National Only Child Day is April 12.
A day that celebrates me (and it isn’t even my birthday).
As an only child who had the opportunity to travel extensively with my parents during my childhood (in fact, I managed to make it to 49 out of the 50 states before I was married. In case you’re wondering–it was Alaska and we went there on our honeymoon) I am happy to celebrate the many ways my no siblings policy shaped me into the person I am today.
Growing up as an only child, I was often asked questions about what it was like to not have siblings.
Some assumed that I must have been lonely or spoiled, but my experiences were quite the opposite. My parents, who shared a love for exploration and adventure, instilled in me a passion for travel from an early age. As a result, I had the privilege of embarking on countless adventures with them, creating cherished memories that have had a lasting impact on my life. And, some like backpacking that I knew from an early age just weren’t the right fit for me.
One of the most significant aspects of being an only child who traveled frequently with my parents was the quality time we spent together. With no siblings to share the attention, I had the undivided love and support of both my parents. We formed a strong bond that still exists as we explored new destinations, navigated unfamiliar cultures, and discovered different cuisines. I cherished the one-on-one time I had with my parents, which fostered a close relationship.
As an only child who traveled with my parents, I learned the value of making memories over material possessions.
Instead of accumulating material possessions, my parents emphasized the importance of creating meaningful experiences through travel. I learned that the richness of life lies in the moments shared with loved ones, the stories and memories we create, and the connections we make with people and places. This perspective has shaped my values.
Traveling as an only child allowed me exposure to diverse cultures and perspectives.
I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the beauty of our world’s diversity, experiencing different languages, customs, and traditions. This exposure broadened my horizons and fostered a deep appreciation for the richness of human diversity. It instilled in me an open-mindedness, empathy, and understanding towards people from all walks of life, which continues to guide me in my interactions with others.
Being an only child who traveled extensively with my parents has been a defining aspect of my life.
It has shaped my character, nurtured my independence, and instilled in me a deep appreciation for the beauty of our world and the richness of human diversity.
As we celebrate National Only Child Day, I encourage fellow only children to embrace the unique experiences and opportunities that come with this upbringing. Whether it’s through travel or other avenues, being an only child can be a fulfilling and enriching journey, filled with love, adventure, and meaningful connections.