We are the Archers. Dad (Scott) works for a Fortune 10 company. Mom (Janette) is a stay-at-home mom with a doctorate in medicine and an infinite love of learning and teaching. Our twins, Aubrey and Lilly, are 6 years old and have wonderful child sponge-brains that want to soak up all there is. This is our attempt at letting them know that the world is a place where there is always something new and exciting to learn.
Why did I choose the word epic? Not to use, as one entry on urbandictionary.com puts it, “the most overused word ever, next to fail.” I used it because my kids really love the word. (They probably love it because it’s so overused.) But I honestly love the word too.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word epic (as an adjective) has two very simple definitions:
1. of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an epic <an epic poem>
2. extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope
It is my goal through this website to present trips taken by our family that are epic not only in the number of miles accrued in our journey, but also in the expansion of our minds. Not every trip we take will be august, grand, Homeric, or even splendid. But, I promise, every trip will be impressive in proving that if a family works together, children included, that family can do some pretty cool stuff.
Traveling with children is not easy. Sometimes even a trip to the grocery store can be an epic accomplishment. But we are not all doomed to be sedentary suburbanites after we’ve settled down to have a family. And it’s worth it to go through the extra effort it takes to get those kids on the road and seeing things with their own eyes. I am so impressed by the growth I’ve seen in my own children in terms of taking responsibility for themselves and others, behaving appropriately, and understanding differences and similarities between people.
I recently saw a clip of a Rick Steves lecture in which he explains how he first got the travel bug. He was in a foreign country as a teenager with his family when he felt how loved he was by his own parents. He then looked around and saw many other children that were as loved by their parents as he was by his. This lead to his realization that the world is full of children that are loved by their parents. That, although these other children were so different from him, they were also so similar to him.
Of course, one can argue that there are a great deal of children that are not as loved as they should be because their lives have been devastated by war, poverty, disease, and the like. But the point is that all children, regardless of race, color, religion, or location on the planet, deserve the love that is felt by children lucky enough to have escaped the blights of the modern world.
Furthermore, those lucky children, the ones that so strongly feel the love of their parents, need to see how others live, whether it’s similar or different from their own lifestyle. I firmly believe that it is then, and only then, that we will have a future on this planet that is worth having.
For our family, travel is not a luxury. Our goal is not to take lavish vacations and tell you all about the fun we had relaxing on a beach somewhere, drinking martinis, and getting tattoos. Our goal is to learn. Our goal is to teach our children to be goodwill ambassadors to all the children they encounter in their lives. Our goal is to help our children understand the world around them, the history that got us where we are today, and possibilities for the future.