The World’s Best Tourist is Five Years Old

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“Look, it’s Big Ben!” she squealed. She walked faster, and excitedly started rambling… “You know what that means… The buildings of Parliament must be nearby, too! This is where the Great Fire of London happened. This is where Samuel Peeps lived…” IMG_2431Yes, my five year old is a historian. You could not meet a more interested little person. She is interested in everything, and has lots of relevant questions and comments wherever we go. I confess: sometimes I feel a little jealous of her, that she is only five, but has already been to Paris and London, to Germany, Italy and Turkey– places I have only been to in the last two years! Who gets to do that?!
But I also realize that I would not have appreciated these travels when I was her age. I wouldn’t have wanted to walk for miles on the weekends, or wait and wait… and wait some more– as travel so often requires. But Amelia loves it.
She does not mind waiting. She does not mind changes of plan. She is flexible with mealtimes. She loves spending the whole day waiting at airports, catching flights, and taking trains and shuttles. She doesn’t mind a flight delay or finding out that we will be switching hotels, or that the restaurant we thought we’d be eating at is closed. Everything is part of the big, wonderful adventure she is having at the moment.


She is an excellent traveler. And what’s more, she knows how to really enjoy herself. She completely loses herself in flavors– completely focuses on what she is eating or drinking. More importantly, she will try absolutely anything. She wants to taste it all.

She notices things. After watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, she remarked several times on how impressed she was with how good all of the soldiers were at walking in such straight lines. And she loves it all. She loves the people, the buildings, the rivers, the bridges, the smells, the city, the country… All of it!
Taking her to see the world has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. And I am so, so glad we have only just begun.

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17 Responses to The World’s Best Tourist is Five Years Old

  1. Marisa March 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    This is so heartwarming! What a lovely, bright little girl you’ve got 🙂 Sounds to me like she is starting on a road that will lead her to a lifetime of adventure. What a wonderful spirit she has already. Just imagine where her life will take her?

    • Ariana March 17, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you Marisa. I do often think of where she will go in her adult life. She is so full of drive, it’s a bit overwhelming at times. I am counting on her living in some interesting places where we can visit her as an adult!

  2. Great Aunt Gretchen March 16, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Great blog & so much fun to have Amelia enjoying it all!

  3. Anonymous March 16, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Oh Amelia! We love you. Skype soon, okay? love, aunt carol

  4. Bethany March 16, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Wow! Consider yourself very lucky! There is a reason we gave up any sort of globe trotting life. Every one of your descriptions reminds me of some “disaster” in our history. The kids have enjoyed travelling, but it hasn’t been without a lot of stress. We are looking forward to travelling again some day without kids. I’m glad yours is such an enjoyable companion and you don’t have to wait.

    • Ariana March 17, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Bethany, we know we are certainly lucky in this regard. On the other hand, nothing is more terrible than when we have to stay home for days on end, especially just the two of us, since she is completely understimulated and gets kind of miserable. She has always been at her very best in public, even as a baby! We will just take it and run with it. And hopefully you guys can resume your travels soon. (Come over!!)

  5. Kristin March 16, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    What an exciting little person! She sounds like she has such a rich and deep soul. I’d love to meet her.

    • Ariana March 17, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      Kristin, I’m sure she’d love to meet you, too! I don’t know who I would be if I had not grown up in a foreign country, and feel good offering the same to my little one– and I see you have come to a similar conclusion!

  6. Great Scott March 16, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I completely and utterly LOVE this post – and the first photo is by FAR my favorite! Totally captures that sense of excitement and adventure in her little wandering soul. It such a gift not only to travel, but to make history come to life by visiting these historic places. And by the way…have Amelia clue me in on who Samuel Peeps is!!! She’s a smart cookie, that one. Can’t wait to see you all again soon!

    • Ariana March 17, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      “Samuel Peeps worked in London, and he wrote in his diary about the Great Fire of London, and that’s how we know what happened. And I know that the buildings of Parliament actually burned down, and it was very dangerous for all of the people, and they all were trying to get buckets and buckets and buckets of water until they could put out the fire. Samuel Peeps and all the people took a torch and pulled the houses down with hooks and threw a leather bucket of water on it. Later, they rebuilded London so it could be fresh and clean again, and then they cleaned up all the ashes from the fire, and it never, ever happened again. The end.” You may want to double-check a little bit of this, but I think it’s pretty accurate.

  7. Great Scott March 16, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    PS: Just looked at that photo again with Maren – and she screamed “Ameel – ian”. haha! LOVE that dimple…

    • Ariana March 17, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      We are looking forward to some time with that little sweetie, too!

  8. Jenny March 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Happy Birthday to Amelia! What a treat for you to see the world through her eyes.

  9. Rita. January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    What a wonderful post! I have become enamored of your adventures of late.

  10. Susan Gaines May 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    I am laughing & rejoicing in my heart.


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