Tourist with Tots & Collecting Moments with Christen & Creator Series
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Welcome to our new series Creator’s Creations!
We are sharing highlights from transformation stories and how we are creating FIT Life Creation and the community. In this feature, we are talking Traveling with Tots with Christen.
Highlights of Story and Creations:
Hi! My name is Chris. I am a law enforcement officer and college professor by vocation. To be honest, it is not just a vocation, but a lifestyle. I am a wife and homemaker by calling. Thank goodness for my husband.
He brings me back to reality, is my voice of reason, and my sounding board. I am a mother to a wonderful boy by the grace of God. My son has changed everything about how I live. He is my greatest challenge, yet also my greatest blessing. And now, I can add travel blogger and micro-influencer as my passion.
I am a member of a law enforcement family. My father is law enforcement, my husband and all of his siblings are law enforcement, and I am in law enforcement. Crazy hours, dinners on the go, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries missed are our normal. We have seen our brothers killed in the line of duty, the worse of society, and the best of society. We collect memories. Not the good kind, either.
I am guilty of taking life for granted. Aren’t we all? When is the last time you really took the time to appreciate what you have, the people in your life, and the world around you?
In 2007, life changed. I gave birth to a little boy. Life was no longer about me. I started to collect memories–the good kind! His first steps, his first tooth, first day in Kindergarten, first surgery, first stitches–the memories quickly passed. As the stages of my son’s childhood flew, my husband and I realized we were caught up in everyday life and again we were taking our new life as parents for granted as we had done before. Would our son have positive memories of his childhood that would last forever? Childhood is over in a blink of an eye. What will he remember about his childhood? Will he remember all his parents did was chase the American dream of money, power, and success? Or will he remember the time we spent together? We have taken a vow to collect memories. The good kind. Though as parents we are working full time, we have taken the stance that will we enjoy time together as often as we can. We stopped giving physical gifts and instead now give the gift of experiences.
The toys that are sitting in his room are not as special as the gift of a memorable experience. Most importantly, taking time away from the auto pilot of life has become our priority.
Together, over the past few years, we have traveled locally within Florida but we have also traveled to Costa Rica, Alaska, Kentucky, Georgia, New England, and many other locations.
In April 2019, I made the decision to share our travel tips and recommendations with parents worldwide. Did you know according to a travel report by Resonance Consultancy reports “44% of millennials travel with their kids in tow”?
The same study states, “In the next two years, close to half of millennial families plan to take a family vacation. Family travel is the most popular type of vacation to this demographic”. Parents taking their children on adventures has become the norm, not just a dream.
Biggest Success Factors
“Success is not rightly measured by wealth, prestige and power. Success is measured by the yardstick of happiness.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda
We are happy. We are happiest when we are traveling. Traveling has taught me about the beauty of the world. It has taught me that taking a step back and relaxing is allowed. Most importantly, travel allows my family to collect memories that we can look back on for the rest of our lifetime.
I want nothing more than to take my last breath knowing I lived this brief life to the fullest. I want to teach my son to have no regrets. Work will be there when we return. If you measure success by happiness, I have never been so successful!
Your Challenges & How You Turned Pain into Purpose
Everything is not without its challenges. My biggest challenge is being a parent. Being momma equates to questioning yourself and talking yourself off a ledge on a daily basis. What do I do? Am I screwing this up?
Have I already messed him up so badly he will have to seek counseling when he is 18? Have I loved him enough? Why does he not listen to me? Am I feeding him, bathing him, medicating him correctly? When do I let go? How do I let go and let him fail?
Can I get an “Amen” fellow moms?
I am not a perfect mom. I am just a mom flying by the seat of my pants attempting to do the right thing and failing pretty much on a daily basis. But I have learned that I cannot be in total control here, even though I sure want to be. There is no right answer to any of the questions. You just do the best you can do.
Actionable Tips All Along the Way
What tips do I have for you?
Tip 1: The American lifestyle is BUY, BUY, BUY. We buy the latest toys and video games so our children can have more than what we had growing up. We purchase every cool new gadget to make life easier, to entertain our kids, only to turn around and do it all over six months later when the newest technology is invented. Instead of physical things, why not collect memories? I have a goal to reinvent the American dream of "having it all". Our dream includes collecting a lifetime of memories and experiences instead of physical belongings
Tip 2: Being a mother or parent does not mean you have to give up on traveling. I have noticed many parents feel as if they either cannot travel because they have children or tend to travel without their kids. Understandably, traveling with children can be a bit stressful if you do not plan ahead. On the contrary, it also can be rewarding! Just do it!
What You Think is Most Important with ?s Above
I had a friend who lost his wife suddenly. She left her husband and two boys. She woke up that morning like every other morning with dreams and goals. They ended that day. What is most important?
Telling our family we love them every day-maybe even several times a day. Living each day to fulfill dreams and goals. Count your blessings and stop complaining. Count. Every. Single. Small blessing. Life is amazing!
As a family, our favorite trip to date was an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Bliss. Inc comparison to other types of travel, cruising tends to be our favorite type of vacation. There is the perfect amount of family togetherness, but also time where we can escape each other.
With the included kids club on ships, our son gets to escape his parents and we get a date night every night. In fact, our son loves kids club so much he is anxious to be at the door waiting for it to open each and every night of the cruise. In addition, we love that we can see many different locations with only having to unpack our suitcase once!
My son’s favorite animal is a moose. We live in Florida so seeing moose does not happen. Not only did he wish to see a moose, he also wanted to feed the moose. His dream came true in Haines, Alaska. He met and fed Karen at the Kroschel’s Wildlife Center.
Final Tips for those creating what they love
I challenge you to set aside your vocation and focus on your gifts and your passion. I think Robyn Young said it best, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”.