About Me

9:12:00 AM Brooke Neal 11 Comments


I started blogging in 2008. It was also a way for friends and family members scattered around the United States to check in from time to time on our lives.  When my family moved to Germany in 2010 my blog turned into a place to vent my frustrations about moving to a new country and culture. Then as we gradually adjusted to our situation I began to blog about our many travels.

We have always enjoyed traveling together as a family, but living in Europe afforded us the opportunity to see many amazing places in a short span of time.  We have found that while the big cities are exciting, it is the smaller villages with local traditions that are what make a place unique and worthy of falling in love with.

We've learned that traveling in the off season really does have it's benefits.  The weather may not be perfect, but you will run into fewer tourists and you will likely get better deals on accommodations and airfare which make a big difference when traveling with a family.  It takes a few more layers and a bit more preparation, but the payoff can be worth it.

Traveling with children is not easy.  Kids argue, they get bored and they have to use the toilet at the most inopportune times.  I often hear from parents, "oh, I could never go there, my child would be bored" or "wow, your kids like museums?"  Well, the answer is, NO, they don't especially like going all of the places I take them, but I also don't give them much choice.  It does help though if I've done some prep work beforehand to familiarize them with where we are going.  On the drive down to Scrovegni Chapel we watched a DVD that explained every panel in the small chapel.  Knowing that the panels depicted stories from the Bible and Christ's life made it easier for my children to connect with the art.  I asked my then 6 year old which was her favorite panel so that I could be sure to point it out to her the next day. You can imagine how excited I was when she, excitedly pointed it out to me instead.

It also helps to be realistic.  There is no way my children are going to last more than about two hours in a museum, so when we visited the Louvre in Paris we went straight to the Egyptian rooms because that is what my daughters were interested in.  I also like to play games...I spy a dog with a bird in his mouth, or how many horses do you find in the room. As the girls have gotten older I've had them prepare reports--their "pre-trip" involvement is key.

I travel with my children because I want to expose them to the things I enjoy; good art, ancient cultures, 2000 year old buildings, beautiful music and let's not forget good treats.  Treats go a long way in extending the good mood of my children.

So, with this blog I will share places we've traveled, accommodations we've stayed in, restaurants we've eaten at, activities we've participated in and whether they've been "worth it."  I hope our adventures will inspire you to create your own.

11 comments:

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  2. Hi Brooke,
    I really like your blog. Are you still living in Munich?
    I am wondering if you were interested in supporting a project for Munich newcomers.
    You can contact me via Internations - Thomas Greulich

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  3. Hi! I found your blog from Song-ography. We are heading to France and Italy in the fall, so I looked through your posts on those countries. Thank you for all the detailed info and beautiful photos! I'm bookmarking your site now :) I've been to Europe twice with my daughter when she was 20 and 21. She took word puzzle books and was happy to sit somewhere while I explored museums. She'd even tell me she was still working a puzzle and could I look around longer. She also took in a lot, of course, but for those places she wasn't interested in (like the D-Day cemeteries for hours . . .) this worked so well!

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  4. Hi!! Hope you don't mind me commenting on here but I found your blog through the lovely ordinary moments link up and I thought I'd let you know that I host a link up you might be interested in called my expat family where you can link up any post about expat family life, new or old! It's going to open on Thursday this week for the second time. If you'd like a look the link to the last one I hosted is http://wp.me/p4zd1j-hl or head over to my blog to take a look :) would love to have you join in! :) hope to see you there!

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  5. Hello Brooke. When we were kids Sister Grace Christensen (our mom's best friend) a school teacher there in Kenilworth would travel the world with a group of teachers each summer. We could not wait for her to get back, because she would do a slide show travelog in Sacrament meeting. She opened my eyes to the world, especially the orient which I have traveled. Your Blog reminds me of Sister Christensen's adventures, and through your eyes I am seeing places that I most likely will never go to. I think it is awesome that your children have this opportunity to see and experience these marvels of mankind's ability to create such masterpieces. Thank you for sharing them with your aunt Tonia and myself. You are such a sweetheart.
    Uncle Glen Smith

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  6. Hi Brooke! I can relate to you on traveling with children! I have traveled a lot with my girls, and even though we have had to eat at many Mc Donalds along the way, they have learned to enjoy traveling as much as we do! Nothing like traveling and learning other cultures for us and specially for kids!

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  7. "I travel with my children because I want to expose them to the things I enjoy; good art, ancient cultures, 2000 year old buildings, beautiful music and let's not forget good treats. Treats go a long way in extending the good mood of my children." You and I are kindred spirits here. I feel exactly the same way. When we were "out and about in Europe" we would find the local delicacy to eat at every new destination, the kids loved that. We still travel now that we are back in the US, and I would not change one crabby day, or rain soaked coat, one boredom filled church, or longest car-ride-ever... all the not so good about traveling far outweighs the fantastic about traveling.

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  8. Actually my kids did great (am originally from Holland, but they lived their childhood in the USA), and were all ready for a break after 2 hours of the Louvre, because we stood in line for 2 hours (not kidding!) just to get in. We took them to 3 museums in a matter of 11 days.
    Boredom...? To me and hubby that needs an attitude adjustment - we don't want to see it, or hear it, and electronic devices are only to take pics.

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  9. Just found your blog via Communal Global and I'm so glad I did! I love your space here! I love travel as well and I'm not going to stop now that I have two girls... It's the greatest opportunity that you can give to your children see the world with their own eyes, discover new traditions, new languages, new tastes.... It requires much effort but truly worth it!
    You have a new Italian follower!!

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  10. So great that your kids prepare and learn about where you are going before you arrive. These are experiences that they will die to have as they get older, and so great that they are participating now, and learning about the amazing places that they are having the opportunity to see now! great approach!!!!

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  11. Hello Phoebe of Lou Messougo put me on to your lovely blog. I understand you are in KSA - we have just relocated...

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