Travel with intention: Tips for family travel

The Educational Tourist olive market in Tangier, Travel with Intention, www.theeducationaltourist.comTravel WITH intention.

My goal is to travel with intention – enjoying the journey with my kids and valuing that they see it differently than I do.

Family Roman Colosseum. Travel with Intention,


We see that word a lot- a new buzz word….doing something with ‘intention’. What the heck does that mean anyway? Webster defines intention as a plan or an aim and, with that definition, I guess that most people do travel with intention: I intend to see Paris, I intend to visit a museum, I intend to lounge on the beach and eat too much.

So what is all the fuss lately about doing something with intention – aren’t we all doing that anyway?

Not really. Beyond the plan of the itinerary is the true intention of: being, enjoying, embracing, savoring – the memories you make, the bonds you strengthen, the precious moments you experience.  With that in mind… Do you travel with intention?

cat in Morocco, Travel with Intention,

Travel with intention: An example from the kids

One day, while traveling in Morocco with we headed out in the morning with our itinerary in hand. We were going to see sights, markets, and soak up the Moroccan flavor.

But, kids have their own way of doing things and this day was no exception. In not time, they were noticing cats…everywhere and soon began counting them. We paused to notice that some were shy and hiding under bushes and some were so brazen that they walked right up. Clearly some knew just wear to find the right food scraps and hung out near seating areas at outdoor restaurants. Each and every cat was appreciated by my little ones.

The 46 cats we counted in one day in Morocco weren’t even on my radar and certainly not on my itinerary, but now I will never forget – not the cats, because they all look alike to me, but the true delight in which they were discovered.

The kids giggled and searched and counted as they found cats everywhere – all in the midst of ‘missing’ the ‘important’ sites in Morocco. But, we all came away with a sense of wonder from our incredible experience in Tangier and while we all looked at the same thing, we all saw something different.

The cats were part of the journey for my kids and part of their joy. Savoring their joy at something unexpected instead of forcing them to see something ‘more important’ made it a joy for all of us.

Cat sleeping on motorcycle in Morocco, Travel with Intention,

Travel with intention: Let go of the should! 

It is easy to have a list of things you ‘should’ see like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the changing of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace. How about replacing THAT should with ‘We should see what appeals to us today, right now!”?

CARPE DIEM – Seize the day!

Travel with intention: Let go of the perfection!

It is also easy to want to squeeze every single moment out of a trip by planning the perfect trip such as….If we leave at exactly 7:21 and walk 1.1 mph and hurry we can see the first 10 things on our list before lunch.

But, instead of leading to a wonderful trip, that leads to missing the wonder. Don’t be in such a hurry that you miss something unexpected. Stop and smell the roses you unexpectedly encounter. Stop and watch the soccer game with the locals instead of feeling miserable everything is closed because of the game. Stop to try to decipher the ads in the pharmacy window like this one!

Spanish ad for nasal spray, Travel with intention,

These are important parts of what you’ll all remember from your holidays together.

Travel with intention: See the MOST important things – each other.

The Educational Tourist in Tangier market, Travel with intention,

The most important thing you can bring home from a trip is a renewed bond with each other. Strengthen that bond over sites, food, and even cats. Build something to giggle about 10 years from now! Even those difficult moments will be cherished in the years to come!

Listening is one of the most valuable things you can do for each other as a family. Feeling heard makes everyone feel valued and important.

“Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” Catherine Wallace

Travel with true intention and make memories that are worthy of lasting a lifetime!

grandparent grandchild share sweet moment talking, Travel with Intention,

Happy travels with intention,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Travel with Intention,

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10 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Well put…I plan on traveling with intention on my next trip! Leave a little wiggle room in the itinerary to explore and experience things you weren’t planning on doing/seeing. And don’t be afraid to change the plans once you get there.

  2. tracie howe says:

    I love that kids can see things so differently. Sometimes you think they are kind of missing the point, but they get their own kicks out of an experience and you have to appreciate that. It’s so funny that yours were so taken with all the cats! 🙂

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I never would have guessed. I guess they love animals – we saw a stork nesting in a tree while walking down the street in Spain, too!

  3. Chris says:

    Some great philosophies here!

    I will be honest (I may be just ignorant), I wasn’t aware ‘Intention’ was a buzz word… certainly not in the small circle that is my world 😉

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thanks! Slowing down to smell the roses and enjoy your life and travels is a good idea no matter what you call it, right? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Rachel says:

    Amen! When we traveled in Egypt when my son was too young (about 5 years old) to appreciate ancient temples, etc. we set him to finding all the images of Re (Ra) he could find. He loved it, and issued regular reports on the current Re count. He was happy and we were happy. He decided on his own to start counting palm trees as well, but that got to be too big of a task and he gave up.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Great idea! It kept him engaged and focused – and happy! Great idea!! 🙂 My ebooks serve the same purpose to keep everyone interested and engaged. Thanks for sharing.

  1. February 27, 2017

    […] You CAN make it happen! The Educational Tourist can help you plan the journey! […]

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