Rob Brough and his family enjoy a fun, but wet, trip to Niagara Falls.

My 9-year-old son is fascinated with airplanes. While other kids his age are watching Disney’s “Bunk’d,” “Stuck in the Middle,” or “K.C. Undercover,” he prefers to watch YouTube videos of planes taking off and landing at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, LAX or JFK. Some of these videos are more than an hour long. Are you kidding me!?

Some of his other YouTube favorites include “The World’s Scariest Airplane Landings” and “The Most Dangerous and Strangest Airports in the World.” He’s the only 9-year-old I know who asks, “What kind of plane are we flying on?” when we tell him we are going on a trip.

 

One his favorite apps on the iPad is Delta Air Lines. He has spent many Sunday afternoons clicking on the “Book a Flight” option and creating travel itineraries around the world. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have my Delta online login credentials, or he’d have us booked on flights to everywhere Delta flies on a weekly basis.

At the top of his Christmas list this year was a first-class ticket on Etihad Airlines. He didn’t really care where he went. In fact, I’m fairly confident he’s not even sure where Etihad flies. However, he had seen some videos of Etihad’s first-class cabins on YouTube and wanted to have the experience. Rest assured, we did not purchase our 9-year-old a $15,000 first-class ticket to Dubai for Christmas.

He just loves to fly. Perhaps the allure of airplanes began with his first flight when he was just a few months old and subsequent flights a couple of times each year since. He’s already starting to make plans for all the exotic trips he wants to take with Holly and me when he’s the only child left at home, which is still at least four years from now.

We enjoy traveling with our children (not just our 9-year-old, but all three of them). In fact, we enjoy it a lot. However, our family trips have yet to include any particularly exotic locations. We’ve vacationed in Orlando, Southern California, New York, Washington, D.C., and even Hawaii, but most of our travel with children is to visit family in Houston, Dallas, Tulsa or other less noteworthy places.

Although our travel is not exotic, and often includes a visit to the home of a giant mouse, we’ve also visited a number of locations with great historical significance — places our children would otherwise only read about in textbooks or other histories.

In this issue of Community, we share an article that was originally posted on CruiseCompete.com regarding the life lessons and skills taught to children by travel.

I don’t know whether or not our children have learned great lessons from our travels, but I do know this: We have created wonderful lifelong memories during our time on the road (or in the air).

Wishing each of you safe (and meaningful) travels in the New Year!

Rob Brough

Executive Vice President

Corporate Marketing and Communications