When three generations travel together:)
Heard the saying — The family that travels together stays together? Well, we might be the greatest proponents of that saying as our travels off late have been more of family trips where three generations are travelling together — parents, grandparents, uncle, aunties and kids — all on board the travel:) Now this may sound so similar to a corporate off site; does it? May be, just that here no goals or agendas are accomplished but a happiness born out of sheer madness that surrounds each of the members.
At the very onset, there is an urge of staying and sticking together — one of the members in the group takes on the fight on his shoulders to get all of it together — kids have to run, grandparents have to chat — so the luxury of being as close as possible to each other rules — every combination and permutation is applied -especially when checking in a hotel — literally from 401 to 405. Poor hotel manager gets a hint of how hard its going to be for him to be satisfying his customer this time:)
Just to categorize broadly the people on board travel for the sake of simplicity of telling you the story– the senior citizens, the current citizens(today’s generation or millennials) and the most notorious of all — the future of the country !Now thanks to their smartphones and their Google Assistant/Siri — today’s grandparents are all equipped with information and have researched the place so thoroughly but of course on their own self proclaimed criteria that you cant challenge them on what to do and what to avoid:) They seem to be the most prepared of the lot with all the ground work done on taxis, fares, best prices and all. And to complement that is the early to rise schedule which you cant match:)
Then there are a few members of the group — today’s millennials who can travel as far and as near just that they get a “break”. Sounds like something in vogue! A good pretence that they put up may be just to fool themselves (some of them may be the least ambitious about the travel and exploring the place) — travelling with their lappy and either spending the entire day working or attending to phone calls/social media and of course catching up with the long lost sleep. Their break literally is “office in a new location for a few days” or “sleep and relax” and most of times they show “Do not disturb” even to the room cleaner:) While some others of this lot could be trekking types with no day spared to undertake a new adventure.
And then are the kids who I must say are the “most critical” of all — actually steering the boat right from the planning stage — everything has to be kid friendly — hotel, room, staff, mode of transport, food options available, places to visit etc.. They rule the luggage also — loads of luggage packing big — big to many teeny — weeny things.Lots of clothes and shoes and spare and spare ones, bottles of medicines, soap and sanitizers, food items — the list — long and endless. Additionally kids favourite toys that have to necessarily come along with them for travel making the luggages just difficult to lock or just spilling every time they get opened. Not just that which days and how much we roam about — all is decided by the kids. As someday one will have the important call of nature just when the local sight seeing bus is about to leave. Another one will decide not to eat or even puke at the breakfast table just making the mommy’s day brighter and shinier. And the elder ones will be upset as the places you chosen for sight seeing seem so “boring” to them — the adventure hungry need some excitement always else the beautiful compliment is ever ready — “you could have left us in the hotel” :)
So your checklist goes for a toss, the souvenirs may happen or not — as most of the time gets spent in coming on to a consensus as to which place to go and what to do with each one in the group having an opinion poles apart from other.
But amidst all this cacophony and confusion, with the family around — best part of the travel apart from getting a break from mundane routine and cute kids pictures amidst beautiful locations(my latest definition of souvenir:)) is the possibility of stealing some “we” and “me” time with your partner and loved ones as kids enjoying their maternal and paternal time and everyone having some company or pursuit with that feeling of comfort and belongingness!
Things do go wrong here and there but travel especially together as a family is refreshing and a learning experience for everyone. While it is rejuvenating and exploratory — it gives children a lot of learning especially life lessons to cope up with travel planning and challenges. Travel also gives “quality time” in today’s hectic life which is a “rare commodity” in today’s helter skelter and a golden opportunity for everyone in the family to know each other minus the age differences and the pretence!
Do please share your memoirs if your family also travels together as mine:) Sharing a souvenir from the “family travel” last week to Mussorie — a cute kids picture:):)