Milestone Trips

Why do we take these milestone trips with our children?

It was on our trip to Italy in 2004 that Taido and I dreamed up the idea of taking our children to Europe one at a time.  We delighted in the thought of our little ones running through the cobblestone streets of San Gimignano, and we tossed all kinds of ideas around about how to make it happen.  Somewhere in that dream state, we converged on this idea:

to take each of our children on a trip to mark their 13th birthday

I remember Taido saying that it could be like our own Chino version of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  He could take the boys and they could also use the time to talk about becoming a man.  A rite of passage of sorts.

And I would take Mary Polly.

Taido and I have had a lot of ideas over the last 20 years, but ideas and dreams don’t always become realities.  So it’s especially fun to me that somehow this idea stuck.  It rang true enough to us that two years ago when Cole turned 13, he and Taido went to Switzerland.  By the grace of God, they overcame great obstacles when it looked for a moment like they might not get to go.  Both Cole and Taido got to see God part the seas for them.

And now, Mary Polly and I are on our adventure.  I am anticipating all the ways we will see God as we travel the Mediterranean.  Already I have seen provision for a journey that we felt was worth taking.  We committed ourselves to the cruise back in January in faith that somehow we’d figure out how to buy plane tickets when the time came.

It’s difficult to anticipate the unknowns, of which there are many before us, I’m sure.  So I am just having faith that wherever our feet take us, we will be marked by the journey.  That for the years to come and in rough waters ahead, Mary Polly and I will be able to look at each other and know that we are both remembering our big adventure.

I look forward to sharing those moments with you in this space when we return in a few short days!  At the moment, Mary Polly and I are traveling Europe by Mediterranean Cruise.  You can keep up with us while we are gone on twitter, instagram and facebook!  Current tweets and instagrams are also to the right in the side bar.



  1. Alison, you have just inspired me. It may not be Europe but I pledge to make more special outings with my one and only girl.

  2. […] again how much I loved being overseas and traveling.  It was then that Taido and I dreamed up the idea of taking our kids on trips for their thirteenth birthdays, even if we had to do it at the expense of other things (college […]

  3. […] Here’s another one for New Zealand (Ben’s dream destination. How great would it be to win this for his milestone trip!) […]

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