Friends With Benefits

Do you want me to follow you to the left or pour you a cup of tea?

There are pros and cons to hopping off the tourist trek and trying to immerse yourself in local culture. For example:Pro - Your can make local friends who will invite you to birthday parties, celebrations of holidays you've never heard of, and sporting events that aren't in any of the guidebooks.Con - Your friends aren't always around, and you occasionally find yourself pantomiming in front of a pharmacist and praying that the pill she gave you will reduce swelling in your ankle and will … [Read more...]

Scrapbooks Don’t Capture Memories – They Shape Them

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I have no memories of anything before my youngest sister was born when I was six. If that held true for Ezra, he would remember nothing of our three trips to Mexico, and little of our trip to China or our first trip to Costa Rica.Even if the boys do end up with memories from those trips, what will the be? When people ask them after each trip what they remember, they usually say something like, "I bought a wallet." Or, "We got to ride in the front seat without a seatbelt."Traveling with … [Read more...]

Wherever You Are, There You Will Be

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We hiked around the rim of the Masaya volocano outside Granada, Nicaragua today.  It was, as volcanos tend to be, awe-inducing.  Maybe that explains why for many centuries the indigenous people here occasionally threw their babies in from the top.  Overcome by the immensity of it, they decided it was the devil and that it needed to be appeased.We also took a tour of the city.  Jeff and I both loved it, but all around us was evidence of two centuries of war and heinous acts, some of which wer … [Read more...]

A Whole Lotta Prayer

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"Hey, Mom, what are we having for dinner tonight?"Zach asked this at eight in the morning.  He's always been on the anxious side, and he needs to line out the whole day as soon as possible. Before I've finished the breakfast dishes, he wants to know what's for dinner."What night is it?" I ask in return."Saturday.""So what are we having?""Arroz con pollo?""Right, buddy."At home the answer would have been different, but while we're here in Costa Rica for three months, … [Read more...]

Leave the technology at home.

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Amy Henry just wrote a great post about how to parent well in an age of technological excess.  One of her five suggestions was to create screen-free zones, times when no one is allowed to use the computer or play a video game.I think that, for the most part, travel is a great occasion for just such a zone.  In fact, leaving the technology at home made my list of the top 10 tips for traveling with children.  Here are a few of my best arguments for giving it a try:- Technology, for all its … [Read more...]

Roll With It

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If I weren't already a Christian, I would become one before I travelled anywhere with kids.  No matter how wonderful or important the trip is supposed to be, when you combine high expectations, shifting schedules, unpredictable food and unwelcome surprises, you are bound to get cranky people - toddlers, teens, and parents alike.  You're gonna want God on your side.Did you know that the Christian Bible has this verse in it? Do everything without grumbling or arguing. That's right, people.   … [Read more...]

Do Less. Sleep More.

snuggling with zach in the afternoon

I just woke up from a nap.  It took place in a hammock under the coconut trees that line the beach.  That's where I napped yesterday too.  And that's why I didn't write yesterday, in spite of saying that I would post every weekday until I have elaborated on all ten tips for traveling with children.I've been napping a lot since we got here and I'm not the only one.  The boys continue to get nine to ten hours of sleep each night, and I have even managed to get them to take a nap. Nafisa's bee … [Read more...]

Pools: A Travelling With Children Must Have

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"Can we go to the pool tonight, mom?""But you just spent four hours in the ocean.""I know.  But I just really, really want to go to the pool after dinner."Hence my numero uno tip for traveling with children:#1 - Stay somewhere with a pool.(Today is day three of my Traveling With Children series. Read Day One here and Day Two here.)Staying somewhere with a pool may not seem like much to the uninitiated, but I cannot stress this enough.  My kids have been through hours and h … [Read more...]


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