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by Mary Emma Allen


Whether you're traveling long distance or only on local jaunts, take a child exploring.  Enhance you knowledge and stretch your imagination as you look at the world through their eyes.
You'll discover a world of wonder and renewal.  You'll develop a closer relationship with the child (children) and you'll of ten find simple pleasures can be most enjoyable.
With my grandchildren, I often explored our local area and saw it through their eyes.  We came home with pockets bulging with stones.  Then we looked up the various ones in our mineral book,



Sea Glass 
On one memorable occasion, my husband  Jim and I took our grandson and grandnephew on an outing to an island in Maine for the day, reached by ferry.  Neither boy had ever been on a ferry, so thought this a great treat.
However, one of their enjoyable pleasures was searching for shells, pebbles and sea glass along a beach.  They, and others in our group, had such fun looking for these items, searching for those with unusual shapes and colors. 
It was great to see young and older alike enjoying these simple treasures, rather than glued to electronic games and needing manufactured toys.
Souvenirs of Travels
It seems we've long been a family of gatherers and collectors. On walks with grandchildren, we all come home with pockets full of stones and sticks, acorns, pieces of bark, then in our hands leaves and flowers.
 When Jim and I travel, we bring them stones and natural objects native to the various regions rather than traditional souvenirs.  We like to share something of the history or natural landscape of the areas where we trek. 
One of these natural curiosities was the pipe stone prominent in that area of Minnesota named for this soft reddish rock. 
Find simple pleasures to enjoy in your travels.   What have you done along this line as  you've traveled by yourself and with children?
(c) 2015 Mary Emma Allen
(Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her New Hampshire home as well as throughout her travels. She's the author of more than 200 stories for children and the books, Tales of Adventure & Discovery and William Mathewson, the Original Buffalo Bill.)


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