Summer plans revealed in this post, but first we need to tell you how it came to be. When we brought our first bundle of joy home 16 years ago, it was overwhelming and we wanted to do everything right. We wanted to follow all of the rules, in every book and make sure we were doing what we were supposed to be doing. Over time, we continued with routines, rules, educational toys and so on.
Lars was a little rule follower from the get go. When he was in the curious stages, touching everything on the shelf, a quick and gentle “no touch” was sufficient. He learned right away and didn’t touch it again. Wow, this is great! Kids aren’t so tough to teach and raise after all. Then along comes Anya.
From the day of her birth, Anya has been excited to experience the world and to test the boundaries. The gentle “no touch”, was more of a “Really? Why not?!” and then it was touched again. So as you can tell the kids were born with their own personalities and it makes the perfect mix of excitement in our family.
As the kids continued to grow, as parents we set the boundaries, made the rules and usually they were followed to the letter. We scheduled their lives with routines of when to wake up, when to eat, where to go, what to do, what to wear and so on. As they age, a little independence begins to creep in with wanting to pick out their own clothes, schedule play with their friends and the like.
We still had a little say in where we would go and what we would do and of course we moved to Spain. They had some input in the decision, but to be fair they really had no idea what they were getting into.
Even when we first arrived in Spain and traveled in Southeast Asia, it was the parents scheduling life. The kids learned so much about adapting to change, going with the flow and being flexible. They learned how to think outside of the box when things didn’t go as planned and how to be independent.
Fast forward a few years to present day and we are now in new territory with two teens.
Okay, this is where we get into our summer plans. Both kids do have the travel bug and love to explore, but now it comes with rules. Yes, the tables have turned and our teens are shelling out the rules to the parents. (Shhh, we don’t always listen or abide by these rules).
I was researching various places to go for the summer, with hopes to finally explore more of eastern Europe. We were going to visit Berlin, Prague, Poland and more. It was going to be an epic train travel trip. When the idea was bounced off the kids, I was in for a wake up call.
A quick list of rules were gently requested rapid fire between them, mostly Anya.
Teen Summer Travel Rules
- We want to spend as much time with friends as possible
- No road trips
- We can’t go away for a long trip
- No more than 1 week
- It needs to be a real vacation
- It can’t be in June or July, as we need to work around the travel schedule for Lars
- It can’t be the week of Aug 7-15 (Feria week)
- It can’t be too hot
- No more than a 3-hour drive
- We need separate rooms
- Can we just go to one place and not move around
- And the list goes on
Travel for Lars
The final week of school Lars was off for a week in Italy with his school, the graduating 10th grade class. He returned home for a week and then set off again for 2 weeks, to volunteer out of Madrid. His preference was to spend the remainder of July and August in town, as he will have had his fill of travel. We will get into more of his volunteer work in another post, but it is his third year as a volunteer for Pueblo Inglés Teens read more here.
I get it!
It all sounds a bit sassy, but it was understood the kids now have their own priorities. They just want to be kids, in their own town and have summer with their friends! I guess this happens no matter where you are in the world and with any teens, but they were really hopeful this year. We had a similar plan last summer, but with unexpected family events in the states, we ended up there for 3 weeks in August. It was a great trip and we all enjoyed it, but the kids missed their friends.
The bright side
Yep there is always a bright side! The kids call Spain home and have amazing friendships, so I can’t complain. We wanted them immersed in the culture, to make life-long friends and to have free run of the town. Well, we made it happen and that is what they want too. We live in a wonderful vacation spot, so once again we will embrace all that our area has to offer, even thousands of tourists.
Don’t you worry, I am still going to try to sneak in a little trip here and there for a couple of nights, so stay tuned. I will even try to follow the rules and maybe bend them a little. While Lars is away, maybe I can plan a couple of nights and have Anya bring a friend! Ooh this will be fun to try to twist things around a bit.