As a child, mornings were my favorite time on the day during summer vacation. It was the way the sun peeked through the windows. The warmth that hit my face to wake me up. I liked going on the porch barefoot and taking a deep breath, it smelled like outside (if you know what that means). I would watch other people starting their days. Cutting their grass, getting their newspapers off of their porches, or watching those just pulling up to the house from a long night shift.
The day we went to Gibraltar felt like a memory. The sun felt the same. I get it, it's there everyday, shining and giving light to the world but the warmth on my cheeks triggered a memory. We watched people starting their days. Sweeping their front steps, opening their shops, heading to work. It was like home.
People always ask us what it's like living abroad with kids. It's the same as living in the states. You go to work, come home, make dinner, do homework, take the kids to their activities, grocery shop, run errands. No matter where you live in the world, it's not exotic, it's just another day.
Lesson one: Just because you are traveling, everyone else isn't. Any and everywhere is home to someone.
Growing up in Milwaukee, Wi, Gibraltar is definitely different. It's foreign. It's exotic. It's exciting. But so is Lake Michigan and Summerfest to those who have never seen it.
International flights from the states to Europe aren't that long. 9 hours from Houston to Madrid. Then after a layover, 2 more hours south and you are in Gibraltar. There you can see the most southern point of Europe and then peer over at the mountainous shores of Africa. It doesn't look real. It looks like a three-dimensional painting. And all of this in less than 12 hours.
The kids mapped the entire trip out before we made it. Compared it geographically to our current home. They looked to see how close London was, then crossing the Atlantic to peek at TX and WI (the places their grandparents live). At the end of our day, the first words out of their mouths were, “Where are we going next weekend?"
Lesson two: It's a small world after all.
My children are 10, 9, and 7. Our first few months in Spain were difficult, but now they are asking to spend Christmas in Paris. We climbed "The Rock". All five of us. We watched troops of monkeys in their natural habitat. We ate at a British Pub and then went for gelato.
My husband and I were in bucket list central. Taking the kids to new places and exposing them to the world. Showing them things we only read about or watched on the Travel Channel. But the kids were very relaxed about the entire experience. It was just another day and another adventure in this world of 7 billion.
Lesson three: The kids already know lesson one and two.
In my pursuit to create global citizens, I am very grateful for that.
Candice is an introverted extrovert who loves to read, wander aimlessly and is addicted to olives. She is a photographer and loves to share travel experiences. She is married to the best husband ever hands down and they have 3 wonderful creations.