Friday, March 18, 2011

Traveling while a kid

That's me, already on board.
When you're the adult traveling with your kids, it's sometimes easy to forget that once you were the child and someone else traveled with you.

My first trip outside Scandinavia was in the 1970s when my family went on a charter trip to Rhodes. I was probably 10 or eleven. What do I remember? The chef shouting out the orders from the kitchen at the hotel restaurant: "Spageeeettiiiii Bologneeeeeseeee", the novelty of lemon slices in tea, the beach with smooth rocks, the castle, the donkeys, the sunburn that crippled me.

Before that my family had traveled to Norway and Denmark when I was quite small. I don't remember much of the Denmark trip, though apparently I was saddened by the sight of "lonely" storks.

From the trip to Norway I remember damming up a small creek with the other children who came on the trip, the tiny green caterpillars on the leaves of a gigantic birch tree, and cracking my head when I tripped on the threshold of the cabin we were staying in (I swear there's still a ridge of scar-tissue there in the middle of my forehead).
My farmor, i.e. my dad's mother, standing outside the shed/outhouse in their summer house in Mjödvattnet.

Every summer my family would travel to the summer house my dads' parents owned, not far from where we lived. (Summer houses are a big thing in Sweden.) It was a tiny cabin in Mjödvattnet, sitting right on the shore of a lake, with lots of grass, flowers, trees, and hideous amounts of mosquitoes.

There was no running water, a gigantic wood-fired water-heater in the yard, a wood stove in the cabin and an honest to goodness outhouse. For a kid, that didn't seem daunting at all of course because there was also the lake, the row boat, the fishing, and the trees to climb in, the dew worms to dig for, and the ant-hills to investigate.
My morfar, i.e. my mom's dad, coming over for a summer visit in Mjödvattnet.

From all those trips, I don't remember any travel stress, any discomforts (apart from that sunburn, that one head injury and millions of mosquito bites) or any problems of any kind. I just remember the adventure and excitement of beaches, water, and the great outdoors.

I hope that when they grow up, my kids will have happy memories of their travels too.


  1. nice to meet you - i'm also @lifeinparadise! looking forward to your blog posts. it's funny what we remember from our childhood vacations.

  2. Memory is a funny thing! Enjoying your tweets and posts too!


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