We started traveling when our kids were very young. Oh, sure, people discouraged it. But we were big travelers before our kids came into the world, we weren’t going to stop pursuing one of our passions. We’re also big proponents of exploring the borders beyond where we live. As much as our trips have impacted our own lives, it can only accentuate theirs. As we explore castles, hike up glaciers, swim in the Dead Sea, ski down the world’s best slopes, I always think about how lucky they are and how one day our trips will impact their future selves.
My son still looks forward to our trips. He loves staying in hotels and is very passionate about airplane travel. My daughter on the other hand, my tween, no longer wants to venture into the world, and it breaks my heart. She has reached the phase where she wants to be with her friends and stay local. When she returns to school after a break and the teacher polls the students about where they went, she stays quiet. She’s not a bragger to start with, but she has no inclination to share any details about her travels, regardless of her new passport stamps and mouth-watering adventures.
So, last summer, we were planning a trip to France to visit friends in Avignon and spend a few days in Paris. My daughter didn’t want to go, she had no interest. The trip was to take place before our nephew’s Bar Mitzvah in England and we were catching a speed train from Paris to London. We were going to visit her friend from home who had moved back to France. Still, she did not want to go and her moans about being forced to leave home echoed in my heart.
But along came Selena Gomez and changed everything. It was one of those lucky blogger event breaks for me. We were both invited to interview Selena after previewing her new film, “Monte Carlo”. Much of the film takes place in Paris, and seeing it was serendipitous timing with our upcoming trip. I wrote out our interview questions and when given the opportunity to ask Selena one, she asked her what she thought of Paris and where she recommended we visit. Selena’s face lit up and she asked if she could come with us on our trip, told her to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and to have Chinese food there. She said her visit to Paris was one of the most magical experiences she had ever had.
We took our signed poster and official photo from the event home with us and the tides turned. My daughter started to look forward to the trip. Selena was responsible for her new found excitement about our trip. But I was fine with it. Whatever it takes.
And it was a fabulous trip, just as good as you can imagine. We did go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, we took a cruise around the city, we went to the D’Orsay, we ate crepes, we gazed at Rodin sculptures, explored the city’s great parks, roamed around the Jewish Quarter. We also ate Chinese food.
I’m grateful to Selena Gomez. I know that she’s a very talented actress and singer, and her posters line my daughter’s walls as the infatuation has not waned. But to this day, when I glance at the signed poster that remains in the center of the wall over her dresser, I am grateful for her getting my daughter excited about our trip. I owe you, Selena.
This is a post by our new culture and travel writer, Holly Rosen Fink. Holly is a Marketing and Social Media Consultant, editor of TheCultureMom.com, and a contributor to AChildGrows.com, Family Vacation Critic, Ciao Bambino, SavvySource.com, and CBS New York. She recently associate-produced the theatrical production of Listen to Your Mother and is currently working on The Best of Everything, coming to the Here Arts Center in October. She lives in Westchester with her husband and two children.