The Family Odyssey

Around 400 A.D., St. Augustine wrote: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." Augustine was an avid traveler, originally from North Africa, and emigrated to Rome as a young man. History seems to agree with Augustine. When you look back at literature through the centuries, you get the sense that people are natural explorers.

As far back as the classical Greek epic, The Odyssey, travel has been an essential element of the human experience. But, in fact, most people throughout human history probably never traveled more than twenty or thirty miles from the place they were born. Imagine living your entire life never hearing a foreign language, never seeing the ocean or the architecture in a different city.

Today, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to book a plane ticket and hotel half-way around the world with a few clicks. Travel has never been easier. The difficulty now is choosing where to go and finding the time to dream up the trip.  

That's where I've found a travel guide useful. I don't mean a guide book like Fodors or the NYT Travel section. These are really helpful resources, but sometimes we need personal stories about real experiences from actual people we know and trust. I think that's especially important, now that there are so many choices of places to travel. 

To prioritize my bucket list of places to visit, I try to find blogs from people with similar interests, like Chris Guillebeau and Tim Ferriss. What I love about Chris and Tim is that they don't just focus on where to travel, but how to travel. They share tips and tricks to manage everything from airport check-in to hotel fees. And even if I can't pack up and fly out as soon as I read their latest post, their stories of adventure in foreign lands help me experience those places vicariously and jot down possible destinations to travel when I have the time, money, and freedom.

Then again, globe trotters like these two international entrepreneurs often fly solo or with friends, while I'm a family guy. There are some really adventurous families out there writing great travel content though, and I'll share their posts often. I also have a few of my own tips and tricks to share. Point is, we can all see the world, family or no.

For renaissance dads, our odyssey doesn't have to be a trip in a minivan (or the name of the van itself). I'm all for short day trips, but our families should be a reason to travel the world, not an impediment to it. 

If St. Augustine was right that the world is a book, then it's a book worth reading to our kids. As a renaissance dad, I can't let that book sit on a shelf collecting dust, only to be read once every ten years. So as much as we travel the world, I’ll do my best to share book reviews! 

Look for the hashtag #carusoadventure on social media to follow along. As always, I invite you to share comments on my posts about places you've traveled so I, and other renaissance dads, can put them on our bucket list. 

Keep striving!