Some households have a bucket list. Others have a corkboard brimming with ideas. At our crib (pun intended), we keep all of our family travel wishes in something called a Dream Jar.
And it’s overflowing with vacation fantasies we’ve saved over the years.
There’s a magazine clipping in there about beluga whale-watching near Churchill, Manitoba (my pick), and handwritten notes about a family-friendly trek through the New Zealand bush (Powerwoman’s). Other destinations in the mix: Hermanus, South Africa (both of us); Dubai (totally me); Petra (my archaeologist wife).
Even L, who is no stranger to maps of North America, has stuffed the Jar with a Nebraska piece from one of her many puzzles of the U.S. (She is obsessed with the Cornhusker state because of Bruce Springsteen. I admit: I am very proud of this fact.)
With our upcoming stint in London (we’ll be there from August to December of this year), we recently have stuffed the Jar with all sorts of information about our new home. L’s contributions focus mostly on parks. Powerwoman’s are almost exclusively museums. As for mine? Well, they’re bars.
(By the way, I’m not ignoring R here. She’s just too young to have opinions about this stuff yet.)
The Jar has a commanding position on our kitchen counter. Whenever we decide it’s time for another family trip, it’s the first place we go.
Over the last two years, we’ve probably sorted through the snippets and scribbles dozens of times. Still, every time we pop the top, it’s like we’re seeing our dream destinations for the first time again. South Africa! Nebraska! The possibilities are intoxicating.
I’d be remiss without noting the jar’s provenance; we got it from an artist whom I met while reporting a story in Lima, Peru. Powerwoman and I lived there for a few months back in 2005, well before our girls were even on the agenda. Looking back, that experience still ranks as one of our family’s greatest adventures; it’s fitting that the Jar now plays such an integral role in the adventures to come.
How do you keep track of your family travel dreams? Let me know in the comment field above.