Adventure according to Family Backpack Mom Andrea Khan

Andrea Khan is the mum behind The Family Backpack Website and a great adventurer. Today she sharing with us what adventure means to her and how it has changed since she became a mom. So inspirational! 

Since the arrival of kids, my definition of adventure has changed tremendously. If you had asked me in 2001 I would have said adventure means traveling to far-off destinations like the Silk Route in Pakistan with the thrill of being one of the only Americans for hundreds of miles or sleeping in a tree fort over the Zambezi River in Zambia listening to hippos.

Back then, adventure meant to push myself in ways I didn’t think were possible – both physically and mentally – and at the end to always reflect back on the trip. How did I grow from it? What did I learn?

I am still having those types of adventures, but with my family now. My lust for adventure in far-off destinations has not been forgotten, but how I experience it - now with a husband and three kids – is different.

On our recent trip to Cuba, my husband and I would have loved to explore the countryside, but we knew that a 4-6 hour car ride in a 1950 Chevy with three kids could easily shift from adventure to nightmare. Thus, we stayed in Havana and spent some time at the beach as well. We walked through the streets to find the local ice-cream stand without using a cell phone. We attended the cannon ceremony, toured around in a 1950’s classic American car and watched the waves splash over the wall of the Malecon in awe. And you know what? It was still an adventure.

So today if you ask me what adventure means, I will tell you the thrill of watching my kids hear the call to prayer in Istanbul for the first time, pushing their limits to hike four miles to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the Appalachians and finding the biggest caterpillar we’ve ever seen. I find myself getting just as excited in the moment as they are.

I’ve accepted that adventure has changed for me as a mom, but these three incredible little human beings constantly show me so many things while we’ve traveled together that I might have missed otherwise. Traveling with kids pushes me to teach them about the places we are visiting, and in the process, I learn so much myself. For that I am forever grateful.