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Cynthia Kinnunen blogs about sharing stuff from your childhood with your kids

Although we were never able to venture too far from home (no trips abroad), some of my fondest memories growing up were travel-related.  You know, good old road trips and whatnot.

I grew up in a northern Ontario town that was only a short hop over to the US border.  We would spend many of our travel dollars (plug your ears, Canadians) in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. There were plenty of adventures, from throwing up on rides at Valleyfair amusement park near Minneapolis, to the wild (and might I say, slightly strange) world of Wisconsin Dells to all manner of museums and live shows.  From the schmaltzy to the cultural, we didn’t shy away from any opportunity for fun.

Now that I’m a parent, I’ve tried to bring that excitement of “what’s out there” to my kids, too.  Right from the beginning we’ve incorporated a little trip here and there for the five of us.  Sometimes it’s as simple as trekking up to the cottage, which takes a good 4 hours to drive anyway, or flying across the ocean to visit family in Finland.

While that big trip to Finland several years ago was the furthest we’ve taken them – and it was an amazing experience, particularly since we were there with my mother and grandmother, who hadn’t been back since they immigrated to Canada in the 1950s – our road trips have probably been the most fun for all of us.  That being said, Max asks nearly every single day when we’ll take them to Scotland to see William Wallace’s sword.  Soon, my little man, soon.  But I digress…

A few years ago we drove from our Southern Ontario home to the East Coast, stopping over in Montreal, camping in Bay of Fundy National Park, and then staying a week on Prince Edward Island before driving back.  Last year we drove to Orlando (as you may know!) and again, the destination wasn’t the only exciting part, but everything else that happened along the way.  I think that’s why we personally find road trips so much more rewarding, because a lot of the memories are made during that drive.

This summer we will attempt another road trip, this time driving to my hometown up in northern Ontario.  It will take two days and approximately 17 hours in the van.   Seems like nothing compared to the other trips we’ve done but I suspect we’ll still get to hear a lot of “how much longer?” and “I have to pee!”

Do you travel with your kids?

Cynthia Kinnunen is a mom of three wonderfully quirky little people who love music, old and new-school adventures and acting as silly as possible at all times. She’s also a freelance writer who blogs for fun at Crumbs in the Minivan and Maple Mixtape.

Photo via Cynthia Kinnunen

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