her family go everywhere! I asked her how they get their kids to be such good travelers. She said, “We just go.”

So we’ve tried to do that with Savannah. I’m grateful that so far she’s been adaptable. I know not every baby would let you “just go”. I’m trying not to let her stop me from doing things, seeing things.

Financially it’s hard to “just go”. But, it’s all about priorities. I realized that when all is said and done, I would rather have the experiences instead of having things done on our house. We adjust our budget to be able to afford traveling, and realize that other goals might not get done as fast. Of course, we don’t want to be irresponsible. But at the same time, if we wait until all the problems in the house are fixed, all the debt and mortgage are paid off, then we will never go. It’s all about balance. I wish we had done this earlier.

So yeah. All this to say, we are trying to seize the day. In April, we are headed on our first international trip in 7 years. The three of us will be going down to the Dominican Republic to visit my college roommate and good friend, Tree! We are so excited to be visiting that country for the first time, and seeing her. Her younger son, Timmy, is two days younger than Savannah and they’ll both be 7 months old. We hope to see the beach and do some hiking and visit all around her favorite spots.

In the meantime, I’m working on logistics. My passport is still in my maiden name, so I need to get it changed. Savannah needs a passport. Yesterday we took the pictures for her – do you know how hard it is to get a 5 month old to look straight ahead and be still? She kept getting distracted by other people, sticking her hand in her mouth, etc. It was funny. :-) We’ll submit it next Monday, since Paul and I both have to be there to do that. We also need to figure out packing list – what can be bought on the island? what do we need to bring with us? I am sooo excited though!

We’re flying standby – my brother-in-law who is a flight attendant is hooking us up with tickets. We’ll be flying through JFK airport. There is one flight a day, so if we miss it then we’ll have to wait and go the next day. At first I was like, “I hope that doesn’t happen! I can’t imagine having to wait at the airport with a baby!” Then I realized – I’ve never been to New York City. If we miss the flight, then we’ll make the most of it – leave the airport, see what we can see, color in another state on our map. Seize the day!

8 thoughts on “Savannah's map

  1. I possibly cannot agree with your post more. God willing, Neil will be doing his first international trip in July. To India. We want to raise him with the same ideals as you mentioned – to have a perspective more global, to know that there is a world bigger than his backyard. By God’s grace, he is a great traveler too.

  2. Yay!!!!!! So excited you’re coming!!
    And I like the map idea. Unfortunately, Jer and Timmy haven’t been to all that many different places- just here and the U.S. (Jer- Illinois and Ind., Timmy- Illinois, Kansas).

  3. So fun! Savannah has been to more places than Johnny already! I saw something in a baby gadget catalog that looked like a really good idea. It’s a type of harness restraint thing that helps secure your baby to you while you’re on an airplane. I think it can also be used sort of as a high chair for an older baby? I dunno.

    Anyway, in case you weren’t going to get her her own seat on the plane, that might be an option. I can look into it more if you want.

  4. Stephanie: I love that idea!! I might try to implement that myself. It will also help her have a more hands-on grasp of where she is visiting.

    Kacie: I’ve seen that too. Maybe it’s more useful when the baby is older, but compared to our last trip I think it would be more hassle than it’s worth. We passed her back and forth a lot between the two of us, and I found the best way was to hold her so she was sitting on my lap facing me. Planes are fairly smooth rides in general, and if it does get turbulant I can hold her tight in my arms. I love traveling with her not in a carseat!! (LOL, I know I’m weird!)

  5. You can totally come visit us! We have a lovely guest room that has plenty of space for a pack n’ play :)

  6. Alisse: Yeah! Illinois hasn’t been colored in yet! Actually, we’re trying to figure out if it will work to see y’all while we’re up in the midwest for the Gerig Reunion this summer.

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