I am so incredibly lucky that Alissa has grown into being an awesome traveler herself and an excellent travel companion. I suppose I have to give credit to the fact that she took her first trip when she was 12 days old and had 3,000 miles under her belt within her first two months.
When she was potty training, I was in the middle of the period of my life when I was making a bi-monthly commute between Flagstaff and Denver. I remember thinking that her potty training was going to cramp my ability to make that drive in one shot. (Priorities, I know.) But it didn’t. She managed to be ready for every rest stop and never once had an accident in between.
She took her first solo flight when she was 8, heading up to Oregon to visit her aunt while I recovered from surgery. That experience left such a hugely positive impression on her that she asked when she could do it again and then took her next trip at 9 to visit another aunt in California. I fully expect that she’ll be taking another solo adventure this summer.
This kid is better traveled than I was at her age.
But what I find most impressive is how well she travels. She understands how to pack her own suitcase, I don’t do it for her. She can read travel itineraries and plan travel (usually better than I do). She knows how to keep her documents organized so that they are handy when she needs them. She rides RTD like a boss. So how did I get so lucky to have an amazing travel buddy?
Well, first of all, even though I fully recognize that she’s a child, I don’t treat her like an ignorant human being. As we go through the airport or on road trips, I explain to her how to find and read the information that she needs to know. She can read a map pretty well and is an amazing navigator. She pays attention to detail as well, so that’s a plus in her corner as well.
Mostly though, I think it’s because I take her with me whenever I can, and I teach her what I know. Knowledge, as they say, is power.