Last month I spoke at the Moms with a Camera photography club about travelling with children and getting some great photos in the meantime. When I got home that evening I received an email from Source Books asking me to review a book called “We’ll always have Paris” about a mom that went travelling with her daughter. I also get to give a book away, how fun! The timing seemed so odd, and since I love travelling, my kids and reading, well I just had to say yes. The book was written by Jennifer Coburn and just hit the shelves April 8th.
“Even though her husband can’t join them, even though she’s nervous about venturing overseas, and even though she’s perfectly healthy and not actually dying, Jennifer Coburn decides to leave the bathroom and kitchen repairs for another day, and invest in building memories with her daughter. Their journey begins in Paris when Katie is 8, and ends in Paris in 2013, when Katie is 16, after taking month long trips to more than a dozen European (including Paris, London, Rome, Salerno, Florence, Venice, Madrid, Seville, Granada, Barcelona, and Amsterdam).” I personally only haven’t been to Seville, Granada and Amsterdam, therefore I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Coburn’s stories. Made me want to take my own kids to Europe. I really enjoyed how Coburn intertwined stories from her childhood with the stories from her travels. Not only was this interesting, making it more than just someone’s travel journal but it helped pain a better picture of why Coburn choose to travel and live life the way that she did.
I love to travel with our kids! As I was preparing to speak at the Moms with a Camera photography club, I was reminded of how many places we have travelled with our kids. Our kids are 6, 4 and 2. In the past six years we have travelled with them to the Carribbean twice (two cruises), New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Washington DC, Savannah GA, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Orlando, the Maritime Provinces, Quebec city, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, much of Ontario and BC. We have camped numerous times, enjoyed many day trips, and gone on a lot of road trips. So many of the places that we visited were just due to circumstance, where we were living or what was happening in our lives. We started travelling with the kids since we were living near amazing cities and just figured that it was our chance to see them. Travelling with kids can be challenging but the pay off is well worth it. We have found that the benefits totally outweigh the negatives. The memories that we have created as a family are priceless and something that I wouldn’t trade anything for. They have been relationship building in a way that normal everyday life doesn’t compare to. Yes, vacationing with children is challenging at times. However, the memories and experiences are well worth it. There will be tantrums, tired kids and tears whether we are at home or on vacation. Personally, I prefer a combination of being at home and making memories elsewhere. Whether this is at Disney World, in the Caribbean, at the lake or the mall.
I’ve tried to think of what vacation tips to share, and the reality is that I have a lot. Tips on budgeting, young children, photography, vacation planning. Apparently I’ve learned something through the years. One of the biggest things that I’ve learned is to relax, enjoy some spontaneity while travelling (not everything needs to be figured out ahead of time) and just go with it. You don’t need to worry about brining every possible item from home, if you forgot something, you can almost always just buy it there. Travelling with kids is often unpredictable and usually not exactly what I had envisioned before we set off on our adventure. That’s ok. Travelling with young children means visiting the local playgrounds, making lots of stops at Starbucks for bathroom breaks and water, and best of all experiencing everything with a greater sense of wonder and amazement.
Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today bestselling author of six novels and contributor to four literary anthologies. Over the past two decades, Coburn has received numerous awards from the Press Club and Society for Professional Journalists for articles that appeared in Mothering, Big Apple Baby, The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and dozens of national and regional publications. She has also written for Salon.com, Creators News Syndicate, and The Huffington Post. Coburn lives in San Diego with her husband, William, and their daughter, Katie. We’ll Always Have Paris is her first memoir.
Want to win a copy of the book? Just leave a comment saying the name of a city or country that you have always wanted to visit (doesn’t matter if you’ve already travelled there)
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For a third entry: Post this blog post to your facebook wall (again, don’t forget to leave another comment saying that you shared the link)
Giveaway ends April 30th, 2014. Good luck!