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Travel That Has Shaped Us, Part 5: Fam-cations and Friend-cations! (Family and Friend Travel)

This piece is part of an ongoing series we did a couple of years ago. In this series, we explore how travel has shaped our lives - who we are and how we see the world.

When we look over our lives, we can see milestones and events that have shaped us along the way. We can observe the ways they’ve shaped our world-views, our sense of culture, our characters, and shaped the way we look at others who are different from us. We are exploring the traveling we've done over the course of our lives so far and how those travels have shaped who we are up to this point. Our hope is that this multi-part series will prompt you to reflect on your own experiences and discern how your life has been impacted by your adventures and journeys.

GERMANY - A FAMILY VISIT Family and Friend Travel

A visit to Gelnhausen, outside of Frankfurt

My first time to Europe was a 4-day stop in Frankfurt on my way to India. I have an uncle and his family who lives just a bit outside of the city, and he offered to host us. We met people in their neighborhood village, we experienced the sites of the city for a day, we went to a few historical sites another day - it was truly memorable.

Chris and Christie at Heidelberg Castle

The most fun part, though, for me was the time spent with my young German cousins who I had previously not gotten to know very well because of the distance. I grew in my appreciation for an international piece of my family, and out of the experience, I now have a greater desire to build relationships with my extended family in other parts of the world.


In my adult life, I have vacationed with friends only a few times. Most trips have been with my husband only. Trips with friends have tended to be a mixed bag. At times a trip has ended with me wanting to kill the person. But that was not always the case. Sometimes, a trip with friends has been just fine and enjoyable. Still, the experience was nothing spectacular.

Christie and Binky relaxing at Shangri-La beach resort in Cebu, Philippines

In early 2019, a very good friend of mine from the Philippines lost her husband to cancer. Less than a year into her grief, I decided to visit her and spend time just being together. We had an event to attend anyway, then we decided (spur-of-the-moment) to have a mini-vacation together. She and I got a room at a lovely resort. We let go of any pressure to be on an agenda, and we just enjoyed our time on the gorgeous beach, at the warm infinity pool, and over delicious meals together. We had a wonderful time together. I learned that traveling with friends can be fantastic. It’s all about who you are with.

No matter where we go, travel shapes us in ways we could not predict or imagine. The world is so big and full of limitless opportunities for growth and the expansion of our minds and our hearts. We share these stories to inspire you to reflect on how you've been shaped by your own journeys. And what about tomorrow's adventures? How might your future travels develop you, your family, and your circle of friends into the people you want to be? We'd love to hear from you about how you've been shaped by your travel experiences.


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