By Sam Ciurdar

When you hear someone say they’re going on an adventure—a trip—and you close your eyes and imagine it, what do you see? Some might picture this scene without kids. I, too, thought of it this way before having children of my own. Before my wife and I had started our family, we traveled every chance we got. Over the course of two years, we were rarely grounded, and our adventures were indeed kid-free. The year before my daughter was born, I personally ventured on thirteen trips within twelve months, and my wife almost always accompanied me along the way. We were no strangers to adventure.

Now, the way I travel has shifted. And what I look forward to the most is taking my two children on as many adventures as possible—big or small. I don’t want to just tell them about the world, I want them to experience it. I want them to see different sights, taste different foods, meet new people, and learn different perspectives—even if this means they won’t remember it now.

My hope is for them to look back on our family trips, see their parents’ adventurous hearts, and feel compelled to want to carry this venturesome spirit on. Inherently as we grow, we are bound to reflect. I know they’ll need something to remember these times with. The photos we’ve taken serve as our tangible reminder.

I believe that when you travel with your children, especially as they get older, you’re giving them something that can never be taken away: memories and experiences. You have the chance to show them that there is a big, beautiful world full of different people and endless possibilities.

I hope that when my kids get older and look back on their childhood they’ll be flooded with mental images of the fun times they had with their parents. There’s nothing like watching your children take in the world around them; a child’s wonder is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting. I’ve been to new places with my kids but I also love revisiting places I’ve already seen because I’m experiencing it again through their eyes. From the moments we’ve explored the forests of Canada, watching my daughter look up at the giant trees, pointing at the colored leaves to the way she holds onto my neck as we go over a bridge. To me, these memories are priceless and meant to be captured.

In times of watching my children feel and explore their surroundings, they’re not the only ones in disbelief. I’ve realized that as much as I try to capture their expression in each new moment of life, it’s not just for their memories, but for mine too.

I have a three-and-a-half-year-old and a one-year-old. I don’t think they’ll remember much about our trips in these early years, but man, am I grateful I get to carry a camera in my pocket at all times and document our adventures every step of the way. I’ll cherish these images and videos for the rest of my life—these kids grow incredibly fast!

I look forward to the reminiscing, laughter, and bonding that comes along with looking back on shared moments. I’m told by everyone who’s had kids to hold onto these fleeting minutes, so trust me, my fists are clenched and I’m soaking in every detail.

Because I’m a filmmaker and photographer, my mind is always in motion. I’m constantly documenting our lives in the background of us living it. I’ve found that it’s really not about the places you go, as much as it’s about who you go with. I may not capture every cherished moment, but the ones I do embody who my kids are and who they’re becoming. You see, they may not recognize each detail of our family trips—odds are they won’t—but they will have something to reflect on and they’ll be able to see themselves in these photographs—and that’s why I live for the adventure moment.