Junior Traveler: A Guide Book for Young Explorers

When I think about what draws me to traveling, I can’t help but notice how much the planning process captivates me. I love collecting resources to do my research, and taking notes to come up with a tentative itinerary. I also love capturing moments of travel; whether that is through a photograph, sketch, journal entry, or other momento. As we begin to introduce Edwin to travel, I want him to be able to feel that same excitement and wanderlust that takes me over.

This summer, we are planning three possible long weekend getaways. Although Edwin is still very young, I’d like to be able to share part of the planning and record-keeping responsibility with him. This inspired me to create a guide book for young travelers. My goal is to create one of these travel journals/field guides for each trip we take in the future. I want to include sites to see with fun facts, things to do that our family might enjoy, and interactive opportunities for Edwin to make personal connections on the trip. Using Canva, I have started creating several books that we can have made and share with Edwin during our travels. To be honest, I see him getting much more use out of this when he is 5+, but I’d love to start the tradition now.

Here are some snippets of what I’ve created and how I’m hoping to use it.

Cover

Introduction Pages

Sample Page Layouts

I hope these are projects that can help Edwin feel invested in the travel we do and make it meaningful for him. I’m so eager to have more experiences with him. There is a world out there waiting for the Majewski clan to explore!

Instilling a Love of Travel

Travel is a challenge right now. One, we have a toddler, two, he is not vaccinated, and three, travel is not the same yet. Since we have been hermits for more than the past year, Edwin has missed out on experiences we were hoping to give him. For example, we have taken Edwin out to eat once. He screams when he wants something, he makes a lot of noise when he is happy; in other words, he doesn’t have the best manners when it comes to dining out. Another example – since Edwin has made the switch to his crib, he has not slept anywhere else. I so want Edwin to grow up a traveler with wanderlust, but I’m scared to actually start trying. So what do we do?

We are starting by beginning a new installment of his monthly photos. For the first year of his life, he was featured as a superhero in a fictional setting with a character represented by his dad. For this second year of his life, the theme will be travel destinations. Each month will feature a different European location with a photo taken by me. Edwin will be donning clothing from that country and I will join him on his travels. Although these images are photoshopped, I’m hoping by highlighting something important to us and capturing a moment around a theme, he will find an appreciation for travel. Edwin definitely loves superheroes, so it worked the first time around, right?

Beyond the photos, we are hoping to actually take Edwin somewhere this summer. We are going to start with a sleepover at pops’ house, but then, hopefully, venture all the way to Indianapolis. Baby steps, right? 😉

The background in this image spotlights one of my favorite places in Paris, Notre-Dame on Île de la Cité. I took this image in 2013 while going on a flâneur. Here is a post I wrote for that walk. Edwin’s outfit is brought to you by La Redoute; a French fashion retailer. The font for la vie est belle (life is beautiful) is Vincent Van Gogh’s handwriting. The decorative border is in one of our favorite styles – Art Nouveau. Although Van Gogh and Art Nouveau are not originally from France, they flourished there.

Below are some small excursions we have enjoyed so far this summer.