Connecting Family Travel, Values and Giving

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I was talking recently with a member of Catalytic Women and mentioned the topic of connecting family travel plans with our values of giving back. (Catalytic Women hosts a free webinar on this topic on July 11, so it must have been on my mind!) The story she shared about her family ’s philanthropic journeys is worth repeating. I loved it as an example of how we share our passions with others and, in particular, the multifaceted roles of women as providers, nurturers and educators.

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Her parents founded a business together. Perhaps this formed their culture of aligning family values, good fortune and lifelong learning. As her mom considered retiring she reflected on her love of traveling. What began as special trips with her children – celebrating her daughters ’ 30th and 40th birthdays in Africa or India; a coming of age trip when each grandchild turned 10 – morphed into a travel business. Completely self-taught, she modeled her trips on well-known destination planners but then did it her own way, adding shared local experiences such as volunteering. Her philanthropic journeys included family and shaped her new “post-retirement ” career.

Most of us have good intentions to create these kinds of experiences for our own families – as we plan travels to local or far-flung destinations. But how can we truly make the most out of our summer travel plans, without it feeling like one more thing to do … to research … to figure out … to do well?

I ’m interested in ways that you include children of any age in planning your travels. How do you bring giving into vacations and ignite their curiosity about others?

Intense school homework loads, competitive sports and omnipresent technological distractions have never made it harder to carve out “quality ” family time. And who wants the killjoy of insisting that these rare times together include “learning ” and “giving ”? Getting our kids excited about where we ’re going and what we can do together shouldn ’t feel so hard.

Surely, there must be some examples of ways to bring out the best in ourselves as we travel together that feel do-able for busy families! Let ’s get past that self-inflicted goal of perfect parenting. Let ’s just start with what we can do now.

It ’s not too late to make this summer vacation a time of travel and connecting as a family. Share your experiences with us. How do you and your family unplug from day to day responsibilities, emails, and electronics, so that you can use the precious few weeks of summer to plug into experiences that instill a sense of resilience and appreciation, and expand the hearts and minds of your children?

We ’ll share your stories on July 11, when Catalytic Women founder Melanie Hamburger taps the expertise of Jamie Traeger-Muney and Emily Bouchard of Wealth Legacy Group by sharing real life stories, examples and results from philanthropic journeys. Join this conversation about women, wealth and philanthropy on travel and children. Share and learn how to engage multiple generations in the planning and implementing of family travel and giving experiences – tapping the nature of our “true wealth. ” Regardless of age, or even if we define family as a group of our closest friends, the spirit of our summer travel get us thinking about our impact in the larger world around us.
Email me your ideas, successes and challenges at [email protected] To join the July 11 webinar, register atwww.catalyticwomen.com/events.html.

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